A missing six-year-old child dubbed the Balloon Boy by the media appeared with his family last year on the ABC reality series Wife Swap. Falcon Heene went missing on Thursday after the family’s experimental hot air balloon floated away from their home.

The Heene Family on 'Wife Swap' - ABC

The Heene Family on 'Wife Swap' - ABC

Six-year-old Falcon Heene has been missing since a homemade hot air balloon broke free from its tether at his family’s home in northern Colorado. The boy’s family believes he may have been inside a box or basket attached to the base of the balloon. One of the boy’s brothers reportedly told his parents Falcon Heene had climbed into the balloon and untied the rope keeping it anchored to the ground.

The experimental balloon, which the family says was never meant to be flown, flew over a 100 miles before coming to rest near Colorado Springs. The boy and the alleged box attached to the balloon were not found with the balloon. The balloon is believed to have risen to a height of up to nearly 10,000 feet before floating to the ground.

One of Falcon Heene’s brothers reportedly told authorities he saw his brother fall from the balloon after it took off, according to VancouverSun.com. Video footage of the balloon’s flight seems to show an object falling from the balloon while it was in flight.

The Heene family was featured in an episode of ABC’s Wife Swap last year – billed as the ‘storm-chasing family’ – and was invited back to appear on the 100th episode of the series. Some have speculated the incident is a publicity stunt, but so far authorities are taking the case very seriously. The Heene children appeared in a YouTube video (below) earlier this year making fun of their overprotective parents.

>> Update: Balloon Boy Found Alive Hiding in Family Garage



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