Do you believe flying saucers have been around for "many years?" Would you like to see people travel in flying saucers as part of their daily life?
For reasons not immediately apparent, you'll have to answer these two questions, among others, if you want to bid online on the flying saucer that was used to temporarily trick authorities into believing a 6-year-old boy was floating above Colorado.
Richard Heene's claim in 2009 that his son was in the balloon prompted live coverage nationwide of authorities tracking the craft while they grappled over how to rescue the boy inside. When the balloon came to rest in a field, however, Heene's son was not inside. The boy later was found hiding in the family's house.
Now, the self-styled scientist behind the "balloon boy hoax" is offering up the saucer in an online auction to benefit relief efforts in Japan, according to the website, balloonboyflyingsaucer.com. The site, which claims to be the work of California lawyer Perry Rausher, assures potential bidders that Heene will not receive any money from the auction.
"The winning bidder’s funds will go directly into the Trust Account of Attorney Perry H. Rausher of Calabasas, California. Mr. Rausher will then write a check to a selected charitable organization that is helping the Japanese cause. The Heene family will not receive anything from the sale," the site says.
Rausher did not immediately return calls for comment.
The site says visitors can purchase the saucer outright for $1,000,000 or submit a bid online. In addition to the questions mentioned above, the form also inquires of "your main interest" in the craft, how it will be used and whether you have read Heene's paper, "Electromagnetic Fields Recorded in Mesocyclones."
The site also contains a link to a YouTube video of Heene and his wife, standing outside in front of a deflated silver balloon while they explain their motives and the craft's functionality.
"We went on the Internet and we saw that over 18,000 people have perished over in Japan because of that tsunami," Heene says in the video. "We thought, how can we help out? We can't with our hands but we have something that we think could help."
"Funds raised by the sale will go to charity to help Japanese in their recovery," his wife, Mayumi, says in subtitled Japanese.
Heene did some jail time on a felony charge for the hoax and was ordered to pay $36,000 in restitution. Since then, he has managed to remain in the public eye through stunts that included a rock band and back scratchers.