Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

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.


No Avatar

Grammar nazi    

5. It's like the wife didn't have a say in all of this. Even if she objected, he would have over-ruled.

Posted at 7:51PM on Oct 17th 2009 by WOW!
Well, yeah, did you see them on Wife Swap? He believes in the strict following of traditional gender roles. In other words, she had to cook and clean and shut up. He's a jerk.

1795 days ago

Cali MJ Fan    

TMZ-- can you change the poll to read:

hell yes

1795 days ago


Little Falcon vomited on National TV, yet they kept filming. What a hideous thing to do to a small child. I want Child Protective Services involved NOW, before the father further exploits his children! I would love to see all reality shows involving minors banned.

1795 days ago

Daddy wants some of the pie too.    

On Fox News they just said he is going to be charged with "filing a false police report". I don't see anyone saying the obvious here. This loon wanted to be famous and, now, he is. He will gladly pay a small fine but, get a clue, media from all over the world are at their house and ratings of stations doubled when they were covering this "event". Guy doesn't care that the world thinks he's a lunatic. All he cares about is that he's on TV now. I am against "Kate plus 8" because its just, in my opinion, Kate and TLC exploiting her kids for fame and fortune. People said "Kate plus 8" does not exploit kids but I argued it isn't using the kids but the "effect" of using them that does the damage. This is a perfect example of what I mean. This idiot figured "If Jon and Kate can be famous doing a show with their kids so can I". I hate to tell some of you this but "Reality Shows" aren't "real". Look at the disgust people had when Octomom was going to have a Reality Show yet they have blinders on when it comes to Kate. Watch "Toddlers and Tiaras" and you'll see mothers shaving their 7 year old daughters legs and putting more makeup on the poor little girls than a hooker would use. Some little girls cry with fear as mom drags them out onto the stage so mommy can show off a $50 trophy. Kate Gosselin mentally abused Jon on the show right in front of the children yet nobody said anything about how the kids were effected by it. That's not cute--it's child abuse. Yet you losers tune in these stupid shows thinking how wonderful these parents are. Then you are SHOCKED when something like this happens and come here demanding this ding-bat be put away. It's called "Cause and Effect". This is the Effect. People who are "so excited" to see the first episode of "Kate plus 8" are part of the Cause. As long as shows with little kids on them are making millions and making nobodies famous dirtballs like this are going to be going for the gold.

1795 days ago


Robert Thomas should also be charged with obstruction of justice or failing to divulge information about a crime, or some such.

Instead, he gets paid for being "honest."

1795 days ago

Mary Worth    

The story has ballooned all out of proportion. But that's going well according to the script.

And the media fish will continue taking the bait!

1795 days ago

Daddy wants some of the pie too.    

I hope they let that man come stay with me. My best friend, Casper the Ghost, is starting to get boring. No flying saucers though. The last time I got abducted I got airsick.

1795 days ago


#9: How is anyone supposed to read the note if they can't come within 200 feet of the house?

1795 days ago

Trooper Tom    

OK TMZ enuff of this crap with these people they have gotten way too much publicity

1795 days ago


I would file charges for child abuse of the 6 year old son! There is video of him throwing up more than once due to being so upset. That makes me furious!

1795 days ago


126. The story has ballooned all out of proportion. But that's going well according to the script.

And the media fish will continue taking the bait!

Posted at 11:53PM on Oct 17th 2009 by My Name is URL

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!! The story has "ballooned all out of proportion". AHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAAH!

1795 days ago


I think it is SO SAD if it was a stunt and Heene used his child for publicity. Those children don't look particularly happy in this photo. Come on, Mr. Heene, your kids' well-being is far more important than some silly "reality" show. Why have people become obsessed with such nothingness? The kids are what count, sir, the kids!

1795 days ago


Wow. Mr.Heene's explanation here caused me to even more strongly suspect a hoax. The explanation of why Falcon mentioned a show and went up into the attic sounds completely made up. And the statement about a colleague lying about Mr Heller's hoax, including Mr. Heene's handwriting, sounds fishy. Quit while you're ahead, Mr. Heene.

1795 days ago


The author of this 'Exclusive Interview' is a compulsive lair1 I went to Jr. High and High School with him and have herd hundreds or thousands of his ridiculous stories. From the Casino he established in Thailand to his dating of celebrities. He craves attention as bad as Heene. BUT having known him for so long. I don't know whether his story is true. I wouldn't put it past Thomas to fabricate this whole story to get paid, if that's the case, Congrats Man.

Search CSU's paper for Robert Thomas' many publicity stunts there as a student and Douch.

1795 days ago


Absolutely, without any DOUBT, that it was all a HOAX.. !!! The whole family are NUTS!!! You have to be Nuts, in order to do this STUPID,Idiot STUNT..!!! Shutting down the Airport, Having the POLICE, & RESCUE go on a WILD GOOSE CHASE...!!! Totally F'd in the HEAD,they have to be.!!!! All of them...!!!

1795 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments

Around The Web