My Voice: "Balloon Boy" story sounds like a hoax

The award for the most abnormal “trending topic” on Twitter goes to…
Pardon me, I was in school all day. I didn’t even know.
Upon talking to my frantic mother in the afternoon I heard that, Falcon Heene, a 6-year-old boy from Colorado, got into a large helium balloon and floated away in the Rocky Mountain wind.
Helicopters from local news stations and the Colorado National Guard embarked above a slew of emergency vehicles attempting to track the balloon down. They planned desperate maneuvers to bring the balloon down from its mind-blowing 10,000 foot ascent. However, before those plans were put into effect, the balloon began to lose helium and slowly lowered towards an open field, much like how those “Happy Birthday” balloons do if you let them float for a day.
Rescue vehicles swarmed the balloon after it made its comfortable landing, and according to one Denver news anchor, the emergency personnel on the scene soon reported via radio, “Be advised, the balloon is empty.”
At this point, the entire country, along with anyone abroad who was watching major news outlets such as Al-Jazeera and BBC, had to have been thinking of two scenarios. Either Heene never got into the balloon in the first place, or he panicked and jumped out.
Later, authorities confirmed that Heene had been found sleeping in his attic. His parents spoke for him, saying that he had gone into hiding out of fear that he would be punished for letting the balloon go.
At that moment, the entire country breathed an overwhelming sense of relief.
I was relieved to hear this as well. I have a brother nearly the same age as the boy, and I honestly couldn’t tell you how I’d feel if I would have been in the Heene family’s shoes. My dad put it best by simply saying, “I’d be throwing up.”
When I got home later in the evening, I decided to look into what had happened. Apparently, the Heene family had a fascination for chasing storms and weather, thus explaining why they would have a large helium balloon in the first place. They also had appeared on the 100th episode of network television’s “WifeSwap”.
The parents, along with Falcon and his two other brothers, took to CNN to be interviewed by Wolf Blitzer later on. Blitzer asked the boy why he never came out of hiding if his parents were calling his name.
The boy reluctantly answered, “They said it was for the show.”
Excuse me, what?
The parents immediately went silent, and after a few awkward moments, the mom let out a seemingly nervous “No…” before Blitzer changed the subject.
Right there. I smell hoax.
Here’s some food for thought. The family had already been on reality TV. They obviously aren’t afraid of the limelight, and could be possibly tagged as enjoying it.
As news cameras filmed the family while the balloon was still in the air, the parents seemed eerily composed. The country seemed to be in a higher state of panic than them.
The news stations in Denver aired footage of the family chasing storms, in which the boys stood in the bed of the truck in ridiculously severe weather while filming for their father. What kind of parent would take that risk when their children could be potentially hurt?
If you saw the balloon, it looked like an old-school ice pack. It had a robust top, with a small extremity branching off the bottom that appeared to have no entrypoint. According to the parents, they were worried he had gotten into the “carriage” below it. I’m no weather-buff, but there didn’t appear to be a carriage. If the boy was inside the balloon, he would have suffocated, given that the balloon was full of solely helium.
The balloon was made of a thin foil-like substance. Although it was large, it doesn’t seem like even that amount of helium could lift a boy.
To top it all off, he said “[My parents] said it was for the show.” Once again, I have a brother around the same age as Heene. Kids that young do NOT lie that sophisticatedly. Trust me, I know.
I very well could be wrong. Honestly though, if I was, I wouldn’t be too regretful. There are too many things pointing towards this being a hoax than not. I fervently believe that Heene’s father used this as a stunt to keep his family in the limelight after their show had aired. He succeeded in that, but he also succeeded in scaring the wits out of millions of people. Nothing but an All-American disgrace.
As Kanye West would say, we’ve got to be happy for the crop-circles next time, but the Heene family will have had the best hoax of all time. Of all time!
Hopefully someone gets that joke.
by AJ Barbosa.