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Breaking: The Boy Was Never in the Balloon

Update: the kid is safe. - see below

Would someone with some media contacts tell the MSM the boy was never in the balloon!

Think about it... Hot Air Balloons look like tear drops, not Jiffy Pop popcorn bags. If there where weight in the bag the (non-ridged) bag would have formed a teardrop due to the weight on the bottom. (duh)

As soon as you saw the side collapse it was obvious there was no weight in it.

MSNBC is running a picture taken of the balloon while (reportedly) it had just left the house. It had that mushroom shape. It's a pretty safe bet the kid was never in the balloon. (assuming that pic was taken as it was launched)

While Shep Smith keeps scolding the authorties to look under the bed and MSNBC implies the kid fell out... did none of them notice that had the wrong shape?

I obviously have no first hand knowledge -so I guess I could be wrong- but I I'm not sure how.

Lucky we have a comments section so someone will 'splain it to me.

Update: pic added

noboyhere.jog.jpg

Update 2: If there is weight in the balloon how did part of the fabric get BELOW the weight?

noweight.jpg

UPDATE 3: Foxnews is reporting something that makes a lot more sense. - Apparently there was another 'basket' under the ballon that -somehow got removed- from what we saw. (fell off? taken off?)

They seemed unsure (duh it's breaking news) but THAT is plausable.

Update 4: A deputy says he thinks he saw something fall off of it. That's the kind of thing I find IMplausable. -- If a ~50 pound weight suddenly came detached the shape and flight of the ballon would be altered radically.

---BTW If you're commenting without seeing the video, you can't really understand what I'm talking about.--

UPDATE 5: What I've been waiting for... Video

It is rather obvious if there was a 50 pound weight at the bottom, the material would not be that flimsy.

Update 6: I've been using "the H word" in comments since someone else did... but I was reluctant do it in general and especially in the post... Now CBS is asking if it is a hoax.

UPDATE 7 - NBC news (TV) is reporting (duh) the boy was never in the balloon and is home safe. Color me not surprised.

HMMMMM (update 8) MSNBC is reporting the kid is safe.... but they are also reporting that the balloon was an experimental aircraft... so this story was written by an idiot... (if you've followed the story, read that link... so many errors, it's hard to belive the person who wrote it was serious.) [update to the update, the dad originally said it was a weather balloon (he's a well documented weather geek) now multiple media sources are saying that he's claiming the bag with a cardboard box IS an experimential aircraft... either the media or the guy is nutz. Or perhaps both.]

Update 9 and probably the last. For all Shep Smith's whining, he probably had it right. Kid was found at home hiding in a cardboard box in the attic of the garage. He was never in the balloon. But we knew that.

Update X and the last. Kevin reports above that it looks like the whole balloon boy thing was a hoax. That was my hunch early on.


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Comments (39)

The shape a balloon takes d... (Below threshold)

The shape a balloon takes depends on the structure of the fabric and the chambering of the areas filled with helium.

Think about an air mattress with the 'tubes' of air and what happens when you put it in a swimming pool. It doesn't turn into a teardrop shape.

Thank Gawd for the comment ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Thank Gawd for the comment section.

Have you ever SAT on air mattress on a swimming pool?

Hint: It's doesn't keep the same shape.

What an appalling exposure ... (Below threshold)
sanssoucy:

What an appalling exposure of MSM stupidity and incompetence.

Why your personal blog come... (Below threshold)
Richard:

Why your personal blog comes up when searching Google news is beyond me. Congratulations for getting hits with no real factual information to base your opinions. You're obviously a douche!

A strong downward gust of w... (Below threshold)
Brandon:

A strong downward gust of wind could cause the fabric to drop below the weight, which is exactly what appears to have happened in the second picture.

Hey Jay Tea: It's ... (Below threshold)
Pauk:

Hey Jay Tea:

It's good to be home. ROFLMAO

P

You're right Brandon... I h... (Below threshold)
Paul:

You're right Brandon... I had not considered that....

A gust of wind might have come along so strong it pushed half the bag down -despite there being a 50 pound weight in it- BUT DIDN'T send the balloon hurdling to the ground....

