Thursday, October 15th, 2009
217

Little Boy Lost In Balloon

A 6-year-old boy is trapped and floating through the skies in Colorado in an experimental helium balloon he was helping his father build. There is live footage of the balloon's journey here, but once you click on it you're going to have to stick with it, and it's kind of tough to take.

Update: Because this world could not be any stranger, you can find a picture of young Falcon Heene and his family here, from when they were on… "Wife Swap." Jesus.

Now: "They didn't find a body, they didn't find any child in this basket…"

People have become a little obsessed with the Heene family videos!

6:09 p.m. OKAY THE KID IS STILL INSIDE THE HOUSE IT TURNS OUT.

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217 Comments / Post A Comment

saythatscool (#101)

That thing is really moving! That kid's goin to Ottawa!

Baboleen (#1,430)

It looks like an old fashioned UFO video.

sox (#652)

it reminded me of that movie, oh shit, what's it called? flight of the navigator?

VeeCee (#1,189)

Or a combination of Radio Days and Enduring Love. All mixed up with Reality TV.

karion (#11)

On the plus side, it appears that their little experimental balloon works.

HiredGoons (#603)

a little too well.

Flashman (#418)

You just couldn't make this stuff up. The kid's name is Falcon.
He's at 8,000 feet now. They better start shooting someholes in that thing.

oudemia (#177)

Phaeton? Icarus? Ugh.

atipofthehat (#797)

Superman?

mathnet (#27)

I can't watch and I can't not watch. This is terrifying. That kid!

hockeymom (#143)

This is like watching a snuff film starring a child.
I kind of want to vomit.

Alex Balk (#4)

Yeah, I'm just… I don't know.

atipofthehat (#797)

Hang in there. If he misses powerlines, he might be fine.

saythatscool (#101)

Uh that thing's going to go down fast.

brent_cox (#40)

It's bizarre enough w/out the whole world watching.

Baboleen (#1,430)

Where is a superhero when you need one!!!

GiovanniGF (#224)

This viral marketing for Pixar's UP movie might just blow up on their face.

GiovanniGF (#224)

Er, that should be "in their face," and anyway now that the boy is missing it's not funny either way.

mathnet (#27)

"Dad is so committed to safety that he runs a child-proofing business devoted to identifying dangers and risks and making sure kids stay out of harm's way."

This could not be more painful.

hockeymom (#143)

From the Wife Swap website. It actually CAN get stranger. And sadder:

The Heene family from Colorado live life on the edge. Wife Mayumi (43) and storm scientist Richard (45) take their three kids, Bradford (8), Ryo (7) and Falcon (5), out of school to go on storm chasing missions to prove Richard's theories about magnetic fields and gravity. If conditions are right, Mayumi wakes her family by shouting "Storm Approaching, Storm Approaching!" into a bullhorn. The family sleep in their clothes so they can leap out of bed and into the storm-mobile. Richard calls Mayumi his 'ninja wife'; she maintains equipment, drives the storm-mobile, films tornadoes and waits with the kids while Richard jumps on his motorbike, heads into the eye of the storm and launches rockets to measure magnetic forces. At home the family are as chaotic as a twister: the kids have no table manners and throw themselves around the house, and while Richard devotes every moment to his research, he expects Mayumi to cook, clean and run the house without any help.

Meanwhile on a quiet street in Connecticut, the Martel family — wife Karen (43), husband Jay (50) and their two kids, Max (11) and Dean (10) — live a life of calm and safety. Dad is so committed to safety that he runs a child-proofing business devoted to identifying dangers and risks and making sure kids stay out of harm's way. With all the precautions taken to keep them safe, Max and Dean seem to be afraid of everything…"you can fall down the stairs, get cancer from the microwave, get tapeworms from sushi, and the lava lamp could explode…" The Martels conduct safety fire drills, make sure the kids wear protective gear on their bikes and pogo-sticks and never let the boys out of their sight. The atmosphere in the house is calm and serene, and Karen and Jay are equal partners.

katiebakes (#32)

Oh my god. I'm nauseous.

