The parents of Falcon Heene, the six-year-old boy who authorities in Colorado did not find trapped in a home-made helium balloon, are Richard and Mayumi Heene, science-obsessed folks who like to chase extreme weather and who once appeared on the ABC show “Wife Swap.” “If conditions are right, Mayumi wakes her family by shouting ‘Storm Approaching, Storm Approaching!’ into a bullhorn,” according to online ABC literature about the reality TV show. A profile in the L.A. Times further described the Heene family as being “anchored by father Richard, whose anger arrives in sudden bolts between his fringe science projects.”
The speed with which television viewers spellbound by little Falcon Heene’s adventures in ballooning are unearthing video snapshots of the family on YouTube is frightening (if not unprecedented). In the clips below, we see Falcon and his two brothers perform in a rap video demonstrating their fearlessness (“Not Pussified,” in which mum Mayumi takes a guitar solo), dad Richard delivering a lesson in salvaging damaged DVD games, and an ABC news clip following the Heenes, who are avid extreme weather-chasers, into the eye of Hurricane Gustav last year. The footage takes on an eerie undertone now that Falcon’s fate remains unknown.