Thursday, October 15, 2009

Premature balloonist

The Post:
Rescuers and paramedics are with a "homemade flying saucer" that just came down, but the fate of a 6-year-old who was on board is unknown.

Rescuers on the ground told their dispatcher the boy was not inside.

Officials and the boy's family had said he was in the gondola when it went airborne this morning; it's unclear what happened to the boy.
Fox News is saying somebody on the ground was claiming they saw "something" fall out. The video of the balloon is freaky.
The incident started this morning in Fort Collins when the boy got into the balloon-like device built by his father and it came loose from a tether. . . .

The balloon craft belongs to Richard Heene, whose son, Falcon, is now missing.
The craft could fly as high as 10,000 feet, according to the Weld County Sheriff's Office. (Lisa Ecklund via 9News)the ground following the balloon with the assistance of the 9News helicopter.

Richard Heene is an amateur scientist based out of Fort Collins. He and his partners call themselves the "psyience detectives."
Heene is a storm chaser who collects data to prove that rotating storms create their own magnetic fields.He began his research in 2002 with lab experiments, then moved on to dust devils. In 2005, he flew a plane around Hurricane Wilma's perimeter.
Update: The parents have been on something called "Wife Swap." What's that? Oh. Huffpo (of course) has more.

Update II: Fox says they found Falcon in his house. Shee-eewww. Lots more to come, tho not necessarily from me. (Yeah, right.)

Update III: Post has it now. Key grafs:
Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden told media in Fort Collins that the 6-year-old boy thought to be missing in a balloon craft has been found alive at his home.

"He was found in a box in the attic above the garage," Alderden said.
If I were his parents (I have the ability to morph into more than one person) he'd stay there for a while.

Update IV: Hoax? KOA:

The 6-year-old Colorado boy thought to have floated off in a homemade balloon has raised questions whether it might have been a family stunt.

During a live interview on CNN, Falcon Heene said he heard his family calling his name as he hid in the rafters of their garage. At the time, there was a frantic effort to bring down the balloon safely. Falcon's father asked, ``Why didn't you come out?'' The boy answered, ``You had said we did this for a show.'' After the CNN interview, the father said he didn't know what his son meant. The boys' parents have appeared twice in the ABC reality show ``Wife Swap.'' The show promoted the Heene family as storm chasers who also ``devote their time to scientific experiments that include looking for extraterrestrials and building a research-gathering flying saucer to send into the eye of the storm.'' Richard Heene adamantly has denied the notion that the whole thing was a big publicity stunt.

Before the interview, a local sheriff in Fort Collins said there was no evidence of a hoax.
Update V: Our Caz sends along this from the Borowitz Report:
Moments after a little boy who was believed to be in his parents' homemade helium balloon was found safe and sound, millions of Americans came to the realization that they had flushed the entire fucking afternoon down the fucking toilet.

"I watched the entire drama unfold and then it turned out that no drama had unfolded," said Carol Foyler, 32, of Missoula, Montana. "I can't tell you how pissed I am at that fucking kid."

At their Colorado home, the parents of six-year-old Falcon Heene said that they were relieved that their son was all right and that they were pushing forward with their plans to build a giant child-operated flame-throwing robot. . . .
The rest requires registration.

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