HiredGoons (#603)

That kid must be terrified. This is awful.

mathnet (#27)

I hope he's unaware of how dangerous this is.

mathnet (#27)

But his big brothers are old enough to know. Oh God.

Where is SULLY???!!!!1!

HiredGoons (#603)

srsly.

ljnd (#86)

He was on Brian Lehrer this morning, which doesn't help.

Colorado generates much more crazy news per capita than any other state.

sunnyciegos (#551)

Come on. Florida?

Per capita? Yah maybe.

I can't get anything done until I know whether he survives.

WindowSeat (#180)

Great parenting there.

ADRIAN (#1,676)

Oh come on, having your child float away in an experimental hot air balloon could have happened to any parents who own an experimental hot air balloon.

Fifi (#1,639)

Helium, I heard.

Multiphasic (#411)

Um so–the CNN balloon expert (yes, CNN has a balloon expert, somehow) is now saying the kid may very well NOT be aboard the balloon based on the weight distribution. I'm hoping this means the little shit is just hiding having destroyed dad's flying saucer, because there's worse scenarios.

mathnet (#27)

Does the thing have windows? If he's in there, can he see out?

hockeymom (#143)

or he already fell out. somewhere.

HiredGoons (#603)

I suspect this 'balloon expert' is full of hot air.

That was just too good not to be acknowledged.

Baboleen (#1,430)

If (by going on Parent Swap) the parents were looking for 15 minutes of fame, they've got it now.

Maevemealone (#968)

They mentioned for a bit there that he may have fallen out. No mention of at what height he may have fallen out. So… there may not be a little boy in the balloon

Abe Sauer (#148)

America's logical progression from O.J.

I would have said that about the whole Ryan Jenkins kerfuffle.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Well, he's a murderer. And wasn't chased live.
This was a 24/hr news "perfect storm" of OJ (live, slow-moving fleeing vehicle that cannot be stopped and may result in live death) with Jessica McClure (child in danger of losing life with heroic rescuers working, live on TV, to save her/him).

sox (#652)

can't they just throw some kind of giant net over it and reel it in or something?

a.t. (#1,744)

He is probably one of those kids who thought it would be cute to ride daddy's balloon because his parents idolized his every move by doing things like taping his lame fried butter dance.

Bucko (#1,599)

I think he's hiding in the barn.

mathnet (#27)

HURRY UP AND OPEN IT

Abe Sauer (#148)

They're gonna tase him.

Maevemealone (#968)

I don't think he's in there…

mathnet (#27)

He'd better not be, the way they're handling the thing.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Look for home tomorrow, with Matt Lauer.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Gah. "him"

Abe Sauer (#148)

Though, if he fell out, that's quite heartless of me. *shame*

Rasselas (#1,797)

Fucking real life fucking sucks. Superman? Green Lantern? Jesus? Anybody there?

HiredGoons (#603)

(echo; silence).

oudemia (#177)

Please let this little boy be under his fucking bed.

Fifi (#1,639)

There is no one in the balloon, I hear.

sox (#652)

so now what?

Baboleen (#1,430)

I hope it is a hoax.

Baboleen (#1,430)

Rather than a BAD alternative.

Maevemealone (#968)

If he did get out ok, he better go hide under his bed for a long time.

mathnet (#27)

Was the hatch/door thing already open, or did they have to open it to look inside?

cherrispryte (#444)

They had to open it, from what I saw.

mathnet (#27)

Well, that's good, right? I mean, maybe he really is hiding somewhere. . .

There might have been another part of the balloon that fell off.

Fifi (#1,639)

Now that it is all over, I have to say that that balloon was fucking cool!

cherrispryte (#444)

It's totally not all over, the kid's still missing.

Fifi (#1,639)

I was talking about the balloon part of it. I would so ride that thing, except I hear that it would have barely even held the boy aloft.

HiredGoons (#603)

Wait, where is the kid?

saythatscool (#101)

Nobody knows. Cops are searching the ground now for him.

carpetblogger (#306)

I remember exactly where I was in 1994 during the low speed chase. This is just like that, except without Kato Kaelin.

