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Guy Claims He Helped Plan Balloon Boy Hoax

10/17/2009 8:25 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

A man who claims he once worked for Richard Heene says Heene was obsessed with becoming famous, wanted to get his own show, and had an idea for a massive media stunt that involved a "weather balloon" that "resembles a UFO." Sound familiar?

Robert Thomas claims, in an interview with Gawker, that Heene believed such a stunt would "be the most significant UFO-related news event to take place since the Roswell Crash of 1947."

Thomas said Heene was "driven by ego and fame" after appearing on "Wife Swap." He says Heene's idea for a show was something like "'MythBusters'-meets-mad scientist."

Thomas says he worked for Heene from March through May 2009.

Thomas came out earlier in the day saying he had proof the entire incident was a hoax and wanted to be paid for it. Gawker openly admits they did in fact pay Thomas.


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I recently stumbled upon the Heene's episode of Wife Swap and it was like watching a train wreck. In all seriousness, I couldn't stop trying to figure out what personality disorder this guy has. He's screaming and raging and completely unable to carry on a conversation where someone stands their ground. He's like a big child who never developed. His wife comes across as unstable, too, but sadly when she's with him she's clearly subservient. The kids were rude and unruly and in real need of some good old fashioned parenting. These people need help, all around.

1774 days ago

gingi withers    

I have a concern that the son might have been drugged during the time he was missing. An ADD child would have difficulty holding it together for that long. Then he was throwing up the next day??

1773 days ago


This is Richard again.

Okay, okay - so what if it was a hoax? No one died did they? And it was partly true - there was a balloon and it was shaped like a spaceship.

And I spent about 50 bucks on tarps and duct tape and the cops sliced it to pieces with shovels as if it's godzilla and they have to kill it. Don't you think I was hurt by that?

Gotta go, the boys are looking for alternate energy in the sewers and I can't get Mayumi to come down from the crawlspace in the attic...

1773 days ago


'Drugged' Falcon? We would never drug one of our kids. Unless you count liquid Nyquil a 'drug', we did nothing to him. Tied him up in the garage, maybe...

1773 days ago
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