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It Sure Wasn't Altitude Sickness, But Balloon Boy Falcon Heene Throws Up Twice on National TV

(ABC)
Photo: Bradford Heene, Richard Heene, Mayumi Heene, Falcon Heene, Ryo Heene.

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS/AP) It sure wasn't altitude sickness, but nonetheless "balloon boy" Falcon Heene puked on national television Friday morning - twice.

As his parents battled questions over whether their son's phantom ride on a saucer-shaped weather balloon was a well-timed publicity stunt and potentially a crime, poor Falcon got sick during both "Good Morning America" and "The TODAY Show."

The family's story riveted the nation's attention Thursday, thanks to live television footage of a silver hot-air balloon streaking through the Colorado sky. Richard Heene, a weather scientist, feared his son was on board and in mortal danger.

But the balloon soon descended. At first, his son was nowhere to be found. He later turned up safe in his parents' attic.

To some, the timing of the seemingly made-for-TV drama was suspicious. The Heene family -- adventurists and storm-chasers -- had appeared in two episodes of the television reality show "Wife Swap."

(CBS)
Then Thursday night on Larry King, Falcon Heene was asked why he didn't come out of hiding when he heard his family calling his name. His answer: "You guys said, that, um, we did this for the show."

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

Friday morning the Heene family appeared on all three major network morning shows to explain that this was no hoax.

But Falcon Heene lost his lunch -- breakfast, really -- while his father addressed the critical question on both ABC's "Good Morning America" and NBC's "The TODAY Show."

During the ABC interview, Falcon Heene said: "Mom, I feel like I'm going to vomit." He then left the room with his mother and could be heard gagging.

During a live interview on NBC shown simultaneously, Falcon threw up into a container when his father was answering the same question.

His father said "I really don't want to relive that again. It was a really horrible, horrible moment for me and my wife as well."

The youngster managed to get through CBS' "The Early Show" without incident.

What do you think America? Was this an elaborate hoax or an unfortunate accident?



  • Ryan Smith

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