I suppose that by now everybody has heard of Balloon Boy. The Colorado balloon incident (also known as the Heene Hoax, Balloon Boy Hoax, or Balloon Boy Incident) occurred on October 15, 2009, when a six-year-old was mistakenly believed to have floated away in a home-made balloon, attracting world-wide attention. Falcon Heene, of Fort Collins, Colorado, was believed to be traveling at altitudes reaching 7,000 feet (2,100 m) in a homemade helium balloon colored and shaped to resemble a silver flying saucer-type of UFO. Falcon, referred to as the "Balloon Boy" by some media outlets, had reportedly climbed into the balloon, after which it became untethered and launched.
After an hours-long flight that covered more than 50 miles across three counties, the balloon landed about 12 miles (19 km) northeast of Denver International Airport. The boy was not found inside the balloon, prompting fears he had fallen out of the balloon; it was reported that an object had detached from the balloon and fallen to the ground. A search was conducted for the child, and later that afternoon he was eventually reported to have been hiding at his house the whole time.
In an interview with Wolf Blitzer on Larry King Live that evening, in response to a question about why he was hiding, Falcon said to his father, "You guys said that, um, we did this for the show." This added to speculation that the incident was a hoax and publicity stunt engineered by the boy's father, Richard Heene. On October 18, Larimer County sheriff Jim Alderden announced his conclusion that the incident was a hoax, and that the parents would likely face several felony charges.
Clearly, what the Heenes are alleged to have done comprises one or more criminal acts. They intentionally misled the police with information they knew to be false.
How does all this apply to me? Well, I've been receiving Social Security Disability benefits since October 29, 1991, the date I was terminated by my former employer, the DC law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld (Dennis M. Race, Esq.--202 887 4028). The employer prepared sworn statements alleging that the firm had determined, in consultation with a psychiatrist, that I was paranoid, potentially violent, and not suitable for employment as of late October 1991.
Every few years Social Security reviews my case to determine whether I continue to be disabled and entitled to benefits. Over the years I have forwarded to Social Security documents I prepared and sent to various parties that seem to confirm that I continue to be a severely disturbed individual.
Now, mind you, every document I have ever sent to Social Security has been absolutely factually accurate. I have never stated a falsefood to Social Security -- ever! However, some of the documents I have sent to Social Security have a certain tone and emphasis that a reasonable person might find misleading. But do my letters constitute false statements calculated to commit a fraud on Social Security? I don't think so. The fact is, as I see it, I lead a very strange life. I have experienced many odd occurrences that seem bizarre. But that's my life! I have simply provided the facts to Social Security.
The following are two letters. The first is a letter I mailed to my psychiatrist that is absolutely factually accurate--a letter that I intended to forward to Social Security. I mailed the second letter to the U.S. Secret Service knowing that I would later send that letter to Social Security.
You be the judge. Have I engaged in acts of criminal fraud in intentionally misleading the U.S. Social Security Administration? I, for my part, think not. Certainly, if I had commited a crime, wouldn't the U.S. Secret Service have made a criminal referral to the FBI?
July 27, 1998
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008-4530
Stephen D. Quint, M.D.
Community Mental Health Center -- North
3246 P Street, NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 282 0027 or 457 0075
Dear Dr. Quint:
I am a patient of the Commission on Mental Health Services of the District of Columbia, and have been receiving out-patient psychiatric care provided by Dr. Singh at the Community Mental Health Center, North Annex.
My final consultation with Dr. Singh, whose psychiatric residency ended as of June 30, 1998, was on June 18, 1998. Dr. Singh advised me that the clinic would arrange my transfer to another therapist. I have yet to be assigned to another therapist.
I believe it is vital that psychiatric services be arranged as soon as possible. I want to bring to your attention the disturbing fact that my personality profile appears to match that of the suspect in the Capitol Hill shooting, which occurred on Friday July 24, 1998.
I have been under investigation by the U.S. Secret Service as a possible security risk to the President of the United States;
I have offered my services to the Central Intelligence Agency;
I have been diagnosed as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia;
I have written a letter to an official of the federal government that was determined by the Federal Protective Service to be of a threatening nature;
I continue to believe that I have been the victim of a conspiracy to defame carried out by the law partners of a close friend of the President of the United States;
I continue to believe that I have been the victim of a conspiracy to defame carried out by the law partners of a former U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union, an individual who has had routine contacts with Boris Yeltsin, President of the Russian Federation;
I continue to believe that in the year 1996 I was defamed by Charles F.C. Ruff, Esq., who currently serves as chief White House Counsel to President Clinton, in that Ruff knowingly and wilfully affirmed the reliability of a professional psychiatric opinion concerning my mental health and stability, an opinion of a nature deemed unreliable by the Principles of Medical Ethics promulgated by the American Psychiatric Association and an opinion that would be deemed unlawful under the then existing law of the District of Columbia; and that said defamatory statements made by Ruff in pleadings filed in the District of Columbia Superior Court could impair the prosecution by the Office of U.S. Attorney of any specific intent crime with which I might be charged;
I have in the past had contacts with an individual who has had intimate dealings with persons involved with the Kennedy assassination; this individual resides at a building in the District of Columbia that was once the home of President Harry S Truman (4701 Connecticut Avenue, NW);
The Government of the District of Columbia has determined that my former coworkers at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld had genuine concerns that I might have been armed, dangerous, and homicidal, and that the employer formed genuine concerns about my mental health and stability on the basis of a psychiatric consultation with a psychiatrist who obtained her medical degree from the same school with which Sigmund Freud, M.D. had held a professorship.;
Dr. Quint, I am in desperate need of psychiatric care. Please attend to this matter at the earliest possible time.
