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Thursday
Jun022011

'Balloon Boy' Family Auctioning ‘Balloon’ to Aid Japan

Sankei via Getty Images(FORT COLLINS, Colo.) -- Richard and Mayumi Heene, the parents behind 2009's infamous "Balloon Boy" news story, have put the balloon on the auction block and are asking $1 million for it.

On the family's website BalloonBoyFlyingSaucer.com, Richard Heene says the money will go to charity to help earthquake and tsunami recovery efforts in Japan. "We will receive nothing," Heene says in a posted video.

In the nearly five-minute YouTube video, Heene appears with his wife, Mayumi, and the "experimental flying saucer." He explains that he designed the balloon so that people could travel 50-100 feet off the ground to and from work at 35 mph.

"All you people out there who have casinos and hotels, maybe you're a collector, and you want to attract people to your place of business, you could perhaps bid on this and use it as a tax writeoff and then folks will come in to see the experimental craft," he says.

"This is your chance to own a piece of documented media history while benefiting those in need," the website says.

In October 2009, the Heenes of Fort Collins, Colo., allowed authorities to believe that their 6-year-old son, Falcon, had floated away in a homemade helium balloon. Millions of people stayed glued to their TVs watching live footage of the balloon floating in the air.

Soon after the balloon landed with no one aboard, Falcon was found hiding in the rafters of the family garage.

After the little boy said during an interview that the family had hatched the balloon plan "for a show," celebration turned into an investigation of Richard and Mayumi Heene.

They were both eventually arrested. Under a plea deal, the two were sentenced to jail time and probation. They were also prohibited from making any money off the story until 2013.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio