Hot Air

Balloon Dad ‘Terrifying’

With friends like these, Richard Heene doesn’t need too many enemies. Former associates and acquaintances of Heene, who allegedly staged the Balloon Boy hoax featuring his own son, are speaking out, saying that he could at times be “terrifying” and that he has “trouble staying focused and balanced.” Heene and his wife are set to be charged for falsely reporting their son as missing in a balloon, supposedly a stunt to drum up publicity for a new reality show they had concocted. Barbara Slusser, who appeared with Heene when he was on Wife Swap stint, described time with him as “a three-ring circus,” and another friend spoke of the frequent risks faced by his three children. A stormchaser, Heene has been known to bring his young children into the eye of hurricanes--perhaps explaining son Falcon’s decision to hide in the attic.