By Leesa Bingham, Marketing –
In 2009, Richard and Mayumi Heene informed authorities that their son, Falcon, had accidentally floated into the sky on a homemade weather balloon. Nearby Denver International Airport shut down as authorities and rescue workers looked for the missing boy. Eventually, the weather balloon landed, but Falcon wasn’t inside. Instead, he was in the attic of the Heene home, where he had been hiding under a box.
Some people accused the Heene family of trying to become famous by planning the entire charade. In an interview on CNN afterwards, Wolf Blitzer asked why Falcon hid in the attic so long when people were calling his name. Richard explained the question to Falcon, asking why he didn’t come if he heard his name being called. Falcon replied, “You guys said we did this for a show,” to which Richard muttered, “Man,” and Mayumi responded, “No.”
Richard and Mayumi pleaded guilty in court, but they still publicly denied orchestrating a hoax, claiming that the only reason they pled guilty was to avoid potentially worse consequences. To this day, they maintain that they were innocent. Falcon and his brothers even wrote a song about the family’s innocence. Colorado Governor Jared Polis pardoned Richard and Mayumi in December 2020, giving the family a chance to move on by wiping the incident from their records.
But the question still remains: did Richard and Mayumi Heene tell their son to hide in the attic while they pretended to believe he was missing? A new technology called EyeDetect® may have proved useful in this case over a decade ago, and will no doubt prove useful in similar cases in the future. Using a scanner that takes measurements of the iris while a person answers a series of yes or no questions, EyeDetect can detect lies with up to 90% accuracy, and is already being used by law enforcement in some states. Though Richard and Mayumi Heene have already served their sentences, EyeDetect could prevent similarly confusing cases from happening again, and could prove whether accused parties are telling the truth.