I had every intention to not write today about anything in the news but what I witnessed on television yesterday for about two hours prevents me from sticking with my plan. I was one of what I am sure was probably millions of viewers completely captivated by the sight of a helium balloon sailing across the sky with claims that a six year old boy named Falcon was inside the compartment beneath the balloon. This incident was all happening live and I found myself staring at this balloon with my heart thumping out of my chest agonizing at the thought of how distraught his parents must be watching this all play out in front of them and not knowing what the outcome would be.

This saga continued for a full two hours and throughout all of the coverage, the media was trying to get accurate information as to what actually happened. A steady stream of questions swirled…Did anyone actually see the boy get inside the compartment beneath the balloon?  Was there another basket that was attached that fell off? What did the boy’s brother see? Could the boy survive the temperature up there if indeed he was inside? How were the parents coping?...and on and on .

I quite honestly had a lump in my throat just imagining the horror and anguish that this mother and father must be experiencing. I was glued to the story, with my stomach in knots as I watched this balloon finally land on the ground. I had even prayed that the craft would land lightly and slowly so as to give the child a chance to survive. Then we all experienced quite a surprise….as the authorities rushed to rescue the boy, lo and behold, he was not inside after all. Within minutes it was revealed that the little lad had been hiding in an attic in his house above the garage the whole time. It was right about then that my suspicious side began to kick in. The news had been showing the quirky, attention getting nature of this family and suddenly, I started to smell a possible rat. Even as I write this, I am not certain that this whole event was a hoax but I have to be honest and say that I am leaning heavily in the direction of believing that it was. I sincerely hope that I am wrong, but as of this morning, an investigation is under way and hopefully the police will get to the truth.

What really heightened my skepticism was Wolf Blitzer’s interview with the boy’s entire family last night on Larry King Live. Wolf asked the father to ask the boy why he did not come out of the attic when he heard people calling for him. He answered “Because you guys said we we’re doing it for a show.” When he gave this answer, Blitzer sort of glazed over it which stunned me but thankfully thousands of viewers began e-mailing and calling in crying foul. I also thought to myself “Out of the mouth of babes”. The body language of the dad when the boy gave that answer was also something to watch. He was extremely nervous, fidgeting, clearly very uncomfortable. Later, towards the final minutes of the interview, Blitzer referred back to this suspicious answer that the boy gave and asked the father to repeat the question to him again. Dad sat there looking panicked, did not say anything for a few seconds, then became very defensive towards Wolf, and refused to ask his son again. My first thought was …if he has nothing to hide, why not repeat the question? My hunch is that he did not want to get another honest answer from his little boy.

I will wrap this up by saying that I am earnestly hoping that I am off base in my suspicions, I really am. I hope that after an investigation, it is determined that this family simply endured an agonizing accident in which they feared for the life of their son. My instincts are telling me something different however and time will tell.

If it is discovered that this was a bad and foolish stunt pulled by a family who wants to be famous , I think we can all agree about one thing. That fact is that in our fifteen minutes of fame culture in which we live, I suppose we should not be too shocked at much of anything. I guess we should perhaps be prepared to witness all kinds of tricks and gimmicks designed to attract the spotlight of fame however brief it may be.

Little Falcon is only six and because of that he replied truthfully in that interview yesterday and his honesty may have caused his parents a boatload of trouble. If they are guilty of creating a foolish and sad hoax, then they will be having to face the music with probably criminal charges as well as being required to repay the approximate two million dollars that was spent on the whole balloon chase yesterday. They have quite a long road ahead of them if they are guilty…..I hope for their sake that they are not!