nullHow did you spend your afternoon? If you’re like much of America, you spent it watching an empty mylar balloon soar across Colorado. But I have to admit — and I can say this now that the kid is okay — that it was a welcome respite from the usual weekday fare. Heck, the event even pre-empted Obama instead of the other way around for a change.

Fortunately, Falcon Henne, the boy who was initially thought to be aboard, was never inside the balloon. On the surface it looks like one of the kids videotaped Falcon getting into the balloon and showed that to his parents after the balloon took off, even though the boy had gotten out before it took off. So it was a joke that got out of hand that nobody knew how to get out of after the damage had been done — like a lot of elections.

After a couple of hours of coverage, the balloon landed and there was nobody in it. There hasn’t been that big of a collective media letdown since Geraldo opened Al Capone’s vault.

Below is the father explaining the ordeal. Listen to his description of the “invention” that the balloon was intended to be. The guy’s like the Doc Brown of Colorado.

“We don’t ground our kids.” When I thought your son was in the balloon, I agreed with you pal:

A couple of suspicious items… first, the father manages to get in a plug or two for his “inventions,” which is weird for a dad who just moments earlier thought his son might have fallen to his death. Also, these people were on “Wife Swap” — so I won’t be surprised if there’s not a lot more to this than we now know. My “attention whore” antenna is raised.

But for the day in general, there’s this via Hot Air: Here’s Twitterer Dark Knight who sums it up the best: “Anyone else think the whole nation fascinated by a hot air balloon that turned out to be empty just might be a little symbolic?”

Update: Via Michelle — Yeah, it’s looking like this was all set up from the git-go.

Update II: Video of the balloon taking off is here. Yeah, these people owe somebody a lot of money for all the resources that were wasted yesterday chasing down this thing.

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