May 13, 1997
3801 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20008-4530
Philip C. Leadroot, S.A.
U.S. Secret Service
1050 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20036
Dear Mr. Leadroot:
The U.S. Social Security Administration has advised me, by letter dated April 26, 1997, a copy of which is enclosed, that the agency will be reviewing my disability claim.
This letter to the U.S. Secret Service will confirm the following facts concerning the investigation by the U.S. Secret Service of me, during the period December 1994 to February 1995, in connection with concerns that I might pose a security (assassination) risk to President William J. Clinton and Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
1. I met with you and another (unidentified) agent at the Washington Field Office, at your request, in mid-December 1994. The meeting was prompted by a referral by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to which I had sent a letter in early October 1994 that stated the concerns of managers of the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld (my former employer) that, reportedly, I posed a violence risk and a possible homicide risk; my letter to the FBI also referred to President Clinton and Mrs. Clinton, but contained no threats of future intent in violation of federal law. You advised me that you would conduct an investigation, but, based on the information available to you at that time, no further action (presumably, with respect to criminal prosecution) would probably be taken. You stated that you welcomed communication with me, and provided me your business card.
2. In about December 1994 or January 1995 my psychiatrist at the George Washington University Medical Center Department of Psychiatry (Dimitrios Georgopoulos, M.D.) requested that I sign a Request for Information Form in order to provide the U.S. Secret Service access to confidential mental health information contained in my medical records at GW or to allow the U.S. Secret Service to communicate directly with Medical Center staff concerning my case. I do not know what communications, if any, the U.S. Secret Service has had with GW pursuant to the said release of information form.
3. Beginning in December 1994 I began to forward to you written communications on a regular basis. The letters concerned issues relating to my psychiatric treatment at the George Washington University Medical Center Department of Psychiatry as well as my concerns arising out of my job termination by the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld specifically with respect to reported allegations that I posed a risk of violence including homicide.
In about July 1995 I forwarded to the U.S. Secret Service a collection of twelve (12) computer disks: copies of all computer disks in my possession that contained all of my correspondence.
4. In January 1996 I forwarded to the U.S. Department of Justice [John C. Keeney, Jr., assistant U.S. attorney general, criminal division] a copy of a dream interpretation that I had previously provided, in June 1993, to a former treating psychiatrist at the George Washington University Medical Center, Suzanne M. Pitts, M.D. The dream interpretation contained references to the attempted assassination of former President Ronald W. Reagan, an historical event. The cover letter I prepared and forwarded to the U.S. Department of Justice explained that I was enclosing a copy of a dream that comprised my "fantasies relating to the [past] assassination [attempt] of the President of the United States [an historical event]." The letter contained no references that could reasonably be said to relate to future intent, in violation of any federal law.
My motivation in writing the letter to the U.S. Department of Justice was a good faith attempt to keep federal authorities apprised of any facts that might plausibly relate to the concerns of attorney managers (and management employees) of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld--concerns placed in controversy solely by said attorney managers and their employees--about my mental stability, potential for violence, and homicide risk.
5. Notwithstanding the clear and unambiguous language of the letter to the U.S. Department of Justice, the content of which related solely to my thoughts about a past [historical] event and which did not communicate an intent of future action, the Justice Department referred the matter to the U.S. Secret Service. On the basis of the said letter that I sent to the Justice Department, you requested a meeting with me in about mid-February 1996.
At that time (mid-February 1996) you told me that attorneys at the Justice Department had serious concerns about my mental stability ["There are attorneys in the Justice Department who think you're a nut case."] You did not identify the attorneys employed by the U.S. Department of Justice who reportedly had concerns about my mental stability.
You directed me to stop my activity of writing letters to federal agencies [that referred to protectees of the U.S. Secret Service]. You said that I was permitted to continue to communicate with you, however. I stated my concerns to you about the refusal of the U.S. Secret Service to investigate allegations by attorneys and senior managers at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld that I posed a risk of violence, including a risk of homicide. You said that you would contact Laurence J. Hoffman, Esq. [(202) 887-4030], managing partner at Akin Gump, and let me know what he said. You expressly said you would give me a "heads up" concerning your communication with Hoffman. However, you did not contact me following that meeting.
A few days after my meeting with you, in February 1996, I forwarded a letter to the U.S. Secret Service stating my concern that U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin (a close friend and personal confidant of Robert S. Strauss, an Akin Gump management partner) may have been engaged in a conspiracy with Akin Gump to obstruct justice, a federal crime, by curtailing or limiting the U.S. Secret Service in its investigation of my case. You have not communicated to me about that letter.
I continue to believe that the handling of my case by the U.S. Secret Service is highly suspect, and may reflect the actions of U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin in directing officials of the U.S. Secret Service to "go easy" on me because of what a full investigation might reveal about the true nature of the relationship between Robert Strauss and Robert Rubin (including possible violations of federal law in connection with Rubin's business dealings at Goldman Sachs), and also the seamier side of what goes on at Rubin's friend's law firm (Akin Gump). I am also sure that it is no coincidence that Vernon Jordan, an Akin Gump partner, also happens to be a close friend of President Clinton.
It's to be expected that the U.S. Secret Service doesn't want me writing to federal agencies. If I were knee deep in a conspiracy I wouldn't want the Justice Department to get involved, either.