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Not helium, but hot air

By Lester Holt, NBC News anchor

Many of us would have been just as happy to see that little Colorado balloon adventure turn out to be an innocent misunderstanding so that we could all move on to other things. We learned today, however, that apparently isn't the case.

Colorado authorities said today that they were duped – and so were all of uswatching that balloon careening through the sky while silently praying for a little boy we were told was in it. Sheriff's investigators say they plan to file charges against the parents that could lead to jail time. Toying with a country's emotions is not a crime, but intentionally leading rescuers on a wild goose chase is. Tonight on the broadcast, we will tell you why authorities now think the whole thing was a hoax and what was behind it.