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Balloon Boy: Conspiracy or PR Stunt?By Peter Hankoff for Salem-News.com
Award-winning producer, director and writer Peter Hankoff has been thinking about the Balloon Boy “conspiracy”.
(LOS ANGELES) - Not too long ago, casting off a balloon and making the case for a boy gone lost might have carried a ‘Wizard of Oz’ spin. But this is now. Post 9/11 - when anything that goes wild in the air is fair game for F-16s.
First, a confession … when I initially heard about “Balloon Boy” I told a friend over lunch, “The kid was probably murdered by his parents. You’ll see.”
When the balloon landed, I was happy to hear that Balloon Boy was up in the attic and not filleted in a shallow grave or folded into the trunk of a submerged subcompact.
I admit I go to a dark place very quickly because I’ve been to so many real dark places – from Dealey Plaza to Hiroshima and from Auschwitz to Pearl Harbor.
And all of these places have two things in common: the horror of inhumanity and the notion of conspiracy. Did Oswald act alone? Did we really have to drop the A-bomb? Did the Allies allow the Holocaust? Did FDR know the Japanese were going to attack on December 7?
The more I’ve studied history, the more I’ve discovered that the obvious is often true…even when it looks so obvious.
At the time, I didn’t bother to ask the obvious: who keeps a giant helium balloon in their backyard? And, hey, didn’t it kind of look like a flying saucer? And maybe it didn’t just un-tether itself and was this a prank that just got…over-inflated?
Perhaps the real conspiracy is setting up the media to create the kind of story that only the media can create. If we ever lived in innocent times, I hope these aren’t them, because I can only shudder to think of the horrors ahead.
Peter Hankoff is an award-winning director/writer/producer whose work has taken him everywhere from Area 51 to Auschwitz and Iwo Jima and his programs have aired on the National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, Military Channel and History Channel. Peter lives in Los Angeles.
Peter definitely knows a thing or two about conspiracy theories. He’s a documentary filmmaker whose work has taken him everywhere from Area 51 (Roswell) to Dealey Plaza (Site of the JFK assassination). In addition, his programs have appeared on the National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, Military Channel and History Channel. And he was recently at Ground Zero in New York City to film 9/11 artifacts for an upcoming program on a major cable network.
Learn more about Peter and his work by visiting: peterhankoff.com
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