Balloon Boy was a hoax!!!!!!!!!!!
25-year-old researcher Robert Thomas was a friend of Richard Heene, and has shared the full story of Heene's publicity stunt gone awry.
The first-person report is the tale of a fame-hungry man who was willing to do anything to catapult himself to A-List celeb status.
Check out the HIGHlights below:
On life after Wife Swap for Heene:
…He wanted nothing more than to get another reality TV series. Richard had an ongoing dialog with someone at ABC who helped produce Wife Swap. Richard was pitching something along the lines of "MythBusters-meets-mad scientist." There would be these esoteric abstract experiments attempting to prove or disprove various theories. My job was to help him prepare a formal proposal.
One of the proposals pitched to ABC/How the weather balloon idea was born:
One night, when Richard and I were sitting and talking, he brought up Wife Swap, and specifically a confrontation he had with a woman on the show who claimed to be a psychic. They very much disliked one other…
And then we delved into the area of UFOs. I was reading a book on witness reports of Roswell at the time, just out of curiousity — I've never concluded whether it really took place or was an elaborate hoax. And Richard said, "How much do you want to bet we could facilitate some sort of a media stunt that would be equally profound as Roswell, and we could do so with nothing more than a weather balloon and some controversy?"
On Heene's growing paranoia:
As the weeks progressed, his theories got more and more extreme and paranoid. A lot of it surrounded 2012, and the possibility of there being an apocalyptic moment. Richard likes to talk a lot about the possibility of the Sun erupting in a large-scale solar flare that wipes out the Earth. It got to the point where he was really pressing me, saying we're running out of time, we're running out of time, the end of the world is coming. And we have to take necessary precautions to make sure that we're not among the majority that's going to be killed.
The holes in Heene's story that Falcon was hiding in the attic of the garage:
Richard's story doesn't add up. He is saying he thought Falcon was in the balloon, and that Falcon ran and hid as a result of Richard yelling at him. I've spent a lot of time with them, and Falcon is, first of all, not afraid of his father. I've never once seen Richard's children afraid of him — and I've definitely never seen Falcon go hide. He was one of the most social of the three children.
Secondly, Falcon supposedly hid in that attic in the garage. I've spent a lot of time in his garage, which has a drill press and various welding tools. It's unorganized and chaotic. There's really not so much an attic as some support beams connected with plywood. Being an adult of average height, I couldn't get up into the attic if I'd wanted to, so I don't know how a six-year-old child could have gotten up there. There's not an easy way to access that overhang. Maybe if I'd lifted that child up into the attic, he might have been able to rest up there, but not comfortably.
On Thomas' A-Ha moment:
My doubts and concerns about that story were verified when Falcon's parents asked him on CNN, "why didn't you come out?" And Falcon said, "you guys said we did this for the show." Lights went off in my head. Bells were ringing; whistles were whistling. I said, "Wow, Richard is using his children as pawns to facilitate a global media hoax that's going to give him enough publicity to temporarily attract A-list celebrity status and hopefully attract a network."
Wow wow wow.