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COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – America watched as police chased down a drifting hot air balloon with a child supposedly trapped onboard, only to find it empty.

Emergency services for notified Thursday morning that a homemade air balloon had accidentally been set adrift with 6 year old Falcon Heene inside. His father, Richard Heene, says the family had been building an experimental aircraft in their backyard.


Richard claims that Thursday morning, one of his other sons ran in and said he saw Falcon climb into the balloon and it took off. The balloon, which resembles a UFO, is about 20 feet by 5 feet, with a bottom only made of cardboard.

The craft floated along for two hours, which officials driving and flying alongside the balloon to keep track of it. When it gently crash-landed, police secured it before tearing it open to find no child inside.

Although the Heenes’ house had been searched, police will begin looking again, in the hopes that he never crawled into the balloon at all.

The family had previously appeared on ABC’s “Wife Swap”.