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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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nicole leollee    

well you didnt make it with out kid..remember

1809 days ago


Fact: Richard Heene KNEW what the maximum lift of the balloon was, AND knew it could not possibly carry his child, yet they reported it anyway, and kept this fact from police.

TMZ should layoff this dysfunctional and delusional man.

Familycide could result if he snaps under pressure. As his world implodes he will consider Familycide and TMZ should not contribute to it.

1809 days ago


Seems that jail should be in the imnmediate future of this ass clown. he wasted time and is wasting more time of those having to hear more and more about this. He wants to be famous? he aleady is, he was a "real prick" on the swap show and he's a real piece of work now. What a joke a pure riot and his kids are having to endure this tragic waste of time along with him.

Suggestions, reality show for him getting a new buddy in the joint.

1809 days ago


Like we believe you ..

Your just a troll

1809 days ago

A. Taylor    

Look very closely at the wife in the "launch" video. The balloon goes up and you can clearly see the end of the tether IN THE AIR. The camera then pans down and the mother is still PRETENDING to hold a tether that is no longer there. Look at her hands. They are clearly clenched in a fake action pose and they are holding nothing. After a couple of seconds, she drops her arms when she realizes she can quit acting. They launched the balloon on purpose and staged the whole video to make it look like an accidental launch. It's so clear that she's pretending to hold the long-gone tether and has nothing in her hands. Why haven't the media or police questioned this?

1809 days ago


The Dad is an idiot. If you see the "rap U Tube video" it is obvious not only are the parents nuts, the kids are now warped too. It is one of the most offensive videos I have ever seen. This quest for fame ruined crops, cost taxpayers money and...scared the heck out of the public who watched the whole thing unfold. Drug test the Dad!!

1809 days ago


I hope someone is watching that family closely, that father seems off enough to do something harmful/drastic as a result of all this publicity, especially if he is guilty of something like it seems right now.

1809 days ago


"Familycide could result if he snaps under pressure. As his world implodes he will consider Familycide and TMZ should not contribute to it. "

I just read back and that was my fear too. It seems like the guy is desperate for fame and this might not be what he had in mind and he seems the type who would do something drastic like that. Sad thing is, the media would probably love it and eat it up...put on their sad contrived faces and tell the story on a non-stop loop and bring in all these panels of "experts" and "eye-witnesses" to discuss it for days/weeks/months until the new story came along.

1809 days ago

justice is mine says the lord    

Isnt it nice that there is such a lull in the news of the day that this idiot has taken up not only the entire afternoon of CNN, HLN and TMZ etc, but now we cant escape this fool no matter where we turn. I think his and all involved have exhausted their 15 minutes of fame and I want 14 of it BACK.....
Man do I miss Michael Jackson!!!!! no baby dangling or anything!

1809 days ago


I agree with Donovan and all others posting concern for the family. The father seems like a ticking timebomb. This isn't a docile Jon Gosselin here. This guy is frightening. AUTHORITIES??? Are you LISTENING???

1809 days ago


1809 days ago


15. richard heene HERE ???

or FAKE ?

talking out of ass .

Of Course it's a fake.He would have PR people to do all that for him now with his overnight fame. Good story though Richard Heene wannabe.. Easy to believe haha!

1809 days ago


Also....maybe the posters are right that TMZ should back off because of Heene's bizarre behavior.

1809 days ago

Catt Alex    

Whether it's a fake Heene, or the real Heene, he's still a buffoon.

I wouldn't believe that man if he told me his name. I've never seen a bigger ego and sense of self-importance in my life.

No thanks, I'm not drinking the Heene Kool-Aid. It was a hoax and we're not as stupid as you needed us to be.

Go back home, Heene, and join the rest of your Lolla-paLOSERS. Your life is a giant mime routine, performed on a pincushion of illusions.

1809 days ago
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