Senior Editor
10.15.09 49 Comments

THE LATEST UPDATE: Is that the kid already has a music video out. No, I’m serious.

If you’re nearby, turn on your TV.  A 6-year-old kid is currently flying over Colorado in his parent’s homemade helium-balloon airship.  (Watch live).  It’s currently losing air and about 1,000 feet off the ground, and they’re trying to figure out how to rescue him.

FORT COLLINS. Colo. – Authorities were trying to determine Thursday how to safely bring down a 6-year-old boy who reportedly clambered into his family’s experimental balloon-powered aircraft and floated away from home, sheriff’s officials said.

The Larimer County Sheriff’s Department said the boy’s family had been building an experimental aircraft that had a large helium balloon attached to it at their home, KUSA-TV reported. The aircraft was approximately 20 feet by 5 feet and covered in tin foil, the station said.

On Thursday morning, according to the family and officials, the boy got onto the aircraft and detached the rope holding it in place. Sheriff’s spokeswoman Eloise Campanella said the boy climbed into the access door and the airborne device took off.

Television news helicopters were tracking the craft, which was last seen floating south of Milliken, about 40 miles north of Denver.  Officials were scrambling to figure out how to rescue the boy.  The craft, which is shaped like a flying saucer, has the potential to rise to 10,000 feet, Campanella said. [MSNBC]

Holy crap.  I hope they can get this kid down safely.  He’s going to get so much poontang.  UPDATE: The kid’s name is “Falcon.”  Now that’s a real man’s name.

UPDATE 2: The balloon just touched down softly in a field of plowed dirt.

UPDATE 3: A guy’s saying the kid isn’t in the basket.  …Uh oh.  They latest is that he “may” have fallen out, but no one knows.  Hopefully he’s just chilling in a smoky lounge somewhere watching this all on TV…  Fingers crossed he actually just got abducted.  …What?  Sorry, I’m not good with bad news.

UPDATE 4: So apparently this family has appeared on Wife Swap (click to see the clip over on WarmingGlow)

The Heene family from Colorado live life on the edge. Wife Mayumi (43) and storm scientist Richard (45) take their three kids, Bradford (8), Ryo (7) and Falcon (5), out of school to go on storm chasing missions to prove Richard’s theories about magnetic fields and gravity. If conditions are right, Mayumi wakes her family by shouting “Storm Approaching, Storm Approaching!” into a bullhorn. The family sleep in their clothes so they can leap out of bed and into the storm-mobile. Richard calls Mayumi his ‘ninja wife’; she maintains equipment, drives the storm-mobile, films tornadoes and waits with the kids while Richard jumps on his motorbike, heads into the eye of the storm and launches rockets to measure magnetic forces. At home the family are as chaotic as a twister: the kids have no table manners and throw themselves around the house, and while Richard devotes every moment to his research, he expects Mayumi to cook, clean and run the house without any help..  [ABC]

Christ, is everyone on a reality show these days?  I know somewhere, Walter Cronkite is relieved he never had to begin a sentence “Former Real Chance at Love cast member Lee Harvey Oswald…”  I’m gonna look like an a-hole if this ends tragically, but the reality-show thing ups the chances that this was some kind of stunt like 500%.

UPDATE 5: The kids also made this rap video.  Ugh, I’m done with this story.

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