Skip to comments.Fort Collins boy in loose aircraft (6 yr old boy found hiding at home not in balloon)
Posted on 10/15/2009 11:45:55 AM PDT by Arec Barrwin
Rescuers are tracking and chasing a "homemade flying saucer" that is in flight with a 6-year-old, by himself, on board.
The incident started this morning in Fort Collins when the boy got into the balloon-like device, which was built by an adult, and it came loose from a tether, according to the Larimer County Sheriff's Office.
The contraption could rise as high as 10,000 feet, the sheriff's office said.
The home-made flying saucer was last seen in flight over Weld County.
The sheriff's office is working the Federal Aviation Administration to determine how to best get the boy down.
The homemade airplane was tethered in Fort Collins when the boy got onboard and it floated away. (Lisa Ecklund via 9News)
The six-year-old boy was by himself on board the hommade aircraft. (Courtesy Lisa Ecklund, via 9News)
The craft could fly as high as 10,000 feet, according to the Weld County Sheriff's Office. (Lisa Ecklund via 9News)
They gave control of our nuclear codes to the President of Zimbabwe..
Zimbabwe President testing the new devise.
All who are claiming that this craft didn’t have the volume to lift 50# are wrong. Detailed calculations will follow within an hour since you are so determined to carry on this misinformation.
1 liter of helium can lift 1 gram. That means a 20 foot diameter spherical balloon can lift 263 lbs with helium. This was not a spherical balloon, It was saucer shaped which dropped it by about 2/3rds roughly in volume, giving in roughly 1400 cubic feet volume of helium, giving it a lift of about 88 lbs at seal level. Denver is about a mile above sea level, and since altitude decreases lift in respect to a balloon with helium, its lift capacity drops as well.
The kid was reported to be about 40 lbs, and along with the actual balloon material and canopy weight, it is impossible for a balloon of this size to be able to exert enough lift.
According to a caller to the Sean Hannity radio show, who is an expert in such matters as the volume of the balloon in question and the lift of helium contained in that volume, there was no way that thing ever would have left the ground with a passenger larger than 8 lbs.
[Wife Swap is a TV show]
OK, I saw that posted a number of times, DOES make a difference! I don’t watch things like that so am totally unfamiliar with it.
I have hearing loss and trying to reply to comments and watch caption on TV leaves me little time to follow a thread well.
After all of this settles down I guarantee you the photo will re-emerge on some UFO website.
Lol, I WAS a city kid. Sneaking out as a teen ager happens everywhere.
When I first saw the show advertised, I was LIVID. About a year later, my mom who is a pastor’s wife, mentioned that she watched it. I was in SHOCK until she explained it. LOL! I have watched a couple of episodes. I like to watch shows like Supernanny occasionally. It makes me feel like a GREAT mother. LOL!
The worst thing that can happen to ANY family is that CPS gets involved.
They are probably the most destructive force in America other than divorce... how can tearing a child away from their loving family turn out good? ... and CPS involvement almost always leads to divorce even if the family is totally exonerated. Some of the things that are called “abuse” now and lead CPS to get involved should lead to criminal filings against CPS, not the family.
I just went upstairs to the bathroom and left my 2 year old and my 8 year old downstairs all alone with only the cat! I feel like such a failure as a mother! :)
I only watch Fox News and an occasional movie now. If I’m not on the internet I am working on my animations.
Guess they use shock titles for shows to grab people’s attention. I pinged UCANSEE2 to indicate that I was wrong about the ‘wife swapping’, lol.
Agreed! The kids that really do need protection usually end up back in the home. We were trying to adopt two little girls who were being abused (aunt was trying to arrange it). CPS kept returning the kids to the home. One thing that REALLY gets me in the neglect charges. A woman who is living in her car gets her kids taken even though she loves them and is trying to care for them. The government takes them from her for neglect and PAYS someone else to take them.
I was wondering the same thing.
What was it that Obama wanted us Not to See happening?
So he had his Media Toadies float this story to Divert attention?
