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Thursday October 15, 2009 6:52 pm

Wife Swap Family at Center of Helium Balloon Drama




Posted by Veronica Santiago Categories: Prime Time, Reality, ABC, News, Video

The Heene Family on Wife Swap

UPDATE: In an interview with CNN, Falcon Heene apparently claims to have pulled the stunt for a show.
UPDATE: Falcon Heene has been found safe. He had been hiding in an attic at his family’s home.

The missing child at the center of today’s wild balloon drama was no stranger to reality television.

Over the past year, 6-year-old Falcon Heene and his family have been the subject of two episodes of . The Colorado-based storm chasers first appeared on the show on October 3, 2008 and were then chosen as fan favorites for the program’s 100th episode on March 13, 2009. The Heene boys were also featured in a number of YouTube videos. (You can view one of those after the jump.)

Read More | CNN


While it’s still unclear what the helium balloon was intended for, the object can apparently be seen behind the group in the photo from the show’s website. Based on the family’s bio, adventure is what they seeked:

The Heene family from Colorado live life on the edge. Wife Mayumi (43) and storm scientist Richard (45) take their three kids, Bradford (8), Ryo (7) and Falcon (5), out of school to go on storm chasing missions to prove Richard’s theories about magnetic fields and gravity. If conditions are right, Mayumi wakes her family by shouting “Storm Approaching, Storm Approaching!” into a bullhorn. The family sleep in their clothes so they can leap out of bed and into the storm-mobile. Richard calls Mayumi his ‘ninja wife’; she maintains equipment, drives the storm-mobile, films tornadoes and waits with the kids while Richard jumps on his motorbike, heads into the eye of the storm and launches rockets to measure magnetic forces. At home the family are as chaotic as a twister: the kids have no table manners and throw themselves around the house, and while Richard devotes every moment to his research, he expects Mayumi to cook, clean and run the house without any help.

At this time, it is still unclear whether Mayumi and Richard’s youngest child was ever in the experimental aircraft. Since the balloon was never intended to carry anyone, it’s also possible Falcon fell out sometime after lifting off from their Fort Colllins home.

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