Was balloon boy a hoax? Take the PopWatch Poll.

A segment between six-year-old Falcoln Heene’s family and CNN’s Wolf Blitzer last night has fueled skepticism over the “balloon boy” incident. We all let out a collective sigh of relief when, after hours of watching a foil balloon we were told the boy had crawled into sail across the Colorado landscape, Falcon was later discovered safe and sound in his attic. But in this seg, Falcon is asked why he didn’t come downstairs when he heard everyone calling his name, and the seemingly confused young boy answers “we did this for the show.”

Perhaps it’s a coincidence that the Heenes, who previously caught a whiff of fame as a Wife Swap family, happened to find themselves wrapped up in this huge media spectacle. And perhaps it’s irrelevant that telegenic father Richard Heene drags his entire family, kids and all, with him on wild storm chases and has submitted “Mars Civilization Proof” conspiracy videos to CNN’s iReport. Perhaps.

Richard Heene and his family were on the Today Show this morning, and Richard said this was “absolutely not” a hoax and that he is getting “ticked off” by accusations that the incident was anything but a horrfying ordeal for his family (Meredith Viera pointed out that the local Sherriff’s office says it believes the Heenes’ account of what happened). Though it’s worth noting that Falcon vomits in the middle of the interview (at about 5:50 in), and he also got sick in the middle of the Good Morning America segment (at 4:15 remaining point) this morning — no matter what the case, shouldn’t that kid be left alone to rest at this point?

So what do you think, PopWatchers? Was this just a big mistake with a happy ending, or was the whole thing a hoax cooked up by former reality show personalities? Take the poll and then share your thoughts in the comments.

Comments (181 total) Add your comment
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  • Jeff W.

    This was absolutely a hoax and these parents are dispicable fame whores. At the very least DCYF should conduct a full investigation. It appears that the parents care more about being in the spotlight than the welfare of their children. Gross.

  • Deanna

    It really pisses me off ’cause I think it was a hoax. People were praying for this child’s safety and for the family. This is pathetic. I hope they don’t get one more minute behind anyone’s camera. The family is wacked.

    • John

      Yes, and there were people doing actually useful things as well like chasing after the balloon and trying to figure out how to make it land. Who pays for all that?

      • Jack

        Thank you for pointing out that prayer is completely useless.

      • Amy

        I think it might just be the tax payers paying for all that. I was wondering that myself.

  • amelia

    i think everyone’s being cruel. if everyone is honest about it…we’ve all lost a child or two in the gulf stream before…it happens.

    • Paul

      Be real. Save your sympathy for someone who has really lost a child. Not for a family that craves 15 minutes of fame.
      This family is sick.

      • Daniel

        I think you may have missed the sarcasm in this comment.

    • JRose48

      I don’t like the family (based on the Wife Swap stuff), but I believe them. I think they were really scared. I also think the kid honestly got confused and mis-spoke causing more trouble for his parents. (Have you talked to a six year old lately?) Is it a family of pompous jerks? Yes. Was it a hoax? No.

      • kayla

        ummmm, it was a hoax.

      • Jennifer

        In case you weren’t clear, it was a hoax.

      • NicWin

        My step-son is 8. I remember clearly a couple of years ago when he was 6, and he expressed himself just fine. Maybe this kid was nervous, I don’t know, but he certainly seemed unsure of what he was supposed to say. Either way, I question whether these parents need to have kids at all. Why was the kid hiding from his parents? Something’s fishy about that. Then they trot him out, even though he’s sick, on every show that asks them. If this was a kid of mine who hid from me after he heard me screaming and crying for him, he would not get to go on all these TV shows, and get all the attention that goes along with it. He’d be grounded for a long time, and he’d know that his behavior was NOT ok, and he would not be rewarded for it. Either it was a hoax, and they set out for publicity, or they’re just terrible parents. Or both.

      • IllinoisMom

        I agree. We may all be terribly jaded with other sensational stories and media whores; but my gut tells me this was a real harrowing experience for the family. But, by all means let’s debate it to death and judge the family. Geez….

