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balloon family

The “Balloon Boy” drama that captivated a bored and gullible nation last Thursday was nothing more than an elaborate publicity stunt designed to make an attention-hungry family more alluring to reality TV producers.

At least that’s what local authorities who are investigating this crime – that’s right, it’s a crime – are now saying.

Richard and Mayumi Heene – who six-year-old son Falcon (above, center) was thought to be trapped inside a homemade helium balloon soaring across the Colorado sky last week – will reportedly face charges of conspiracy, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and making a false report to authorities.

Also, investigators are reportedly looking into whether or not a media outlet was in on the hoax.

For awhile, it appeared like a family tragedy had been averted when Falcon Heene was found to have been hiding in his parents’ attic – and not in the shiny UFO-looking balloon being followed by tens of millions of eyeballs across the nation.

There was just one problem with the family’s “happy ending …”

During an interview on CNN, Falcon said that he didn’t answer his parents’ calls because “you guys said we did this for the show.”

The hoax theory picked up steam over the weekend when the website published an exclusive story in which a former colleague of Richard Heene’s claimed to have helped the “scientist” plan the incident.

In addition to charges filed by local Colorado authorities, the Heenes could also face federal charges.