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. Krtek

    I am surprised the Smithsonian hasn't expressed interest in the balloon boy flying saucer for the their "Milestones of Flight" gallery.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:42 am | Report abuse |
  2. Sherri

    She looks as if she's an abused woman.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:57 am | Report abuse |
  3. Alan

    The judge should send this silly couple to a balloon ride on windy day!

    June 2, 2011 at 4:32 am | Report abuse |
  4. power4things

    Guy wouldn't know "Electromagnetic Fields Recorded in Mesocyclones" if they bit him ... another publicity stunt for a self-promoting boob who needs to stop dreaming of being in show biz and get a honest job. The lawyer must be hard up for caseload, no attorney with real clients would bother with this guy. "Is this my good side?"

    June 2, 2011 at 4:59 am | Report abuse |
    • JJ

      You are so right. This guy has a real desire to be famous. Now he'a a humanitarian. It's all so ridiculous.

      June 2, 2011 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
  5. Frodo

    If brains were dynamite, this putz couldn't blow up a party balloon.

    June 2, 2011 at 5:15 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jack

    I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, that they're trying to recover a shred of dignity by doing something worth while and selfless (even though we all agree it's probably just another stunt to get their name in the news). But why not keep the money raised right here in the U.S., have we run out of needy people?

    June 2, 2011 at 6:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      You are aware of the amount of money the U.S. spends on the defense and intelligence industrial complex? EVEN DURING a major fiscal crisis? How much WEALTH is tied up in a small part of the U.S. population?

      We don't need the money and more than a heroin addict needs another fix. We need a reality check.

      June 2, 2011 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
  7. Vixis

    We saw the news about the balloon, it looks pretty beaten up and full of holes. From the close up shots on camera, the balloon looks like it was put together with plastic sheeting, aluminum tape and aluminum foil.

    June 2, 2011 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
  8. reporter 8675309

    Yeah, a person with his past selling something where all the proceeds go to charity: I wouldn't trust him. We should ask balloon boy if this auction is legit or not, since his honesty exposed his dad the first time.

    June 2, 2011 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
  9. RH

    a million dollars for this???????????? are you F%$#&^% kidding me?????

    June 2, 2011 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
  10. steeve-o

    Sure he gets nothing in return... other than his stupid mug in the national news again. When he's got no more memorabilia of his pathetic attempt to land a reality TV show deal to auction off, maybe then he'll disappear.

    June 2, 2011 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
  11. Joe

    A million dollars? He'll be lucky to get ten bucks.
    This is usually the last kicks of a dead horse for a scam artist–overvaluing what you have.
    This guy is probably the sucker at the table in a poker game.

    June 2, 2011 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
  12. JJ

    They put together a plan to attract the media in order to garner a reality show. In doing so thousands of dollars were spent and wasted to try and rescue that silliy balloon, and rescue services were tasked and wasted. Now they want to do some good?? Of course a little media attention can't hurt. What a crock! This crew needs to get some help and look for more productive things to do.

    June 2, 2011 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jack sheet

    The proceeds are going to an attorney. Yes because attorneys are known to be honest people.

    June 2, 2011 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  14. Balloon Boy Fan Club

    Someone is going to give this guy attention? Granted, I'm guilty by reading the article.

    Someone out there is going to give this a$$ clown money too.

    "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people" – H L Mencken

    June 2, 2011 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  15. Mike

    One for the money.
    Two for the show.
    Just ask the kid.

    June 2, 2011 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
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