Balloon Boy Hoax
The Balloon Boy hoax was one of the wackiest and most bizarre news stories of 2009. The strange tale of the Balloon Boy hoax took place on October 15th, 2009 in Fort Collins, which is in Larimer County, Colorado. During the afternoon of that day, news reports started popping up all across the United States that a six year-old boy named Falcon Heene was trapped inside of a gas balloon that floated away from his home. Many news outlets nicknamed the child "Balloon Boy," as he was believed to have been inside of a large helium balloon built to resemble a UFO.
After a vast search of the area (even involving the Denver Airport to temporarily shut down), the balloon finally hit the ground. To the shock of many, no one was inside of it. Several hours later, news came out that Falcon was hiding out in his house's attic for the entire time. At this point, speculation and doubts began to arise regarding the sincerity of his parents, Richard and Mayumi Heene. The Balloon Boy hoax speculation hit a fever pitch during a Larry King Live! interview that night. The "Balloon Boy" confirmed the hoax when he said to his parents, while still on camera, that they told him to do this "for the show."
Three days later, Jim Alderden, who is a sheriff for Larimer County, announced that the entire situation was indeed a hoax by the parents to get attention. WIth this statement, the Balloon Boy hoax was official. Previously, the parents have appeared on reality programs and made many attempts to get their own television show secured. A month later, the child's father Richard pleaded guilty. In December, he received a three-month prison sentence, while his wife received a lesser one for just 20 days. The Balloon boy hoax was one of 2009's most notorious and unforgettable news sensations.