Star Trek’s William Shatner has shot-down UFO balloon hoaxer Richard Heene’s claims he was to go into business with him.
Heene – who is facing felony charges along with his wife Mayumi Heene in connection with the prank which falsely claimed his 6-year-old boy Falcon had taken-off in a home-made balloon – claimed to have once spoken with the star about hosting a show.
But Shatner told RadarOnline.com: “His story is overblown. He’s inflated the amount of contact we’ve had.”
Heene and his wife both appeared in the reality show Wife Swap after the pair originally met at an amateur theatre in Los Angeles.
The science fiction buff’s former video editor Vincent LeGrow confirmed that Heene had spoken with screen legend Shatner about a business venture.
Back in 2001 Heene produced an instructional video about turning cardboard boxes into forts for children.
“He was very ambitious and wanted to get some sort of show going,” said Vincent LeGrow, who edited actors’ reels for a small company Heene founded.
Heene was the co-host of a show called The Science Detectives, and sometimes said he was affiliated with the Science Detective Research Group, though few records exist for the company.
Some of the Science Detectives segments now appear on YouTube, alongside Heene’s theories about UFOs and civilization on Mars.
He told a Tennessee newspaper in 2006 that he had produced a tornado-chasing documentary and was seeking a TV distributor, and two years later, according to an entry in an academic journal, he was producing a different documentary about electromagnetic fields in storms.
Heene’s projects never attracted measurable attention, but his propensity for chasing tornadoes and building flying saucers attracted the producers of Wife Swap who cast the family for two episodes, including one last March.
The production company behind Wife Swap, RDF, developed a standalone show about the Heenes at one point but it never went into production.
It’s understood that Heene was apparently pursuing a reality TV job as late as last month, when he signed up for an account on RealityWanted.com - a Web site that connects reality television casting agents and aspiring contestants.