And I will probably have forgotten about it in 20 minutes or so.

hazmathilda (#839)

I'm very glad that I missed the "horrible two and a half hours of watching this in the sky" because the news lady is recapping the whole process and it's breaking my heart. And where is Falcon?! THANKS BALK.

cherrispryte (#444)

Dear Falcon,

We're really sorry your parents named you Falcon. We're also not mad that you untied the balloon. Now, if you're hiding somewhere, for chrissakes, come out and show yourself.

Love,
The Rest of the Country

CNN is reporting but has not confirmed that the boy was never in the balloon.

Am I the only one who expected them to pull a case of Pepsi or some other bullshit product out of it?

HiredGoons (#603)

I. Would. Die.

Tulletilsynet (#333)

I don't think they're going to find the boy under his bed by now. This is like the beginning of that Ian McEwan book Enduring Love. Suspense + nausea.

mathnet (#27)

How could he have released both tethers and climbed inside anyway?

atipofthehat (#797)

Brother….

These KUSA newscasters are idiots. No matter what the outcome, I blame TV.

"roller coaster of emotions"
"they are adorable at that age"
"I just jotted down some numbers, and – this is pure speculation on my part, but I think the search would be about a mile from their house."

hockeymom (#143)

*cringe*

kpants (#719)

At one point one of the newscasters said (paraphrasing) that "it's so easy to be judgmental in these cases, but any one who's been a parent knows that when you have six year old boys and these kind of things around…" Who the hell has those kind of things around? Yes, kids can be curious and overly adventurous sometimes, but sheesh.

hockeymom (#143)

I really hope the kids are lying to cover up for losing dad's balloon.
If this is a publicity stunt, throw the book at them.

Baboleen (#1,430)

I have a feeling…

Maevemealone (#968)

Denver police are searching a nearby lake and some police reports are saying the boy was definitely inside the balloon at one point.

belltolls (#184)

You would think one of the news outlets could have figured out a way to keep the jiffy pop craft up in the air for a couple more hours. #Ace In The Hole. I seriously hope the kid is okay though.

mathnet (#27)

"Margie Martinez of the Weld County Sheriff's Office said a sibling saw Falcon Heene climb into the basket before the balloon took off from his parents' home.

Because the door on the balloon was unlocked, it's possible the boy had fallen out, Martinez said."

atipofthehat (#797)

An unlocked cardboard door?

Baboleen (#1,430)

I hope he missed seeing the kid climb back out.

sox (#652)

why wouldn't you take authority over your little brother and say dude get OUT of there, we aren't supposed to be in there? i thought big bros took any opportunity to beat up on the younger ones.

oudemia (#177)

My brothers would have put me in it and cut the ropes. Easy.

mathnet (#27)
mathnet (#27)

SOMEONE ELSE PLEASE WATCH THIS I FEEL SCARED AND ALONE

hockeymom (#143)

I'm trying to watch it, but my kids are around (off school today and strangely, not flying overhead)….so I'll have to watch later. Caught a few seconds and if this is a publicity stunt, these parents should be jailed. Maybe should be jailed, anyway.

hyphenanne (#1,790)

I just don't understand any of this anymore. A kid flying away in a balloon, fine! But this is just weird now.

Maevemealone (#968)

That would confirm they are rascally boys! Beyond that, just wow…

mathnet (#27)

Here's the family chasing Hurricane Gustav: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYYhHt5Oi2k

mathnet (#27)

"What my kids learn from these storms. . . is the fact that these storms can be very deadly. They see what happens when, say, houses are caught in the path of destruction."

In what universe is this a remotely appropriate lesson for young kids?

Paging Werner Herzog.

belltolls (#184)

From an interview with a neighbor:

Neighbor: I think he is a "storm chaser." He travels around the state chasing storms.

Reporter: For any reason?

I am going to throw up.

Baboleen (#1,430)

This is just surreal. This episode makes Jon and Kate look like the Cleavers.

Next week: Jon cheats on Kate in a balloon!

ljnd (#86)

Yes, at least all their kids stay on the ground.

kneetoe (#1,881)

This from the Times:

"According to Mr. Nilsson, the parents called the police about 30 minutes after they realized that the balloon had launched, possibly with their son inside the 3-foot by 3-foot compartment."

