SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW: 6-Year-Old Boy Climbs Into Flying Saucer Balloon And Floats Away

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ASSOCIATED PRESS: A 6-year-old boy climbed into a homemade balloon aircraft in Colorado and floated away Thursday, forcing officials to scramble to figure out how to rescue the boy as the balloon hurtled through the air. The bizarre scene played out live on television and prompted fears that the flying saucer-shaped balloon would crash with the young child inside. The balloon rotated slowly in the wind, tipping precariously at times. Cathy Davis of the Larimer County Sheriff’s Department told reporters the balloon was owned by the boy’s parents and tethered behind the family’s home. She said two sons were playing outside when the older boy saw the younger one go into a compartment at the bottom of the balloon and fly away. “We’ll just have to respond balloon_boy.thumbnail.jpgthe best we can,” Davis said. “This is a first and we’ll do what we need to do.” MORE

WASHINGTON POST: For three hours on a workaday Thursday, a mesmerized and helpless America watched this shiny silvery disc spin slowly against a brilliant blue sky with puffy white clouds. As it tipped this way and that, emergency vehicles trailed the balloon over two counties and 50 miles. The Air Force was alerted. The Federal Aviation Administration grounded planes. A Black Hawk chopper flew in close, blades slashing, to create a downwash to defeat a contraption that looked like a giant birthday party balloon. There became one conversation, one America: What’s the latest on the balloon boy? How are they going to get him down? Here came the parade of experts, in air balloon construction, mechanics and lore. How’d he get up there anyway? MORE

UPDATE: Balloon crash lands, but no sign of boy inside.

UPDATE: Balloon Boy Lives! He has been found, safe and alive, in his own home. He was hiding in a box in the family’s attic.

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