Sigh of Relief

Balloon Boy Found, Safe at Home

Falcon Heene, the 6-year-old boy once thought to be trapped in a hot air balloon floating over Colorado, has been found. Hidden in a box in the attic of his family's garage, Heene reportedly thought he would get in trouble for playing inside his father's meteorological balloon, for which he had been reprimanded early Thursday morning. When Falcon's brother Bradford told his parents Falcon was "in the balloon" again that afternoon, Falcon reportedly fled and hid to avoid punishment. Shortly thereafter, the balloon escaped—leaving parents Richard and Mayumi Heene fearing their third and youngest son had been spirited away in the silver orb. The balloon was adrift for two hours, capturing the attention of a concerned and fascinated public; when it landed, authorities opened it up and found the balloon to be empty. It is unclear how the balloon escaped the Heene yard, although questions about the innocence of the debacle have been raised—Perez Hilton notes that, under pressure, the boy blurted "It was for the show" on live television. Richard Heene is a former meteorologist and storm chaser. The Heene family appeared on the ABC program Wife Swap in an episode where Mayumi Heene traded maternal roles with a psychic.