Free Balloon Boy!
Young Falcon Heene had the nation's attention for roughly four hours this week, as he was thought to have climbed into his parents' homemade helium-powered UFO and taken off. Of course, my first thought was "Oh no! I hope that little boy gets home safely." Then I thought "I hope he's having fun up there at 15,000 feet." Like everybody else, I followed the drama as it unfolded, and was horrified when the ballon crashed but the boy was nowhere to be found. Early stories had reported that the compartment little Falcon had climbed into was not securely fastened to the ballon, and we all thought that maybe the lad had plummeted to his death.
A few hours later, we found out that it all was a hoax, as Falcon was discovered hiding in the attic above the garage. Like everybody else, my mood quickly soured and turned into uncontrollable rage. "What's wrong with that kid? Doesn't he know that the next time a six year old child really is carried off by a home made flying saucer and sent racing through the stratosphere in low-earth orbit, nobody's going to care, since we'll all believe it's fake? Where are my torch and pitchfork?!?!"
Then something happened.
As any good investigative journalist would, I did a little digging into the Heene family. Apparently, this is not the clan's first brush with notoriety. The Heenes were featured on "Wife Swap" not once, but twice. Check this video out. It's 9 minutes long but well worth the investment. If you don't have that kind of time to devote, just watch the first 45 seconds, during which we learn that Falcon's dad is a "fringe scientist" (that's Hollywood speak for "cuckoo for Coco Puffs") who is trying to prove that humans all descended from aliens.
Not content to humiliate himself on national television, Dad Heene has also been active posting YouTube videos discussing his reptilian beliefs:
There's more. Oh, there's a lot more! But I think you get the idea of what Balloon Boy has been dealing with his entire life: crazy, crazy parents. So, it's no surprise that Falcon would wish to climb into a UFO and float away.
We shouldn't be too hard on him - we need to help this kid out. After all, who can blame him for wanting to take his chances tethered to a free-floating aircraft, handing himself over to the whims of the wind and gravity rather than having to live with a crackpot dad and loony tunes mom?
Free Balloon Boy!