About the Episode
When we think about the first humans flying, we usually associate it with airplanes. Well that’s wrong. Associate it with ballooning now.
This week, Colin tells the origin story of hot air ballooning while Sierra rewrites history, making it a little more drunk. Join us as we discuss how an entire child flew in a weather balloon, the difference between a Pilot and a Captain, and how science didn’t really exist in the 1700’s.
Photos from the Episode
Videos from the Episode:
Uncut Video of Balloon Boy Launch
“We did this for the show”
- The largest hot air balloon to date is not the balloon Per Lindstrand and Sir Richard Branson flew in in their first hot air balloon flight across The Atlantic in 1987. Though the envelope of this balloon was the largest hot air balloon envelope at the time with a volume of 2.29 million cubic feet, Per Lindstrand and Sir Richard Branson broke the record for the largest hot air balloon envelope with their 1991 flight across the Pacific Ocean in the Virgin Otsuka Pacific Flyer. Branson and Lindstrand were accompanied by millionaire Steve Fossett. The Virgin Otsuka Pacific Flyer still holds the record for the largest hot air balloon envelope ever flown, sized at 2.6 million cubic feet.
- In this episode, we stated Richard Heene called news channels before reaching out to the Federal Aviation Administration. The order of Richard Heene’s phone calls, and whether or not he made a call to the Federal Aviation Administration at all is unsubstantiated. During the 2009 Balloon Boy Hoax, the Heene family stated they first called the Federal Aviation Administration, and then called Denver NBC and KUSA-TV. According to initial reports, the Larimer County Sheriff’s office stated “they had no confirmation that Richard Heene actually made the call to the FAA.”
- A few key pieces of information were missing from our depiction of the Balloon Boy Hoax:
- The Heene family stated the balloon was meant to be tethered.
- Mayumi Heene’s handwritten notes on the incident illustrate a motive and a plan to carry out the hoax. The notes also indicate the family planned on Falcon hiding in a different location than above the garage.
- In October 2019, Robert Sanchez with 5280 Magazine (Colorado local publication) interviewed the Heene family. After presenting Richard and Mayumi with her handwritten notes from 2009, Sanchez didn’t hear from the Heenes for two days. When they called him back, Richard and Mayumi seemed to act the same way in their balloon launch video from 2009, which “had been an elaborate ruse,” and Mayumi claimed she “made the whole story up.” Read the whole story here.
Subjects CoveredHot Air Ballooning • Montgolfier Brothers • Joseph Montgolfier • Jaques-Étienne Montgolfier • Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier • First Hot Air Balloon Flight • First Manned Flight • Story of the Duck, Sheep, and the Rooster • Champagne and Ballooning • 1808 Hot Air Balloon Duel • Monsieur de Grandpré • Monsieur de Pique • Mademoiselle Tirevit • Balloon Boy Hoax • Richard Heene • Mayumi Heene • Falcon Heene • Blow Jab • Heene Boyz • How Do Hot Air Balloons Work • Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta •
- HuffPost - 10 Bizarre Moments in Ballooning History
- Wickers World - Strange Stories About Hot Air Balloons
- MentalFloss - Facts About Hot Air Balloons
- USA Today - Balloon Boy Hoax 10 Years Later
- Wikipedia - Montgolfier Brothers
- Wikipedia - Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier
- Wikipedia - Aviation Anniversaries
- Atlas Obscura - First Hot Air Balloon Passengers
- Guiness World Records - 1987 - First People to Cross Atlantic in Hot Air Balloon
- YouTube - How Do You Steer a Hot Air Balloon?
- Philly History - First Balloon Flight in America
- Canson - History of Canson Paper Company
- Canson - More on Canson Heritage
- British Newspaper Archive - First Duel in Hot Air Balloons
- Smithsonian - Sophie Blanchard, Aeronaut
- Hot Air Expeditions - Why is Champagne Served After a Flight?
- Wikipedia - Balloon Boy Hoax
- YouTube - Uncut Video of Balloon Boy Liftoff
- Denver Channel - Ten Years Later: Truth Behind Balloon Boy Stunt
- YouTube - Falcon Heene Admits "We did this for the show"
- 5280 - Mayumi's Notes: Domestic Abuse and a Very Convoluted Story
- ABC News - Balloon Boy 10 Years Later
- Deadline - Balloon Boy Couple Pardoned
- YouTube - 10 Years After Balloon Boy
- Chateau Versailles - First Hot Air Balloon Flight
- YouTube - First TransAtlantic Crossing in a Hot Air Balloon