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Child In Runaway Hot Air Balloon: Was It A Hoax?
By Mary E. Coe   

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Six year old boy floating alone in a hot air balloon, at approximately 30 to 35 miles per hour and at a high altitude of 3000 feet and sometimes reaching approximately 8000 feet.


Yesterday, October 15 2009, when the breaking news came on TV about a little six year old boy alone in a hot air balloon; it was so devastating and heartrending.  This balloon was traveling at least 30 to 35 miles an hour; it traveled at a high altitude between 3000 and 8000 feet.  I felt  so sad for the family, can you imagine watching that balloon floating through the air with your child in it? 


Then my attention went to the little boy.  I couldn’t imagine what he must have been going through, six years old, alone at a high altitude floating in a balloon. I was thinking what a horrifying, experience it must be. I imagined him crying so hard for his parents and someone; anyone to help him.  I said a prayer and asked God to send angels to comfort him and to guide him to a safe landing. I got on facebook and asked my facebook friends to say prayers for him.


This was a hot air balloon that was in the family backyard, a family project.  The boy’s brother said he saw the six year old climb inside a small opening or door on the balloon; he saw the balloon take off; but he never saw his brother exit the balloon.  At some point the boy told his parents that he saw the six year old crawl inside the balloon and the authorities were called.    Air crafts were routed away from the path of the balloon and authorities went to work to figure out how to rescue the child.   It didn’t look like the balloon was fully inflated, this is just my opinion, it looked well inflated but not fully inflated.


After  approximately two and a half hours of following this balloon on the news; it looked as if the balloon was coming down, but, not at a very fast speed as I expected it would.  That gave me some relief.   Then it was confirmed by the news that the balloon was coming down.  It came down in a field, rescue workers were on the scene.  One man ran to grab the strings that hung from the balloon; other rescue workers were right behind him.    Then they went to work taking that balloon apart to get the child.  I don’t know what I was thinking or feeling. The child was not in the balloon. That was one of the worst feelings I ever had, where was the child?


Then the horrifying thought, did the basket fall, at a high altitude with the child in it ?  I said a prayer, I prayed that if the child fell out, I hope it was when the balloon first took off, that way he would have a chance. Then the news came, that some one took a picture of something falling from the balloon when it was at a high altitude. They showed a still photo on the news but couldn’t confirm if anything fell or just what the picture showed.  The words came in that there was no basket under the balloon.  There’s usually a basket attached to the bottom and the child could have been in it.


What a relief, while listening to the news as they talked about something could have fallen from the balloon, breaking news came in; the little six year old boy was found alive and safe at home.  He was hiding in the garage in the garage attic.   It was reported that the boy said his father yelled at him so he hid in the garage.


My first thought was, OK , maybe he and his brothers were playing around with the balloon and something went wrong and the balloon took off.  Being as young as they were, I figured they probably got scared and came up with this story so the dad wouldn’t  get mad at them for untying the balloon and letting it get away.  The little six year old could have felt responsible for the balloon taking off.  The child was hiding in the attic over five hours. The family has appeared on a few TV reality shows so I figured the boys would know how to pull something like this off with their parents if they thought they were in trouble.


Last night on the Larry King Live Show, when the family was being interviewed, the child was asked why didn’t he answer when he heard all those people calling out his name?  There were people looking for him and yelling out his name.  The little boy said “we did it for the show”   The father said his son was confused, because the family was on several TV Reality Shows and they have been involved in storm chasing with the boys.


The boys are allowed to cuss and use bad language at home and on U-Tube videos, but, not in public. U-Tube is as public as it gets. On U-Tube; you’re on the internet for the world to see.  The father said he don’t want to be a hypocrite and tell the boys not to use bad language when he use it himself.


On another interview, this morning the little six year old looked nervous and he got sick to his stomach and had to leave the show for a few minutes.  While he was away the question was put to his two brothers, who is not much older than he is, when asked if it was done for the show, the brothers answered no. 


There was a home video showing the take off of the hot air balloon;  the family couldn’t have known the child was inside at this time because the dad was doing the count down. Then the dad became very angry when the balloon took off.   The TV host asked who shot the video? The parent said one of the little boys made it as the balloon took off.  The boys are 8 and 10 years old.   The dad said it was after the take off; when his son told him the six year old was inside.


There is no evidence that this is a hoax; but, I imagine the authorities will want to question the little boy and his family about the comment the child made on the Larry King Live Show.  He is only six years old and the father said the family is involved in Reality shows so the child is confused and getting things mixed up. The dad said, this was not a hoax to get publicity for the family.


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