Balloon Boy Mania: Media Gets Punk'd While
Boy All But Admits Hoax on CNN
If you were near a TV or on Twitter this morning, new broke after 11A that six-year-old Falcon Heene was trapped inside a homemade hot air balloon floating at altitudes up to 15,000MSL over the flatlands of Eastern Colarado. The family was constructing the fake UFO in the back yard of their suburban Fort Collins, CO. home, and Falcon's brother swore he saw Falcon get into the balloon and depart the backyard airport. The family reportedly called a local TV station begging for their news chopper to be launched in search of the boy, and as fast as digital news travels these days, in minutes the story was wall-to-wall, non-stop coverage on every cable news station.
In this video, CNN's Wolf Blitzer is interviewing the family, and asks why Falcon didn't come out when he heard his name being called. In a small, kind of scared six-year-old voice, he is heard clearly saying "because you guys (parents) said we did this for a show." 'Nuf said.
"The Colorado Army National Guard sent an OH-58 Kiowa helicopter and was preparing to send a Black Hawk UH-60 to try to rescue the boy, possibly by lowering someone to the balloon. Northbound departures at Denver International Airport were shut down as a precaution to prevent against a possible collision between the balloon and an airliner, said Lyle Burrington, an air traffic controller at the Federal Aviation Administration's radar center in Longmont, Colo. Air traffic controllers warned planes in the area about the balloon, Burrington said."
Had the kid not said that in a national CNN interview, I'd have held off on playing the "hoax" card. But I've watched the video many times, and you cannot dispute that the kid definitely said he thought they were doing this for a "show." We have not heard the end of this story, and I suspect the family will be on every morning and afternoon talk show to tell their story. But unless they can come up with solid evidence that Falcon was wrong on this video and it was all a big mistake, I think the Heene family can kiss their book and movie deal goodbye.