When you figure the weight of air versus helium per cubic foot That's hardly enough buoyancy to lift the boy at sea level even if you don't include the twenty five pounds or so that the balloon envelope, and gondola must weigh. Then when you figure in the fact that the air is down to half of sea level pressure by 18,000 feet you'll see that that thing could not have lifted off from Fort Collins 5000 feet above sea level with a fifty pound boy on board let alone soared to 15,000 feet as reported.
Yeah the little boy, his parents, the police, the media and even the Administration was in on the whole thing! I do love a good conspiracy theory! :)
When I was something like 11, we had a family picnic with about 50 or so relatives. There was a hurricane about 500 miles away, and the winds were gusting really strongly- about 35-40mph, I’d guess.
I climbed up within about 20 feet of one of our ~80ft Lombardy Poplar trees (those tall very skinny ones) and enjoyed swaying back and forth 10-15ft or so ... giving all the relatives heart attacks. My parents were used to seeing me up in that tree and knew I’d hang on... Also, though it looked like I was up high, they knew I’d been up that tree much higher in somewhat windy conditions, and that the tree was sound.
Yes, I did it to grandstand and give the relatives a show... LOL...
(Since then, I’ve spent some time working as a tree pruner, etc...)
Early on, I’m pretty sure I heard that they are home schooled.
Obama did not want us to see the ridiculous tapes of him attempting to dance the Salsa.
Not only did reporters not know anything, they didn't research anything. I like Shep but he was the worst, Fox was the worst, reporting based on unverified rumors and heresay.
The altitude thing made me switch from FOX Some woman expert said 6k feet altitude, Shep replied it looks more like 2,000 feet and she never explained that his height indeed was 2,000 feet. It was awful; no one did any calculations at all.
Like you say, maybe the problem is it's math and science and we were relying on heads that merely talk, not think.
Been called too much of a pronoid but I also feel the story is legit. They're an adventurous bunch who appear smart and eccentric and probably look suspicious to a lot of folks.
Glad the boy's alive and the family is still together.
It's exactly like Schrödinger's Cat! Only with a balloon...and a 6-year-old boy.
A pretty good concept!... slow ultralight and cans of foam! Still, the airstream situation would be tricky... Worth a trial by someone for the next rescue attempt!
There is a good reason that most courts are very skeptical of lie detector tests, and that they are tossed out from evidence much more often than admitted. I would like to be certain of the truth, but I don’t think that is sufficiently reliable. The police have so far maintained that they believe the family has all been truthful. Surely there will be more thought about that, but so far I think that the police judgment should be given deference here.
The whole incident was fishy from the start. How could a six-year-old who couldn’t even tie his own shoes untether the large ropes on that homemade flying saucer?
How could the child conceal himself in a storage space above the garage, about 12 ft. off the ground, where a large panel had to be removed for access? And stay there for four hours without needing a drink or a potty break?
How did he get himself out of the box and down from that height without a ladder or stairs to the storage space?
How come a neighbor saw the whole family “working” on the saucer at 11 a.m. just before it launched, when the parents said they were inside the house?
How come the older boys were on the roof with their camera ready as the balloon launched? They claim to have seen the little brother board it, which would have been impossible from their vantage point?
Crazy Richard (the Dad) has a whole lot of ‘splaining to do.
Yoko Ono! Yes! I said the same thing to my wife when I saw Maiuma (or whatever the heck) and especially when she started talking. What an airhead!
“How was the demeanor of the parents at the new conference after Falcon was found?”
Crazy Richard never looked directly at the reporters or the camera. Very nervous and evasive. Answers didn’t make sense.
The three boys had these goofy looks on their face that my boys used to get whenever they were lying.
Airhead mom did not have red, puffy, or weepy eyes, as you would expect of a mom who thought her kid maight have plunged 1000 feet into the hard earth.
Phonies, every one of them!
Glad the kid’s OK, but sorry that I was punked by them...as were many other people.
But then I believed those damn Ramseys when they said that an intruder came into the house and killed their little girl (at first)...and at first I believed Casey Anthony when she sent everyone on a wild goose chase looking for the child she had murdered.
The ability of small children and small dogs to cause trouble knows no limits. Granted that, I agree with you in principle.
> Hmmm I read that it takes 4350
> liters of helium to lift a pound.
