Tips to Get 'Balloon Boy' Down from the Sky

6-Year-Old Boy Floats Away in Homemade Flying SaucerABC News
A 6-year-old boy floated away from his family's Colorado home today after climbing into a "homemade flying saucer" connected to a large helium balloon, leading local and federal officials to figure out how to rescue the boy as the experimental aircraft raced through the sky.

During the televised coverage last week of the runaway balloon, the sheriff in charge of the case was inundated with about 1,000 responses. Viewers from all over the world offered suggestions on how to bring the balloon and the boy who was supposedly aboard safely back to the ground.

The suggestions ranged from the simple solution of squirting water on the balloon to weigh it down, to the extravagant proposal that a Harrier jet that can hover like a helicopter use its downdraft to force the balloon out of the sky.

"I have over 500 e-mails and we have had a like number of phone calls from all over the world," Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden wrote this week in his "Bulls Eye" newsletter. The armchair quarterbacks urged him to use sky divers, fishing hooks, paragliders or an ultralight aircraft to rescue the boy who was supposedly aboard the runaway balloon.

Video: 911 call made by the Heene family.Play

In an article entitled "Up, Up and Away," Alderden included some of the emails he received.

"What about using multiple helicopters and get a very large net and attach the corners to 3 or maybe 4 different helicopter and have them fly in front of the balloon and catch the balloon in the net. Then they can slowly lower the balloon to the ground," one viewer suggested.

"The net would have to be HUGE so that the helicopters could stay far enough away from each other to be safe," the writer warned.

One woman suggested using some kind of giant squirt gun to rescue Falcon Heene, the boy who supposedly had snuck aboard the balloon just before it slipped into the sky.

VIDEO: An angry man confronts TV news crew covering the Heene family.Play

She claimed that years ago a small helium balloon floated to the top of her house. Her son, 10-years-old at the time, sprayed the balloon with a squirt gun and water.

"So...a simple a safe solution put water on the balloon and it will weigh it down and safely return to the ground," she advised Alderden.

The sheriff, who has been on numerous television and radio interviews, has called a halt to talking about the episode and declined to return calls from

The balloon was tracked by a fleet of news media choppers and chased on the ground by a fleet of emergency vehicles. The Federal Aviation Administration was also notified and the national guard was preparing to launch a helicopter.

VIDEO: Jimmy Kimmel airs the balloon boy 911 call.Play

"Balloon Boy" Hoax During 1,000 Rescue Suggestions

The balloon eventually deflated and drifted safely to the ground. When rescuers found that Falcon was not on board, there was speculation that he had fallen out during the long flight.

Alderden has called the runaway balloon a hoax and has said that he intends to bring criminal charges against Falcon's parents, Richard and Mayumi Heene. He said those charges would likely be filed next week.