A make-shift helium balloon, with a box attached to the bottom, flies over Colorado. A boy named Falcon is thought to be in it. His father claimed his son was riding in the balloon, which attained altitudes of 8,000 to 10,000 feet and speeds up to 25 mph.
Cable news networks followed the story, showing viewers the frightening flight. We all imagined a 6 year old boy, terrified, screaming in fear, destined for certain death in a crash landing.
We prayed. We Twittered. We watched. We got chumped.
No boy inside. Some said the balloon could not carry a 6 year old boy anyway. They said the box was too flimsy to contain much weight. Others guessed it was a prank and the boy, Falcon, was hiding somewhere...or a parent killed him accidentally, freaked out, and used the balloon as a diversion.
We prayed. We Twittered. We hoped. We were punked.
All in the name of a publicity event for Wife Swap TV show. On Twitter, early yesterday, while balloon was still in mid-flight, tweets were already stating that's it's probably a viral marketing stunt. Once again, the smartest speculations are in Twitter Trending Topics.
Speaking with Larry King stand-in Wolf Blitzer, an absolutely confused Falcon, explaining why he didn't come out of hiding when he heard his parents calling his name, blurted, "You guys said, that, um, we did this for the show." We assume he's referring to Wife Swap, a show upon which the family has appeared twice.
Update: Daddy dearest later said he was "appalled" by intimations the family did this all for publicity. Simply appalled!
Watch the second video and see Wolf Blitzer step up to the plate. He dutifully grills Falcon's dad on Falcon's remark "we did this for the show".
Don't listen to the MSM when they claim to have "high journalistic standards" and are so much smarter & more "fact-checked" than us pajama-clad bloggers.
The lessons to be gained?
(1) Our leaders cannot protect us from make-shift helium balloons. Our military and law enforcement have no X-ray scopes to peer into a box in the sky and see if it contains a small child...or weapons of mass destruction.
(2) Mainstream Media (MSM) cannot determine if a makeshift helium balloon is capable of carrying a 6 year old boy 8,000 feet in the air for 2.5 hours.
(3) Our leaders have no helicopters equipped with nets that can snatch some small object out of the sky.
(4) If this hoax can be traced to the producers of Wife Swap, the network should be fined to pay the law enforcement and rescue team expenses, and the show should be taken off the air.
(5) Twitter is the best source for breaking news and enlightened commentary, especially in Trending Topics tweets. By quickly skimming through them, you can get good at identifying silly statements vs. smart remarks.