Home > Uncategorized > 6-year-old boy missing after balloon lands in Colorado

6-year-old boy missing after balloon lands in Colorado

(CNN) — Authorities are searching for a box that was attached to a balloon set loose by a 6-year-old boy Thursday from his family’s home, CNN affiliate WUSA reported.

A sibling said he saw the boy, identified as Falcon Heene, get into the craft Thursday morning, authorities said.

Neither the boy nor the box were with the craft when it made a soft landing near Keenesburg, about 60 miles from its starting point, Fort Collins, at 1:35 p.m. (3:35 p.m. ET).

People across the world watched Thursday as the homemade helium balloon soared 7,000 feet over eastern Colorado for more than an hour and a half.

But the fate of the boy remained unclear.

“At this point, we are thinking that he did not fall out of the balloon and is somewhere on the ground,” Larimer County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Eloise Campanella said. “The basket itself was not breached. It does not look like he fell out of it, but again, this is all conjecture.” Video Watch balloon land »

Campanella said authorities are searching the neighborhood for the boy.

“I’m very confident we will find him. I think it’s a matter of him being a little scared,” she said. “Maybe he’s not ready to be found.” Video Watch the balloon float thousands of feet over Colorado »

Falcon’s parents, science enthusiasts Richard and Mayumi Heene, were featured on the 100th episode of ABC’s prime-time program “Wife Swap” in March, ABC said.

According to the network’s Web site, the Heene family “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.” iReport.com: Heene family storm chases into eye of storm

The dome-shaped balloon, about 20 feet long and 5 feet high, appeared to be a Mylar-coated helium balloon, similar to a party balloon.


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  1. tcarter
    October 15, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    although i’m glad the little boy was found safe and sound, as all the details came out, particularly that this family had been on “wifeswap”, this story seemed to be a publicity stunt

    i think the state should hit them with a big fat bill for all the resources used to chase this balloon

    and the whole time this balloon was drifting across the state, no family member had the good sense to search the whole property, from top to bottom

    this family seems really disfunctional, and the fact that the father said he doesnt and won’t ground his son.

    he needs a good old fashioned spanking, and needs to be punished or disciplined…not just “talked to” as the father said…..

    this family seems a bit out of control to me…even the little boy running up the hood of the family car to sit on top and pose for his photo op for the press…..

    our hearts went out to them earlier, as this was unfolding….

    but now we just feel like we’ve been “had”

    • baselinefilms
      October 15, 2009 at 9:50 pm

      I agree! The family is whack!

  2. sbhow
    October 15, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    I am amazed at the ridiculous amounts of coverage that this story got (and continues to get as I write it’s well past 9pm ET) on all major national news media including CNN. Given the obsession of this country with safety (rightly so), it seemed right out of a textbook news story till we collectively realized we’d been had. I also found the coverage disproportionate and tilted especially considering that this took so many live, ‘real’ and much more important stories off the air for several hours…. Report on the real issues guys!

  3. Gary Beekman
    October 15, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    The father put the kid up to it. In the kid’s words: I didn’t answer because you said we were doing it for the show and after the kid answered CNN’s question the father was obviously agitated and at a loss for words.

  4. Beth
    October 15, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    It is a woman’s right to change her mind, right? Well, I did! For hours, I doubted this being a real accidental incident until I viewed this family on Larry King. Amidst my confusion, I was horrified as I watched the balloon boy float endlessly though the sky! The Dad, Mr. Heene, convinced me that he was very emotional & honest…I believe this was a terrible nightmare the parents, and especially the father of Falcon, suffered through today. I can only imagine the horror & guilt the parents must have felt! Thank God Falcon is safe.

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