tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN October 15, 2009 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT
breaking news an intense search for a 6-year-old boy thought to have been in a home-made balloon. it floated, dangerously up to 10,000 feet for two hours over northeastern colorado yet when it landed, no one was inside. where is little falcon heene? welcome to "prime news." a mystery, for hours we've covered this story live for you on hln as it unfolded and this hour an urgent search for a 6-year-old boy. it's believed he climbed into his parents' home-made balloon for nearly three hours we watched as it drifted over
northeastern colorado and, when it landed, the 6-year-old was not there. "prime news" affiliate kusa is reporting right now crews are searching for some kind of box that was attached to the bottom of this balloon. police do believe it was attached at some point and that the boy was inside when the balloon lifted off. let's go to chuck roberts who has been covering this story since the beginning. chuck, in absolutely unusual story it's a mystery. is anyone convinced this boy actually lifted off the ground? >> you know, that seems to be the prevailing theory, it's not a consensus by any means but a lot of people think that's exactly what happened. for one thing there were pegs at the bottom of the aircraft and the pegs are missing. now, this was a little light plywood box meant to hold batteries and scientific experiments. the design of this, the purpose, the mission for this spraescraft was to fly into severe weather like tornadoes and hurricanes
with weather data recording equipment and measure it and then it would fall to earth and they could get the measurements and collect the data. but, apparently, the worst-case scene no would be the little boy, 6-year-old falcon, somehow crawled into that little box, he got curious and it became unthey therred. why? we don't know. as you say it flew 75 miles in a sou southeasterly direction and to everyone's surprise and amazement, they didn't find falcon inside there. was the landing an hour and a half ago. all these rescue personnel were at the scene. there were at least three rescue squads there, a couple of dozen personnel. they ran up, they held the ropes of that craft and they looked inside and, initially, when they found it hadn't been breached, the gondola or capsule, the pro tugs at the bottom of this flying saucer-like device. they thought good news.
now, it turns out he may have been in a very, very small box. he would have had to crawl inside and it would have been very uncomfortable. the problem is this balloon reached altitudes of 11,000 feet above sea level. above sea level. the ground, of course, is roughly a mile high, 5280 or so. so, it got way, way up there. when and how this little plywood box fell off, we can't continue. again the search continues, an air search involving national guard helicopters and other assets. they are looking as fast as they can for a little boy. the only good news i can report it is in the awfully cold. it had been cold in denver five or six days ago. it's in the mid 60s, still daylight, so they've got a few hours of daylight to work with, it being 3:00 in the afternoon mountain daylight time. that's the latest, no sign of him in the neighborhood and volunteers are working through
the neighborhood yelling his name in ft. collins to no avail. no sign of him yet. they've talked to his little brother, his brother, the oldest of the three boys ran inside the house and said falcon had climbed into the balloon and it had taken off. and that is the assumption that everybody in larimer county, in northern colorado, basically worked with for two and a half hours as they followed the flight of this balloon and we followed the flight and all the news helicopters followed the flight but again when it landed harmlessly and rather gently into a farm field he was nowhere to be found. so, what happened to that box and little falcon, we just don't know, vinnie. >> what we see landing there, this craft isn't the complete craft there. was another piece to it and that had to be the piece where -- that falcon climbed into. the question is, how long was that piece attached to this aircraft? and that would answer a lot of questions if we could figure that out and find out where this box is. >> well, it was flamessy it may
have fallen apart and broken early under the weight of a 6-year-old boy. hopefully, he fell out if he did at all just above ground level and he's going to be okay. you have to hope that's the case but the parents are really worried. they are really into science. it looks like from all the ireports we've received it's a fun little family, richard heene and his family, three boys and mom and they go and chase storms and they do this and have been submitting ireports of their adventures. we heard from a neighbor who lives exactly next der and saw the boys playing with what looked like a flying object. not sure that's exactly what it was and have seen still photos of them proudly standing in front of this object. at that point, it was upside down. that is the pro trugs you see there was pointed upwards in the photo. but there it is, made of we think mylar. >> you think of a kid's birthday party when you think that, right?
>> exactly. >> let's do this and take a listen what the neighbor had to say. when you are trying to figure out what happened here you have to speak to all the witnesses involved obviously some are family members but here's a neighbor. let's take a look. >> i saw it this morning. they were -- they were, i guess, experimenting with it. they were putting -- they were putting something into it. i don't know whether it was helium or air or some kind of gas, whatever, but i saw them working with it, with it this morning and they were, you know, having basically the whole family was out there and they were working with it. and i went for a walk at around 11:00 or so and when i came back is when i found out that, you know, that the event happened. >> -- out there at one point all working on this craft during the day and then at some point the parents must have been inside and the children must have been outside. you know, the big question i have here, chuck, how does this thing get untethered?
if it's 56-year-old, i have a 6-year-old at home and, yeah, they're bright but it would seem this thing would be secured in a way where, i don't know he's got to climb into the basket and untether it unless somehow his brothers are involved in this whole thing. >> that's almost -- you know, we hate to think that's the case but, yeah that's certainly one of the scenarios possible and why did they feel it with helium today, what was their intent or the game plan today? why was it being filled today or was it always filled with he'll yum? but again the design of this was to meant to be carried aloft during severe storms and weather. >> clearly not for any human be to be inside. >> no one was to be inside. every indication the security of that little plywood box is nothing, that it may have disintegrated and hopefully at a very, very low altitude. >> absolutely. >> that's the only thing you can hope for. what a search. think about the logistics of this. this thing traveled 75 miles and i don't know whether there is a radar image of it you can track,
how you would trian you gogulat. there are imaging devices you could employ but you know they will spend every resource they can -- >> time is of the essence. don clark is with us, as well former fbi special agent in charge. don, how about this we have witnesses who are children, who are siblings here, the ones that have most of the information here. how do you interview them and how do we trust that information? >> well, you have to interview kids very carefully and you have to come down to their level, vinnie, and talk to them about things that they understand. and listening to this, as i understand that these kids perhaps may have a pretty decent knowledge of this craft, balloon, or whatever you want to call it. so, getting down to their level, they might be able to provide some information. kids have often been able to do
welcome back to "prime news." this craft has landed on the ground but no one was inside. 6-year-old falcon heene still missing at this hour and that's what authorities are focusing on now, trying to find this little boy, where is he? did he get into a box that was attached to this aircraft? was he lifted off the ground? if so, where did he end up? because we know when this craft came down and landed softly, he was nowhere to be found. john lucich is with us. talk about the investigation here in trying to piece together what happened, how does this little boy get in there and get untethered and end up in the air but more importantly, at this hour, how do we find him? >> well, you know, it's a matter
of searching at this point. you take a look at this type of aircraft, experimental aircraft field with helium that is a balloon when it comes down to it. but, the shape of this has an aerodynamic shape that enables this to be tossed by the wind. remember, this may -- it was reported it was moving as much as 25 knots through the air. but, as this aircraft moves through the air, convection or wind currents or wind gusts could actually be able to bank this aircraft left and right. early reports said there may have been a box attached to the bottom of this aircraft in which the child got into this box. now, if that box was not attached to the aircraft when it was landed and the little kid was not found inside. that box, somewhere, fell off. if that child was in that box, then it's just a matter of searching if where that box is and that child. >> joining us on the phone is bob licko, a neighbor of the heenes, thank you so much for joining us. have you had an opportunity to
speak to the heene family today? >> no, i have not, other than the fact when i left for an errand late this morning i heard some commotion in the backyard. i did not see the balloon. and then, i spoke briefly with two of the older boys that were on the roof. one of them had a camera and they were telling me that their brother was up in the air. >> wait a minute, two -- two brothers on the roof, one has a camera? >> yes. >> and did they seem concerned, flustered, were the parents anywhere to be found? >> i don't know if they seemed flustered? they seemed animated, maybe i should say, but they were just simply telling me he was up in the air but i could tell from the commotion in the backyard with the parents that something had gone wrong. >> what can you tell us about your neighbors? i mean, this is a family we know has been on the "wife swap" reality show onk on tv. >> yes. >> can you give us flavor who they are? >> he was an inventor, they
moved here from california. he, i know, was working on a machine here about a year ago or so that was supposed to put out more energy than it took in, that it used and here more recently, he had a little flying saucer contraption that -- electrical current or something and he lifted it off the ground a little ways with that and they were storm chasers. >> now, when we're trying to figure out what happened here, did you ever see the craft with this box that was attached? >> no, i did not, in. >> never saw it. >> it was gone by the time i was outside, apparently. >> is this something they've been working on? had you seen it in previous days? >> no, i had no seen it. so, i don't know whether this is something they put together in the backyard that i just didn't see or whether they -- i think it's something they probably have been working on recently but i don't know that for certain. >> and describe for us the neighborhood where you live, because the one concern we have here, if he was in that box and it was attached, what is your
neighborhood like, what is the terrain around there if, in fact, this box became detached quickly maybe somebody would have seen something? what's it like out there? >> well, we're east of the foothills, so it's fairly flat out this way. and there's -- there's more homes. we're sort of in the south central part of -- in the county south of ft. collins just a little ways and apparently i understand the balloon ended up somewhere in denver, i assume maybe north denver. and so, i don't know what would have happened. i don't know when the box would have become detached. >> how populated is the area, lots of houses or really a rural area? >> no, there's lots of homes here, for several miles south and east of us. >> all right, bob. bob, can you stay with us, bob? >> not much longer. >> okay. bob, i want to thank you, then,
bob licko is a neighbor of the heenes who, the kids are up on the roof, the two brothers on the roof, one with a camera telling the neighbor, bob licko, hey, you know, our brother is up in the air. it sounds like this actually happened and we've got to find and someone's got to find that box that was attached. much more coverage coming up right here on "prime news."