If the other kid saw it, why so long. Also, if true, the kid could have fallen out well before anyone knew he was up there.

mathnet (#27)

Does the audio on this work for anyone else? I can't hear anything.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvxdTJuiWV8

"Dr. Sheree Silver, who appeared on ABC-TV's "Wife Swap" with the Heene Family this year, shares her hope about the flying saucer incident with Richard Heene."

mathnet (#27)

Are you wondering if the Earth will be destroyed in 2012? Just ask Richard Heene, Psyience Detective. In this six-part series, he will tell you why the answer is YES.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2d-7pDcoY8

sox (#652)

New tag: ITS PSYIENCE!

mathnet (#27)

He would also like to show you how to repair your DVDs and games.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xq5bnUWIGGw

kpants (#719)

"Bob Vila of Cardboard Boxes" wanted to help Hurricane Katrina victims by showing them how to live in cardboard boxes!

http://www.flashnews.com/news/wfn1050909J25465.html

He "hopes to convince the folks in charge of the Astrodome to show the videos on their 'Jumbotrons so thousands of victims can see how to build new homes all at once.'"

mathnet (#27)

I can't tell you how much I appreciate your company here.

kpants (#719)

Criminy. Apparently before he was a "psyientist" he was totally all about boxes.

http://www.amazon.com/Box-Time-1-Playhouse-VHS/dp/B000056Q0N

http://www.amazon.com/Box-Time-Fire-Truck-VHS/dp/B000056Q0O

Sigh. I need to go find something more useful to do, or at least divert my attention towards amusing cat and/or wiener dog videos instead.

cinetrix (#47)

OMG. The B.F. Skinner of corrugated cardboard, I'd hide in the attic, too.

kpants (#719)

Oh wow. The reports are saying that once in the attic, THE KID HID IN A BOX!

kpants (#719)

I am both fascinated and repelled. (Repellinated?)

"Right now [he's] definitely 50-50 on the fence on this one."

"This one" being Nessie, the Lockness Monster.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFeIUDRheLs

mathnet (#27)

asldhg;aslghasdjlghasklghljk;gh Maybe it's an elephant? Or maybe! You're crazy and it's an elephant!

mathnet (#27)

THIS FAMILY FRIGHTENS AND CONFUSES ME.

jolie (#16)

Mathnet, if you need someone to hold you, I will hold you.

mathnet (#27)

STRONGLY DO NEED. ALL CHOIRE AND BALK WILL DO IS CALL ME "OBSESSED," WHICH I OBVIOUSLY AM SO thanks for your no help, awl1

brad (#1,678)

i have two responses for this situation.

when the final punctuation comes, i will either be too mad to post the one, or too sad to post the other.

zidaane (#373)

Every space program loses a few pilots?

mathnet (#27)

OK heeeeeere's what I was looking for. Although it can't hope to be as compelling as all the shit I found instead.

Wife Swap Episode
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVQ5mTjDWMA

kpants (#719)

"My dad is so cool that he pees out icicles." Aw, kids (of lunatics) say the darndest things.

sox (#652)

this has not been good for work today.

sox (#652)

well this is an extra specially good typo from the msnbc updated story:

"The craft somehow became untethered and the balloon took off. It was airborne for more than two hours and glided through two countries."

so was he in canada? mexico? texas? california?

AND WHY HAVEN'T THEY FOUND THE KID YET???????????????

Fifi (#1,639)

http://youngmanhattanite.tumblr.com/post/214019818

Hopefully this is aircraft following in the distance. You might not want to look.

mathnet (#27)

How are the rest of you getting anything done?

sargasm (#104)

Oh I gave up hours ago.

MissKV (#1,912)

I can't do anything until I find out what happened because now I've made some off-color jokes and if the kid dies, I will need to atone properly by feeling shitty the rest of the week.

Does anyone remember Explorers?

karion (#11)

The boy is alive and at home. You can start drinking now, mathnet!

Maevemealone (#968)

He's alive and ok at home!

Maevemealone (#968)

He was in the attic!

I'm GOING TO BEAT HIM TO DEATH NOW.

saythatscool (#101)

Get in line behind about 300 million other people Choire.

