STAFF EDITORIAL: Father seeking fame to blame for balloon hoax
Forty seconds into a live interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Falcon Henne, better known as ‘Balloon Boy,’ said, ‘You guys said that we did this for the show.’
Henne, the 6-year-old boy thought to have floated away in a hovercraft-like device, was found in his family’s garage attic Thursday.
Sunday, Larimer County Sheriff James Alderden said the whole event was a hoax; a publicity stunt two weeks in the making. Apparently, Henne’s parents were hoping to pitch the event as a reality TV show.
The Henne family has been featured on reality TV before, most notably on Wife Swap.
‘ Falcon’s father, Richard Henne, must have hoped that his family would be solicited for a TV show of their own; it would be like The Osbournes, but more about rocket science and aliens.
Henne will have to find funding elsewhere.
The sheriff said charges would be presented to the local district attorney’s office and would include conspiracy, attempting to influence a public servant, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and false reporting to authorities.
According to investigators, Richard Henne and his wife met in acting class; these people are actors.
The stunt temporarily shut down Denver International Airport. The National Guard quickly sent out two helicopters to search for Falcon.’
Members of the search team risked their lives, the airport lost money and tempers of concerned Americans will soon flare as the news that it was all a scam travels across the country.
The book should be thrown at Richard Henne. He attempted to maliciously use his son to gain national attention.’
He got the attention but not the kind he was looking for. The family will probably never live this down, and poor Falcon will be stuck with the label of ‘Balloon Boy’ for the rest of his life.’
Sadly, Richard Henne may actually get what he wants in the end. Any press is good press, and he and his family are certainly receiving a lot of it.