and joining us on the phone now to talk a bit more about this is a former managing director from the ntsb, peter gould. thanks for joining us. tell us, how do you go about investigating something like this? >> well, you know, the ntsb has the responsibility for looking at home-built accidents and, also, they investigate serious balloon accidents. so, they've got this apparently was some sort of combination, you know, home-built vehicle. the ntsb will look at it as they do almost any investigation. they're going to see what the facts of the situation are, they are going to lay it out. and i'm sure it's going to be like any, you know, tragic accident, a series of mistakes, a chain of events that, if you break the chain, the event
wouldn't happened but this is clearly just really a mess. >> what are the rules regarding building crafts like this? does the ntsb have to be informed about what you're doing or can people on their own build these things? >> well, the ntsb doesn't oversee, you know, the construction of vehicles. it's not a regulatory agency. it is simply an investigative agency. that's all they do is they investigate accidents, they make recommendations so that -- hopefully, the accident doesn't happen again. i think they'll look at this and see if there's any need to strengthen, you know, the rules governing, you know, these kinds of vehicles. i mean, this is just a very strange event and i'm sure, you know, they'll take a look at it and see if there needs to be some further oversight. >> yeah. let's bring back john lucich. looking at the investigation trying to find this 6-year-old boy, a report from a police
officer that, from a distance, he may have seen something fall from this craft, which we would presume would be that box that we were talking about before, this is significant. >> absolutely. it's not only significant but it's coming from a very, very credible source. so, now we've located a specific area, rather than taking the whole flight route that this aircraft, for lack of a better word took. we can just narrow it down to that area and put our resources right there and i'm hoping that we're going to be able to solve this. you know, in the greatest way this could end we found out this kid never got in but all of the facts tell us -- >> not looking that way right now, at all. >> no, it's not. all the facts pointing this kid probably met his demeese. i'm hoping for the best we find this kid alive. i have never seen anything like this. >> we've never seen anything like this and we're continuing to follow this investigation.
welcome back, following the story everyone is talking about, falcon heene, 6-year-old boy still missing, believed he was in, perhaps some, sort of box attached to this strange aircraft that was built by his father. and was floating for hours. now, the question is, did he get inside a box? we have new pictures to show you now that may reveal something here. take a look at this now. you see that little black area below that it's in that circle, is that possibly the box that we're looking for, the box that everyone's been talking about, the box that was not attached to this craft when it landed?
that is -- this could be very, very significant. don clark, i want to bring you back in here. don, look at that. does that look to you like it could perhaps be the box that everyone's looking for? >> well, i suppose it could be. i don't know what size the kid was, was he a big 6-year-old or whatever the case may be, vinnie. little guys can kind of fold themselves up into a pretzel and do a lot of things we can't do so possibly it could. the other point about the investigation, too, vinnie, you have other kids on the ground. i suppose this is going on but if it's not it should be, somebody really should be working with them in detail about what they really saw and try to see if they are really getting the full truth from these kids, you know, i'm not suggesting the kids would lie but sometimes the kids can be pranksters and this type of thing. >> you don't have to talk about being a prankster. if you are a little kid and dad's been working on this craft and somehow the craft floats
away, there is an opportunity something did something wrong here and some child may think, oh, my goodness, i'm going to get in trouble. let's bring back in mike brooks. on all, this the investigation are the witnesses. we had two kids reported from a neighbor on the roof, one with a camera saying, hey, our little brother is in the air somewhere. is it going to be difficult to get the truth out of these brothers? >> most, as we talked about earlier, most departments have officers who are trained to talk to children, wlr they be involved in sex offenses these kind of things but they can talk to them. you need to separate the children, separate the parents and let's see what everybody's story is. now, where were the parents when this happened? you know, chock roberts and i were just talking at the break. usually when you have something in a balloon like this, you don't just put the helium in and keep it tethered. you usually put the helium in when you are going to use it. so, what was their plan on using it today? you know, that needs to be found
out, also. they need to separate all the kids, talk to each one of them and find out exactly what the truthful story is. >> let's find out. police spoke about interviewing the children. let's see what they had to say. >> he was in the house. the son is the one that came in and told them that his brother had climbed in the basket when it took off and watched it go up. >> all right. so, there you see, i mean, the whole story starts with a child telling the father what happened here. that's where the investigation begins. let's take a phone call. teresa from north carolina, hello. >> caller: hi. i just have two quick questions. why weren't the kids in school? and what, if any charges, could the parents be facing or dcfs get involved? >> two great questions. the first one is why aren't they in school, chuck roberts, do we know -- >> we do know, vinnie. it was a parent-conference day. everybody was out of school. the kids had an excused absence,
home and playing and the weather was great and kids go outside and do what they love to do and i guess, you know, i keep going back to that clip you played earlier of the neighbor saying the kids were on the roof and there were more than one, maybe all three of them were up there and playing around and one of them saw little falcon get into this box. that seems the best evidence. if a neighbor saw it, how can you dispute that? the photo you showed earlier is apparently from ft. collins. according to the "denver post" in other words, taken shortly after lift-off, if you will. right there. that photo right there. the "denver post" credits that with someone living in ft. collins. so it happened very early on. as we all know, we joined the progress of this balloon, very early on, there was no sign of that box for, you know, dozens and dozens of miles as we followed this. >> absolutely. wow. where are we in this investigation? how will this end? and obviously, the one aspect of this is, you know, first
everyone's hoping the child never actually got in there. but as we listen to more and more of this evidence, john lucich, it sounds to me like something did happen here. i don't think this is a prank. i don't think, at this point, it sounds like a child who may have accidentally let this thing fly off and is now hiding somewhere in the backyard. i think we've got a real situation here. >> but there are still a lot of unanswered questions where cops will start delving into. cops are not going to release everything they get immediately to the press. mike has a great point. what were the kids doing up on the roof with a camera? was this something they wanted to do? not that they expected this airplane to take off, this aircraft to take off? but were they planning something and to capture it on video? i'm not saying they were. why were they on the roof. did they get the camera after this happened or before it happened. was it a still camera or video camera? it was digital there may be a lot more evidence on there once the cops look at it because
there may be a voice component. >> absolutely. at this point, mike brooks, how much your resource is going to interviewing these kids trying to figure out what's going on versus the actual search based on these other clues we're getting from perhaps that photograph, perhaps what that officer said he saw in the distance? >> sure. that's what's going on right now. you are going to have the authorities putting together a plan for a ground search. they are already out there looking, number one. you also have the investigation side because, with any investigation, whether it be a missing person or a possible accident like this, where do you start? you start closest to the person. his family. his brothers, his mother, miss father. so, you've got that part going on. you've got other folks talking about a ground search. also, if nothing comes of that, a possible air search. i mean, you know, you've got the colorado state patrol. they have air assets. the national guard, the denver police department, they, also, have ground assets that cover
adams county and the area around -- around metropolitan denver and the denver international airport. so, there's, you know, a multi-faceted investigation going on right now. >> one thing that's surprising me a little bit about this story, after taking a look at those maps, those satellite maps where were you see the area, you see this is not an area with wo house here and another house five miles away. there's a lot of houses here and there's roads and it's the middle of the day. i would think we would have more witnesses that would be coming forward that may have seen something, more witnesses and everyone's walking around these days with a cell phone that's a camera, that's a video camera. and i'm just surprised at this point we don't have more eyewitnesses that came forward saying i saw this, i saw that. i wonder if it's possible that we do have more witnesses and they just aren't speaking to us, they are speaking to authorities and hopefully helping to solve this entire thing. but the search, once again, at this hour, the search continues for 6-year-old falcon heene.
welcome back. we're still searching, everyone still searching for 6-year-old falcon heene, where is this young boy? and who is this young boy? at age 6, did he realize the possible dangers of getting inside that basket? and then untethering this aircraft that landed but without any basket or box attached to it? well, falcon's friend, ryan
tuelle spoke and gives us a little insight talking about his friend, who is missing today. take a listen. >> reporter: tell me how are you feeling right now knowing maybe your friend is in danger? >> i'm feeling a little jumpy right now, so. >> reporter: jumpy how, can you explain to know how it feels -- >> my heart's kind of jumping right now. >> reporter: and what you are hoping. >> i'm hoping that falcon's okay. >> reporter: because he's a friend of yours, right? >> yeah, he is. >> reporter: are you going to take off and help out? >> yeah. >> reporter: explain what you are going to try to do today to help your friend? >> i actually don't know. >> reporter: what are some of the places you are going to look for your friend? >> maybe out in the fields. >> reporter: what did falcon tell you about the balloons the
family worked on? >> he hasn't told me anything. >> reporter: have you ever seen him working on it. >> no he's only come to our house, i haven't been over there yet. >> reporter: what do you think about this happening to your friend? >> uh, i don't know. >> reporter: how did you learn bit and what did you think? >> i learned about it because we were out and about and my mom got a call from this -- from my dad, who got a call from my mayumi -- >> one of the friends of the missing 6-year-old boy. the whole community now searching and wondering where he is, where he could be. lisa bloom joins us, cnn legal analyst. one the questions one of our viewers had was, hey, could there be any charges brought here against these parents, perhaps family services take a look here? what do you see, from what we know so far? >> well, first of all, our thoughts and prayers have to go out to this family and we hope
falcon will be found, alive, healthy and intact. but, i do have to say the question is going to be, were they negligent in some way having this attractive nuisance, that's what we call it under the law, something of course going to attract a child like a pool, like a jungle-gim gim in the backyard, a big hot air balloon and family full of aspiring scientists is something a child will be attracted to. were they negject having that in the backyard and not child-proofing it so a child couldn't climb inside, untether it, have it go up and something bad happen? on the other hand, this could be seen as a freak accident. look, you have kids, vinnie, i have kids. they do all kinds of crazy things you don't foresee. they go on the roof and climb inside the clothes dryer and decide to do an experiment on the dog. kids do things parents aren't necessarily responsible for just because there is an accident. >> let's go to lindsay in virginia. good evening, lindsey. >> caller: hi. >> hi. >> caller: hi. i had a comment about -- i was
wondering if it was possible i know the little boy they can't find him and i was thinking, you know, the law and people in the neighborhood need to be looking in places like in the car trunks, anywhere a little boy could possibly be, just for the fact that it's possible that he is scared that he's in trouble and it's scary to think that he might be hiding in a dangerous place. >> thanks so much for the call, lindsey. lisa, that's exactly what -- kind of what you are talking about, what does a 6-year-old do? i mean, if a 6-year-old -- you know, daddy's been working on this shiny aircraft, the whole family is involved and me as a of-year-old i'm curious and played with ropes all of a sudden this thing takes off i'm going to hide somewhere, right? >> absolutely. kids are going to hide in the trunk, in the closet, right under the stairs. i think if any of us have a big hot air balloon in the backyard and dad and mom have been working on it, they are going to be attracted to it. who was watching this 6-year-old time at the time this happened, if, indeed, he climbed inside?
