Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Remember Balloon Boy Hoax?

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."


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?
Bradford: Who's Justin Bieber?
Seriously, you don't know who Justin Bieber is?
All three boys [dead serious]: No.
Have you ever heard of the Jonas Brothers?
Boys [blankly]: No, uh-uh.
Do you get stage fright?
Bradford: No! On stage, it's not scary at all!
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."
The Heene Boyz are scheduled to play this weekend, December 14 and 15, at the Holiday Matsuri Convention (a celebration of anime, gaming, and Japanese culture) at an Embassy Suites inKissimmee.
"This has absolutely nothing to do with Richard Heene," their dad says, before adding, "but who better than me to take a position as their manager? I don't want them to get ripped off."


Anonymous said...

These boys are starting to exhibit their father's traits. Before long there will be 3 more like Heene in our society.

Jeff said...

I had forgotten about this moron, and wish he'd never resurfaced. It's heartbreaking to see the children being used, yet again, as tools for his distorted need for groundless recognition. Not only will there be three more like Richard Heene, as Anonymous notes above, but the three will eventually produce offspring of their own, creating even more warped individuals - hence, the continuing devolution of our society.

Juliette said...

First, we read, "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."."

If 'you' don't have. She isn't speaking about her kids or herself, she is speaking about 'you'.

I have my own wish and my own talent, it doesn't involve my kids having to make my fame and fortune for me.

Second, we read Richard says, "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."

It tells me what Richard wants, not what his kids want.

Third, when Richard says ""This has absolutely nothing to do with Richard Heene," their dad says, before adding, "but who better than me to take a position as their manager? I don't want them to get ripped off."

'But" refutes what comes before; this has 'absolutely' everything to do with Richard Heene.

Juliette said...

...These parents are into 'owning'. It enters their language often.

Julie Moon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter Hyatt said...


I agree.

Isn't interesting how even with just a few quotes, information can flow?


Peter Hyatt said...

What is so strange is that he pled guilty in court, his language showed deception, and now he says he really believed his son was up in the balloon and that a "Japanese" cameraman on the set had told his son what to say.

Creative liar.

Juliette said...

Good morning, Peter.
Statement analysis is a great tool for deciphering the information we are given, and I appreciate you taking the time to show us how to use this tool. Thank you. It is logical and consistently applicable; I am enjoying learning how to use it :)

ME said...

The parents ARE "up in the ballon"truly up in the clouds lol

Lemon said...

Richard Heene is a creep, and I feel sorry for his sons.

On the bright side, he hasn't seriously injured them or killed them, yet.

Skeptical said...

I guess the kindest thing that can be said about a Narcissist is that they don't talk about other people.

Sarah said...

I like how Richard Heene refers to himself in the third-person. He says it's not about him, but then goes on to say, "I" want them to own, "I" want them to own, "I want them to own...

I remember when this happened. I knew something was off with it and didn't believe him. As a mom, I felt his reaction to his kid being up in the air was not believeable. He said he wasn't even watching it, or following it. He was just "praying." Right.

Well he ought to start praying now, for wisdom, to raise these boys in such a way that they have a check about speaking perversely about girls' private parts and use vulgar language. They cannot be that old, but already their characters are suffering. But really, what else could be the outcome when you are raised by parents who behave this way?

Katprint said...

In most states, a child's earnings are legally the property of the child's parent. In a few states like California, Florida and New York, special "Coogan's" laws have been passed to protect child performers from having their earnings squandered by their parents.

Florida provides some limited protection for child performers [Florida Statute 743.08(3)(b)] but the bottom line is that those protections only apply to contracts that have been court-approved. If the contract isn't court approved then the earnings continue to belong to the parents, not the children. The only reason child performance contracts are submitted for court approval is protect Disney or Nickelodean or the concert promoter or other employer from the child performer being allowed to disaffirm (cancel) their contract.

I doubt that the anime convention or the hotel where it is being held cared enough about having the Heene kids perform there to incur the time, trouble and cost of submitting any contracts for court approval. Any money the Heene kids make is going directly into their father's pocket.

An interesting discussion of "Child Entertainers and the Law" can be found here:

Hobnob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hobnob said...

