Balloon boy’s parents were on Wife Swap

The 6-year-old boy who may or may not have fallen out of an experimental balloon that floated around and transfixed the country before landing in a field–apparently without him in it–has parents who appeared on ABC’s Wife Swap earlier this year.

Falcon Heene’s parents, Richard and Mayumi Heene, were called “the storm-chasing, science-obsessed Heene” family by ABC when they appeared on the show’s 100th episode. (Update: The page just vanished from ABC’s web site.) In a press release about the episode, ABC said this:

“When the Heene family aren’t chasing storms, they devote their time to scientific experiments that include looking for extraterrestrials and building a research-gathering flying saucer to send into the eye of the storm. In this ultimate swap, the Heenes swap lives with a psychic mom who speaks to the dead and can control the weather, her husband and her children — who believe they are destined to be stars.”

ABC News talked to Richard who “was crying and said he was not watching television images of the silver ‘low altitude vehicle’ flying over Colorado. He said he was praying and waiting for an update from police.”

The three Heene boys appeared in this extremely bizarre and disturbing homemade music video:

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 37, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.