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October 16th, 2009
03:22 PM ET

Balloon Boy: The Beginning

Storm chasing. Wife Swap. YouTube rap video. Barfing children.

What began as your average, everyday "six-year-old trapped in runaway homemade flying saucer" story has morphed into something bizarre.

In case you missed it, we give you "Balloon Boy: The Beginning".



soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Nello

    definately a hoax and i believe they are getting what they wanted, due to fact that the media still on them.

    October 16, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  2. Fred

    I felt for Kyra & Rick & esp.for Wolf. They were so genuinely concerned about this little boy – as were so many viewers – and then by AC 360 it seemed like it was a hoax. My heart just sank for them. Now we don't know what to think. What a story!
    The story about the judge not marrying that couple is unbelievable. I agree with Kyra. That guy must be out of the Middle Ages.

    October 16, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  3. Patrick Barry

    Has the entire country lost it's collective mind? That toy ballon obviously cannot lift the weight of a six year old. The flake of a father was there when it floated off. Why would he freak out and kick a lawn chair because the tether was not held by a family member? I f a small person is all that is required to secure the craft to the ground, how could it possibly hoist a six year old boy into the ether? There was clearly no access port to the balloon, and no attachments to the carnival toy. Have an engineer familiar with balloons and their capacity comment. Physics does not lie. People do.

    October 16, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  4. Katie

    what a waste of time and money.

    October 16, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  5. Trina

    When the Father was trying to answer questions about his past stint with the Reality Show, "Wife Swap", I found it INTERESTING how he said "it just fell into our lap" after he made news with the Storm Chasing Videos. This was sooo an attempt to gain publicity in hopes of landing a Reality Television Show. Completely DISGUSTING and PATHETIC! I just hope they do not get one and he is held accountable for this outrageous LIE! How sad for his children and what this is teaching them...they are the true victims. STOP REALITY TV–it only brings out the freaks and as in Jon(Jon and Kate Plus 8) – the worst in people. I wonder if he would have remained a humble-good husband without the so-called fame, money and hair transplants?...SAD.

    October 16, 2009 at 7:08 pm |
  6. Erin

    Why wasn't the video released to the investigators early on? They would have seen the boy whispering his intent to sneak in the balloon AFTER running in front of a inflated helium balloon you can see in the background. How could a kid sneak in without leaking quite a bit of helium? Did he even have time (alone/undetected) to "sneak in"? Wouldn't his weight have shifted the balance and lift of the balloon?

    October 16, 2009 at 11:33 pm |
  7. Jake

    Totally agree with you Patrick Barry, the father is an experienced balloon buff. He would have immediately noticed the balloon flying differently if it was weighed down by a six year old - if it could even get off the ground.

    October 17, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  8. Cindy

    Glad to know I'm not the only one to realize this helium balloon was not going to lift off with the weight of a six year old! What kind of 'science' father would not kinow that?: On course it was a hoax, and why on earth does no one investigating understand that???

    October 17, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  9. Will Gene

    For heavens sake ignore these people, hopefully they will go away. Obviously this is a set up deal. Look at the parents calling a TV station before calling 911 and the kids statement that this was for "the show". After you find out this undisciplined kid isn't in the balloon, move on to important news. It must really be a slow news day.

    October 17, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  10. Dr

    The coverage with the interactive screen was the most ridiculous thing I have ever witnessed. Come on people. Watch the tape. You looked like idiots.

    October 17, 2009 at 9:40 pm |
  11. Tom

    Okay media, enough of the "Balloon Boy" reference! No matter what happened or what will happen, this child is a six year old boy who has a name. You all talk about how this kid's life is going to be messed up being raised by this father and mother and how they should be taken away and blah, blah, blah. Then you hippo-critically add to this whole fiasco by giving this poor child a nickname which at this point he will carry with him for the rest of his life. No matter what this family did whether hoax or not, this child does not deserve to be called a nickname by, for GOD SAKES, the MEDIA?? Every headline, "Balloon Boy!" I can't imagine what it will be like for this child to return to school next week no matter if this was a hoax or not. The "Balloon Boy" reference being used by the media is absolutely unbelievable, irresponsible, and uncalled for. You worry about how the father/mother treats these children or how what kind of weird/dangerous life they lead and then you have the audacity to give this poor child a nickname and and use it in national headlines on every single article about this event? Unbelievable, how dare you! Irresponsible! Absolutely irresponsible!

    October 17, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  12. Irene Dixon

    I sat there, glued to my TV, in tears, thinking of that 6 year old boy who must have been so afraid. To hear now that it may have been a hoax makes me very angry. But I keep thinking of the statement his mother gave when she said "we thought we may have lost him" . I would have said something like she did if it was my boy, and I don't think her emotion was faked in any way. I believe if there was a hoax she was not part of it. I live in Canada, and everyone I know felt the same way. If the father perpetrated a hoax, he should be jailed, but leave the mom alone.

    October 17, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  13. Nathan

    I have to agree that this was obviously a hoax and that it was soley done for publicity. The family appeared on the reality tv show "Wife Swap" prior to this public episode. During the incident calling a TV station before 911. If they actually thought this was a real emergency why didn't they just call 911 without voluntarily involving the television crew? The boy was safely at home the whole time hidden in the garage. Which he was evidently coached to do given away in his comment during the interview, "You said we did this for a show". I don't think he was confused and children his age don't usually lie about stuff like that unless they are afraid of getting in trouble. Which at this point the parents would be and would fully explain the father's current irrate behavior. The boy getting sick while being asked further questions doesn't really make much sense other than to avoid answering them. All of the facts surrounding this incident plainly point to it being staged. I hope the parents are charged for this stunt because they are getting their attention at the expense of taxpayers. I, also, hope that child protection services do investigate these people not only for stunt they just pulled but their storm chasing activities as well.