i have to say it does look bad. we've got a brother who says he saw him climb inside the box, untether the rope and go up in the balloon. the balloon comes down and he's not in it and that picture he showed that looks like something fell out of the balloon. given everything at this point it looks very bad but we still have to hope for the best. >> mike brooks how do you search for a little boy that may have fallen out of this -- >> -- that's why it's imperative, vinnie, say this again they try to get the real story from these kids before they go ahead and roll out some more assets. but, you know, there's always a possibility this also boy could be out there somewhere, you know, that he did -- was in this box and the box fell off of this aircraft. you know, but you go back and what lisa was talking about, look at the video we've seen of the father, taking his kids into the eye of storms, even though
he's a storm chaser, he calls himself a self-described obsessed science detective? you know, he puts his kids in danger. so, you know, having this there at the house, was he putting them in danger by having this there, too? you know, there's -- >> absolutely, absolutely, questions we'll talk about when we get a resolution to where this young boy s. more is. more to come. don't go anywhere!
where is of -- 6-year-old falcon heene, the question of the hour? the craft is down, the aircraft has landed but the question is where is the 6-year-old boy? did he ever get inside a box? was he lifted off the ground? is he hiding somewhere from his parents and everyone else or is the search going to uncover the
fact that he was, in fact, somehow attached to this craft and fell to the ground? john lucich is with uls. john, the question i think mike brooks and i had was about the untethering, if he's inside the box, like the story we're hearing from his brother, if he's inside the box, he's the one that untethers this craft? is that possible? >> well, you know, if you take a look at the aircraft itself, the tether, the ropes that tethered this aircraft down are at the tip end of the mylar, if that kid was in that box his arms are not long enough to reach either sigh to untether that. it appears by looking at the mylar aircraft, you can see -- >> i can see the string right now on the edge of the craft. that's what would tether and hold it down. >> no way this kid could have reached over from being inside the box. that's like mike said you've got to take a look what these kids say. >> let's go to dr. joy browne
psychologist and radio talk show host thanks for joining us. how reliable is the information we're getting from the brother slash brothers, the young boy is 6-year-old, these are his older brothers, how do we know they're telling us the truth? >> well, i think think basicall. we know kids. we know when something goes wrong, kids get together and work out a story. as children we've all probably fibbed once or twice, except you and i, vinnie, but the more you tell the story, the more you believe in it. the i'm a hot air balloonist. so i have the sense before a lot of people, there was nobody in that balloon. because a 6-year-old is going to weigh 35, 40, 50 pounds. a mylar balloon is a balloon. so i think it would have been more displaced and obvious. as you point out, if you've ever been in a hot air balloon, which is, you know, not significantly different than this, somebody else has to untether you and you have to untether both sides simultaneously. it's not an easy thing to do. my suspicion, to be quite
honest, that that kid is probably, and hopefully never in that balloon at all. if he was, my suspicion was it was kind of, let's let mikey do it. i suspect the brothers are going to know more than they tell. and what someone's going to have to -- >> they have to tell you the truth, though. >> i think what you say to kids is, okay, we know that this is a really serious thing and we know that's what you all agreed to say. but right now we need to take a deep breath, start all over again and let's tell the real story here. i think what you have to say is, you're not going to be punished for this. and you separate the kids. >> that's the tragedy of the story is all the information that's coming from his older brothers who really aren't that old. they're little kids also. >> they are kids. this is not evil. this is wickedness. this is not malice. this is, i suspect, a prank gone wrong. and nobody -- and with kids, we've all done it. we've said, no, it wasn't me. my dog ate my homework. >> doctor, stay with us. eeee
welcome back to "prime news." i'm vinnie politan in for mike galanos. the story everyone is talking about, the search for a 6-year-old boy, falcon heene, who at one point was believed to have been inside that craft as it floated across colorado earlier today. when that craft finally landed, falcon heene, not inside. now, investigators are putting together a story that has been told to them by falcon's brothers. now, fal ton is 6 years old. his brothers are older than he is. but the story they tell is that falcon climbed into a box, and then got lifted off into the sky. we've also heard from a neighbor who said he saw the two brothers on the roof, one of them with a
camera of some sort, and they both told the neighbor, hey, our little brother, you know, flew off into the sky. at this hour, the search continues for young falcon. but the mystery surrounds this whole thing, because now kusa is reporting out in colorado that no basket was ever connected to this flying craft. so then the question is, where's the boy? i mean, is it a case where maybe he untethered this thing and it just flew off, and now he's hiding so he doesn't get into trouble? is that possible at this hour? we've got great guests to talk about all this. let's first go to richelle carey who is with us. richelle, this is some story. my goodness. >> and the story does seem to continue to change, vinnie. the latest detail being that we thought, as we watched this thing develop for the better part of two hours today, we watched this experimental aircraft that richard heene and his sons, one of them being
6-year-old falcon, this was a family project, they made this thing together. the story goes, no one was ever supposed to fly in it, all right? the story goes that we thought somehow falcon ended up in this aircraft. he was able to untie the rope here, he or a brother, we don't know yet. but for the better part of two hours from larimer county to weld county, we were riveted, watching this thinking that 6-year-old falcon was in this aircraft. and it ends up coming down. the best of all circumstances, if you can say that about this, there's no builds anywhere. it comes down in this field right here in weld county. rescuers rushed to to it thinking they're about to save this child. there's no falcon. along the way, there was a report from the associated press that, whom we later found out to be an official from weld county, who he said he thought he saw something fall from this aircraft. if you wonder how it gets around, there's helium in it. now we're hearing that what this deputy thought they saw, this picture here, falling from the
aircraft, for the better part of the past hour, we thought that this was the basket -- >> box. >> thank you, that was supposed to carry the battery pack. that's what we thought. now, as you just reported, the local affiliate there kusa is saying, in fact, they may never have been a basket. so now we're back to another theory that some people are working with that perhaps -- perhaps this 6-year-old boy, falcon, was never in the basket to begin with. all right? so we're not sure right now what we're working with. but what we do know what's probably happening is multiple investigations at one time. they're still searching for the child, probably over larimer county and weld county. because the worst may still have happened, vinnie. we don't know yet. and they're certainly questioning the family and brothers as well to see, is this maybe just a childhood prank gone wrong. is falcon hiding somewhere. >> richelle, we have a kusa reporter who was just at the house that filed this report.
let's take a listen to what he says is the latest here. >> all right. >> falcon was the youngest. the two older boys are still inside the house. neighbors confirm that mr. heene, richard heene was something of a self-proclaimed scientist, inventor. that's where they get this balloon. just spoke with the spokesperson for the larimer county sheriff's office. she said it was never intended to carry anybody, even someone as small as 6-year-old falcon. if he did get in the balloon, he likely climbed into the battery compartment which has apply wood bottom. very loosely fit together. definitely not something meant for travel. also, one other note to make. the larimer county sheriff's office is going to restage from here. a lot of traffic has accrued. a lot of news crews, along with a lot of neighbors. what it looks like those who know the family members, they've come by, gotten near the police
tape. they, like us, don't have really many answers of where falcon can be. search crews are all over the place. and the larimer county sheriff's office is still questioning neighbors. those who took pictures of the balloon as it sailed past, hopefully trying to get a better picture of the trajectory of this, so they can better locate where to search at this point. again, we're not sure where the biggest searches, where the smaller searches. they're now asking for help from us. they've asked for sky 9 to perhaps pick up a police officer and take him or her around to look for little falcon. this search is just so expansive, that it's really tapped into their resources. and they're asking for all the help they can get. of course, people around this area, and beyond, they're asking to keep their eyes open. they're saying he wore a navy shirt. 6 years old. so obviously not very big. they don't have any guess as to
whether, you know, he fell out or what condition he's in. they even brought up the possibility that he's hiding perhaps scared of the repercussions of getting into the balloon and perhaps worried that his parents would be angry with him. all of these questions are still out there. and we're hoping to get information at the new staging point that the larimer county sheriff's office is going to be setting up. >> that was kusa out there in colorado. wow. and again, you know, what exactly -- where could he have climbed into this craft? that's another question that i have at this time. let's bring in our panel. we've got mike brooks with us. mike, if in fact there was no basket attached to this, i mean, what are we talking about here? how does he climb into another part of this craft? could he be in that bottom part? but the reports on that were that it was unbreached, right? >> well, what they found -- i mean, when it went down, we were watching, we were covering it wall to wall, and when it landed in that field, we saw the two
rescue vehicles go up there. and they didn't -- nobody was there. now, was this box, was this battery compartment, you know, was it strong enough to hold the weight of a 6-year-old boy? that remains to be seen. one person knows the answer to that. and that's the father. he knows exactly how he built it. he's the one that put this thing together. could it hold the weight of the boy. and again, getting to the facts, getting to the bottom of what the true story is. now, they're restaging everyone there for a possible ground search. we heard the affiliate reporter talk about law enforcement asking them to take them up in sky 9. you know, you've got the colorado state patrol. you've got the national guard. other air assets that could be used here. and probably are being used. you figure, vinnie, that's a 70-mile area from where it took off in fort collins to where it came down. that's a lot of area to cover. >> i have to go to richelle carey now. she's got more information for us now.
