June 1st, 2011
04:24 PM ET

Dad behind 'balloon boy hoax' offers up flying saucer in online charity auction

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.

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Filed under: 2011 tsunami
soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. LiberaNewz2

    In these uncertain economic times, this is the PERFECT investment!

    June 1, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. fernace

    This is an obvious bid for $ & attention! Why do they keep calling it a saucer when it's a baloon probably made from cheap material that can't support a human passenger. I'm pretty certain that Heen & Rausher are in this together for monetary gain ! I suggest that they give half the procedes to the tornado victims, if they truly are giving to charity!

    June 1, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jimbo

      I agree. Whether he gets $ or not, this is nothing more than yet another grab for attention that this pathological liar so desperately needs. Instead of the legal slap on the wrist he received, this guy should've been ordered into a psychiatric facility. He and his family would be much better off in the long run, rather then being constantly at risk due to his ego and tom-foolery 😦

      June 2, 2011 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
  3. pooflingingmonkey

    This guy needs to go away.

    June 1, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Randy

    There is a sucker born every minute....it is not my minute right now, or anytime soon...this may be for a good cause but it is a stunt to restore his and maybe the family image more then anything

    June 1, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Punctured Balloon

    Didn't the rescuers puncture the balloon (or saucer, or wharever you call a homemade helium boy-carrying contraption) with shovels as we all watched in anticipation of them finding a frightened young boy? Would said conveyence actually be useful now? And really, $1mm to buy it outright?

    June 1, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jimbo

      There really is no worth in obtaining a destroyed object that is associated with both an embarrassing incident (we all believed this liar) and the mental illness and manipulation of a father who continues to hold his family hostage to his ridiculous notions and pathetic need for attention. Too bad it wasn't a condition of his probation that he never step in front of a tv crew again. He got off lightly and he clearly hasn't learned his lesson (sociopaths rarely do.).

      June 2, 2011 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
  6. Selmers

    I have a problem with people being able to profit on scams. This balloon should have been confiscated and burned.

    June 1, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dan

    ANOTHER SCAM!!! How much you wanna bet the lawyer is going to pocket any money that is made, and just make a nominal donation to a charity... He'll probably end up keeping 90% of it, which I'm sure he'll then "pay" balloon dad a chunk...

    June 1, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Momof3

    My husband worked for the Heenes for over a year, while living in LA. He was forever trying to figure out ways to become famous, since his acting career had not taken off! There was never any question in my husband's mind that all was not right in Richard's scheming mind. This is just another attempt at getting "known"...how pathetic!

    June 1, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Uniprint QLD

    The team at Uniprint QLD think it will be interesting to see whether the charity really gets any money.


    June 1, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. yaaay!!!

    Sell the wife a trick at a time

    June 1, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. SanFernandoRose

    Humans will do anything for profit

    June 2, 2011 at 1:34 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mailin

    This man will just never let go! He is screaming for attention.

    June 2, 2011 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
  13. anonymous

    the fact that CNN, a supposed reputable news organization, is posting this drivel, is the very reason that these sorts of stunts take place... get back to real journalism, so I don't have to rely on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report for my news.... pathetic.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
  14. balloon boy

    my daddy always has his finger in my balloon knot.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:09 am | Report abuse |
  15. Barryn

    A book deal will be next.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:29 am | Report abuse |
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