A 6-year-old boy climbed into a small homemade aircraft — a balloon resembling a flying saucer — and floated thousands of metres into the air in Colorado on Thursday, local media said. But when the balloon came to earth, there was no sign of the passenger.
The Denver Post newspaper reported that the boy got into the aircraft, which it described as a "home-made flying saucer" at his family's home in Fort Collins and that it then came loose from its tether.
The father of the boy, Richard Heene, said he had been experimenting with the balloon with his sons, floating it just above the ground while it was tethered by ropes. His son, six-year-old Falcon Heene, is said to have climbed into the basket and the ropes came undone. Another brother ran into the house and alerted the parents, according to police.
A National Guard chopper was trailing the balloon which was at one time estimated to be traveling at an altitude of 8,000 feet when it began to lose helium and come back to earth.
It will be interesting to watch the contortions that the usual US rightwing religious batshit crazies, birthers and assorted haters will execute in order to blame this on their president.
UPDATE (by fh): The boy is fine. He was hiding at home the whole time.