Richard Heene — whose 6-year-old-son Falcon was feared to have floated away on a "homemade flying saucer" Thursday in Colorado — did the morning talk show circuit Friday, denying that the incident was a publicity stunt.
Appearing on Friday's Today show, Heene declared it was "absolutely not" a hoax.
"Now I am starting to get a little ticked off because I am repetitively getting asked this in the last couple of interviews," he told NBC's Meredith Vieira. "What do I have to gain about this? I am not selling anything. I am not advertising anything."
On ABC's Good Morning America, Heene (with his arm wrapped around son Falcon) added that it's "extremely pathetic" of people to imply his family did this for attention.
"We were holding on to every second, every second, just hoping he might come out OK," added Heene, who appeared with wife Mayumi on an October 2008 episode of ABC's Wife Swap.
His son, Falcon, told CNN Thursday that it was done "for a show." But on CBS' The Early Show, his father Heene said his son was referring to a camera crew that had asked Falcon to reenact him climbing into the attic.
"After the initial interview in the front yard with all the cameras, I had walked in the house thinking everybody was behind me, went up to the garage and I noticed Falcon was climbing up into the joists in the garage. And then I guess Bradford [Falcon's brother] was right there with him. But then I looked to the right and there's like 30 camera guys there and, anyway, one of the guys had asked if they could show him how he got up into the attic. And it was for a TV show. So that's what he was talking about."
Falcon admitted that that was what he was referring to, and also admitted that he had told his brother that he was going to "sneak inside" the balloon, but then he got out, causing people to believe he was inside when the balloon went aloft from the family's backyard Thursday morning
"And where did you go?" asked Early Show anchor Maggie Rodriguez.
"To the attic to play," Falcon told her.
Before the interview ended, Falcon's father thanked all those who helped in the search.
"Everyone who helped out, Sheriff's Department, National Guard, the news, everybody, they were just incredible," Heene said. "I just can't believe that that many people poured their hearts out and helped."
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