Balloon boy

By United Press International   |   Oct. 16, 2009 at 8:40 AM

FORT COLLINS, Colo., Oct. 16 (UPI) -- A 6-year-old boy was found safe hours after family members said they feared the child was in a runaway balloon that swept across eastern Colorado.

Live shots of the saucer-like balloon dominated news coverage Thursday as authorities chased the craft, which reached altitudes of 7,000 feet above the ground and was pushed by 20-25 mph winds. The balloon was made by a Colorado man, who told officials his son -- Falcon Heene -- crawled into the device and it somehow came loose from its moorings.

About two hours after the incident began, the balloon landed in a plowed field about 50 miles from the boy's home. Rescuers were immediately at the site but there was no sign of the boy. He later was found hiding in a box kept in the rafters of the family's garage.

The child, on camera, was asked by his father why he hid and then didn't come out when called. He said, "You said we did this for a show."

The boy said he'd hidden because his father had yelled at him and then he fell asleep.

The boy's father denied the incident was planned as an attention-getting hoax.

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