>> don't have a lot of details, but 6-year-old falcon, he's alive. >> he is? >> and he's at home. >> and he's home? >> yeah. >> imagine that. >> we just got that in, vinnie. clearly there was a reason to interrupt you and mike. >> absolutely. >> clearly we don't have a lot of information. we don't have any answers. i'm sure authorities want some answers. probably want some answers from him, maybe from his parents of the his brothers as well. but that -- there's no more theories right now. just getting to the bottom of this. >> you know, as much as the resources that were employed to search for this young boy and everyone worrying and everything else, this is the best result possible. 6-year-old falcon heene has been found. and he is home. and we're presuming he's safe. we'll find out more. don't go anywhere, folks, this 6-year-old boy has been found alive.
that was a 7 or 9-year-old boy that told us that. that's what he said is that he saw his brother climb into that apparatus. he was very adamant, they interviewed him multiple times. and that was his consistent story. >> so we're not part of a reality tv show? >> i'll leave you with that conjecture on your part. i know what you're saying. >> will you be interviewing falcon separately from his parents? >> i'm sure the investigators will be interviewing him and find out what occurred, sure. >> what do you think? >> i don't want to -- i don't want to make a conjecture. but this is not the first time when we've been involved in searching for some child, and once the child realizes people
are looking for him, they hide, because they're afraid they're going to get in trouble. i can't tell you how many times this has happened over the course of my career. and, you know, i think the thing that was confusing here is we had the eyewitness that said he climbed into this apparatus, which was clearly not the case. >> have you talked to the parents since he's been found? outside of relief, what their reaction was? >> again, we just had a 30-second conversation with the investigator on scene. just to confirm that he was there, and he was alive and he was okay. we'll be getting that information. but i don't have any more right now. >> sheriff, where was he found? >> an attic in the garage. >> attic in the garage? >> right. yeah. >> how did he get up there? >> sorry? >> how did he get up there? >> i don't know. i've told you everything i know, folks. i'm sorry. >> thank you. >> wow! it's a happy ending. this is what we wanted, folks. i know some people are going to
be very angry that all these resources were used to search for this 6-year-old boy. that people invested time and effort into all this. but this is what we want. we wanted this 6-year-old boy returned home. and he never left. he was hiding in a box. and of course, there was a lot of speculation that this is where a 6-year-old boy might be, if somehow, some way he had accidently, or intentionally untethered daddy's big air balloon. but this is the best case scenario. 6-year-old falcon heene is alive. apparently he was hiding. he was in the garage. in the attic in the garage inside a box. so it's a happy ending. he was never airborne on this craft. never. so all our worst fears are out the door. and now it's going to take some time, but i know some folks are going to be a little angry about all this. although you saw the press conference, the guys from law enforcement, he looked like he was smiling, because you know
what? the 6-year-old boy's alive. let's go to lisa bloom, if we could, legal analyst from cnn. lisa bloom, we spoke about this. we all -- i have young children now, your children are getting much bigger. but hey, kids will be kids, right? >> yes. i've been watching the coverage for the last hour. here's the question that i have. how are three children who all appear to be under the age of 10 unsupervised for long enough that a couple of them can climb onto the roof, one of them goes missing for several hours, a hot air balloon gets untethered, which we learned is a fairly complicated process, and goes up. the only statements we're hearing about is the statements from the little brothers. look at them, they're young children. they appear to be under the age of 10 to me. where were the adults in charge? where were the parents? i understand children can run off and hide and children can disappear. >> i understand that. but how far do you take this? do you want family services taking a look at this family? >> i might, vinnie, especially when i hear about them taking the kids on storm chasers.
if they want to be adult and storm chasers, more power to them. but i don't think you should take children along with. they were unsupervised for a long enough period to get into this kind of trouble. i'm just raising the question. >> gail saltz joins us on the phone. your thoughts here. we find out it is a happy ending. it looks like the brother made up some sort of story and the little brother was hiding. >> that's what kids do when they know they're going to get in trouble. that's really quite normal. could i say that these children weren't adequately supervised? it's really hard to say. i will tell you, i have heard plenty of stories from parents, where kids hid, and they didn't know where the kid was, and they thought, you know, he's run away, somebody snatched him. all kinds of things. unfortunately, you know, as you can well imagine, it terrorizes them. probably these parents have lost several years off their lives.
>> what do you do with the children, though, now? the family's reunited. everyone's gone, lawsuit is gone. it's just the family. a time-out? punishment? what do you say to the kids? >> oh, i think obviously this is a case for, you know, appropriate discussion, appropriate discipline. you know, that the kids, you know, had a way of knowing they had done something wrong. when you do something wrong, you come and talk about it, and say, why you did it and what you're going to do about it now. >> but if you punish them, will they come forward next time? >> i don't think the punishment is i'm going to do something horrible to you. the punishment is really, i'm very disappoint. this is a teaching moment, that's the point. i am very disappointed with the way you handled this. let's talk about what you should have done. what do you think you should have done? let me tell you what i think you should have done. what will you do if you get into trouble next time? this is a learning moment, more than anything else. and then obviously the parents are going to let them know that the really terrible thing is
they absolutely terrorized their parents, they terrorized a nation for a little while. and that that's just the wrong thing to do. it's not worth it for the reasons that they did it. >> and vinnie, i would add to that, handwritten letters of apology to everybody in law enforcement. and make them ups the time and the effort that was exhausted because of their phony stories. >> i can tell you, you've been a mom. you've been through situations like this, lisa bloom. this is a happy ending, folks. the 6-year-old boy has been found. our coverage continues.
the 6-year-old boy was found. he's safe. he never got inside that aircraft. he was never really in harm's way. the little 6-year-old was hiding in the garage, in the attic, inside a box. and now he's home with his family. and here's the sheriff making that announcement just a few moments ago. >> did you say he was in the attic? >> he was in the attic in the garage in a box. >> sleeping, crying? >> i don't know. you know, that's all the information i have. >> what about seeing him in this box attached to the balloon? did you believe they were telling the truth when they gave those statements? >> again, that was a 7 or 9-year-old boy that told us that. that's what he said, that he saw his brother climb into that apparatus. he was very adamant, they interviewed him multiple times. that was his consistent story. >> the investigation was all resolved with statements of a 7 and 9-year-old boy, about what
they say they saw. you know what happened today, people were following this craft, hoping somehow to get this boy down safely. all the stories about the box and something may have fallen. none of that, none of that is true. what actually happened here is the boy was hiding. hiding from everyone. let's take a phone call now. we've got desiree in new york. good evening, desiree. >> caller: good evening. i was wondering how long was the child in the box in the attic of the garage? and who exactly found him? >> that's a great question. i don't know if we have the answers to that yet. richelle carey, do we have those answers yet? i don't think we do. who was the one that looked in the attic in the garage in the box? >> i don't think actually, vinnie, that we do have those answers just yet. but that's exactly what we want to know. i've been checking my facebook page. people are like, you didn't check the attic first? i think people were skeptical all along thinking maybe the kids did something wrong and they went to hide. at ticks, places like that are places that kids tend to hide. so we don't actually know the
answer yet, but that is a very good question. and here's the scene of the -- not exactly a real crime. but the kind of crime that can get you grounded, if that makes any kind of sense. this is where all the commotion is, and where 6-year-old falcon was found safe and sound. i like the tone that you're putting on it right now, vinnie. in the immediacy, the point is, he was found safe in a box in the attic for well over -- this has been going on about four hours now. >> there's some truth to what the boys said. he did climb into a box, it just wasn't a box attached to this balloon that was flying 35 miles an hour across colorado this afternoon. >> about four hours it would seem, that's how long this has been going on. >> the other thing is, the boy was hiding for that amount of time. >> right. >> i wonder if he got hungry or had to take a potty break. much more to come. don't go anywhere. ddddddd
wow! what a dramatic day. you've got this -- it looks like a flying saucer, soaring across the state of colorado. and all of us believed there was a 6-year-old boy inside. well, eventually this spacecraft of some sort, weather balloon, whatever you want to call it, did land. and there were a bunch of witnesses there. one of the witnesses recorded his thoughts about what happened as this thing landed. he was there. let's take a listen to what he saw. >> looks like a mushroom. just floating there. it was circling as it was coming down, kind of like a
parachutist, like you would see him landing on a field or something during a ball game. when it was getting close to landing, i took off on about a half-mile run to get to the scene because i wanted to get there when this little boy was found. it was just this really eerie feeling when you got on scene, because all these rescue vehicles had shown up and it was real dusty because they had driven into this field. they started pitchforking it and using a shovel to deflate this balloon. once they deflated it, they're yelling into the balloon, hey, we're here to help you we're here to help you. they used a pocketknife. and they cut open this bottom part of this balloon. and they opened it up and it's like this cardboard round circular thing. and there was no one in there. and everybody just kind of stood there. all these rescue personnel, about 20 rescue personnel welcome back just standing there with a look of bewilderment. they had no idea what had happened.
