Back in 2009 the story of a boy who had climbed into his parent’s homemade balloon without anyone noticing captured viewers’ attention. Without knowing his father, Richard Heene released the balloon thinking it was tethered to the ground. The balloon wasn’t supposed to go far, but it wasn’t attached to the ground and drifted away. The family claimed that their son was in the balloon and called for help from both the police and a National Guard helicopter. They followed the balloon until it landed around 12 miles from where it took off. Once the balloon landed everyone rushed over to see if the bot inside was okay. They didn’t find him inside the balloon and started to look around the area to see if he fell out. He was nowhere to be found so officials went back to talk to the Heenes and found that the boy was hiding in the attic. I would say that this is one of those hoaxes that are not okay. People were so offended because of the fact that it was a little boy and they were using him to get on TV.Similar to what we talked about in class, people seem to get more upset when sympathy is used and in the end everything turns out to be a lie. People feel betrayed and don’t understand why someone would go to such lengths for publicity. This is somewhat similar to how people felt when JT revealed that he wasn’t the author of any of the books. Like In Boy Girl Boy people to it extremely personal and felt as if the hoax performers were personally insulting them individually and people can’t get over that.
The public found out that the entire thing was staged because the boy, Falcon said on a live interview that they did it for the show. Further investigations were conducted and the event was deemed a hoax. Both parents served time in jail and pled guilty to the charges. But just wait because it gets better after the entire event they continue to claim that the whole thing was never a hoax. This is at least five years later and they’re still committed to the lie.
You can check out the full details of the story and a small YouTube clip below