The parents' language showed deception while CNN tugged at heart strings. Where are they today?
still seeking publicity for their...sons. From their home-recorded album:
"What do we do? Hang out in the park/Joey's out playing in the dark/Oh my God— bored out of my mind/Adults don't treat kids so effin' kind." from miamitimes.com:
Three years and a massive backlash ago, their mom and dad were branded as America's most famous liars. On October 15, 2009, Richard Heene called theFederal Aviation Administration and two Colorado TV stations to report that Falcon, then 6 years old, had floated away in a homemade flying saucer. The National Guard was called out, tens of thousands of dollars of police time were wasted, and the family's alleged trauma was broadcast on live television, riveting people around the world. Falcon would forever be known as "Balloon Boy."
Hours after the empty balloon landed in a field, the sheriff announced Falcon was safe and had been hiding in the attic during the saga. But public opinion turned from relief to anger when the incident was deemed a hoax and the family was accused of orchestrating the incident in hopes of landing a reality TV show.
Richard Heene was ultimately fined $47,000 and pleaded guilty to felony charges of attempting to influence a public servant. His wife, Mayumi, pleaded to a misdemeanor. Richard was sentenced to 90 days in jail. Mayumi was ordered to perform community service. The judge stipulated they could not profit from the incident during four years of probation.
In 2010, the family moved to Spring Hill, about 50 miles north of Tampa, and little has been reported about them since. The kids, who are home-schooled, have turned their attention to music. Richard works as a handyman and develops odd inventions like a bear-sized back scratcher. The kids, with Dad as their manager, have played a dozen shows since May.
As the Heene Boyz' popularity grows and the kids continue to gig around the state, surely Richard, 51, will face criticism that he's exploiting his kids — again.
"Exploitation?" he asks incredulously. "Nobody has said anything about that."
perhaps "nobody" hasn't been listening... ...Bradford: When we make a song, we all go in our room. Falcon sings some lyrics, I mostly create the guitar parts, and Ryo creates the drums.
Do you like bands closer to your age? Like, what do you think of Justin Bieber?
Falcon [interrupting]: You hear the crowd cheering you, you feel the cool breeze blow, you feel the crowd's energy, you walk up there and play the first note, and —
Bradford [interrupting] [imitates guitar riff]: DDRRRRGGGGEEEEEEEHEHEHHH! Chicks in the front jump up and down with their boobies jiggling.
Falcon [interrupting]: We shout, "Are you ready to rock?"
Mayumi says people at their gigs never bring up the flying saucer incident, and neither do they. And the kids wouldn't jam with such enthusiasm if they weren't digging it. "Kids won't do that if you don't have your own wish and own talent."
What about criticism that they're exploiting the kids?
Richard is disturbed at the suggestion. "No, because our kids own that. I wanted Bradford to own the ability to play guitar. I wanted Ryo to own the ability to play the drums. I wanted Falcon to own the ability to sing and play bass."