it was one of the hardest things for me to see that we had followed this for such a long ways from larimer county, weld county, into adams county. thinking that there was a 6-year-old boy that was in this. and then when it lands, there's no boy here. >> that was really the good news. he wasn't inside. so where was he? turns out he was hiding in the attic and he was found eventually by an investigator. safe and sound. never lifted off the ground, folks. let's go to a phone call. we've got becky in oklahoma tonight. becky, are you as tired as i am right now? >> caller: actually, yes. >> this was an amazingly dramatic day. your thoughts? >> caller: been watching this since the beginning. i'm so relieved that the little boy is home safe with his parents. yes, i think he needs some repercussions. but i know he was so scared, i have two sons i've raised, in their 20s now, that have done similar things. so terrifying that you can't believe. but no, i don't think that dhs
needs to be called in. i have a nephew dead because dhs was called several times and didn't respond. and so there's no point in bringing that into this. the family seems to be a very nice, well-managed family. the boys are learning from their father's experiences. dhs is not going to do anything but rip this family apart. the little boy should make letters of apology to the law enforcements. and let that be his punishment. that's going to be hard enough for a 6-year-old to do anyway. >> absolutely. becky, thanks so much for the call. we appreciate it. let's bring in the captain from the colorado national guard. obviously there was a huge search effort. people were worried that this young boy was inside this weather balloon. captain, your thoughts? >> as a father of four myself, i was extremely worried. and gave me a sick feeling to hear about this story. i'm very happy to hear that he's
well. we were hoping and praying it would end well. i can't think of a better way for this story to have ended. the boy never even was in the balloon. i was happy to hear it. >> how about the fact, though, that people were searching for this little boy. trfs a huge effort out there in colorado. people that responded to the scene, people investigating, trying to figure out what happened to him. all this resources poured into this investigation today. do you think there should be any repercussions for that? >> you know what, we're there to support the civil authorities, to make sure we can provide them with the support that they do. we reacted quickly. everybody reacted quickly. i wouldn't want to second-guess anybody hand have us not gone up and have that boy been injured, or worse, even killed. i think everybody reacted appropriately with the information that we had. and i hope that we wouldn't change anything. it's not the fault of anybody that reacted that this boy actually went up and hid in the attic. but i think that everybody responded as we would expect them to. and if it happened again, we
wouldn't do anything any different. >> job well done. and again, it's nthink about th moment, if you were watching this live, hen that craft landed and you saw those officers respond, and they were going to open that vessel. this thing that had been in the air for hours, at high altitudes, going 35, 40 miles an hour, think about what was going through your mind at that point what they might find inside. and think about the ending. how the story really ended, which is the 6-year-old was never in harm's way. he's okay. he can hug his brothers tonight. he can hug his mom, hug his dad. that's what i'm going to take away from this story tonight. let's go to marcia in tennessee. hello, marcia. >> caller: hi, how are you? >> excellent. >> caller: okay. what i'm thinking is, the authorities should be looking at the dad. i think this was some kind of a little hoax that he's probably started, or he initiated. when they were showing how everybody was desperately trying to find this young boy, and everybody worried and sitting at
the edge of their seats. then the father calls in, instead of being unconsolable, i would say, says, look at me, this is the kind of -- i'm a self-proclaimed scientist and this is what i do. and he showed his video. i think that is so terrible. >> thank you for the call, marcia. how about that, mike brooks? is there any part of this investigation that may take place from this point forward that this might have been a publicity stunt, a hoax perhaps orchestrated by the father? there's no evidence of that, but is this something you might look at? >> the bottom line is, the little boy is safe, and he's not harmed. everything's turned out okay. but i think they're going to take a look at all this, vinnie. i was looking on my blackberry, and on my facebook page, somebody wrote that, how do you say publicity stunt. is it? we don't know. it's something that law enforcement will take a look into, because of the amount of assets, both police, fire and ems that were used during this search.
i have to agree with the captain from the national guard, you know, as a former investigator and public servant myself, would they have done anything different? absolutely not. they were only going on the information that they had. and they had to do that. now they're going to step back, take a look, what else -- how are we going to deal with the family now. and talk to the parents. >> absolutely. >> and take a look, was this a publicity stunt? i'm sure it will be looked into. >> i hope this wasn't a publicity stunt. lisa bloom, i can't see a father doing a publicity stunt like this and throw his kids out on the front line to take the fall for this. that would be pretty absurd, i would think. >> i certainly hope that's not the case. i have a different point of view from all of you. this is a story with a happy ending. we've covered crime stories for many, many years. very few of them have a happy ending. this one does. hooray! let's celebrate. let's not try to make more of it than what we have. we have a 6-year-old boy, we
thought was in danger, we thought there could have been some kind of a crime or some terrible act. he's okay. thank god. it was all just some children who engaged in a hoax and it went wrong. but he's okay. end of story, as far as i'm concerned. >> what we're looking at right there, what you saw on the screen was the family giving a press conference. and we're going to get into it as soon as we can, as soon as we get that feed. but it looks like the family now speaking to everyone, speaking to the media. and giving a version of what exactly is going on here. what happened today. how did this occur. and remember, the young boy was found in the attic, in the garage. now, what type of search took place by the parents? i mean, obviously if your children are telling you one thing happened, you're going to trust your children are telling you the truth. so how thoroughly did they search the house. how thoroughly did they search the garage is one question. because ultimately, not found by the family inside the house. found by an investigator from
as this craft soared across colorado, and then landed and the boy was not found, everyone's wondering where was this 6-year-old. here on hln, we bring in panels of experts for you each and every night. and we bring in experts, these are real experts, these are people that know what they're talking about. dr. joy browne was with us last hour. this is when the boy was still missing. there were reports about a possible basket or a box that may be connected to this thing. but here's what joy browne had to say. and please, folks, we get you the best experts. take a listen. >> as children, we've all probably fibbed once or twice, except you and me, vinnie, to
our parents. we know one of the things that happens with kids, the more you tell the story, the more you believe in it. i'm a hot air balloonist. i had the sense before a lot of people there was nobody in that balloon, because a 6-year-old is going to weigh 35, 40, 50 pounds. a mylar balloon is a balloon. so i think it would have been more obvious. we should point out, if you've ever been in a balloon, a hot air balloon, which is, you know, not significantly different from this, somebody else has to untether you and you have to untether both sides simultaneously. it's not an easy thing to do. my suspicion is that kid was probably and hopefully never in that balloon at all. and if he was, my suspicion was, it was kind of let's let mikey do it. i suspect the brothers are going to know more than what they tell. >> i think they have to tell you the truth, though. >> i was going to say, i think what you say to kids is, okay, we know this is a really serious thing and that's what you all agreed to say, but right now we need to take a deep breath,
start all over again and let's tell the real story here. i think what you have to say to kids, your eve not going to be punished for this. >> there you go. she suspected it. i doubted it for a while because of the reports we were reporting that there was something that was hanging from this aircraft, that something had fallen. there were reports about that. based upon that, most of us thought, hey, something really happened here. but it turned out the 6-year-old was hiding in the garage, in the attic, inside a box. what's the lesson here? what's the lesson of this whole story, mike brooks? is there one? because as a lawyer, anytime i had a witness who was a child, it was always a more difficult case. it always was. because kids, yes, they're innocent, but kids, they're tough to read sometimes. >> boy, i guess what's the takeaway? boys will be boys? is that the takeaway from here? as we said, vinnie, law enforcement, police, fire, ems, national guard, they did exactly
what they had to do. was this little boy worried? you know, that maybe he let his father's hot air balloon go up in the sky that he had been working on for quite some time? good possibility. i'm sure we'll hear exactly what he was thinking, why he did this. but then again, you know, the bottom line, the boy is safe. that's the biggest takeaway. you know, what the parents are going to do to him, that remains to be seen. i'm sure it's a learning experience for the whole family. and did the other little boys know something? i'm sure we'll find that out, too. >> richelle carey, i have a 6-year-old at home. this 6-year-old kept quiet. and stayed in one place. >> for hours. >> for how many hours? >> 6-year-olds won't stay that quiet when they're trying to. i don't have kids, but cousins. for four hours. but when you're terrified, i guess that's what you can make happen. the press conference, that one of the choppers was above, this is what we got.
the dad said, richard heene, said he was on the cell phone when falcon appeared from the closet. so i guess this is what the investigators found him, and brought him out. dad was on the cell phone when he sees the kid standing right in front of him. he had been hiding in the attic. the story goes, we're trying to still piece this part together, that apparently falcon says that he had somehow gotten onto the aircraft, but he got off before it took off. you follow me? >> yeah. well, i guess, you know, he climbed in. >> right. >> climbed out. and -- >> and realized, i've got to get off this thing. the story goes, again, we're still going to have to fact check that story, because the other stories we've gotten from the kids haven't turned out to be true. but he says that he got on and was able to get off before it took off. >> you can see the family, holding the press conference down there on the ground. and wow.
they've got to tell the story. i don't know what the truth is here. is the truth somewhere in the middle that we often find when you have witnesses? they tell a piece. there's another piece. and there's two versions and the truth is somewhere in between. >> the witnesses are kids. right, exactly. >> it tells you how unreliable, lisa bloom, eyewitness testimony can be. >> absolutely, vinnie. my takeaway from this story, if you've got three rambunctious little kids, and yes, mike, boys will be boys, but girls can get wild, too, you have to supervise them and protect them from themselves. they shouldn't be climbing up on the roof without adult supervision. they shouldn't be detracted by a nuisance like a hot air balloon or pool in the backyard, other things that could be dangerous for children without supervision. we've got to keep a closer eye on our kids so these kinds of things don't happen. >> and the father shouldn't be taking them into the eye of storms being a storm chaser. putting them in danger too, lisa. >> hear hear. >> don't go anywhere, folks.
the dessert is called the heene dessert. first you take those -- take those. take those. okay. put it right there. >> no, you take two of these. put them right here. >> there they are, the lit rascals that caused all the commotion today. the there's falcon on the left. the brothers there, comfortable in front of the camera. wow. what a day. falcon found safe and sound inside the attic. the balloon boy, as we're calling him, found alive today. we've got more information about all this that came from the press conference that the family was holding outside their home a few moemts ago. number one, falcon said he was hiding because he was afraid he would get into trouble. apparently the balloon was set loose because it was not tethered properly. and when the little boy walked into the room and saw his parents, his legs sort of buckled under him. and mom said, it's a miracle.
is it a miracle or was this something that may have been could have been prevented? i don't know. it's a happy ending. it's a happy ending. i'm smiling, you're smiling. richard in florida, are you smiling? good evening, >> caller: yes, we are smiling. >> good. what do you have to say about all this today? >> caller: well, i would like to thank all the law enforcement agency and all the resources that have gone into this and i truly believe that it's not a waste of resources. >> he's found safe and sound. hijinx for a young person, this is not unusual. things like this happen all the time. >> caller: yes. when i was a kid, i was 7 years old and i went to cook french fries and "land of the lost" came on tv and i went and watched that, the grease caught fire, i burned my kitchen down and i ran away from home. as far as i went was my next door neighbor's.
i was in a state of shock. when law enforcement and the fire department found me, that alone, i knew i had done something real bad and it scared me that, you know, really bad. i cried that whole evening. it's really something that when you do something bad, that's what kids do is they just, they hide. they're so scared, they're in a state of shock, and i truly feel that, you know, some people's family resources need to be involved in this. >> you don't think the whole ordeal itself will be a lesson learned for this 6-year-old? >> caller: yes, i do. and for the parents. >> richard, thanks so much. we're a little short on time. thanks so much for sharing your story with us. once again, the 6-year-old was found safe, he's alive. lisa bloom, you think we still need to take a look at this family, this father? all right. we're going to take a break.
