Breaking: Kid in balloon over Denver – Update 2 – boy found hiding in attic

CNN, Fox News and Channel 7 in Denver are reporting a six year-old boy may be trapped in a home-made balloon currently floating over eastern Colorado. The boy and his dad were working on the balloon as a project. (Update: kid found fine hiding in an attic above a garage.)

Readers – we’ll be discussing this topic this morning (Friday) starting at 9 a.m. ET live on WTIC 1080. Listen online by heading over to our Live page. To talk to Jim during the show (9-noon ET) call toll free nationwide: 1 (800) 966-9842.

Update 3: The Friday morning post Jim just put up has more details and a family interview.

Update 2: The boy was found hiding in a box in an attic above the families garage. Still wondering if it was even possible for that balloon to lift the kid. Can someone with some math and physics background check my numbers below?

Update from ABC News

A “homemade flying saucer” believed to be carrying a 6-year-old Colorado boy crash landed north of Denver this afternoon, but rescue officials found no sign of the boy when the aircraft was recovered, according to ABC News affiliate KMGH.

Hopefully the kid set the balloon off on its journey by mistake and the kid ran away to hide from dad.

Warning… math alert. Let’s say this balloon was 600 cubic feet. The stories are saying the balloon was 20 feet by 7 feet, but that does not help us with the helium capacity so I’m taking a guess.

So by using the formula found here, 600 cubic feet x 28.2 grams/cubic feet (one cubic foot of helium will lift about 28.2 grams) = 16,920 grams / 448 grams per pound (the number of grams in a pound) = a lifting capacity of 37 pounds. The average weight of a 6 year old boy is about 46 lbs. Then consider the weight of the 3 foot by 3 foot plywood box beneath the balloon.

So, did someone know the actual cubic foot measurement for the balloon and try to figure out if it was even possible to lift this kid?

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From 7 News…

A 6-year-old boy is floating over northeastern Colorado in a homebuilt balloon and authorities are racing to try and rescue him.The balloon, in the shape of a flying saucer is covered in foil and filled with helium. It has a compartment for a passenger underneath. It lifted the boy into the air near Fort Collins Thursday morning after the balloon became unhooked at the boy’s home.

Live video right now … 7 News, CNN and Fox News.

I’m hoping the kid somehow got out of the balloon without injury at some point before other aircraft started tracking the balloon. Altitude is fluctuating between 7,500 and 8,500 feet and it’s suggested the balloon could get up to 10,000.

More from Fox 31

Margie Martinez of the Weld County Sheriff’s Office said a sibling saw the boy climb into the basket before the balloon took off. Since the door on the balloon was unlocked, Martinez said it’s possible the boy had fallen out.

The balloon appeared to be a saucer-shaped, Mylar-coated helium balloon, not unlike a party balloon. The craft was drifting eastward, authorities said.

The helium balloon was tethered to the boy’s family home in Fort Collins, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Department said. The boy got into the craft Thursday morning and undid the rope anchoring it.

The department said the dome-shaped balloon is 20 feet long and 5 feet high.

The partial pressure of Oxygen is pretty low up there. If you pray, this kid may need a few right now … and some good luck.


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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. Anne-EH on October 15, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Update, from what I have read over at FR, is that the boy has been found and is safe.:)=^..^=

  2. Erik Blazynski on October 15, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Dood seriously, maybe it's time to get in shape before you go on TV.

    What a bunch of buffoons to believe this story.

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