Jesus Fucking Christ.

mathnet (#27)

PRAISE THE NO LORD I DON'T BELIEVE IN! BUT NO GOD HELP ME IF RICHARD AND MAYUMI ARE TALKING ABOUT WHAT AN AWESOME ADVENTURE HE DID OR DID NOT HAVE OR COULD HAVE HAD IF THE EARTH WEREN'T GOING TO DIE IN 2012

I call hoax.

Did he call the news before he called the cops???!!!!

TOTALLY PUSSIFIED!!!1!!!1

cherrispryte (#444)

hoax implies intent. this could have been, you know, kids being fucking idiots, with no famewhoring involved.

bearsinspace (#1,935)

Oh lordy, someone's getting a beating with a spoon.

sargasm (#104)

The brat better not show up on The Today Show smirking tomorrow morning.

brad (#1,678)

oh it's booked. no doubt.

but will the county charge the family for the search and rescue?

brad (#1,678)

i was surprised by how much this story horrified me. i became very depressed especially when thinking about my own 6 year old. like i didn't already worry about everything harming her. now i have to worry about leaving space balloons loosely tethered around my yard.

oh wait-

anyway, i am happy this one little child is safe for now. and a big cock-punch goes out to the dad.

and… scene.

oh what am i saying, this is just going to aggravate the dad's fameball tendencies.

sunnyciegos (#551)

yah, how disappointing to discover the famewhoriness! Is EVERYONE on tv now? (Don't answer that.

atipofthehat (#797)

This is all a huge coverup of the fact that liberal aliens came down in one of their spacecraft with instructions for Obama on how best to ruin our wonderful, wonderful healthcare system!

BoHan (#29)

Wow. How did I miss all that? Lucky I guess. On to more important topics. Does Gawker now look like a fucking Berlin Wall, graffiti and all, circa 1988? I am not going to look and find out.

zidaane (#373)

Lesson learned- Never leave the keys in the space balloon with the motor running.

belltolls (#184)

Not going to lie; my hands were sweaty when the Jiffy Pop was getting ready to crash land.

Wait, wait, he fell in an abandoned well.

cherrispryte (#444)

Shut up, Lassie.

sunnyciegos (#551)

There's a hole in my heart,
As deep as a well,
For that poor little boy
Who's stuck halfway to hell,

Though we can't get him out,
We'll do the next best thing
We go on TV,
And sing, sing, sing.

And we're sending our love down the well,
All the way down.
We're sending our love down the well,
Down that well!

Bittersweet (#765)

That entire episode is made of awesome, but the icing on the cake is at the end when Homer pushes Sting out of the way to grab Bart. So priceless.

Tuna Surprise (#573)

When I was a kid and we'd get stuck in a traffic jam, my dad used to say "there'd better be blood on the highway." Then the longer we'd sit, he'd fume "I want to see body parts strewn all over the damn place."
Of course, you'd finally get up to the accident causing the traffic jam and it would be two idiots who barely dented their bumpers blocking two lanes of traffic gawking at the damage.

I had the same sort of feeling here. I felt let down when I didn't get to see the frozen corpse of a child in a corn field. Oh well, maybe next time.

zidaane (#373)

You might get that chance after the dad patches the shovel holes those bastards put in his AWESOME space mobile.

Tulletilsynet (#333)

It just takes eight more comments to put this post over the Gesseniad …

Tulletilsynet (#333)

… as most commented-upon.

garge (#736)

Thank god I am on vacation and didn't catch this in real time. I have too anxious a disposition …

I have class from 3:30 to 6:30 and missed this entire song and dance. I feel a little left out of the terror. Did the newschannel have a graphic that they have already had to retire?

mathnet (#27)

OOOOOH THEY'RE ON LARRY KING

mathnet (#27)

They set up this experiment as a wedding anniversary celebration so that explains everything.

mathnet (#27)

OK so basically Falcon hid in the attic because his dad was yelling at him to stay away from the FAMILY CELEBRATION EXPERIMENT, and then his big brother Bradford decided to make up a story about having seen "Falc-y" climb aboard.

Normal stuff.