It's so obvious now. You're right, the kid was there the whole time.

apparently there is a secti... (Below threshold)
Eric:

apparently there is a section missing from the bottom of the balloon. the kid obviously was not in the balloon for most of the flight... but may have been in there at the start. but let's hope it took off, and he ran away scared.

he is 6 6 year old boys wei... (Below threshold)
bryan:

he is 6 6 year old boys weigh next to nothing and it is a helium ballon not hot air making the structureing different to make it balanced as it floats

News flash : kid was not in... (Below threshold)
Michael:

News flash : kid was not in the balloon. btw the kid would be less likely to be alive due to height and lack of oxygen even if he was in it. Ironic name though, falcon... yeah poor kid. Good thing he isn't in it. Pray that he's ok though..

Not to mention if you watch... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Not to mention if you watch Mythbusters, that balloom was OBVIOUSLY too small.

(google is your friend)

You're right bryan... fluid... (Below threshold)
Paul:

You're right bryan... fluid dynamics changes according to the fluid. (rolls eyes)

Nice to see the new blogger... (Below threshold)
Steve Green:

Nice to see the new bloggers are equally adept at making up crap and calling it news.

Paul, the air mattress does... (Below threshold)

Paul, the air mattress doesn't keep the same exact shape, but it doesn't become a teardrop either.


The good questions here are:
* How much weight could a 20ft x 3 ft disk of helium actually raise?
* How much would the 'extra basket' weigh?
* What sort of door mechanism was there on the 'basket' (because there was no door on the craft we saw)

Stop saying he wasn't in th... (Below threshold)
Eric:

Stop saying he wasn't in the balloon. A PIECE FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE BALLOON IS MISSING. That piece is where the child would have been. The idiots at CNN were all lighthearted and joking when he wasn't found in the balloon, thinking it was good news. No. It is bad news. It means he likely fell off.

I take one thing back... th... (Below threshold)
Paul:

I take one thing back... the Mythbusters analogy is flawed... the problem with the traditional myth is that the balloons and string weighs so much vs the lift of each baloon.

This would have been a completely different critter.

If you take the average wei... (Below threshold)
Keith:

If you take the average weight of a 6 year old to be around 20 kilograms, which I just looked up, then you need about 20 cubic meters of helium to lift him (this can be calculated from Archimedes' principle, and it is well documented that a cubic meter of helium can lift about a kilogram). If you take the dimensions given in the CNN article, there is certainly not 20 cubic meters of helium. It seems unlikely, physically, that the craft would have been able to have enough lift to get off the ground with a 6 year old boy in it. Of course, assuming I did my math right.

Some quick googling comes u... (Below threshold)

Some quick googling comes up with:

8.3 grams of lift per 8.2 liters of helium

Now we need to figure out how many liters can fit in about 60 cubic feet. A liter is 10 cubic decimeters. So how many decimeters are in 60 cubic feet?

Well, 1 cubic decimeter = 0.0353146667 cubic feet, therefore 60 cubic feet contains 1699.01 cubic decimeters. So it could then lift 14101 grams and since there are 453 grams in a pound this thing could only lift 31 pounds.

The kid was never lifted by this balloon.

I call it a hoax.

I believe aliens switched t... (Below threshold)
spcarlson:

I believe aliens switched the hot air balloon for a jiffy pop
look-a-like and then quickly abducted the boy promptly returning him back to the other home in Wife Swap.

Seriously, I truly hope the... (Below threshold)
spcarlson:

Seriously, I truly hope the young lad is okay!

I just thought all this silly speculation was asking for a little humor, sorry.

Full, or empty, this balloo... (Below threshold)

Full, or empty, this balloon seems like it is mushroom shaped - not tear drop.

Regardless, what's to say the kid didn't fall out before the pictures were taken?

This is not a Hot air ballo... (Below threshold)
cleverinstigator:

This is not a Hot air balloon for one but it would have a different shape if there was something in it. The footage was taken later in flight if he fell out sooner then there may have been something in it. You are too quick to judge.