    October 18, 2009 at 4:46 am |
  14. Barb

    Did anyone notice the middle brother's repetitive shaking or his head "no" as the father was being asked about why his brother hid for four hours? I am very, very concerned for these children. Something is definitely wrong in this family. Not to mention the continuing emotional trauma that is being inflicted on the 6-yr-old as this plays out on national tv.

    October 18, 2009 at 7:22 am |
  15. Angela Savage Austin

    Please clarify what the little boy meant and who exactly was "You Guys". In his statement he said..."You guys said we were doing it for the show...did he mean his parents as "You Guys" or someone else This is only a question...not taking sides!

    October 18, 2009 at 7:33 am |
  16. C Wrinn

    Once they found out it was a publicity stunt, they should've stopped giving the story any more publicity. Makes sense.

    October 18, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  17. Ty Ingalls

    I can't believe that this trivia caused my favorite show Fareed Zakaria to be canceled today. I would much rather ponder world events than to see this drivel about Balloon Boy. We have much more important items on the national/international stage. Save this @#$% for the National Inquirer.

    October 18, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  18. Dodie ~ California

    These reality shows, many produced by TLC, are creating a real problem in this country. Now, crazy and stupid parents that want to be seen on TV will be producing publicity stunts and possibly endangering their children in the process. This is an excellent example of this growing trend.

    (( We Must put a STOP to all reality shows involving children ))

    Any network producing such shows will be sued for promoting child endangerment!

    October 18, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  19. Kent

    Federal, State and Local Governments are bankrupt ,and these parents send lord knows how many military and emergency personell on a wild goose chase, most likely costing 100's of thousands of dollars, for a publicity stunt, I hope they make the parents pay the entire amount spent on thier stunt.

    October 18, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  20. Diane from NJ

    Love the story and cannot get enough-it's like junk food for the news junkie! Keep it coming!

    October 18, 2009 at 7:36 pm |
  21. lysa from California

    How much "profits" are the drug companies making from the H1N1 vaccine and why is it going out without FDA approval?
    UC Davis has just released a study that directly links mercury to autism. The H1n1 has mercury in it and is targeted to pregnant women and children can you check into this further?

    October 20, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  22. lawrence adams

    For starters try updating your page, and fact that women are the only life givers, these animals you speak about had or has a mother. Lets start where the problem begins. How about lets educate the mothers and give them a fighting chance of producing a decent human being, why do we wait to treat the problem while ignoring the symptoms. Lets spend the money we spend on killing people around the world, and save the people and families around the world, its about the almighty dollar and greed, greed, greed, it will destroy us all.

    October 21, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  23. jay

    Earlier, you had this guest "female", and you were discussing violence against women. While that should be a priority and I appreciate you giving it the importance it deserves. I find myself also disgusted with the double standard because I know and see many men including myself that go through abuse by women while you people in the media are crusading against men and making it seem like this is just a women's problem. Why don't you phony journalists explore the world where a lot of us presumed fathers are not allowed to see our children because we are being abused by renegade evil women? And why don't ya start with me! Let me see you run a story in which you look after a man’s best interest for a change.

    October 21, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  24. Nick

    "Pro choice' for women, "no choice" for men.
    As the father of an aborted child, I would like to see the bill passed. But does the bill require the doctor to ask about the father's support/opposition to the abortion?
    Perhaps if abortion statistics were posted, men and women alike would have scenarios upon which to base their own decisions.

    October 21, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  25. Earlena Wheeler

    I've never been in a position to have to consider an abortion, BUT, If I felt I needed an abortion, my reason would be NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!!!

    October 21, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  26. Marie

    To all men and especially the rep. from Oklahoma, mind your own business and keep your hands off women's bodies! I can't believe the invasion of privacy this man is initiating...I need to check my calendar, is it really 2009? Excuse me while I go make another donation to NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and the Center for Reproductive Rights.

    October 21, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  27. Fred

    Wow! Hard to imagine how that story just snowballed! For goodness sake it was on SNL!

    October 21, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  28. Elaine from L.A

    After watching Todd Lamb, senator from Oklahoma telling Kyra Phillips about his bill that would force women who seeks an abortion
    to answer 35 questions to be posted on the state web site as well as to force gynecologists to reveal who the patient his and where she lives when this is a very private matter between a patient and her doctor is one more attempt to limit choice for women and deprive them of the right to control their bodies and to reverse Roe vs. Wade.
    And these are the senators who don't want government involved in their own health care decisions which shows us how hypocritical they are.
    I urge everyone to read Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg's dissent, which
    attempts, for the first time in the court's history, to justify the right to abortion squarely in terms of women's EQUALITY rather than PRIVACY.
    In our society, isn't there an equality problem if laws target only women's bodies and leave men's bodies alone ?
    Ginsburg has now offered the most powerful understanding of the foundations of the right to choose and it is important to remember that
    today's dissenting opinion often becomes tomorrow's majority.

    October 21, 2009 at 3:41 pm |