October 16th, 2009
04:45 PM ET

Runaway balloon built by family known for extreme science

The Heene family, known for storm chasing together, appeared on ABC's Wife Swap.

The Heene family, known for storm chasing together, appeared on ABC's Wife Swap.

Mallory Simon

The family of a boy who is believed to have set adrift a balloon in Colorado is known for storm chasing and conducting extreme science experiments together, according to the father's MySpace page.

Richard Heene describes himself in his profile as a storm chaser and the host of a documentary series and radio show that investigates
"the mysteries of science."

The Fort Collins family was also featured on the ABC show "Wife Swap."

"When the Heene family aren't chasing storms, they devote their time to scientific experiments that include looking for extraterrestrials and building a research-gathering flying saucer to send into the eye of the storm," the show's Web site said.

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soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. ricky

    I say it's a hoax because if you look at the video of the balloon beingreleased you can see the father pull a black release cord.

    October 16, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  2. Jen in WA

    I actually saw this family on wife swap and knew it was them before you guys reported it. The wifes name is very memorable and that episode was too. They were swaped with a safety conscience family that were a little extreme, but she was concerned for the childrens welfare when they took them out of school to go run down a tornado. Her concerns turned out to be justified! These kids can learn about science without becoming the science project. I am not sure on if it was a publicity stunt, but they have already had TV time and more than 15min. of fame. It is time to stop giving them publicity. The boy is safe and that is all we care about.

    October 16, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  3. Stephanie

    Why weren't these kids in school? Maybe if they had been in school a responsible adult would have been watching them. I also wonder what their neighbors think about living next door to an "extreme scientist" in what appears to be a suburban neighborhood. My neighbors or city would never tolerate that kind of activity in my backyard.

    October 16, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  4. alex lyrics

    I am pissed off, clearly this was a hoax.

    I watched that video five times, there was no basket attached to it, and it was sealed, there was no place possible for a child to hide.

    Watch the video Anderson there is no basdket attached. and there clearly was no opening inside of the balloon.

    This was a hoax., sadly to get on a tv show.

    October 16, 2009 at 4:31 pm |