I didn't want to use the H ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

I didn't want to use the H word (hoax) but now that someone else has... I am having trouble coming to a different conclusion.

Consider:

The Dad builds these things... he knows how much they lift. (and the jury is leaning toward this thing not even having the lifting power to life the kid)

He certainly knows what they look like loaded. (whcih ain't a mushroom)

The family obviously likes to be on T.V.

Somebody "happened" to be on a nearby roof and "happened" to have a camera on them to snap a pic.

--Don't get me wrong-- the kid might be in real danger and I (like everyone) hope and pray he ain't....

But I'm having a REAL hard time beliving what I've been hearing.

Regardless, what's to sa... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Regardless, what's to say the kid didn't fall out before the pictures were taken?

EXCELLENT question. If you read my post, I mention that MSNBC has a pic that -supposedly- was taken right after the balloon took off. (saw it on TV can't can't find on net)

In the pic there is no second basket and the shape is the same. As I say above, if that pic REALLY was taken on liftoff the kid was never in the basket.

Given the dimensions of the... (Below threshold)
makattack:

Given the dimensions of the balloon, that helium capacity was doing everything it could just to keep the tinfoil aloft. There is no way it would have elevated a fifty pound six year old.

Dwayne, a 20' diameter disk... (Below threshold)
TGWShark:

Dwayne, a 20' diameter disk 3' in height would have a volume of 942 cubic feet. (Pi x r-squared x height). While I hope the boy is fine, this would change the calculation significantly.

Yup my math was off. I figu... (Below threshold)

Yup my math was off. I figure it could lift 58 pounds, hopefully someone will continue to check my work. :)

He was never in the balloon... (Below threshold)
rabid:

He was never in the balloon, they're saying now. They believe he's hiding because he thinks he's in trouble for cutting the balloon loose.

Kid let balloon go. Kid got... (Below threshold)
Rob:

Kid let balloon go. Kid got scared. Kid ran away.

I knew as soon as I heard about this story. Mark my words o.o

The dimensions listed are 2... (Below threshold)
Keith:

The dimensions listed are 20 feet for diameter and 5 feet high. Now, this thing clearly does not have a cylinder shape, so just taking the face area times the height will be larger than what it really is. However, using the radius as 10 feet, and the height as 5 feet, we have a 3.1 meter radius and about a 1.5 meter height. That gives a volume of about 42 cubic meters, about twice what would be needed to lift the boy. However, if you look at the shape of this thing, taking it to be a cylinder probably overestimates the volume by much more than a factor of two. But I guess we'll find out soon enough... He could have always been an unusually lightweight kid...

Dwayne,I get essen... (Below threshold)
TGWShark:

Dwayne,

I get essentially the same if the disk was 3 feet high, although one report had the height at 5 feet which would raise the lift to about 100 lbs. So, it's plausible. Praying the boy is found safe, then grounded for life.

My feelings are he sent the... (Below threshold)
Madalyn:

My feelings are he sent the balloon up, and got scared he is going to get into trouble and is hiding. He was never in the balloon.
Madalyn

Now being reported boy has ... (Below threshold)
TGWShark:

Now being reported boy has been found in the attic.

parents are going to be in ... (Below threshold)
DHawk:

parents are going to be in deep @#$% one way or the other at this point, I'd have to speculate.

Madalyn and others were cor... (Below threshold)

Madalyn and others were correct..balloon Boy is found hiding in a box at home...

s green - "Nice to see ... (Below threshold)
Marc:

s green - "Nice to see the new bloggers are equally adept at making up crap and calling it news."

Nice to see you're consistent - consistently an asshole.

1. New blogger or not, quote where the author claimed to be producing news with this post. Is it about a news story? Yes, anything else written is pure speculation about that news, you know OPINION.

Douche bag.

Glad to know SG doesn't kno... (Below threshold)
epador:

Glad to know SG doesn't know who Paul is.

i thnk that da boy was in d... (Below threshold)
hello:

i thnk that da boy was in da lft

i mean loft... (Below threshold)
hello:

i mean loft




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