You know that flying saucer balloon you keep in your backyard in case you feel like searching for aliens? Well, you’d better lock it up — because, in one of the strangest news reports I’ve heard in a while, a six-year-old boy in Colorado allegedly crawled into a such an experimental aircraft constructed by his parents and floated away… and when it landed, he was nowhere to be found.
Some think he ran away, frightened. Others think he was never in the aircraft to begin with.
Falcon Heene was reportedly seen getting into the alien-seeking balloon thingy by his sibling. The craft was tracked by the Denver International Airport on radar and witnessed at 7,000 feet and moving at 30 MPH.
7,000 feet. A six-year-old boy. Oy.
One of the Falcon’s brothers said he saw him fall out of the balloon. Police did not locate him in a search of the Heene house, raising questions about whether the story is a tragedy or a hoax. Aviation experts say the balloon was too small to have lifted a six-year-old boy and was not flying as if it was carrying a payload.
Nevertheless, Falcon is still missing, leading the police to treat today’s events as an open case and not a hoax.
“At this point, we are thinking that he did not fall out of the balloon and is somewhere on the ground,” Larimer County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Eloise Campanella said. “The basket itself was not breached. It does not look like he fell out of it, but again, this is all conjecture.”
Campanella said authorities are searching the neighborhood for the boy.
“I’m very confident we will find him. I think it’s a matter of him being a little scared,” she said. “Maybe he’s not ready to be found.”
Making this all the more strange, if that’s possible, Falcon’s parents, science enthusiasts Richard and Mayumi Heene, were featured on the 100th episode of ABC’s prime-time program “Wife Swap” in March. According to the network’s Web site, the Heene family “devote[s] their time to scientific experiments that include looking for extraterrestrials and building a research-gathering flying saucer to send into the eye of the storm.”
Yeah, if I had parents like that, I’d probably try to escape from them in the balloon, too. Fingers crossed that he’s okay.