Balloon Boy's Father Insists His 'Hoax' Wasn't a 'Hoax,' Ten Years Later

Image: ABC

The Good Morning America segment on the Heene family that aired Tuesday is a gift, plain and simple. Checking back in with the Heene family some 10 years after they captured national attention with a rogue helium balloon that they claimed contained young Falcon “Balloon Boy” Heene has yielded a trove of treasures. There’s Falcon’s considerable mane, so long that it might touch the ground were he actually find himself spinning through the sky in a foil inflatable object. There’s the excerpt from a music video for “Balloon Boy No Hoax,” by the heavy metal band Falcon formed with his two brothers. There’s the father Richard Heene’s T-shirt: “Search Truth Internet Historian Richard Heene,” it reads.

But the best part comes midway when a defensive Richard claims he pulled no hoax. His son wasn’t in the balloon, but that doesn’t mean that his father didn’t think his son was in balloon, you see. This is something he’s said in the past, even after pleading guilty to one count of attempting to influence a public servant a little less than a month after the incident. In a January 6, 2010, interview with Larry King, Richard claimed that he “knew” Falcon was in the balloon. “In my mind,” he continued. “There was no other place, ‘cause I visualized him. I yelled at him to — to not go in.”

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After being reminded of the fact that his son was in fact not in the balloon and that Falcon revealed on CNN the night of his supposed flight that, “We were doing this for a show,” Richard snaps to Good Morning America: “This is another hit piece, which I anticipated…What would be nice is if the media could actually go, ‘Yeah, Richard’s got a point,’ but it is so biased. Okay? The media continues on with the same narrative.”

Richard claims he’s lost a lot of opportunities, explaining, “I’ve had people contact me about things I invented and the deal went south because they find out who I am.” Sure.

Mayumi Heene, Richard’s wife and Balloon Boy’s mom, says she pled guilty to the lesser charge of false reporting to authorities for fear of being deported to Japan. This is another thing the Heenes have been saying for years. At least once they figured out their story, it’s remained consistent! It’s nice to know that the more things change, the more they stay the same, especially when it comes to Falcon Heene not ever being in a runway balloon.

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Another thing that is nice is that we’ll always have this wonderful tweet:

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About the author

Rich Juzwiak

Some Pig. Terrific. Radiant. Humble.