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Colorado Boy, 6, Floats Away in Hot Air Balloon Alone - ABC News

A 6-year-old boy floated away from his family's Colorado home today after climbing into a "homemade flying saucer" connected to a large helium balloon, leaving baffled officials to figure out how to rescue the boy as the experimental aircraft raced through the sky.

According to a statement by the Larimar County Sheriff's Office, the boy climbed into the access door of the experimental aircraft, which they believe can rise as high as 10,000 feet.

"The FAA has been contacted and LCSO personnel are trying to determine the best course of action," according to the statement.

Sheriff's officials last saw the device floating south of Milliken, Colo., which is about 40 miles north of Denver.

The aircraft is described by the sheriff's office as a 20-foot-long, dome-shaped aircraft covered with foil, according to ABC News affiliate KUSA.

The boy has been identified as Falcon Heene, son of Richard and Mayumi Heene of Ft. Collins, Colo.

Richard Heene is a storm chaser and scientist. The couple twice appeared on the ABC show "Wife Swap."

When reached at home, Richard Heene was crying and said he was not watching television images of the silver "low altitude vehicle" flying over Colorado. He said he was praying and waiting for an update from police.

Heene said the saucer was an experimental aircraft, which he hoped would one day help people commute to work.
:eek:
 

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Administrator
2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #4
There's live video at the top of the linked page. The Nat'l Guard is now involved.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Interesting... watching the ABC news vid and they said the boy is ok... I think they're broadcasting with a delay or don't have the latest info. CNN now says he may have fallen out.
 

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The Sub kit guy
2005 Forester X & XT VF39
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What kind of idiot has a "craft" like that anchored by a rope with kids around. You need to have better safeguards than that.

If the boy did fall to his death, the father should be charged with some kind of criminal neglect at the bare minimum.
 

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2007 XT Sport 5MT
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Who the heck would have one of those in their backyard in the first place?
If I was building a flying saucer craft thingy, it wouldn't be shiney foil on the outside... and would be kept in some sort of shed/hangar where it can't blow away without my knowing.

Dumb Crazy wife-swapper of the year award goes too...
 

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2007 FSTI and X 6 MT
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I wonder if they killed the kid and came up with the balloon story. Obviously I hope I'm wrong. :(
This crossed my mind as well. Several years ago, a local couple(in Ohio, not KY) were fostering for a boy and left him along all weekend in a closet. When they returned, he was dead. The burned the body and reported him missing...
 

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This took place in Fort Collins where I live. Don't know the parents though.

Speaking of parents, I know it is easy to point fingers. But one thing I found out is that kids don't come with a manual that will cover all conditions. I'm lucky to have 2 girls because watching my friends kids, the boys seem to find very inventive ways to hurt themselves on a daily basis.
They build that craft as a family project. I'm sure it never even crossed their minds that the kid would try to take off in it. From the local story, he was playing with his older brother.
I look back on how I grew up (on a farm), and I did so many things that could have ended badly that I am amazed I am alive and in one piece. The thing is, all these stupid things and close calls made my life richer. I wouldn't want to trade any of it for a sanitized life.
 

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The Sub kit guy
2005 Forester X & XT VF39
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I have two kids, and I can instantly see how one of them would be curious and want to "play" on/with the project. There are a lot of things kids can get hurt on, but there are some obvious ones that anyone should see from a mile away.

I don't leave a big knife hanging off the edge of the counter, I don't leave the lawn mower running while I get the yard waste container from the front, and I don't leave my car running in the driveway unattended if the kids are home and I would never leave a weapon of any kind within reach of the kids.
 

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Looks like they're saying when it landed the compartment that the boy was in wasn't attached to the balloon. Heard they're calling for 4x4s to help search. Can't figure out who to contact to go lend a hand though.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I remember this family from that Wife Swap episode... they were whack. Making the kids sleep in their clothes so they could be ready at a moment's notice to go storm chasing in the middle of the night, the Dad always encouraging them to do crazy daredevil stuff because "you can't teach your kids to be afraid", etc. :crazy:

After seeing that I'm not the least bit surprised that this happened...
 
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