Udayavni Special

What is the ‘balloon boy hoax’, for which US parents were pardoned recently?


Team Udayavani, Dec 27, 2020, 11:14 AM IST

The husband and wife who pleaded guilty to criminal charges for staging the 2009 “balloon boy” hoax have been pardoned by Colorado’s governor.

In 2009, Richard Heene and his wife Mayumi claimed their son had been carried away by a homemade helium balloon. It led to large-scale search operations as the balloon’s flight was followed live by media.

As per media reports, the video footage showed a large silver-colored balloon resembling a spaceship that was drifting over northeastern Colorado’s landscape for over 90 minutes.

However, the boy was found in the attic of his home and authorities accused the parents of carrying out a hoax as a publicity stunt.

Following this, the boy’s father served a month in jail, while his mother served 20 days. The two were also fined to pay $36,000.

The parents pleaded guilty to a few crimes surrounding the incident after authorities said it was a hoax planned by the family.

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