It’s Been 10 Years Since Fort Collins Balloon Boy Incident
At first, we thought we were having first contact. There was a U.F.O. flying around NoCo. We quickly found out that the silver item, made of tarps and aluminum foil, was actually a homemade weather balloon from the self-proclaimed storm-chasing weather enthusiast Richard Heene.
He had been "testing" the balloon in the backyard when, what we were initially told, Henne's 6 year old son Falcon had crawled inside the balloon and the device broke free. The balloon crossed over three NoCo counties, followed by a news helicopter, and we all held our breath as the balloon crashed into an empty field. Was Falcon injured or even worse? As first responders poked and stabbed at the balloon with pitchforks and other objects to get to the center, we all waited for the outcome.
As it turns out, Falcon was not in the balloon. He never was. At first, we were told Falcon hid in the garage and released the balloon for attention. But after a couple days, and some questioning and pressure from authorities, it was revealed that Falcon was told by his father to say those things. You see, Richard had been trying to get his family a reality TV show. He thought that the exposure might help with that.
An outrageous story gripped the nation and started right here in NoCo. Trevor Hughes was a reporter for the Coloradoan in '09 and '10 and followed the story closely. If you would like to see the interesting details he remembers, you can check out the USA Today article on the anniversary here.