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VIDEO: Balloon Dad Breaks Silence - "I Knew He Was In The Craft"

Jan. 7 2010, Published 9:02 a.m. ET

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And the Oscar goes to . . .

In his first interview since being sentenced in connection with the ‘Balloon Boy’ hoaxRichard Heene fights back tears and nearly hyperventilates in a taped exchange airing on Friday's edition of Larry King Live. During the interview, Heene  says he "knew his son Falcon was in the craft" as the drama unfolded last October 15, when his homemade helium balloon soared 7,000 feet over eastern Colorado.

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Heene said he "searched the house high and low" in looking for his son that day.

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"I knew he was in the craft in my mind, in my mind, cause I visualized him," Heene tells a concerned-looking King in a preview of the interview. "I yelled at him not to go in."

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Heene said he only entered a guilty plea in connection with the incident to avoid the potential deportation of his wife, Mayumi, to her native Japan.

A worldwide audience watched the bizarre incident unfold; it was revealed during the dramatic incident that the boy's family had gained a taste of fame on the ABC reality show Wife Swap.

Friday’s Larry King Live, featuring the interview with Richard Heene, airs at  9pm ET/6pm PT.

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