And the plot thickens: Just hours after Falcon Heene, the six-year-old believed to have floated off to his doom in a helium balloon was found safe and alive Thursday, the boy and his family sat down with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, possibly letting slip that the nearly two-hour saga might have been an elaborate publicity stunt.
When Blitzer asked Falcon why he didn’t come out from his family’s garage (where he was during the harrowing ordeal) while they searched for him, Falcon turned to his father and said to him: “You had said that we did this for a show.”
Blitzer followed up on the awkward moment later in the program, asking the boy to explain the “show” comment, to the dismay of the boy’s father, Richard.
Said the ex-reality TV dad: “I think I can see the direction you guys are hedging on this … and I’m kind of appalled, after all of the feelings that I went through, up and down, that you guys are trying to suggest something else.”
Blitzer backpedaled from the insinuation, but the seed of doubt had been cast.
A worldwide audience watched as the homemade helium balloon soared 7,000 feet over eastern Colorado for just under two hours; it was revealed during the dramatic incident that the boy’s family had gained fame on the ABC reality show Wife Swap.
Whatever the case is, the incident was timed well for nostalgic purposes, as Friday marks the 22nd anniversary of another child rescue drama that captivated the nation, when Texas rescue crews saved “Baby Jessica” McClure, an 18-month-old girl trapped in an abandoned well for 58 hours .