Falcon Heene hoax

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ABC Nearly Paid Balloon Boy $10K

Backed off when judge ruled family couldn't profit from hoax

(Newser) - ABC News was just about to pay the family of "balloon boy" Jason Heene $10,000 for a video of their stunt and an interview before a judge ruled last month that the family couldn't profit from their hoax. "ABC pulled the story because it didn't want the... More »

Balloon Boy Dad: It Wasn't a Hoax

Richard Heene says he pleaded guilty to help his wife

(Newser) - There's no easy way to break this: The balloon boy dad is back in the news, and he insists the hoax he admitted to perpetrating wasn't, in fact, a hoax. Richard Heene tells Larry King in an interview airing Friday that he genuinely thought his son Falcon was aboard the... More »

Cut Balloon Boy Dad Some Slack

He's the 'inevitable product' of our era

(Newser) - A little sympathy for the Balloon Boy dad, please. Yes, he "grotesquely" put his kids through hell, but he’s also a fitting emblem—and the “inevitable product”—of our time, writes Frank Rich. Richard Heene gave us a fake spectacle that reflects our era much as... More »

Balloon Mom Told Cops It Was All a Hoax

Documents show Heene parents knew 6-year-old was in house all along

(Newser) - The mother of the 6-year-old boy once feared missing inside a runaway helium balloon admitted the whole saga was a hoax, according to court documents released today. Mayumi Heene told sheriff's deputies that she and husband Richard "knew all along that Falcon was hiding in the residence" in Fort... More »

Be Balloon Boy for Halloween

Canadian company hawks costume

(Newser) - It was inevitable: a Canadian model airplane company is selling “Balloon Boy” Halloween costumes on its website. For $19.99, you get a 38-inch mylar balloon with a small gondola. Supply your own helium, cardboard box, and string, notes ABC Denver. "Now you, too, can enjoy all the... More »

Heene's Motivation: 2012 Apocalypse

More bizarre background on 'Balloon Boy' dad Richard Heene comes out

(Newser) - Richard Heene’s totally sensible motivation for his balloon hoax: He “believes the world is going to end in 2012," explained a lawyer for one of Heene’s researchers, who police recently interviewed. "Because of that he wanted to make money quickly, become rich enough to build... More »

FAA Starts Own Balloon Boy Probe

Flight delays at Denver airport during caper could result in fines

(Newser) - The Federal Aviation Administration is the latest agency to start its own investigation of last week’s Colorado balloon circus, with authorities looking into delays at Denver International Airport during the craft’s flight. And while local law enforcement wants criminal charges against the Heene family, any FAA violations would... More »

Stunts Worse Than Balloon Boy

Yes, Richard Heene is bad—but is he as bad as, say, Tonya Harding?

(Newser) - Right now the world is against balloon boy mastermind Richard Heene, but perhaps everyone will forgive and forget after revisiting five even worse publicity stunts, compiled by Brian Moylan for Gawker:
  • Lauren Cleri: On Fox reality show Moment of Truth, she admitted to cheating on her husband—and didn't even
... More »

Heene Wore a Bra, Wrote Theme Songs

Internet yields veritable treasure trove of Balloon Boy family background

(Newser) - Richard Heene wanted to make his family famous, so it's no surprise that the Internet yields a wide variety of background info on the balloon boy dad—from the hilarious (Heene wearing a bra) to the not-so-hilarious (former run-ins with the law). Read on for more:
  • TMZ unearthed two audio
... More »

Sheriff: TV Paid for Balloon Stunt

Unnamed outlet blurs entertainment-news lines, says Alderden

(Newser) - A shady TV operation may have already paid the Heenes for its balloon boy stunt, the Colorado sheriff investigating the case has indicated. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the unnamed outlet paid the family for the launch and may be complicit in the hoax. An agreement from the... More »

'Swap Wife' Calls Heene Mad Wiz With Temper

'My dad can really yell,' son told her

(Newser) - The "swapped wife" who lived with the Balloon Boy's family as part of a TV reality program described dad Richard Heene as a mad scientist with a short fuse. Sheree Silver said Heene screamed at her, and son Bradford said: "My dad can really yell, can't he?" Silver... More »

Balloon Family Feels 'Under Siege': Lawyer

Lawyer says stunt has turned into a "nightmare for the family."

(Newser) - Richard and Mayumi Heene are likely regretting the hoax they staged using their 6-year-old son and a balloon: With criminal charges looming and public opinion turning against them, the family feels “under siege,” their lawyer said today. The FAA has opened an investigation into the incident; it has... More »

Balloon-Boy Stunt Not So Strange for Wacky Dad

Unsurprisingly, Richard Heene is a shameless self-promoter

(Newser) - With the balloon-boy debacle now exposed as a hoax, the spotlight has turned on Richard Heene's wacky and not-so-camera-shy behavior. The 48-year-old amateur scientist/wannabe reality TV star tried his hand at acting and standup comedy in the early '90s in Hollywood. And though that ended up being a "total... More »

We All Share Blame for Balloon Boy

Emotion-ravenous audience devoured fake tale

(Newser) - Falcon Heene's media-hungry dad isn't the only culprit in the balloon boy hoax that put the 6-year-old at the center of a giant international lie. We may be just as much to blame for our ravenous appetite for more thrilling "reality" TV events, "glued to 40-inch hi-def images,... More »

How I Helped Plan the Balloon Boy Hoax

Scheme was a campaign to return to reality TV: researcher

(Newser) - Balloon boy Falcon Heene's father, Richard, planned the hoax because he wanted to return to reality TV, claims a former research assistant. Heene "was often driven by ego and fame," Robert Thomas says in an interview with Gawker, which the website acknowledges it paid him for. "... More »

Colo. Sheriff: Balloon Boy Case a 'Hoax'

No charges yet, but evidence points to stunt to boost reality show

(Newser) - A Colorado sheriff announced this afternoon that the balloon boy case was a hoax and that he would be pursuing criminal charges. In a rambling news conference, Sheriff Jim Alderden said that the drama surrounding Falcon Heene was likely a publicity stunt designed to hype a reality show. More »

Balloon Boy Family to Face Charges

Sheriff offers few details, but hints he suspects a hoax

(Newser) - A Colorado sheriff said tonight that criminal charges are expected to be filed in the balloon boy case. He didn't specify what the charges would be, but he suggested that investigators smelled a hoax. "I think you get the gist," said Sheriff Jim Alderden when asked directly if... More »

Balloon Boy Dad Called TV Station, Then Police

Richard Heene called station with helicopter

(Newser) - A detail that's sure to bolster hoax-believers in the odd tale of balloon boy: Turns out dad Richard Heene phoned a TV news station that had a helicopter before calling 911 after learning that 6-year-old Falcon had supposedly drifted off in a flying saucer-shaped helium balloon. Though Heene's first phone... More »

Child-Protection Office Eying Balloon Family

Cops to re-interview Heenes as hoax suspicions rise

(Newser) - Colorado child-protection officers have spoken to the sheriff's office about the Heene family following Thursday's bizarre balloon incident, said Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden, who hopes an investigation will follow. Police plan to re-interview the family today following a CNN interview in which 6-year-old Falcon said he hid in an... More »

Balloon Mess No Hoax: Sheriff

Restitution remains a possibility

(Newser) - The Larimer County, Colo., sheriff's office has no indication the Heene family was carrying out a hoax when the parents reported their 6-year-old son was in a helium balloon that floated away from their home and traveled more than 50 miles. "We believe at this time that it was... More »

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