After telling the media that he had a "big announcement" to make at 10 a.m. (CST), Richard Heene, father of "Balloon" boy Falcon, just told reporters to put their questions in a cardboard box—and that he'd answer them at an evening press conference. Oh, the poor media camped out in Fort Collins—a reporter should have puked into it! TMZ was not impressed—the gossip site, familiar with the antics of Jon Gosselin and Michael Lohan, deemed it "the dumbest press conference of all-time."
The media breathlessly followed the path of a 20' by 5' silver, flying saucer-shaped balloon on Thursday, thinking that 6-year-old Falcon Heene was inside. But it turned out he was actually just in the garage attic—raising questions whether the family was pulling everyone's leg for attention and possibly a reality show. The Denver Post reports, "Richard Heene, who is variously described as a contractor or amateur storm chaser, is credited as a writer and producer on a series of children's videos called 'Box Time,' which teaches kids imaginative ways to use cardboard boxes. The Internet Movie Database page for 'Box Time: Playhouse' lists Heene's two oldest sons, Bradford and Ryo, as actors on the video." (Is it a coincidence that Falcon allegedly fell asleep in a box in the garage attic during the balloon chase?)
The Larimer County sheriff's department is investigating whether the incident was a hoax—and the results will be turned over the children's protective services. The Denver Post also noted that outside the Heene house, a neighbor carried a sign, "10-15-09, we will never forget," and said, "This is big. This is a memory for life... I think it is a hoax. It's a publicity stunt." His brother's sign read, "Put balloon boy on TV: Americas's most wanted.