Charges Expected In Escaped Balloon Case

October 18, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Two days after a Colorado family reported to authorities that their homemade flying saucer balloon had floated out of their backyard carrying their 6-year-old boy causing a media frenzy, the sheriff of Larimer County, Colo., said Saturday evening that charges were pending in the case.  The boy’s father, Richard Heene has insisted that the drama that unfolded Thursday wasn’t a publicity stunt, but met with sheriff’s officials Saturday amid lingering questions about whether he perpetrated a hoax.  The boy’s mother, Mayumi Heene, was also interviewed by the sheriff department Saturday.

“We do anticipate … there will be some criminal charges filed in respect to this incident,” said Sheriff Jim Alderden, speaking to reporters in a news conference televised on CNN.

He said initial charges would likely be a misdemeanor.  The department was preparing search warrants, he said, adding the possible misdemeanor charge “hardly seems serious enough given the circumstances.” He said the department was in contact with federal authorities and additional federal charges were possible.

Saturday began with anticipation, as Heene promised a big announcement at 10 a.m., but when he emerged from his home to address the gathered reporters, he simply placed a cardboard box on his front porch.

He said he has been inundated with phone calls and e-mails with questions since the dramatic flight that gained global attention and invited people to leave written questions in it, which he said he would answer at 7:30 p.m. Saturday evening.

On a side note website, Gawker did a paid interview with Robert Thomas who claims earlier this year he and Richard Heene drew up a master plan to generate a massive media controversy using a weather balloon, to get famous, of course. Supposedly:

Thomas spent several months earlier this year working on developing a reality science TV show to pitch to networks — the “show,” Thomas says, that Falcon was referring to when he told CNN “We did it for the show.” Among the ideas that Heene, Thomas and two others came up with for their reality TV proposal — and one that he says most intrigued Heene — involved a weather balloon modified to look like a UFO which they would launch in an attempt to drum up media interest in both the Heene family and the series he was desperate to get on the air. Still, Thomas never imagined that Heene would involve his six-year-old son in what he is certain was a “global media hoax” to further Richard Heene’s own celebrity.


6 Responses to “Charges Expected In Escaped Balloon Case”

  1. Regis Szelc on October 18th, 2009 10:18 am

    Before 911 terrorist were inspecting crop-dusters for their Antrax virus airborne strain. Now you see how it can be delivered, cheaply. Can you imagine 4 or 5 of these balloons weaponized?
    FAA , I hope you don’t drop the ball this time. It’s too simple.

  2. chris on October 18th, 2009 11:09 am

    I have no idea on earth why these people need to have charges pressed against them. This is the kind of thing i hate, especialy when lots of people agree they should have charges pressed against them. For what? Yeah this cause a lot of panic, but I think that this sheriffs department is just hungry for attention.
    You know if these people really ‘intentionally’ launched a balloon in the air and made everyone think their son was in there even though they knew he was not, then they are doing something illegal. Jeesh i wonder what would happen if i make a mistake a few years down the road? Life imprisonment for drinking in public?

  3. wackoae on October 18th, 2009 1:04 pm

    chris, are you really that dumb????

    Do you have any idea how much this hoax cost the tax payers?? Aircrafts, helicopters, ground vehicles, tracking equipment, emergency personal, diverted flights, etc.

    So according to idiots like you, it is OK to call the authorities and have them waist their time chasing a balloon around just because you are an attention whore.

  4. Nitaya Luu on October 18th, 2009 2:49 pm

    I saw this couple showed up on wifeswap shows several months back. I remember, they are very odd couple..alot of yelling in their family. When I see this news, I couldn’t believe that it was them again. There are a lot odd thing that will not happen in other family except this family. They appear to be simple folks communicating plain rude language between husband and wife.

    It appears to be a hoax really but authority will need to investigate more because of the oddness of this could happen they way they described because they just odd people…if you don’t believe..go watch the show WIFESWAP, I remember the wife.

  5. Amy on October 19th, 2009 2:02 pm

    I am hoping it was not a hoax, because that would be a twisted thing for the parents to do.

  6. Alan on October 19th, 2009 5:25 pm

    The parents should be prosecuted as terrorists, They endangered civil aviation and forced the closure of a major airport with no reason, something not seen since 9/11.

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