Blair and the Balloon Boy

Balloon Boy Media Circus
Balloon Boy Media Circus

My 11 year old son, Blair, wanted to go to Cirque du Soleil this year, but because our schedules were so busy, we missed it.  Instead he went to the Balloon Boy media circus.  Because my husband was traveling and I was a single mom over the weekend I didn’t want to leave him at home while I was working 24/7 for NBC News.  Instead I took him with me and put him to work.  We have not seen a story like this in Colorado since John Mark Carr claimed he killed Jonbenet Ramsey.  News media came from all over the world.  There were London newpapers, two Brazilian networks, Japanese TV and tabloid shows.  Booking for guests was knock down drag out competitive.  At one point there were 20 cameras and nine live trucks outside the Heene house.  There was even a fistfight when an irate neighbor got into it with Fox News.  It was a total zoo.

To review, Richard and Mayumi Heene from Fort Collins, Colorado launched a flying saucer and alerted the media and authorities that their six year old son, Falcon, was aboard.  The whole world watched and prayed for the little boy tumbling in the sky as the drama unfolded on television.  Across the globe people celebrated the joyous news when Falcon was found alive, hiding in the attic all along.  Then whoops!  Falcon blurts out on CNN’s Larry King Live that he was hiding “because you said it was for the show.”  He threw up the next morning on NBC’s Today Show.  Sheriff Jim Alderden now says it was all a hoax so that the family could get a reality show of their own.  Unlikely that will happen any more but they could get jail time for felony charges.  Attorney David Lane is on the case.  The Heene’s certainly are infamous now.   

Initially, my son Blair hoped to meet young Falcon.  That didn’t happen and in the end he was an extra set of eyes on the Heene’s back yard and the Larimer County Sheriff’s back door.  He helped get the crews lunch, hung out with onlookers and media and even videotaped on his camera.  At one point he told a neighbor friend of the Heene’s “he was digging up dirt for his mom.”  Ouch!  Out of the mouths of babes.  We had to have the talk about discretion after the same neighbor told me it was tacky.  Blair went home from “take your kid to work day” with a better view of the intensity and insanity that comes with a huge story.  He even got interviewed for Entertainment Tonight!

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