BOY FOUND! 6-Year-Old Boy Was Believed To Be in Runaway Balloon from Fort Collins, Colorado

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ALERT from FOXNEWS showing balloon aircraft that looked like a giant Jiffy Pop.

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Breaking news from THE WEATHER CHANNEL.

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CNN Headline News Breaking News report.

BALLOON BOY FOUND.

UPDATE 5:14 PM CDT: Falcon Heene found hiding in a box in the attic at his home.

UPDATE 3:35 PM CDT: Two accounts of something possibly falling out of the balloon immediately after takeoff.

UPDATE 2:26 PM CDT: Balloon on the ground south of Prospect Springs (Colorado Springs) after a slow crash landing at 2:26 p.m. CDT. Rescue workers attempting access to the aircraft and searching for the boy. Report out that the boy is not inside. The balloon is empty. Search is on for missing boy.

UPDATE 2:30 PM CDT: May be as low as 500 feet and floating near high tension power lines at 2:30 p.m. CDT. Southeast Weld Fire Protection District rescue ambulance and rescue teams waiting below.

Who is the family with the Runaway Balloon? Find out from ABC wifeswapping website …
When the Heene family aren’t chasing storms, they devote their time to scientific experiments that include looking for extraterrestrials and building a research-gathering flying saucer to send into the eye of the storm.
Family portrait below …

The Headline as news broke …
Unbelievable! 6-Year-Old Boy May Be Floating in Runaway Balloon from Fort Collins, Colorado
Authorities are chasing a balloon in the skies Thursday about 1:45 p.m. CDT for a 6-year-old boy, Falcon Heene, who unhooked his family’s experimental balloon-powered aircraft and floated away from his home in Fort Collins, Colorado.

The balloon aircraft is approximately 20 feet by 5 feet and covered in tin foil and almost looks like a chef’s cap. The balloon had the potential to rise to 10,000 feet. The balloon was estimated to be traveling at an altitude of 8,500 feet and was several miles north of Denver, Colorado at 2:00 p.m. CDT, traveling in a southeasterly direction.

Ground temperature in Colorado area at the time of the balloon flight was 60 to 64°F. At 7000 ft air temperature is below freezing in the area. Generally the temperature drops 3.5°F for every 10000 feet gain in altitude.

Denver International Airport cleared air space north of the airport. NORAD was aware of situation and was monitoring.

The Colorado national guard prepared a black helicopter for rescue or resolution.

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Heene Family Picture from ABC TV show wifeswap. Link to Heene/Silver family portrait picture with an aluminum-like craft in the background.


View Famous Rescues & FD Operations Worldwide in a larger map (Map of balloon path from Fort Collins).

Balloon Origin: 5434 Fossile Ridge Drive Fort Collins, Colorado
Balloon Landing Zone: Near Weld County Road 2 and Weld County Road 63
Two closest towns are Hudson, Colorado and Keenesburg, Colorado
Windsor, Johnstown, Miliken, Greeley, Platteville, Gilcrest, Harmony near balloon flight path.

Check local sources …
Greeley Colorado The Tribune — greeleytribune.com
Fort Collins — The Coloradoan — coloradoan.com
KDVR FOX 31

27 Comments

  1. Two planes or helicopters fly on either side (far enough away to not cause wind to the balloon) w/ a huge net tied between them in essense to catch the balloon and pull it to the heli and then land it softly.

  2. Get one of the choppers above it to push it down with the downdraft. If it doesn’t work, use a BB gun to shoot a small hole in it….

  3. This is absolutely insane. They should use either a powered parachute to fly up along side him or a helicopter to get him from above. Grab the boy and then cut the balloon. Should work pretty well.

  4. So regarding this poor little who’s floating away in a home made balloon like helium aircraft, is there anything that sky divers can do to latch onto the balloon or bring it down??? Just a thought…

  5. Here’s how you get him down. Get 2 helicopters and connect a side of a mesh fishnet type material to each so they are connected then they fly over the balloon catch up with it put the fishnet thing over it then fly down to the groud.

  6. I havent heard of just letting two proffesional sky divers go and grab on to the ropes and try to maneuver it down. Maybe that should be put into concideration.

