Remembering The Balloon Boy Hoax, 10 Years Later

Falcon Heene Balloon Boy

Falcon Heene. (Getty Images)

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — It was 10 years ago Tuesday that the nation was gripped by reports of a young boy trapped inside a runaway balloon.

On October 15, 2009, it was reported 6-year-old Falcon Heene was inside a helium balloon that took off over Colorado.

Sherriff officials in Larmier County, Colorado weren’t sure what to do at the time.

“We are just a little bit dumbfounded on how to handle it right now,” one official told WBZ NewsRadio back in 2009. “We’re coordinating with the FAA and all the personnel in the area.”

After a frantic two hours and 50 miles, that balloon came down, but the boy wasn’t there.

Eventually, it turned out the boy was hiding in a box in the attic at the family’s home.

A law enforcement official said at the time the boy’s parents were worried and that it was “real obvious from their demeanor early on that they thought he was in the balloon.”

However, authorities later suggested that the ordeal was a hoax, and that the parents knew where the boy was. Both parents served short jail sentences and were ordered to pay more than $35,000 in fines.

Listen to WBZ NewsRadio’s original reporting from that day below.

WBZ NewsRadio’s Ben Parker (@radiobenparker) reports

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