as a certain secret agent would say would you believe that there were at least 2 other(REAL) balloon boys??? Well here is the proof!
Florida retiree is ‘original’ balloon boy
But while the rest of America wondered how it could happen, Bradenton retiree Bill Crawford was remembering back to his own childhood, and the balloon mishap that happened to him.
Now 82, Crawford grew up on the east side of Cleveland, where back in the 1930’s his father would strap him to a 15 foot wide helium balloon as part of an attraction, traveling to air shows across Ohio.
“It had straps coming down from the balloon into something similar to a baby swing,” says Crawford, who proudly shows off a scrap book filled with newspaper archives and photographs.
“They claimed I was the youngest balloon pilot in the world.”
The balloon would carry the four year old Crawford high into the air, but was tethered to the ground at all times.
“It was quite a thrill for me, and of course the audience, and all the people who were there,” says Crawford who admits he rarely talked or thought about his childhood adventures, until last week when the Colorado story showed up on TV.
“He was up 7000 feet if he was in that balloon,” Crawford recalls thinking as he watched the live “balloon boy” coverage.
The incident, which investigators now believe was a hoax, sparked memories of Crawford’s own close call. In July of 1933 while floating within the old Cleveland Stadium, the tether that kept the four year old from flying away came loose.
“The draft inside the stadium carried me up out over the scoreboard, and then apparently I went outside,” says Crawford who doesn’t remember much about the incident but believes he never got scared.
“I was thoroughly enjoying it. I had no fear of flying or looking down.”
The flight was documented in photographs showing the balloon drifting up and out of the stadium narrowly missing a disastrous Lake Erie landing.
“I would have perished immediately. I don’t think we thought about that kind of thing,” says Crawford who admits things could have ended up worse.
It is unclear exactly where the balloon came down, but Crawford survived the ordeal.
“Here I am 78 years later to talk about it. Most people don’t live that long.”
Top of Form 2
‘I thought I’d get in trouble’The six-year-old Colorado boy feared to have floated off in a helium balloon appears with his family in front of their home.
His family faces criminal charges over the now infamous runaway balloon saga, but six-year-old Falcon Heene may already have been dealt his punishment – a nickname he might never shake.
But at least one man reckons “Balloon Boy” is trying to steal his “thunder”, and his moniker: Dan Nowell, the man originally dubbed Balloon Boy after he was caught up, undesirably, in a hot-air balloon flight in the 1960s.
Mr Nowell was 11 when a hot-air balloon lifted off abruptly in San Francisco and yanked him into the air by its rope, which he had been holding, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
He was carried 900 metres into the air as 200 horrified people watched on, unable to free himself as the rope had tangled around his hand.
It wasn’t for at least 10 minutes that balloonist William Berry, sitting in the basket, saw the boy hanging off the balloon from a rope, the paper said.
Mr Berry brought the balloon down in a backyard, and Mr Nowell crashed into a plum tree, but was mostly unhurt, the newspaper said.