Balloon-boy: State was planning dramatic (and dangerous) rescue

State planned to drop rescuer from helicopter to balloon


The state made daring plans to rescue the boy believed to be floating free in an experimental balloon Thursday, but not everyone knew about the rescue plans or other help available to find the boy, 9Wants to Know has learned.

"I lost my temper a few times talking to some of my command staff about why the hell we didn't have a helicopter in the air yet," Larimer County Jim Alderden said.

The sheriff did not realize the Colorado National Guard had two helicopters, including a Black Hawk, available to him to search for 6-year-old Falcon Heene after law enforcement discovered he was not inside the space-like balloon when it landed Thursday.

While the balloon was still in flight, the state had come with various ideas to rescue Falcon.

One plan included flying the Black Hawk high above the balloon so that the rotor wash wouldn't damage the balloon, then lower a Search and Rescue crew member in a basket to try to grab Falcon.

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