Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009

Balloon Boy's Dad

It's tough being a storm scientist these days — Richard Heene has given them a bad name. In his nutty quest for reality-show fame, Heene brought his three children, ages 6, 8 and 10, into the belly of tornadoes and other violent storms. The erratic former Wife Swap participant, who screamed and threw things at his television spouse, also said he believed the world was going to end in 2012 and that reptilian aliens lived among us and claimed that he once passed out in a fast-food joint after extraterrestrials spoke to him. The day after his big saucer-shaped balloon floated away and everyone worried that his son Falcon was inside, Heene dragged his visibly ill child, a.k.a. Balloon Boy, onto Good Morning America and the Today show, where Falcon memorably upchucked on camera. It soon became apparent that Heene wasn't going to win any Father of the Year awards. Heene faces jail time for his role in creating the now infamous hoax. Under his plea deal, Heene won't lose custody of his kids. Many are wondering if he should.