On The Scene

Balloon Boy – Was it Real or a Stunt?

by FNC Reporter Alicia Acuna

The Heene family says “They’ve had it! They’re done with interviews.”  A family friend named Tina Chavez,  just walked outside their home, here in Ft. Collins, Colorado, and gave all of us here covering the story, that message.

I walked into the Heene house very early this morning while Falcon’s dad, Richard was doing a live interview with another network.  One of the bookers told me that 6-year-old Falcon had just vomited on live television.  I peaked around the corner into the living room, where the lights and camera were located and saw a very distraught Richard talking to whomever was on the other end of the satellite feed.  One of the kids was nearby laying on a couch, but I couldn’t tell which one.

It struck me as odd that so many strangers (including me and Fox News Denver Bureau field producer Kelly Burke) were inside this home, walking in and out with no one stopping to ask questions at the door.

But then, this, as so many have pointed out, is one of the strangest stories to be covered in a long time.  Adding to it all, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Department is now meeting with investigators to decide whether to pursue this case as a fraud.  During one of the family’s live interviews yesterday, Falcon mentioned that this was all part of a show.  That caught the attention of authorities.  It also piqued the interest of the millions of people who watched for two hours as helicopters chased the “Low altitude vehicle” that we all thought was carrying a young child.  Part of the reason the question over the validity of this event is so important is that this was a very expensive two hours. Two military helicopters were launched, Denver International Airport diverted flights for a time, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) assisted in tracking the balloon, in addtion to multiple sheriff’s deputies and search and rescue personnel.  Right now, the New York Post is estimating the cost to be around 2-million-dollars.  We’re awaiting the official word on that number.  Officials have told us that the Heene family will not be footing the bill, so far.

We’ll have more after a news conference to be held by the sheriff’s department at 2pm eastern.



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3 Responses to “Balloon Boy – Was it Real or a Stunt?”

Comment by Paul

Who cares if this was an expensive hoax? It was great! Very entertaining way to break up the week. I say we need more balloon boys…

Comment by Wanda

There’s something out of context here. We are caring people, and it had to be verified whether or not a little boy was in the balloon. Thankfully he was not. We never “blow” money in the U.S., do we.

Comment by Terra Shaw

I heard a little of this last night when my husband came home from work, and all I thought was….REALLY?…..someone had to have there stories mixed up. Sure enough this morning, its all over that it was a falce alarm and the boy was in the attic and so on. Here’s my thoughts, 1. they need to get to the bottom of why the little boy felt he had to hide in the attic, I am a mother of 3 and that should be a ” flag” to look into that a little closer. 2. First intuitions are always right with me, and this feels like a stunt to show off Daddy’s experiment, which if thats the case…Shame on you for using your children to do it! and 3. If this is a mistake, an accident and this blew way out of proportion, why would you take your anxiety stricken child onto morning shows and interviews??? as a parent I would healing my child not exposing him to more stress, that tells me right there what really happened!

Hope I am wrong,

Mom from Saskatchewan, Canada


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