With the six-year-old boy on terra firma, Rocky can now “safely” ridicule this well-publicized story. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “unintentional fall deaths” account for 7.0 deaths per 100,000 population or more than 20,000 people each year.
By “fall” deaths, CDC presumably means the effects of gravity, rather than the effects of autumn. CDC does not provide a sub-category for apples dropping on one’s head during the autumn — which involves a fall in the fall.
Most importantly, this story highlights the dangers of both “hot air” and hot-air-balloons.
In the video clip below the six-year-old suggests the entire story was a stunt. (Notice both brothers look at their mother at 00:46 with a tell-tale expression after the boy “spills the beans.”) Hence, the dangers of hot air. Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wI6UONWCq7A
The website HotAirBalloonAccdents.com, debunks “Hot Air Balloon Propaganda,” and floats the idea that ballooning is four times more dangerous than fixed wing flight: http://www.hotairballoonaccidents.com/hot_air_balloon_statistics.html … Hence, the dangers of hot-air balloons.
Historians (and literary trivia addicts) note that this fear of flying dates back to 1872: Chapter 32 of the Jules Verne novel “Around the World in Eighty Days” says, “[in considering the use of a hot air balloon instead of ships and rail,] it would have been highly risky.” Balloons were never deployed by Mr. Verne, a scientific visionary!!
It took Hollywood’s 1956 movie adaptation Around the World In Eighty Days to irresponsibly fabricate the glamorous use of balloons. Perhaps the harmful and provocative images from this movie influenced the impressionable six-year-old’s behavior?
[Disclosure: Back in college, Rocky threw some hot water balloons (as distinct from hot air balloons) out of his dorm room window. The consequences of this action confirm that both hot air balloons and hot water balloons pose risks to the general population. Rocky concludes that both of these devices should be subject to government regulation. This post has NOT been reviewed by the AAAA, the Albuquerque Aerostat Ascension Association:http://www.hotairballooning.org/ ]