tonight, a story so incredible, so mind-boggling, "issues" is devoting an entire hour to get to the bottom of it. if you're just tuning in, a 6-year-old boy had us all fooled into believing he was in there, 10,000 feet in the air. in some homemade balloon. hours of intense news coverage, the whole nation watching, family and friends thought he was dead. amazing search efforts for what, is it a prank? tonight on "issues," we're going to go deep and try to figure out what really was behind all of this drama. a little boy scared of being pun u ished? a family of storm chasers that
seems to love a little too much excitement? in-depth answers you'll only hear on "issues." "issues" starts now. i'm so happy he's alive. jubilation tonight. falcon, the boy in the flying saucer, is alive. we're talking about the little colorado boy who was the subject of a massive manhunt. he was feared dead or injured after a wild and bizarre drama that involved what appeared to be a silver flying saucer racing across the skies of colorado. a contraption built by his dad that the boy had reportedly untethered and jumped into. this afternoon, the entire nation got swept up into this drama when we all looked up at our tv sets and said whoa, what is that? it appeared to be a flying saucer zipping across the skies at a rapid clip. there it is. we were all watching it, the entire country, indeed, the entire world. about 20 feet wide, also five feet deep, cops feared the
6-year-old boy was inside. the nation collectively gasped in horror and terror as this nail-biting saga played out on national television with the silver craft reaching altitudes of 5,000 to 8,000 feet. soon, they had a blackhawk chopper and ultralight aircraft were dispatched into the skies to try and rescue the boy believed to be inside. now, they even thought about dropping a rescuer on to the craft from a chopper as the family and the neighbors at least spoke out. >> they're great kids, seem like well-adjusted, happy kids. they're a great family. we have been their neighbors for about a year and they're unusual, yes, of course. you know what i mean, he's sort of a scientist/inventor, and they're storm chasers. they go after, you know, tornadoes and hurricanes and things like that. >> but then, the helium-filled
mylar craft eventually landed on its own. there you see it, slowly coming to the ground. look at that guy running up there ritrying to catch it, fearing there's a little boyed in. oh, my gosh. then the drama began anew because they checked that out and word soon spread the boy's not inside that thing so he could be inside a box or basket that reportedly had been attached with pegs to the bottom of this what appears to be a space craft. then another mad search began with law enforcement retracing the craft's travels over more than 50 miles. there was even the sighting of something that appeared to have fallen from the craft and was feared to have been the child. at some point today, we're going to show you a still frame of what appeared to be the space craft and then a little dot that some said was oh, maybe the boy falling out and flying to the ground. then one hour ago, approximately, a miracle of sorts. i say go for it. it's a miracle. the little boy falcon was
discovered hiding in the attic of his family's home, and the whole country rejoiced. >> he's been hiding in a box, cardboard box, in the attic above the garage. we don't know why, but it's not unusual. sometimes we have these missing children cases, that they see all the commotion, hear people looking for them, they get afraid that they're going to be in trouble so they hide. >> falcon had gotten into the box while they were playing with the balloon and that's what his older brother saw and told police, but he didn't know that falcon had gotten out before the balloon took off. his dad was on a cell phone when falcon suddenly walked out from the closet and according to reports, dad's knees got weak and he became wobbly and he declared it's a miracle, and it truly is a joyful ending tonight. there are a myriad of questions about this bizarre craft and
what it was doing tethered to the backyard of a family's home, a family that has three young boys. is that a good idea? is that smart? what about this family itself, who appeared on the reality tv show "wife swap." do they deserve scrutiny tonight? this cost a lot of tax payer dollars. i want to hear from you at home. you were watching at home along with me. what do you think about this entire drama? give me a call. we're going to take your calls tonight. straight out to my outstanding expert panel. wow. i have to tell you, mike brooks, we cover so many tragic, horrific stories, and i'm going to start then with curtis sliwa, the guardian angel, we're crime fighters together. we cover so many horrific stories. we cover so many stories where we find the child dead, where you and i and everybody at home is depressed. i was so happy when i found out that this little boy was found alive, i don't care, he's a mischief maker, perhaps, but
it's just great to finally have a happy ending on this show when we cover a story, curtis. >> oh, no question. as you said, everyone was on pins and needles and i'm identifying with the young boy because my son is 5 years old, and i know the kind of mischief he gets into and i'm saying to myself oh, my god, the parents, the family, they're probably their entire lives have just been shattered wondering what possibly could go wrong, although what a great father. imagine to have this kind of space craft like mr. robinson "lost in space" in the backyard. my father when i took the car about 8 years old for a joy ride, did i catch a beat-down, jane velez-mitchell. i still feel the pain. >> well, look, this dad is going to be something. we're going to talk about it tonight. suffice it to say, lisa bloom, his family is, well, i think we can call them kooky. the mom wakes up in the morning and gets everybody out of bed by shouting "storm approaching." dad calls the wife ninja wife.
and he is a scientist/inventor who has developed a special kind of magnetic bicycle. he's also been looking for aliens. he is described as a super-lenient dad and on the "wife swap" description page he's quoted as saying there's no such thing as safety. how much blame or responsibility does he bear for creating this space craft, filling it with helium, and then tethering it in the backyard, when he has three young boys? >> jane, i think you put your finger on the most important facts. look, i draw a very bright line between eccentric and kooky which is completely fine, and child safety. you can come up with any crazy way to wake up your kids in the morning and call them a ninja and give them unusual names. that's fine. that's nobody's business to criticize that. but when you put a child's safety in danger, then it becomes an issue of community
involvement. if they are taking children to chase storms, that's an inherently dangerous activity that in my opinion, should be reserved for adults. if you have children as we understand today so far from the facts that we know, going up on to the roof of a house unsupervised, untethering this hot air balloon that you're looking at right now, a child is missing for many, many hours, i think it's fair to ask the question where were the parents, who was the adult in charge, what was the level of supervision, what was the level of safety for these children. these are important questions in this case that so far, i just don't think we have answers to. >> we're delighted to have with us on the phone frank real, a neighbor of this family. i want to ask you, frank, we have heard reports that there was sort of a commotion outside the house, that two of the boys were on the roof with a camera, that one of them had shouted my brother's in the air, my brother's in the air, as this space craft took off, that mom was distraught, dad was running around, yet it turns out the
little boy was in the attic the whole time. what do you know, frank, about how this all unfolded? >> first of all, i think it's fantastic that he's okay. and you know, the same thing happened to me when i was a kid. i hid out when i did something with my dad's car i shouldn't have done. i stayed out all night. >> you weren't in a space craft. you weren't 8,000 to 10,000 feet in the air. >> they do build things, i built an experimental aircraft. i got a grandson, it's a hot air balloon experimental. >> do you take your kids out into the middle of a storm? you take your kids storm chasing and put them in danger? >> hold on, guys. hold on. i got to grab my -- i didn't think i would need my gavel tonight because it's a happy story but i guess i do. frank, is this sort of a hotbed of experimenters and inventors, this area, because you apparently are a balloon expert and this dad here in question was building what to me looked like a flying saucer. i have to tell you, i first looked up without the sound on,
i heard a commotion and i looked up without the sound and let's throw up the flying saucer again, because i honestly thought for a second until i turned the sound on, oh, my gosh, there's a flying saucer in the air. what was dad doing building this contraption? what the heck was this for, frank? >> my grandchildren have been coming out since they've been five days old sitting in the car watching us fly balloons and growing up and one of them just went to college up in ft. collins. that's how many years they've been doing it. they have enjoyed every bit of it. i have enjoyed every bit of it, sharing it with them. >> let's go back to this particular balloon. it's 20 feet long, five feet deep. what was dad doing building this? what was it for, to fly into the eye of the storm and gather data as some reports have indicated? >> this is an experimental thing you do. you try things, see how they work. but he should have had -- should have done a better job tethering it so nobody could accidentally release it on him or keep track
of the children a little bit better. i do understand that. >> what's the mood there tonight? there must be jubilation really in that neighborhood. >> my whole family's been calling and we actually got -- we have a family home out there real close to where the thing landed. everybody's really excited in that whole community because they're all in aviation. >> yeah. only in america. i got to tell you, only in america. we're so happy falcon is alive. we have a happy ending to this story. more on this unbelievable story when we come right back. you won't believe some of the videos that we have of this family and we're also taking your calls. i want to hear what you think at home. 1-877-jvm-says. 1-877-586-7297. coming up, an in-depth look into falcon's home life. giant home-made balloons chasing deadly storms. is this an adventure in science or is this irresponsible parenting?