  7. This story is amazing, and I hope the boy survives this ordeal.
    However, does anyone know what the forward airspeed of this craft is?
    It seems to be moving pretty fast for a ballon.

  8. Has anyone asked why the hell the ADULTS were making a big balloon? And then to have it so a six year old can un-tie it disturbs me. Think about it, a child would think it is the coolest thing ever. But I guess that answers why the ADULTS didn’t lock it up, minds like a child. I’m mad at the adults here.

  9. I saw this family on wifeswap two days ago, am not surprised. They criticized the other family for being too concerned with safety.

  10. Isn’t it possible that the boy undid the rope of the balloon and simply got scared to be punished so he ran away and hid?

  11. Okay everyone, a 20 x 5 foot space is a lot of helium, but what does a 6-yr old weigh? Where are the science gurus to comment on whether or not this volume would even get the boy off the ground in the first place? Shoddy reporting all the way around on this one; can’t believe this is making national headlines.

    If the boy DID make it off the ground (so far only substantial ‘evidence’ is by another young sibling), I hope to god — like everyone else — that this has a happy ending. But has anyone checked to see if the boy is hiding under the bed because mommy and daddy are “gonna be mad at me?”

    I’ve got the flame suit on, so fire away. Just wanting to point out that no one has verifiable evidence and proof (again, OTHER THAN the sibling’s report) that the boy was ever in the craft to begin with.

  12. By my calculation, a balloon 20 feet in diameter and 5 feet high (cylindrical!) could only lift about 21 lbs. An average 6 year old weighs 45 lbs. ergo, the kid is hiding, afraid he’ll be punished for losing the balloon. (I just hope I’m right (and he’s wrong :)

  13. Okay time to go back to the real news of the day… CNN seems to have a tough time staying with the news the past few days. How many times has Wolf said “might” and “if” in the past hour.. c’mon CNN!

  14. Very frustrating listing to this newscast filled with speculation. Should it not be asked? Does it appear, based on ballons appearance, that the boy was on the ballon? Is there any indication that the boy could have fallen? I didn’t see any opening in the video from which the boy could have come out off? Was there any damage on the ballon that suggests a fracture of materials could have caused an occupant to fall out..Sorry, I had to turn it off as the speculation on such a serious matter got to me. I’ll read about when someone has gone through the effort of collecting facts not interviews.

  15. Basic physics, everyone.

    Assuming that the balloon was only half-full of helium (by the time it landed it looked to be a quarter full) there is no way it owuld have gotten off the ground with a 50lb boy and 30lbs of material.

    Physics: Diameter 20′ (roughly 3M radius) — Volume = PI*R2 x Height (2.5m)

    Total volume approaches 28,000 cu. Liters.

    28,000 cubic liters has the equivalent lift of — Drum roll please….

    75 pounds. It wouldn’t have left the ground much less achieved a height above 1500 feet with a child inside. The little boy is hiding afraid his parents are going to kill him.

    Science & Math background +1
    News Reporters Got Jack

  16. Anyone stupid enough to name their kid Falcon is also stupid enough to build a balloon to kill their kid. These parents oughtta be in jail.

  17. Ok now that we know that the boy was not inside this balloon; is it really necessary to speculate about the statistics surrounding if the balloon could actually become airborn or not? I think that all of the reporting since it was revealed that the boy was not inside has been a complete and unnecessary waste of the viewers time. Maybe now the reporting focus should be on locating where he is? I think the last 20 minutes on CNN has been a total insult to our intelligence.

  18. Ballon is 20 feet wide and 5 feet high. So, the volume is around 1200 cubic feet (taking into consideration the curve of the “saucer”. Helium has .067 pounds of lift per cubic foot. So, the helium in that balloon had 80 lbs of lift. The balloon itself weighs at least 10-20 lbs. So, the kid, at 50-60 lbs would have possibly been able to get lift off if he were in it. BUT, he would NOT have been able to quickly climb to 2000 feet. That kid was NOT in the balloon when it went up.

    My guess (based on being a kid once). He got in it. Untied it. It lifted a little and he panicked and jumped out. He’s been hiding, in fear of getting in trouble for the past 3 hours.

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