Tuna Surprise (#573)

Are you okay now?

garge (#736)

Yeah–do you need help getting home?

mathnet (#27)

OMG you guys are the best. I just got home and I'm halfway through the first of many glasses of wine. This family is disturbing and also funny.

garge (#736)

Good, no need for emergency contacts. And thank you for your continued reportage.

mathnet (#27)

As soon as I was told my son was hundreds of feet in the air in an out-of-control space craft, I told my other two sons to get a ladder and climb immediately to the roof of the house.

mathnet (#27)

Well, my wife and I argue a lot. And when we argue, we yell, and we completely forget about anyone else but ourselves. Our kids are accustomed to it and Falcon usually isolates himself as much as possible in order to shut his eyes and try to keep wanting to live.

Tuna Surprise (#573)

The irony is that a kid Falcon has no way to fly away from the hell he is living in. Except for the UFO/balloon thing. And now that's gone too.

mathnet (#27)

"First I was playing in the attic and then I went to bed in the attic."

mathnet (#27)

We've all made a pact, as a family, to be open about our hiding places from now on.

mathnet (#27)

PART OF THE REASON I'VE GONE BONKERS TODAY is that when I was 9, my 3-year-old brother went missing and we didn't find him for almost 2 1/2 hours. The hot lifeguard from the neighborhood pool finally discovered him in the woods between our backyard and a very busy, dangerous road? And he was just lying under a tree, humming "Oh What A Beautiful Mornin'." So this is exactly like that except for the space ship.

Moff (#28)

One time, we had to go to the airport to pick up my second cousin Tony, and my little brother was being a pest, so my dad told him to go wait in the car.

A few minutes later, my mom and dad and I were ready to go, so we got in the car…and Gabe was nowhere to be found.

We looked around for a couple minutes, and even yelled for him, but he didn't answer and Tony's flight was coming in, and my parents didn't want him stranded at Hector International Airport, so we left. We figured Gabe was being a pill and hiding or something.

It turned out he'd locked himself in the deep-freeze my parents were throwing out. And that's how my little brother died.

Moff (#28)

Not really! He got in the other car, and was sitting there the whole time while we yelled for him. He just didn't hear us. And then when he realized we were driving off, he went all Kevin McCallister and was crying when we got back twenty minutes later. Oh, we laughed at him for years about that. "Gabe, go wait in the car!"

mathnet (#27)

Thank you.

Oh. Shit….Must go pet my kids…

Moff (#28)

Actually, we still laugh at him about it. But a few years ago, I finally told him why Mom and Dad took my bedroom door off the hinges when I was 14 for six months, so it's mostly even now.

Tuna Surprise (#573)

When I was 10 and my little sister was 5 she went missing. I was sleeping over at a friends house and a neighbor rang the doorbell asking if we had seen my sister. He saw me and said, "we're all out here canvassing the neighborhood looking for your sister you know." I just kinda shrugged my shoulders and went back to playing barbies or whatever we were doing. I think it's proof positive I was born without a soul.

Why is it always the younger sibling? My sister got left at a gas station once because she got out of the car without telling anyone. And then when we started driving again I didn't speak up other than saying "Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….." since I noticed she wasn't in the backseat with me. Then my mom checked to make sure our seatbelts were buckled, and the flipout commenced.

Maevemealone (#968)

I bet your sister was equally panicked to see the car gone when she got out of the bathroom. I got left behind by the chinatown bus in Baltimore just last year! No matter what your previous experience with extended rest stops, ALWAYS tell the driver your getting off to use the restroom and then coming back. It's even more embarrassing to be calling your mother to tell her you're lost and got left behind when you're over 30…

Bittersweet (#765)

Not always the younger sibling…I'm the oldest in my family and got lost while visiting the Smithsonian Mall on July 4, 1976 with 1 million of my closest friends. My mom found me about 2 hours later hanging out with a policeman and a nice family. Sorry, Mom.

