Balloon Boy's Dad Called KUSA

After learning that his flying saucer balloon–and, he thought, his son–had taken flight yesterday, Falcon Henne’s father called Gannett’s KUSA Denver, reports the Denver Post.

The call was placed around 11:30 a.m. yesterday. Reports Joanne Ostrow:

A panicked father reported that his homemade helium balloon was aloft with his son inside and asked the station to send a helicopter to track it.

The station complied, and a sensational TV story, in both senses of the word, was launched.

KUSA and KMGH, which entered into a helicopter share early in 2009, had some excellent chopper footage as the bizarre aircraft made its way through the Colorado skies.

The Henne family, of course, was a hit with viewers on Wife Swap some time ago.

Today’s coverage looks at exactly what Falcon Henne meant yesterday when he told CNN his father told him “that we did it for the show.”Reports KMGH’s Website:

Sheriff Jim Alderden said Friday his investigators believe there was no hoax, but investigators will seek a new interview with the family after the CNN broadcast to clarify the statement.

Alderden told KUSA-TV in Denver on Friday that he didn’t know what to make of Falcon’s comments, but pointed out they came after hours of dealing with media questions. Alderden said investigators, trained to look at body language and verbal communication for signs of deception, were at the Heene home during the whole ordeal and believe they were telling the truth. Despite that, he said investigators would re-interview the family because of the comment.

Ostrow suspects yesterday’s appearance won’t be their last on TV:

Now, with national networks marveling at the family’s unique hobbies and interesting personalities, it’s not too soon to ask:

How long before they get their own reality TV show?

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.