this little guy decided to keep going inside the utility compartment underneath, so anyway, this little guy got inside of it. i thought he did, anyway, according to brad. brad said he saw it. he said he videotaped it. we watched it back and sure enough, he got in. but obviously, he got out. so we don't know, he says he was hiding in the attic. and because i yelled at him and i'm really sorry i yelled at
him. scared the heck out of us. >> and that, just moments ago, the father of little falcon and we believe that was little falcon, a very emotional news conference just moments ago. the dad clearly choking up. what an emotional story, because the terror the entire country experienced thinking the poor child was trapped inside that saucer which had reached the levels of 8,000 to 10,000 feet, and at a certain point, you get deprived of oxygen so we were all so scared. we're so happy he was alive. let's go over, brenda wade, psychologist, how children operate. apparently, this little boy falcon got in a box, it was attached to this flying saucer, while he and his brother were playing with the balloon, but that's what the brother saw and told cops but apparently little
falcon snuck out before it took off, and then he said he was scared that he would get in trouble, because the balloon got loose, and that's when he went and hid in the closet. how do children think? >> jane, you are asking the most important question. children are not miniature adults. i say that over and over. the reason i say it is their brains are different. their brains aren't complete and they won't be complete until they're about 22 to 24 years old. that explains why we see a lot of behavior in children that just doesn't make sense. they can't do any reasoning. they can't do abstract thinking. if i do this, the consequence will be this, and then i'll end up over here. they can't put these sequences together. they go wow, look at this big bright shiny thing, i want to see what that's all about, and the little boy crawled in it, his brother thought he was still in it and the brother, now mind you, doesn't have a complete brain either, so he can't think,
maybe my brother got out of it. this is why god gives us two parents, jane, so somebody can watch little people with incomplete brains and keep them out of trouble. >> you know, it's hard to draw that line between being an adventurous parent who exposes your child to a lot of interesting things and gives them the curiosity about life and a parent who just goes overboard. >> there's nothing wrong with that. there is an issue here for me because personally, i'm an adventurous parent, too, but i wouldn't leave a 20 foot balloon unteterred or tethered in a way that kids could get into it. you have to think for them wow, that thing is probably interesting to them, i won't leave it there. >> would you take your child -- would you take your children in a car into an eye of a storm as a storm chaser? i don't think so. >> apparently that's what he does sometimes. the whole family goes and chases storms, and again, these are young boys. they're ages i believe 6, 7 and 8, but that's how it's being
reported. there's a big question, we will dive into that tonight, because this is a teaching moment, as they say. let's go to the phones. they are jam-packed. michelle, oklahoma, your question or thought, ma'am? >> caller: i just have a comment that i feel like the media and the people that are attacking this man for the things that he does, i used to take my children storm chasing. i'm a photographer. >> how do you do that? what do you do? you all get in the car and say storm approaching and you head off toward the storm? >> caller: you watch the tv and you go to college, you learn things about cloud patterns and things that are coming. you make it sound like let the little kid ride a tornado or something. >> if you're a firefighter, are you going to take your kid to work and take him into a burning building? no, you're not. you have to use your head as a parents and putting your kids in danger -- >> caller: you do teach your children about fire danger and you teach them how to avoid things. >> you don't take them into it. >> everybody, got to bring out the gavel. let me move on to some of the video. we've got extraordinary video of this family that we're going to
play. this little boy's dad, richard heene, has sent videos to cnn in the past. he sent us this i-report of him and his kids, including little falcon, the little guy at the center of this drama, and the family was storm chasing. this was shot during hurricane gustav back in 2008. look at this. >> storm chase family. this is my brother, falcon and my mom with the camera. we're in the middle of hurricane gustav. >> look at that. we're right in the middle of the eye right now. it's 10:44 a.m. this is the eye and look how calm it is. we just went through torrential rains and now, the rain's starting to pick back up just a little bit. what's that? a truck blew over. that's pretty cool. >> yeah. >> all right. ten seconds, dr. kathleen london. is this a family perhaps a little addicted to drama? >> i'd say so. you have already said they have been on "wife swap."
they're sending in video of look at us out here. on the one hand, i guess i could argue if they're going to go storm chasing they figure they're either all dying or something. i don't know. i have issues with it as a parent. >> we will leave it there because we're coming right back with more amazing video of this story for the entire hour.
take us up now? >> she'll do it. >> i'm sure she would. she probably wipes your butt, too. >> god, karen has such an impact on me that i wrote you a song. two, three, four. >> i'm your new mom. what? >> hey! hey, karen. karen! come on! ♪ i know you're leaving it's not that -- ♪ tonight that family, the heenes, find themselves at the center of the world's attention.
they're no stranger to television. the family has appeared twice on "wife swap." i got to tell you something. here's a description, lisa bloom, of the family from "wife swap." at home, the family are as chaotic as a twister. the kids have no table manners and throw themselves around the house while richard devotes every moment to his research. he expects the wife to cook, clean and run the house without any help. >> you throw that one to me. >> of course. >> there's a name for this guy, jane. he's the absent-minded professor. he is caught up in what he's doing, what's interesting to him, and i can't feel anything but a certain sense of joy that we're covering something that has a happy ending, which is great for all of us and great for the family, but there is, as you said, a teaching moment and i think mr. absent-minded professor, he's going to have to teach his kids where the boundaries are when it comes to his equipment. no touching daddy's equipment without supervision.
>> brenda, look, let me go to mike brooks. you're talking about a guy whose idea of scientific experiments includes looking for aliens, and building a research gathering flying saucer to send into the eye of the storm. mike? >> yeah, sounds like he's been to site 51 before, jane. a couple of times. probably in his mind and in real life. but what, he describes himself, he's a self-described obsessed science detective. i'm sorry, i was a real detective. what is a science detective? is this somebody, you know, look, you know, the bottom line is, i have been saying this all night, jane, the bottom line is it's he great that this little boy, this precious little boy, is safe and sound, but somebody needs to speak to the parents. >> i think the parents need a little spanking. >> yeah, they do. it looks like they have never met a camera they haven't loved. >> you know what, jane, there's nothing wrong about being a science detective, being fascinated by science and bringing your kids into that
kind of inquiry. that's great. but we have to draw the line at taking your kids towards danger. >> thank you. >> i don't care if it's -- >> whoa, whoa, whoa. let me see the panel. let me see the panel. >> it's what you want to bring the kids along to do, it's not safe and guess what, it's illegal to expose your kids to danger. >> curtis sliwa? >> absolutely. >> i want this family to adopt me because i'm still a kid. i love this father and mother. are you kidding? they're active with their kids. these are three boys. you know what three boys in the household are like? one boy is bad enough. >> come on. >> curtis, listen. >> you have to be a parent. >> i am a parent. i got a 5-year-old. if we were out in the storm and the car overturned we would be talking about what a terrible parent he was. >> the story had a happy ending but it could have had a tragic ending. it could have had -- >> oh, come on. please. >> he could have been in that hot air balloon. >> the father's there, the mother's there, these are interested parents. how many households don't even have a parent around? they're latchkey kids. what are you talking about?
that's horrible. i mean, you know, after what we just went through, no, not enough. we keep all of our experiments to ourselves. we go and log everything. we go to the desert, chase dust together as a family. everything is tight. we've got an old flying saucer in the backyard now that we were experimenting with last year. this is what we do. >> this is what we do. that's the heene family talking to reporters, a dramatic press conference after a very dramatic day, and all of that commentary in response to a question, was
this a publicity stunt. but i feel, kathleen london, you're a family practice physician, given that a child was potentially in danger, it is our responsibility as journalists to ask this family some tough questions, and one of those tough questions is was this a publicity stunt, either consciously or unconsciously, in other words, he had some plan with this thing, and was that a responsible plan? >> what was this child and his brother, who was only a year or two older, doing out there with no parent in sight? >> thank you. >> this could even get to the point where they didn't know where he was. i'm sorry, that is not being a parent. i don't care how cool you are, i have boys, we play together, we bike together, we do triathalons together. you don't send them up on the roof or with a balloon that becomes untethered. that's crazy. that is not parenting. that is totally irresponsible. and you know, in this state, in massachusetts, child protective services would be there in a
heartbeat. in a heartbeat. >> listen, want to go to dick napinski, an experimental aircraft association member. dick, here's the thing. there was a lot of taxpayer dollars spent on this. there was obviously a nation biting its nails. there were considerations of a blackhawk chopper was sent in to hover above this craft. they were considering dropping a rescuer on to the craft to try to somehow get in there and get that child, because this went for more than two hours. so other people's lives were potentially at risk here. dick? >> yes. and what we had here was basically, it may have been an experiment but it wasn't an experimental category of craft. there's a very great difference between the two of them. one of the thngs we saw early is there was no markings that indicated it was a registered aircraft or anything had been done with it. the first questions we had to
have was what is the back story on this particular project? was it ever intended to be an aerial anything or was it something that would be tethered to the ground. so those were some of the early questions we had, and it was a story that just got more intriguing and even odder and odder as we went along. >> i think what you're saying is this was truly a valid experimental craft, there should have been some kind of registration, there should have been some kind of markings, it should have been tethered differently, it shouldn't have been basically a giant mylar balloon filled with helium. >> that's right. when you talk about experimental category aircraft, certainly people do build their own balloons, they build their own aircraft, but those aircraft are all inspected and registered and have air worthiness certificates and go through a very rigorous process in order to reach that to be able to actually fly. so that was one of the mysteries we had and one of our balloon people here on staff had even said, you know, it looks like something i saw in vegas a couple years ago that they did for a publicity thing, where
they had it tethered and people floated up a couple hundred feet, then they brought them back down after five or ten minutes just to get a view of las vegas strip. >> two quick questions for you. why didn't it pop like a balloon when you send it up in the sky, eventually it pops, and why did it come down on its own, quickly? >> very quickly. first of all, the envelope where the helium was held was strong enough that it held it and then it got up in the wind and floated along. eventually, it started to give way and the helium came out slowly which allowed it to just sort of float to earth, like a helium balloon would do sometimes when you just kind of see it lose the helium gradually and it will float to the floor. very similar to that. >> all right. well, i have to say that this is one of the most extraordinary stories that we have covered in a long time, and it's doubly extraordinary because usually the big stories that we cover are tragedies. this is doubly extraordinary because this little boy was found safe and sound and nobody else was hurt, but if you see that man running there, you see the drama and the level of
anxiety and tension that this whole situation really created across the country. i'm going to go to char in oregon. your question or thought? all right. well, we're going to get to her in a second. here's what i'm going to do first. there is so much video of this family. here's falcon and his two brothers in their kitchen. the family posted this video of these cute, they really are adorable kids, playing chef on youtube. watch the family at work. >> my name is chef falcon. >> my name is chef falcon and we're making dessert. the dessert is called the heene dessert. first, you take those, take those, take those, okay, put it right there. take two of these. they're right here. take four of those and put it right here. stupid eyes.
>> they're adorable children and obviously, their parents do care about them. we're certainly not challenging that. all right. we've got char from oregon on the phone. your question or thought? >> caller: hi, jane. love your show. >> thank you. >> caller: but this is an insult to you to spend this much time and all the people in the nation worrying about this when i think it's the biggest hoax ever. >> why do you think it's a hoax? >> caller: because, even before you disclosed all these things about the storm chasing and their home-made videos and their reality show, they're looking for a buck. and you can bet some important story's going to go by the wayside to have their pictures on the cover of "people" and they're set for life now. >> what -- that's a good point. mike brooks, do you think this family is going to try to sell their story, make a book deal, a movie deal, capitalize out of that and if so, could the government say hey, you're going to have to pay us back for all the money we spent today?
