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BREAKING NEWS: 6-year-old boy floats away in balloon - 10 Years Ago

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Photo from KMGH-TV

Story Reminiscent of the 1980's Lawn Chair Balloon Episode

FORT COLLINS, CO - October 15, 2009: AP has just published an amazing story of a 6-year-old boy, Falcon Heene,

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Falcon Heene
who climbed into a homemade balloon aircraft earlier today and floated away, forcing officials to scramble to figure out how to rescue the boy as he hurled through the air.

According to AP, was captured on live on television and prompted fears that the flying saucer-shaped balloon would crash with the young child inside. The Auto Channel has not yet received any of the video but will post it as soon as we can. An FAA spokesman said that the agency has been notified and it was unclear whether traffic controllers had picked it up on radar.

Eloise Campanella, a spokesperson for the Larimer County sheriff's office, says the device has the potential to rise to 10,000 feet. Sheriff's officials last saw the device floating south of Milliken, which is about 40 miles north of Denver.

"We were sitting eating, out looking where they normally shoot off hot air balloons. My husband said he saw something. It went over our rooftop. Then we saw the big round balloonish thing, it was spinning," said neighbor Lisa Eklund.

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Larry Walters in 1982 Lawn chair incident

In the summer of 1982, Larry Walters attached about 40 eight-foot balloons to his lawn chair, filled them with helium, put on a parachute, and strapped himself into the chair. He took his pellet gun, a CB radio, sandwiches, cold beer, and a camera. When his friends cut the cord that tied his lawn chair to his Jeep, Walters' lawn chair rose rapidly to a height of about 15,000 feet (4,600 m). He did not dare shoot any balloons, fearing that he might unbalance the load and cause himself to spill out. He slowly drifted over Long Beach and crossed the primary approach corridor of Long Beach Airport. Walters was arrested immediately after the flight and later fined. However, he did appear on several talk shows.