Was the Entire ‘Balloon Boy’ Escapade a Hoax?

Oct 16, 2009  •  Post A Comment

Clearly some think the entire ‘Balloon Boy’ escapade yesterday (Thursday, Oct. 15th) was a hoax.

Here’s an exchange from CNN’s Oct. 15th "Larry King Live" about that. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, guest hosting for King, spoke to the Heene family: Falcon Heene was the little 6-year-old boy who was at the heart of the drama when it was thought he was caught in the compartment of a helium balloon that was untethered and sailed into the sky; Falcon’s mom, Mayumi, and his dad, Richard:

Blitzer:  And Falcon was really in the garage this whole time.  I don’t know if Falcon can hear me, but was he — because I know at some point, he fell in sleep in that garage, but he was hiding out because he thought you were going to punish him for something that happened earlier in the day.

Did he hear anything?
Did he hear you screaming out, "Falcon, Falcon?"
Richard:  You’d have to — Falcon, did you hear us calling your name at any time?
Falcon: Uh-huh.
Falcon: You did?
Mayumi:  You did?
Richard: Well, why didn’t you come out?
Falcon: You had said that we did this for a show.

Later in the show there was this exchange:

Blitzer: Richard Heene, the father of little Falcon — Richard, earlier in the show I asked you to relay the question to Falcon. He was hiding in the garage for four hours. I asked you to ask him why didn’t he come out after he heard you and his mom and everybody else screaming for Falcon. And you said to him, "Falcon, why didn’t you come out?"

And Falcon said, hmmm, you guys said that we did this for the show. And you said, hmmmm. What did he mean, we did this for the show?

Richard: I have no idea. I think he was talking about the media.

They’ve been asking a lot of questions. So somebody asked him that question earlier.

Blitzer: Do you want to ask him now. I don’t know if he can hear me? What did he mean by what he said we did this for the show? Do you want to ask Falcon?

Richard: Falcon, they want to know — they want to know why you were in the attic for so long and why you — say it again?

Blitzer: Why he said — he said we did this for the show in explaining why he didn’t come out of the attic.

Richard: Yes. Let me interrupt this real quick. I think I can see the direction you guys are hedging on this. Because earlier you had asked the police officers the question. The media out front, we weren’t even going to do this view. And I’m kind of appalled, after all of the feelings that I went through, up and down, that you guys are trying to suggest something else.

OK? I’m really appalled, because they said out in front that this would be the end, and I wouldn’t have to be bothered for the rest of the week with any shows or anything. So we said OK, fine, we’ll do this.

So I’m kind of appalled that you guy would say something like that. You know?

Blitzer: No, no. We’re not asking anything unusual. You were asked earlier about if this was a publicity stunt. You say it wasn’t.

The police say it wasn’t. The rescue operation say it wasn’t. The only thing I wanted to clarify why Falcon had said earlier we did this for the show. I just wanted to clarify. I didn’t understand what he was referring to.

Richard: Well, you know, we were on "Wife Swap" a couple times.

The camera crew was out there, I would imagine — they asked him a couple questions in reference to this. And I believe, you know, he meant something to do with that.

Blitzer: Right. And he’s nodding his head for that. I don’t want you to misunderstand. Just asking the question doesn’t mean, Richard, that we’re suggesting untoward or anything like. That we’re just thrilled that Falcon is alive and well, and your family is together. We watched all of this play out during the course of several hours. And I have to tell you personally, as a reporter who reported that he was alive and well, it was a thrilling moment for me, because, you know, I was really, really worried that I would have to report something very, very different.

I was just grateful that he is just fine. You have a beautiful family there. You spent an hour talking about it with us, and with the entire country. Everyone was engrossed. Everyone was watching. And we want to wish you and your wife and the three boys only the best. Thanks very much for joining us.

That’s it for us. I’m Wolf Blitzer, sitting in for Larry King.

"Anderson Cooper 360" starts right now.

There are a number of pundits who think it was a hoax. One of them is Dave Porter of AXcess. Click here to read his column about why he thinks it was a hoax.

–Chuck Ross


  1. How come no one has reported asking the brother who originally reported to his parents that he saw Falcon get into the balloon and take off – why HE said that?!?!?!?

  2. With winds and the media gauged,
    The flight of Balloon Boy was staged
    Till Falcon, unwary,
    Sang like a canary
    Now his cuckoo Dad will be caged.
    News Short n’ Sweet by JFD8

  3. You make blogging look like a walk in the park! I’ve been trying to blog daily but I just cant find writing material.. you’re an inspiration to me and i’m sure many others!

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