Family describes fear, elation as balloon saga unfolded –

(CNN) — Six-year-old Falcon Heene was cowering inside the attic above his family’s garage.

Falcon Heene, to the left of his father Richard, said he was yelled at earlier in day for playing in balloon. He had gotten in trouble several hours earlier for playing inside the family’s homemade helium balloon and told his 10-year-old brother Bradford that he planned to sneak inside.

Richard Heene, the boys’ father, had walked away for just a minute when the tether became undone, causing the balloon to begin floating miles above the house, he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer as he sat next to his family on Thursday’s broadcast of “Larry King Live.”

It shocked the couple, who began arguing and screaming, trying to figure out what happened.

The balloon — a family experiment for the couple’s anniversary — was not supposed to go higher than 20 feet above the ground, Mayumi Heene said. The eventual goal, her husband said, was for the balloon to hover over the ground and help ease commutes.

But as the balloon continued to drift higher and further out of sight, the family’s worries grew.

As police, the National Guard and the media scrambled to figure out what happened, Falcon ran into the attic above the garage.

“The reason why I went up there — my dad yelled at me,” Falcon Heene said. “He didn’t want me to play in the flying saucer.”

His parents, meanwhile, frantically searched anywhere they could think of.

“We searched any place, even small drawers,” Mayumi Heene said. “We searched his friends’ houses. … We went through any possible place.”

Falcon, meanwhile, was playing inside a box in the attic.

His parents shouted his name as they ran through the house.

“Uh-huh,” the boy said, when asked whether he heard them. His parents both appeared surprised and asked why he didn’t come out.

“You guys said we did this for the show,” the boy said. When his father was pressed about what his son meant, he became uncomfortable, finally saying he was “appalled” by the question. He added Falcon was likely referring to all the media coverage. Authorities say they believe the case was genuine.

Don’t Miss

“We did this for the show”, eh Falcon?

Doncha just love the honesty of kids?


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