I don’t think that’s right. Wiki has the bouancy of He2 as -1.113g per liter. A pound is about 450g, so that means you need around 400 liters of He2, not 4000. The 400 number is also about what I got from the mol approach.
> Again the fact that it was a flat shape
> points to the fact the kid was not in it.
I agree 100%. My point was merely that it is not impossible for a craft of that approx size to lift a kid.
6m diameter, plan area c28m2 mean thickness maybe 1¼m = total volume 35 m3.
Helium lift 1Kg/m3 35Kg =c.80lb at sea level. Reduce by 25% to allow for altitude
Gross lift balloon and payload=60lb (best mental estimate, but would be surprised if out by more than 10lb either way)
Looks like it turned out to be a hoax. What a waste of resources.
LOL... I had one brother that loved to fall from trees, three times as I recall, but he always seemed to grab a branch on the way down and broke his fall! Never was badly hurt. One other brother fell once, but not hurt and only from about 9ft.
I was very cautious about the way I climbed, what I trusted, and concentrated sufficiently that I never had the falling experience... even though I was the undisputed champion of the neighorhood. LOL
At my age, I still enjoy climbing trees... laugh if you like!
Air pressure (and density) at 6000 feet is about 20% less than sea level pressure. The lift of a helium balloon will decline by about the same factor.
I agree. It is now obvious that pops is an attention seeking nutjob. No way those kids could have pulled all this off.
you are correct, which would not have been able to support the balloon envelope and rigid canopy, plus a 40 pound kid. This was an amateur weather balloon meant for lifting a small amount of meterological equipment, not a 40-45 pound child. The canopy looked like it had either a skeleton of rigid cardboard or thin plywood. The outer mylar envelope which was 20 feet in diameter also probably weighed several pounds alone. And the thethering ropes seen dangling would have also added to the weight.
I saw this video, and also noticed a large section of the balloon had no helium and was a flat sheet of mylar, trailing as the balloon swirled, which means it was no where even fully filled to volume. I also thought about the fact that the dad would have known lift capacity, yet stayed silent the entire time.
The press conference did it in for me. The dad was more interested in talking about the balloon than his kid, and mom didnt seeem too shook up about it. This was a hoax, and I hope the guy gets charged for the time money and effort that went into this stunt.
It does sound like a very strange invention, but thinking out of the box is always needed for real progress! I agree with you and everyone who is most happy the kids are all safe at home! Also, completely agree with your assessment, “They’re an adventurous bunch who appear smart and eccentric and probably look suspicious to a lot of folks.”
As for me, it is the type of “live life large” “bunch” that I have a real enjoyment being around (but I haven’t watched the kids’ video yet!)
I just can’t stand it when parents like these exploit their kids. They are like that Jon and Kate duo.
Glad the lad wasn’t in danger after all, but someone needs a good talking to. I was curious if they were home schooled or out of regular school for some reason. I never saw that info anywhere or heard anything on tv. I’m guessing home schooled but it’s only a guess.
"You can't always get what you want."
Funny you said that, because as I watched this unfold (still in flight) I fantasized about how the ancient aircraft would probably be great - slow speed, fly low, minimal gusting from the props and horizontal instead of vertical (helos), and still controlled manned flight. Get a Wright or Curtiss out there!
And there could be a parallel universe where the boy is in the balloon...and still ascending!
Somewhere on the thread they said they were home schooled. Looks like they had too much time on their hands.
I assume you are using this information to try and discredit the boy's claim that they thought he was on the 'ship'.
Hindsight is always 20/20. Would you have immediately called off the rescue squads following the 'ship' based on some technical advice? If you had it at the instant this all started? What if you turned out wrong?
There were 20-25 mph winds, with higher gusts. I have seen planes that were tied to stakes buried in concrete take off and fly (albeit not very far).
Part of the reason that we homeschool is to give our kids a little time on their hands to explore what they want to explore. So many kids need a blackberry to organize their day.
Of course, I told my kids that if any of them ever let our 20 foot helium balloon loose and then hid in the attic, then I will kill them to make an example of them for the other children! LOL!
Where are your numbers? Ir;s been more than 1 hour...
LOL!!! That is too funny!
There still crunching the numbers.