Oct 16 2009

Flying Saucers ..a slow news day..

I was amazed while watching the news last night about a little boy in a flying saucer shaped balloon.   What was flabbergasted me is how the United Sates military, news organizations and public were so easily duped by the absurd fantasy of the story.  A little boy craws into a flying saucer shaped balloon and is whisked away into space!  Heartbreaking!  Let’s call out the military.   Two hours of the national news spotlighted the tragic event.


 Within seconds of seeing the lead-in story on NBC it was easily apparent the “balloon” was way too small to support any significant weight let alone that of a six year old.  Nor did it have a rigid structure necessary to hold a saucer shape while supporting a payload (otherwise it would have folded up and looked like a balloon instead of a saucer shape).

 Here is a quick calculation.  An average six year old weighs 40-50 lbs.  Lift capacity of helium is 15.85 ft3 per lb.   The circular disk had an approximately 12 dia by 4 feet high (roughly the shape of the saucer on TV) has a volume of 452 ft3.  Lets assume it weighed 5 lbs for the Mylar envelope (no ridge structure).   Therefore the reserve lift capacity was at most: (452 ft3 / 15 lb/ft3) – 5 lb = 23 lbs

 Now understand, I am being VERY generous with the size of the helium envelope since I assumed a disk shape with no taper on the circumference like a real flying saucer nor a ridge structure.    I doubt the saucer balloon could have supported 10 lbs let alone the weight of a 40+ lb child.

 Was it a slow news day?  Did not someone realize the absurdity of the new story and decided put it on national TV as a joke?  Was the military so easily fooled that it sent a helicopter to follow the ballon and was preparing a rescue mission?

 One has to wonder…..


  • By Chris Seto, October 16, 2009 @ 10:44 am

    This story really pissed me off. As well as what you said, the family did it as a publicity stunt. The family seems to be pretty nuts (They are avid pseudo scientists, believe in free-energy, etc), and from what I heard, the balloon infringed on some part of KDEN ‘s airspace. If that really happened, I dunno (if it is, the FAA is probably not very happy with them), but they still shut it down for a while, making tons of people late, all so they could get on TV for a little while. Guess they didn’t account for their son admitting it was all “for the show” on live TV.

    It really sickens me that the news has gotten to this level, were they cannot do a simple math problem to figure out if all that they are speculating is true or not.

    At one point, they even had 2 helicopters floating around, and we all know how expensive those are to operate. Hopefully the family will be fined accordingly.

  • By Lee Devlin, October 16, 2009 @ 7:10 pm

    I went over to my friend Don’s house yesterday and he told me he had been watching this spectacle on TV. While I was there, he got a call from a neighbor informing him that the child’s body was recovered in Platteville. I think the whole story has yet to be written on this one.

    In today’s Greeley Tribune, the little boy, when asked by his father why he hid in the attic and didn’t respond to family members calling his name replied, “You had said that we did this for a show.” Oops. Kids are just too honest sometimes.

  • By Chris seto, October 16, 2009 @ 8:47 pm

    When you say the child’s body had been recovered, do you mean that the *dead* child’s body?

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