After that title, I feel like I should insert the lyrics to Montgomery Gentry's song, 'This is My Town'...but I can't find anything that rhymes with 'flying saucer shaped weather balloon'. (sigh) Why I am not a songwriter.
I'm sure most of you have seen this as it was plastered all over the world news. I got a Facebook comment from a friend in the UK about it...
And now all the word is about a 'hoax' by a family desperate to remain in the media spotlight. They've appeared on 'Wife Swap' twice (I think twice). Oddly enough, I think it replayed sometime recently as I was channel surfing and vaguely remember seeing a comment about 'storm chasers', but I had no idea they were from here. And all the furor about their YouTube videos, Falcon's comment about it 'being for the show', etc.
Let's look at a few things. Yes, the family is unconventional. Yes, they have been in the media. Yes, they do things a bit differently. What's the problem? My gut instinct is that it is NOT a hoax. For starters, as a former 6 year old and having raised 4 of them...I have a really hard time believing that a kid that age is going to stay hidden for 4-5 hours upon the instructions of a parent. Maybe would have happened in Victorian times (maybe) but I don't see that happening these days (short of a severely abused child doing so out of fear and there is NO indication of that in this case). He stated that he came down because he got bored. That comment absolutely screams SIX YEAR OLD BOY! However, I can see a kid hiding out for fear of punishment or reprimand...especially if he thought (right or wrong) that he'd let the family weather balloon go! It was a family project, so there was some time and money tied up in it and he was aware of that. Shoot, I'd hide out for getting into my dad's tools and there was not that kind of time/money involved.
And the comments about the kids sleeping in their clothes at times so they could be gotten up in a hurry to chase a storm. I had friends in Austin that were storm chasers (not sure if they were certified, I didn't realize you could be). But it also made sense to me. They also had 3 kids and they'd rouse the kids, put them in the car and the kids would go back to sleep--I recall they were around the same ages as the Heene kids. First though took me aback, but I could see it. Besides, where are you going to find a sitter at 2AM? Although I did tell her that if she suspected chasing it would take them hours and hours, to call me and drop them at my house.
But I think the media and others are looking to demonize this family because they do not fit the 'mold', and they are trying to find a way to make the Heenes 'pay' for the fear and attention that was trumped up. This story was shown around the world (thank you 24 hour news cycle).
Bottom line, I don't think it was a hoax and I am quite sorry for the family. Good luck to them with the attacks from the media. And I like the press conference that Sheriff Aldersen held yesterday in which he really defended the family and told everyone that he was NOT jumping to any conclusions and they would investigate. Which I am sure they would have done anyway. Our sheriff has made some controversial statements himself, but I do think he's a good guy and a good sheriff.
So, that is my two cents folks. For what it's worth these days ;D (I was wrong!!!!!)
Have a great weekend and I am heading back to bed. The family has pretty much gone down like dominoes this week with a respiratory thing (not the flu), and I am worn out from
pandering, err, taking care of them.
Hopefully I will be back next week with a couple of Duncan stories and pictures. It's also nice to know that all the odd, unconventional families are not limited to Texas (which is what I was beginning to think!)