As I write this, it appears that a 6-year-old boy from Colorado is floating above the earth in a balloon he and his father made in their garage.
I originally learned of the story when a friend sent out a mass e-mail saying, “Please pray for him.” Somehow, I think this one will take more than prayer. The contraption is a 20’x5′ saucer made of foil and plywood. On the one hand, it sounds really, really cool. On the other hand, life isn’t The Astronaut Farmer. “We were sitting eating, out looking where they normally shoot off hot air balloons,” said Lisa Eklund, a neighbor. “My husband said he saw something. It went over our rooftop. Then we saw the big round balloonish thing, it was spinning.”
Authorities say the boy is likely to reach 10,000 feet, by which point the craft will almost certainly come apart. When that happensâ€”well, not good.
This is almost too bizarre to comprehend. One certainly doesn’t want to make light of this poor little boy’s plight, and at the same time one must wonder how in the world he had access to such a contraption. Weird, sad, puzzling …
PS: An odd twistâ€”the boy is the son of Richard and Naomi Heene, who appeared on an episode of ABC’s “Wife Swap.”