Balloon Boy Dad Gets Pardon for 2009 Hoax


Richard Heene’s spirits are soaring these days. Heene is the infamous father behind the 2009 hoax involving his young son and a runaway airship.

You may recall the “Balloon Boy” story that created a global media sensation when 6-year-old Falcon’s parents claimed he was aboard a helium balloon that had broken free of its earthly bond and floated away from the family’s Fort Collins, Colorado backyard.

On October 15th, 2009, National Guard helicopters were scrambled as Air Traffic Controllers worked to reroute aviation traffic around Denver International Airport.

The event, which lasted about 90 minutes, was witnessed by millions on TV and the internet. The balloon eventually landed harmlessly in a wheat field with no sign of young Falcon. The young boy was ultimately found hiding in the family’s attic above the garage.

The parents eventually admitted the ill-advised stunt was aimed at raising the family’s profile sky high in hopes of landing a reality TV show. That plan was grounded when the family appeared on CNN’s “Larry King Live” after the boy was asked why he was hiding during the entire spectacle. In an unforgettably, cringeworthy moment of Must-See TV, Falcon turned to his parents and said “You said that we did this for a show.”


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