Boy (Not) In Runaway Helium Balloon, Found


A home-made helium balloon landed in a Colorado field, Thursday afternoon without a small boy in side … and that was a surprise. For the preceding two hours, 24-hour news networks followed news helicopter footage of a 20×5-foot mylar homebuilt helium balloon that flew for two hours over Colorado, Thursday, because they believed there was a six-year-old boy, named Falcon, inside. The child, Falcon Heese, was actually inside his parents home the entire time, but that’s not what the parents, who we now know witnessed the launch (see video), said they believed. Meanwhile, the balloon — referred to by some major media outlets as an “experimental aircraft” — landed in a field, rather gently, after a flight that may have taken it to 10,000 MSL, flying at wind speeds of approximately 25 mph. Rescuers who were on scene at the time of the landing accurately found no child inside and concerns then shifted toward the notion that the boy had been inside a box originally attached to but not found with the balloon. The box, apparently, was inside the Heese’s attic (along with the boy) all along.The boy and family have had prior experience with media coverage, having been participants in the ABC TV show, Wife Swap.

The story became a TV news sensation based on the report that the balloon was tethered in the family’s yard when the boy climbed aboard and untied the tether. The craft floated skyward leaving the boy’s helpless parents on the ground. A news helicopter found the balloon and reported its altitude fluctuating between 7,500 and 8,500 feet.

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