"Balloon Boy" Falcon Henne Admits: "We Did This For The Show"
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Uploaded on Oct 16, 2009
During a live interview on Larry King Live on CNN Thursday night, Falcon Heene, of Fort Collins, said he had heard his family calling his name.
"You did?" the boy's mother, Mayumi Heene, asked
"Why didn't you come out?" Richard Heene then said on national television.
Falcon answered, "You had said that we did this for a show."
When Richard Heene was pressed by fill-in host Wolf Blitzer to explain what his son meant, he became uncomfortable, finally saying he was "appalled" by the questions. He added that Falcon likely was referring to all the media coverage.
When pressed by reporters outside his home after the CNN interview, Heene reacted angrily.
"'Let me interrupt this real quick because I can see the direction you guys are heading on this," Richard Heene said. "We weren't even going to do this interview. I'm appalled after all the feelings I went through that you guys are trying to suggest something else."
Mayumi Heene added, "All I know is, it was real. I really thought we might have lost him."
On Friday, Richard Heene again lambasted speculation that the ordeal was a hoax.
"I went through such a roller coaster of emotions (Thursday), to have people say that, I think, is extremely pathetic," he told ABC's "Good Morning America."
"I'm not selling anything. This is what we do all the time."
On Friday, Falcon got sick twice on national television when he and his father were asked during separate TV interviews what he meant about his comment that "we did this for a show."
Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden said Friday his investigators believe there was no hoax, but investigators will seek a new interview with the family after the CNN broadcast to clarify the statement.
"Certainly, that statement that was made last night on the interview raises the questions again," Alderden said. "We do intend to go back and try and reinterview the family."
Alderden said an expert told them the helium balloon was capable of lifting the boy into the air.
"We did contact a professor at CSU with the expertise to determine the payload and lift (of the balloon) and he informed us that a balloon of that size would handle a payload of 80 pounds. The boy weighed 37 pounds, so it remains conceivable that a boy of that size could have been in the balloon.
"We were convinced (Thursday) after talking to parents and having investigators on scene during the duration of event, that the parents were being honest. Their verbal, body language and emotions cwere onsistent with events taking place, believing their child was in the aircraft. Our people didn't think this was being faked."
He said that once Falcon came out of hiding, the parents allowed investigators to question Falcon alone, and they did not appear to have anything to hide.
However, after seeing the CNN interview, Alderden wanted to know why Falcon said, "We did this for the show."
"If it turns out to be a hoax we will seek restitution by whatever means possible," Alderden said.
He also said his office had contacted child protective services and asked them not to contact the family until his investigators had a chance to interview them again. He said he hoped to talk to them Saturday.
Alderden could not estimate how much it cost to search for the boy but said they were "soft costs" -- costs in manpower and personnel overtime. The cost to fly the two helicopters from the Colorado National Guard, alone, was $14,500.
Volunteers who helped searche for the boy said they didn't feel it was a waste of time or resources and that it was the best ending anyone could hope for.
Maj. Justin Smith, with the Larimer County Sheriff's Office, said there have been no previous calls to the home and no previous indication of problems at the home.
"There's nothing throughout and certainly nothing in the end that would indicate there would be any grounds for criminal charges," Smith said.
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