Wait, wait, we need to talk about how Falcon "did it for the show"!!!!! What the…

mathnet (#27)

I am apalled. I am really apalled. That you would make a suggestion like that. They said this was it and we'd be done for a week. That's why we agreed. Falcon tends to talk about things he did when he was four and then again in greatest-hits form when he was five, that's all. When I swapped my wife for a psychic anglophile who hypnotized and past-life-regressed me after I threw food and milk at her, Falcon spent a great deal of time in the attic above the garage.

belltolls (#184)

I thought the giveaway in the CNN interview was that the father called the FAA after the balloon was gone and not 911.

Tuna Surprise (#573)

Can you imagine the call to the FAA?

"Hello, FAA? I have an emergency. Falcon got in the balloon and set it loose."

mathnet (#27)

How would a freaking-out parent have the presence of mind to skip 911 and go straight to googling "FAA," and then find the Contact Us page and get routed to the emergency-call-taker, PROGRAMMEDINTOYOURPHONE?

mathnet (#27)

Really, though, I think the kid was just impatient and annoyed at being asked the same question(s) over and over again. Richard and Mayumi are bizarre and disturbed and delusional and self-centered, but I don't think they planned this. They undoubtedly got a thrill out of the flight and the whole emergency adventure–mixed with genuine terror, obviously–but I don't think they set it up. Now Bradford, on the other hand. . .

Maevemealone (#968)

I did this a lot as a kid. I had mall security and local police called several times in efforts to find me.

The most extended absence was when my brother was late to pick me up and in that time I'd forgotten which elementary school he was to take me to for track practice. I picked a name and he dropped me off and peeled out. It was the wrong one and it took me 6 hrs to find my way back across town to home. I even saw the cops and my mother drive by looking for me and I hid, knowing I was in big trouble.

Moff (#28)

This is the most wonderful, wonderful, story.

HonoriaGlossop (#1,247)

I went missing when I was around 4. It was wintertime and my family was off to some sort of event, so my mom got us all together and bustled everybody into the car. They were about halfway into the trip before someone realized I wasn't there. They drove back hell for leather to find me trapped on my back on the sofa – my big winter snowsuit thingie was so poofy I couldn't move.

bb (#295)

omg

Bittersweet (#765)

This sounds like 'A Christmas Story' only indoors…

Baboleen (#1,430)

The End.

zidaane (#373)

Not until Balk finishes his tinfoil 'kid in space' costume it ain't.

zidaane (#373)

Turn the lights off Cat.

Tuna Surprise (#573)

Excellent couples costume idea. I'll be a giant tin foil spaceship/weather balloon/UFO. He'll be a kid in a box.

Maevemealone (#968)

This occurred to me way too late in the day, but: Why weren't these kids in school? Are they home schooled?

mathnet (#27)

No school today or Friday for some reason unknown to you and me.

Tuna Surprise (#573)

This whole episode reminds me of the afternoon I spent with an amateur helicopter maker/pilot in rural Vietnam.

Some much more I could tell BUT I'm outta beer and need to go to work tomorrow.

Couldn't a real scientist or balloon expert have taken size of the balloon, helium capacity, weight of materials, and figured out that balloon couldn't have traveled that far with a 50 pound kid on board?

There was some kind of expert who mentioned that shorty before the balloon landed.

<3 <3 <3 Mathnet

hazmathilda (#839)

seconded

JaguarPaw (#312)

fourthed

saythatscool (#101)

Anybody want to split a fifth with me?

Bittersweet (#765)

Sure, what the hey. I like fifths.

mathnet (#27)

DO I HEAR 6

Kataphraktos (#226)

As I've stated elsewhere, for those of you fuckers who watch Lie To Me or have had training in reading facial expressions and body language:

Look at the micro-expressions that flash across the parents' faces after the kid admits it was "for the show". Daddy knew and was in on the hoax, mom is genuinely surprised.

Daddy is sleeping on the sofa tonight!

garge (#736)

So I guess we can all take something away from the Heene's experiences. If you plan a hoax involving your children, you should:

*Either make sure your kids are too young to speak complex thoughts, actually believe the hoax to be true as constructed, or are given baby Ambien so they are confused and can't remember what happened.

*Have the hoax be of the purely miraculous/uncanny variety, a la Virgin Mary in the grilled cheese, so that, 1., the public will want to believe and/or, 2., there will be many people who will continue to believe your hoax even after it has been debunked.

Better luck next time!

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