Richard Heene and his family look for fresh start in Florida after 'Balloon Boy' hoax

6:33 PM, Dec 20, 2010   |    comments
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Richard Heene
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Tampa Bay, Florida - Richard Heene makes his Bear Scratch devices in the family garage. "It's all from scratch-from bear scratch," he says with a laugh.

And in a home just north of Tampa (the family requested their exact location not be revealed), this inventor is also trying to invent a new life for his family. "Yes, being in Florida is an exciting fresh start for us," says Heene. "The kids love it here."

While 11-year-old Bradford, 10-year-old Ryo and 7-year-old Falcon help with the family business by creating shipping boxes for the Bear Scratch, the Heene's will always be known for creating a publicity stunt. In October 2009, millions watched a giant balloon drift across Colorado. Falcon, feared to be on board, later turned up at home.

Photo Gallery: Pictures of the aircraft that caused the Balloon Boy hoax

It's now been over a year since the nation watched the balloon episode, but it's a subject the family does not want to talk about. "Why go back and do it again? Mayumi and I are all about moving forward," says Richard.

A music video on You Tube featuring the boys helps promote the Bear Scratch, but Richard insists he's not trying to once again put his kids in the spotlight. He only wants to encourage their musical interests.

And the boys seem to be having fun with their living room band. When asked what was fun about making the video, Falcon says, "The whole thing; doing the dance, doing the guitar, doing the harmonica."

And when it comes to his inventions, Richard says the Bear Scratch just scratches the surface. "I've got hundreds and hundreds of inventions out there."

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