The 'Balloon Boy' 气球男孩
By Peter Bowes, Los Angeles
Millions of Americans were transfixed by the live TV coverage of a helium balloon shaped like a flying saucer, hurtling through the air in Colorado. The Heene family said their six-year-old son was trapped in the balloon.
But when it was discovered that the boy had been hiding at home and the family had a track record of appearing on reality TV, people became suspicious.
At one point the boy blurted out on television that they'd done it for a show. Now, after interviewing the family members individually, the police say it was a hoax, and the sheriff Ernie Hudson explained:
It was in fact a public relations setup. These people wanted to get some national attention and with the ultimate hope that they would end up with some form of a TV deal or a reality show deal so there's no doubt in our mind that this took place.
Sheriff Ernie Hudson
The police said the boy’s parents were in fact actors and they'd put on a very good show, fooling everyone.
The authorities have said their investigation is still ongoing and that other parties, including some elements of the media, may have had knowledge of the stunt.
The parents now face criminal charges, including conspiracy and filing a false police report. If eventually found guilty, they could get a large fine and several years in jail.