>> you know, after they do their investigation, jane, they're going to go in and take a look at all the aspects of this. i mean, the police, fire, ems, they did what they had to do. during all this was going on, somebody said on my blackberry, can you say publicity stunt. you know, it seems like this family has never met a camera that they didn't fall in love with. i think after the investigation, they'll decide whether or not hey, you know what, you might have to pay back some of these assets, pay back for these assets that we expended today. but they did what they had to do. whether or not this is just, you know, the little boy, you know, being a little boy, we'll find out, i'm sure law enforcement will. >> curtis sliwa, the family seemed offended that they were asked whether or not this was a publicity stunt, but they have to know that given the bizarre circumstances of this, and the fact that we thought the boy was in this balloon, it turned out he wasn't, then we thought he was in a basket that had possibly fallen out of the balloon or from the bottom of the balloon, god only knows how many thousands of feet, and
there was this absolute massive and hysterical desperate race for this child, that somebody's going to ask, hm, he walks out of the closet, how venice this a publicity stunt. i think it's a valid question. >> i know, jane, and maybe you can bamboozle adults into that but how do you get the kids to not say anything afterwards and to be complicit with that? i think that's wrong. i think for these kids, that was a dream machine on the roof. they had curiosity. they started playing with it when they shouldn't have. the accident happened, the older brother says oh, my god, our younger brother's up there and the kid goes and hides. jane, you know how many times i would hide from my father, my mother, because i had done something wrong and sometimes it would take a month of sundays to find me. >> let me do this. >> that's the way kids are. >> let me jump in here because most of us sat glued to our tvs as this whole balloon drama played out. the whole world was watching. cnn, the entire world watches that. so everybody, beyond the american borders, was watching this. but not this police officer.
check out his own dramatic experience today. >> looks like a mushroom just floating there. it was circling as it was coming down kind of like a parachutist would be as you see him landing on a field or something during a ball game. when it was getting close to landing, i just took off about a half mile run to get to the scene because i wanted to be there when this little boy was found. it was just this really eerie feeling when you got on scene because the rescue vehicles had shown up and it was real dusty because they had driven into this field and they start pitch-forking it and using a shovel to deflate this balloon. once they deflate it, they're yelling into the balloon hey, we're here to help you, we're here to help you and they use a pocket knife and they cut open this bottom part of this balloon, and they open it up and it's like this cardboard round circular thing, and there was no one in there.
and everybody just kind of stood there, all these rescue personnel, about 20 rescue personnel were just standing there with a look of bewi bewilderment. they had no idea what just happened. it was one of the hardest things for me to see that we had followed this for such a long ways from larimer county, into adams county, thinking that there was a 6-year-old boy that was in this and then when it lands, there's no boy here. >> what an amazing story. so many people deeply invested in trying to find this child, risking their own lives, racing desperately so it's nothing to laugh about. we can be happy but it's not funny. there's a distinction. coming up, more in-depth coverage of this amazing story and we're taking your calls. what do you think about all this? 1-877-jvm-says. 1-877-586-7297.
take a look at her here. she's passed out with her grandchild with counseling, she kicked the pill habit. look at her there. she looks fabulous. she's been clean and sober since march of last year. she's lost 80 pounds. sandy, for sharing your story, you will be getting an autographed copy of my new book, "i want" plus a chance to win a trip to new york city to visit me here on the set of "issues." we'll show you a real good time. i have to say, this is a fascinating story and i talk about addiction in my book and i have to wonder if this family that was involved in this really bizarre story of the hot air balloon that traveled all across colorado today and we all thought that there was a little boy inside, trapped inside, turns out he was hiding in his parents' home because he thought he was in trouble, you have to wonder if there's an addiction to drama somewhere in there with the family that has been on "wife swap" and hunts for storms and aliens. it's a fascinating family. you got to give them that. angela, south carolina, your question or thought, ma'am?
>> caller: yeah. as i was watching it, it angered me more because i watched the replay of "wife swap" day before yesterday and it had them on it. >> you're kidding. >> caller: and i couldn't believe how much that they let these children do. i mean, they had no supervision, letting them jump from the bannister of the stairs on to the couch, let them go wherever they wanted to in the neighborhood as long as they took the walkie-talkie with them. they could have been kidnapped. >> i got to say, brenda wade, there's something here. everybody seems to be noticing it but we can't necessarily define it. what's wrong? >> there is parenting here that is too lax, no question about it. i don't care about the adventure seeking or the drama seeking, all of that. that's their prerogative of parents. everybody has their lifestyle. but there is definitely not enough vigilance in the parenting. there's no question about that. we can all see it.
and you know, i was sitting here thinking now, why would parents do this, and -- >> maybe because they are children themselves emotionally? >> because they want their kids to be their friends. >> a the lot of times the reason parents choose to be friends is because they themselves grew up with very rigid parents and they think i won't be like my mom or dad, i'll do what i call a 180 and 180 degrees from sick is sick. >> i love that. >> yeah, but jane -- >> these parents may have gone too far. >> i think brenda raises a very good point because it's true. the children of hippies became some of the most conservative people you ever met because they didn't like growing up with permissive parents. >> but hippies had very rigid parents. >> let me go to this briefly. our own hln coverage got under way about 2:30 this afternoon eastern daylight time, and this is a taste of it. >> this is larimer county, colorado, and there is a little boy in this aircraft that you're
seeing right now, 6-year-old boy, and they're down to about 6,000 feet. what they're trying to do is get to this child. he floated away from his family's home on an experimental aircraft. >> this is why the entire nation was terrified because we thought this little boy was inside that balloon. mike, you have been so patient. larimer county search and rescue. what kind of resources, can you give us a guesstimate of what kind of money was expended by taxpayers in this kooky drama? mike? >> yes. hi. >> are you there? >> yeah. >> okay. what kind of resources were expended by taxpayers in this crazy drama? >> well, i work for larimer county search and rescue, incorporated, which is a volunteer nonprofit agency -- >> what did you guys do? come on, tell me the story. >> we were on standby for awhile, for about an hour, until they sorted out what was going on, and then we had to report to
the house and that's where we were going to start our searching from. >> i guess my point, lisa bloom, is that a lot of money and manpower and i like to say people power, because there were women officers involved, were expended. you're looking at the video right there when it landed. look at all those cops racing through the desert to get to that spot, then you had the blackhawk chopper that was in the skies sent by the military that was going to drop somebody ninja like out of the chopper to land on this thing. that person could have missed and been killed. this is not fun and games when other people get involved. >> that's right. that's right. it's clearly tens of thousands of dollars, if not more. just taking a chopper up costs a lot of money and resources. police did the right thing here. a generation ago, jane, if a child was missing, they might wait 24 or 48 hours before they even went looking. they respond immediately now. there's a report, there's a kid up in a balloon, as improbable as that might be, they are on it with the choppers, with 20 rescue workers on the ground and i say good for them, but just
quickly, if i can respond to this point about this vague thing we can't put our finger on, look, as a mother, i like some dramatic stuff, too. i like to be on tv. i don't bring my kids on tv with me because i don't think that'sh me because don't think that's healthwe them. i think they should be allowed to have be children and have their privacy. i like to clim running back marathon, travel to third world countries i don't bring my kids because that's not healthy for them and i think it is wrong for parents to include little children in dangerous activities that they enjoy just because they want to bring them along as their friends. children are different as a thennist have pointed out and our job as parents as to protect them and expose them to risk and danger and in age-appropriate way. >> thank you, now wait a second, what i hear kathleen london, when i hear this family, they look like good people trying their best but emotionally immature. >> well, i tell you, jane -- >> absolutely. he was age-appropriate. again, my kids, i have taken them traveling including to
we were by yourself and my baby screams and he came out of here somewhere. where did you come out of? hello? >> um, i -- >> got it. >> there's the little boy at the center of this national saga with his dad reunited but they were never far to begin with even though we thought that he was in that hot hair balloon flying across colorado. he was actually hiding in the family home because he thought he was in trouble. we're so happy he's alive. but it's still a serious
problem. who should pay in terms of taxpayer expenditures, in terms of all of the nail-biting? take a look at this photo, it was taken from a distance, and i want you to look at the bottom left. there's a little speck that you may be able to see it's right at the bottom. all right, we should show it to you one more time. but i got to tell you, the people thought that this boy had fallen out of the balloon and that little speck was him heading toward the ground landing with a thud on the ground and that's why people were so terrified, mike brooks. so even though it has a happy ending, it doesn't mean that a lot of people weren't put through hell. >> absolutely not. i mean, early on in hln's coverage today, a chief deputy had said that there's a possibility he may have fallen out of the balloon. i mean when they first called me and said, hey, here's what we got, i said to myself, how are they going to resolve this? i mean, everybody just got wrapped around the axle today because you know, your heart was going out to this little kid, who we thought was inside of this balloon. >> now, did the heene family
think that this contraption would only hover only 20 feet in the air? that's what a neighbor says, he says he saw the dad and three sons working on this balloon just this morning. >> i saw them working with it, with it this morning and they were, you know, having a -- basically the whole family was out there. and they were working with it. and i went for a walk at around 11:00 or so and when i came back is when i found out that, you know, that the event happened. i do know cause my wife had talked to myium. i they're experimenting with it is supposed hover it around 20 feet in the air. and obviously, something went wrong with that. i don't know -- i don't know what happened but something made it -- obviously do a lot more than go than 20 feet in the air. >> curtis sliwa with a mad scientist/daddy miscalculated because it rose to approximately 10,000 feet in the air.
>> yeah, no doubt, but then again the whole family was working on this earlier in the morning. this is a family that played together, stayed together for the most part and you know when i tried to be tom sawyer and huck finn and make a raft and go out into the middle of a little bit of a tributeary, we could have all drowned, me and my friends. were you going to lock up my parents because we boys were trying to be tom sawyer and huck finn? by the way -- >> the worry is, no. >> video just in, we're seeing the attic was the little boy was hiding. take a look at this. i don't know where in the attic but he may have actually climbed to the top and hid. this is what they do in the movies. they take the panels out of the ceilings and they hide. lisa bloom, give you the last word on this one. >> well, with the name like falcon i am sure glad little boy was not really flying. and i'm glad that he was safe up there on the rafters, didn't come crashing through. this is a miraculous happy ending and you're right, jane, too many sad stories. thank goodness for this happy ening. >> let's hope these kids grow up