Oct 23, 2009

Last week, Falcon Heene of Fort Collins, Colorado received worldwide attention when it was mistakenly believed that the six-year-old had floated away in a homemade balloon. The boy was eventually found and reported to be at his house the entire time, leading to speculation that the incident was a hoax and a publicity stunt planned by his parents, Richard and Mayumi Heene, who reportedly wanted to get their own reality show (the family had previously appeared on ABC's Wife Swap). Now the family wants to tell their side of the story...

Balloon Boy Family Excuses

—It was the one-armed man. (Jameson)

—Heard that a half-assed, balloon-related hoax was how the Gosselins got started. (Brandon)

—Um... the economy? (Joe)

—Hoped incident would gain the notice of Falcon's hero, the late Tony Randall. (Mike)

—After numerous failed attempts to get their own show, family agreed it was time to give Cops a try. (Matt)

—Were simply trying to float up to heaven, because they weren't quite ready to say goodbye to Patrick Swayze. (Joe)

—It's hard out there for a blimp. (Jameson)

—If hoaxes and publicity stunts are bad, then why is Fox News so popular? (Brandon)

—Balloon was sent as a message to all area hobos, that the Heenes were not a family to be trifled with. (Matt)

—The Heene kids were just playing that timeless childhood game "Call the Authorities and Pretend One of You is Trapped in a Balloon High Above the Earth." (Jameson)

—Mrs. Heene hoped publicity would give her a chance to "meet" David Letterman. (Mike)

—The editors of Us Weekly made them do it. (Matt)

—With the intrusive and inconvenient nature of security at our nation's airports, a giant plastic balloon covered in tinfoil is actually the easiest and most efficient way to travel through the air these days. (Joe)

—Hoped that if the "Balloon Boy" franchise really took off, they might get to meet John Travolta and work out some sort of Balloon Boy/Bubble Boy crossover tour. (Jameson)

—Mother hated Falcon and home-made weather balloons, father hoped getting rid of both would get him laid. (Matt)

—Simply continuing the tradition started by Robert Blake and O.J. Simpson: people who appear on ABC go on to commit crimes that grab national attention. (Still waiting to find out if tradition also includes surprising acquittal.) (Brandon)

—Probably shouldn't have named him Falcon. (Mike)

—Balloon held hundreds of Richard Heene's headshots destined for the Joplin, MO film festival. (Matt)

—Broncos football tickets too expensive; wanted to watch some games from the air. (Jameson)

—Oh, I suppose you can honestly say that you never played "let's tell everybody you were hiding in a cardboard box in the attic while we thought you were floating away in a giant silver balloon, and then maybe Daddy's sad, desperate bid for fame and relevance will finally pay off" when you were a little kid? (Joe)

Baron von Contributors: Brandon Kruse, Matt Kruse, Joe Mulder, Jameson Simmons, Mike Wagner

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