He has made a bucket full of money from one invention that was actually useful and simple in its concept.
The ad for it though is classic heene.
Intensely annoying, loud, tasteless and hysterically presented (think cheap second hand dealership ad starring the second hand car dealer on speed)
This is all about attention, he needs to be seen and noticed, he needs to be seen as dominant and he will use his kids to get it good or bad.
Watch this infomercial at your own risk.
I advise removing all heavy throwable objects from the room to prevent damge to the tv when you throw stuff at it

Anonymous said...

At least he's refering to his offspring as "kids". Thank goodness for that!

Lis said...

Empty people, searching in futility for a way to be filled, searching in a useless direction.

I always think of these people when I hear that song "Mr. Jones"

"Mr. Jones and me staring at the video
When I look at the television, I want to see me staring right back at me
We all want to be big stars, but we don't know why and we don't know how
But when everybody loves me, I'm going to be just about as happy as can be
Mr. Jones and me, we're gonna be big stars.. "

If they achieve their goal, they'll find they are just as empty as before.

Anonymous said...


That was my thought too. The expected would be that he mention the income. Heenan wanted the boys to own the abilities but didn't mention wanting them to own the money, a college fund or any profit from their abilities.

Jen said...

"This has absolutely nothing to do with Richard Heene," their dad says, "but who better than me to take a position as their manager? "I don't want them to get ripped off."

This statement made me laugh out loud. So basically...

This has nothing to do with me... but who better than me to stick my nose in, take a position as their manager, and make it about me? I don't want them to get ripped off (by anyone but me, especially when my stunt is what made them notable in the first place).

I also love the third person reference to so obvious that he doesn't see himself as the center of the universe, right?

VLW said...

The message these parents are feeding their kids is this: Strive to be famous. Fame is the ultimate. Fame is what matters. You won't count unless you have the adulation of others. Pathetic.

Red Ryder said...

Hello Skeptical, either you have had the great fortune of not having a narcissist close to you or you missed it! While it might seem like a narcissist would only talk about themselves, they will often speak of (or target)others to achieve whatever goal they have schemed up. It will be lies, half-truths, manipulations and cruelties like you can't imagine if you haven't lived it. Narcissists will use others to elevate themselves either as an elevator (by being pulled up with others) or lifted up (by stepping on them). Narcissistic parents are no fun. These boys know it but they don't know why dad and mom (looks like poor kids got a double whammy!)are the way they are. Will they ever have the wisdom and strength to break free? Who knows? Meanwhile, the games go on.

Lis said...

Red Ryder, maybe in 30 years they'll begin to understand it wasn't them, it was their parents. Or maybe they'll be chips off the old block. I always felt like there was hope at least for the boy who threw up. He wouldn't have done that if he had no conscience struggling within him.

Pak31 said...

It's gross that he allows his sons to speak the way they do. Potty mouths. I will admit I forgot all about them until now. There are a lot of strange people in this world.

Skeptical said...

Red Ryder, I broke Poe's Law. What I said about Narcissists was meant as sarcastic humor. Next time I will add the ;-) to indicate intent.

Red Ryder said...

It's all good :) Skeptical. I'm sensitive about narcissistic family members, especially parents (you didn't notice, did you?😊). I forgot about the son who threw up! What an awful manipulation (there is another word I use for this kind of thing, it is vulgar so I'll keep it classy and not use it , but I am thinking it). I agree, this son will probably suffer the most with this family but have the best chance of figuring it out, not repeating the behaviors and hopefully setting some boundaries or if necessary breaking off contact with his self absorbed manipulative using relatives.

Red Rydet said...

Oh wow. I guess that the Heene parents have been hard at work since the days after the failed balloon hoax. They went out, got the kids instruments and drilled 'Em with them. Now they practice non stop in their living room (after homework, of couse, and only because they want to, after all-how else will they get to see "all the screwing girls' jiggly boobs"?) with "positive" message posters plastered on the walls that say THE HEENE BOYZ WILL OPEN FOR METALLICA. Yikes! There is a website....
There are photo outakes from music videos where the boys are with scantily dressed girls who look more like their babysitters than love interests-it would be laughable if it were not so painful on the backstory.
There are words that explain how they came to write their songs. Check out "Again". Written by a 9 and 11 year old about their 12 year old brother getting "kissed by 2 sisters". More on the flip flop.
I am sure their parents are pleased.
There are news articles with a ton of quotes, lots of classic Richard to S/A. I lost my appetite for it after 1 page.

Red Ryder said...

Yikes! Edit for above post.
Screaming not screwing girls. Sorry, auto correct on my phone.

Duh said...

2 words. Michael Lohan.