      • Maggie

        The sheriff has just said it was a hoax and criminal charges will be filed.

    • Qraig

      HA! HA!

    • Sean

      Classic! And the poor tyke is a meme to boot…

    • jeff hearts amelia

      amelia, that was the funniest comment i’ve read on here. ever. and just by typing that i feel as dysfunctional as balloon boy’s caring, attentive “family”.

  • helen o

    I think if this was a hoax the parents should have to pay for the cost of the search. What are the parents teaching the kids?

    • michelekamay

      “Two little mice fell in a bucket of cream, the first drowned, the second struggled and turned the cream into butter”

  • shark60

    Make the family pay the costs of the “rescue”. The parents have already proven themselves to be irresponsible publicity seekers.

  • Mel.

    Who’s going to pay the bill for all the wasted time spent looking for the kid? I hope they bill the family.

  • kirby neal

    Not to worry. Nancy Grace or another CNN talking head will beat this story into the ground too. “Where is the balloon boy, Where is the balloon boy? Is it true his parents knew Caylee’s mom? etc.”

    • SDTim

      LOL! :-)

    • bootsycolumbia

      Very funny!!

  • Patrick

    The media loved it, and we got a break from all the stupid stuff going on in the world right now.

    • davey

      “and we got a break from all the stupid stuff going on in the world right now”….please tell me you’re being facetious. This isn’t stupid stuff going on in the world right now???

  • Federico B. Santa Cruz

    I believe that the whole thing is a hoax. Considering the past exploits of the parents, this incident was designed by them to gain more publicity.

  • joe

    Kudos to Falcon for his honesty

    • Trance

      More honest than the father was, that’s for sure.

  • John

    Kids say stupid things. Leave these people alone you jackals.

    • Robert

      Come ON – “did it for the show” out of the mouth of babes – was that planned too – most likely he heard the money grubbing parents say it over and over again – so – monkey see – monkey DO

    • Jennifer

      John says stupid things.

  • Dave the Dog

    Clearly a hoax. A nice blend of the usual rehearsed ‘reality show’ shtick trying to pass for ‘truth’.

    They need to pay costs and face charges.

    The father is a loon. Perhaps the space aliens will pay his fines and rescue him from prison. Then he can sell the movie treatment on Mars.

    • amy

      lol@Perhaps the space aliens will pay his fines and rescue him from prison. Then he can sell the movie treatment on Mars.

  • amy

    The father said the other brother video taped the supposed incident, where is the tape? These reality show people get addicted once they taste that 15 mins so no wonder people are questioning. A ridiculous amount of time was wasted and still is this morning. I find this whole thing to be shady.

    • AliB

      I just saw a tape of the balloon escaping this morning on the news. They blow it up, but when it starts to escape they act surprised that the balloon isn’t tethered down. Then they randomly notice that their kid is missing, assume he is on the balloon, and start screaming for him. The whole thing looked fake to me. How could you fail to notice that the balloon isn’t tethered down and that your son never entered the thing. The interview above supports the idea that this is all fake.

  • Aaron

    At least it wasn’t Jon & Kate.

    • SDTim

      I couldn’t agree more!

    • Jennifer

      Don’t give Jon Gosselin any ideas…

    • falana

      too bad it wasn’t jon and kate who floated into oblivion

  • cancan

    Hmmmm…me thinks this may be a hoax. Did you see how uncomfortable the father became when asked to ask the kid what he meant. He never answered the question. If it is a hoax, they should pay for the cost of the search. I’m thrilled the kid is ok but I think it will all come out in the wash.

    • Kathy

      I agree that this is a hoax. Or maybe it started as an accident but the boy was “found” a lot earlier than reported and the parents decided to have him “hide longer” because they wanted more airtime? Also–the father did act VERY uncomfortable when his son said that he did it for the show and then the father just rambled on with an incohearent explanation. Also, because the boy vomited twice when asked about his hiding, that can also be a sign of guilt in young kids. They are so distraught because they get caught lying that they become sick.

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