Richard Heene, 'Balloon Boy' Father

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Huffington Post

Richard Heene, the father of 'Balloon Boy' Falcon Heene, may never have been in a media circus before, but he is, apparently, no stranger to adventure. Richard, who along with his wife Mayumi has appeared twice on the ABC reality show "Wife Swap," is known for being into storm chasing. Indeed, ABC promoted the Heenes as people who "devote their time to scientific experiments that include looking for extraterrestrials and building a research-gathering flying saucer to send into the eye of the storm."

In a 2007 profile, the Denver Post painted Heene as an amateur scientist whose reckless fascination with storm chasing is shared by his family. As the AP explains:

Pursuing bad weather was a family activity with the children coming along as the father sought evidence to prove his theory that rotating storms create their own magnetic fields.

Although Richard said he has no specialized training, they had a computer tracking system in their car and a special motorcycle.

After the Heene family had appeared on "Wife Swap", a Los Angeles Times article about the show described the three Heene boys as rowdy, saying the family is "anchored by father Richard, whose anger arrives in sudden bolts between his fringe science projects."

In the video below, Richard Heene describes his reaction to the news of his son's survival in a box in the attic.