balloonboy
by Michael dEstries
Categories: People.

Remember “Balloon Boy”?

In 2009, crazy couple Richard and Mayumi Heene decided it would be an awesome idea to draw some attention to themselves by pretending their young son Falcon had flown away in an experimental hot air balloon. The web and worldwide cable networks rabidly covered the story – and then exploded into rage when it was discovered that the entire thing was just one big hoax. Falcon was actually found hiding in a box in the family’s attic.

The Heenes eventually pleaded guilty to the fraud and were ordered to pay back some $36,000 in restitution – even though the entire rescue operation was estimated to cost some $2M.

Anyways, now the Heenes are back in the news as they’ve decided to auction off that infamous hot air balloon to help raise funds for Tsunami victims in Japan. They claim that they won’t receive a lick of the profits, but as they’ve yet to get specific as to what charities exactly will benefit from the sale, the whole thing just reeks of self-publicity – especially since half the auction page appears to be a shingle for how awesome an inventor Richard Heene is.

You can check out their video below – or hit the auction site here. The couple is looking to sell the balloon for at least $1M. (We might recommend just making a direct donation to Tsunami charities instead and just bypassing the crazy.)

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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