Turns out the whole “balloon boy” thing was probably all a big hoax.
For anybody who doesn’t know, last week a Ft. Collins, Colorado family made international headlines when they claimed their 6 year old son had gone aloft in a homemade balloon. Authorities chased the thing for near on 50 miles, traffic to and from Denver International Airport was briefly re-routed in order to stay out of the potential flight path of the balloon, and the National Guard scrambled two helicopters to assist in the rescue effort.
Of course, the thing landed gently out on the plains of eastern Colorado and… no kid. He wasn’t inside. Authorities initially thought the worst, that he had fallen out during the flight. A few hours later, the kid turned up at his home (which the police had searched twice already) safe and sound! He claimed to have been hiding in the attic the whole time.
At first, everyone was relieved, of course. But then the inevitable question was asked–if the kid was never in the balloon to begin with, why did his family think he was? Turns out, they were all standing around watching when the thing “inadvertently” took off–there’s even this video of the takeoff, which to my eye clearly shows the kid in question walking away before the thing flies off without him in it. Then his dad gets all ripshit about something (was the wife supposed to keep a hold of the tether? I guess…) and kicks randomly at stuff.
Well, now we know (the alleged) whole sordid truth. Turns out the whole thing was staged because… the couple thought it would get them a reality TV show? Wow, really? I guess you have to be completely insane to make that connection–pretend to send our son up in a helium balloon, incite massive media frenzy, get TV show! Sure, it makes sense!
All I know is, this story needs to go away now. Ok, yeah, it’s not every day a kid goes up in a homemade helium balloon. But, now that we know he didn’t, actually, and that his family are a bunch of oddball weirdos looking for attention, I think the best thing to do is to start ignoring the shit out of them.