In reality, the Heene's arranged for the child to hide. At a great cost to taxpayers, a major search and a rescue effort was mobilized in the boy's behalf. The next scripted part of their publicity stunt had the brat coming out of hiding as if he had been pranking his folks. The opportunistic parents expected to gain media-driven sympathy from the supposed mix-up. The next logical step would be the Heene's cashing-in, by explaining their reaction to the child's "near-fatal" experience via personal appearances, books, movies etc. When the authorities realized that these jerks were full of "hot-air" formal charges were thrust upon them.
Something like could never happen at my house because you couldn't get me near a lighter-than-air balloon. However, one of my crazy ambitions is to go white-water rafting. Yes, you die-hard MGTP readers will recall my two so-called white-water trips down the Lehigh River, near Jim Thorpe Pennsylvania. But when you consider that the difficulty factor of rapids are measured on a one-to-six scale, and that the Lehigh only offers summertime "ones," the rush we felt those two times could never qualify us as dare-devils. That's right--what I really yearn for is the big time, the life and death struggles of fives and sixes.
Followers of this column like STAGE and SAMLIN have shot the rapids in our country's #2 rafting venue...the New and Gauley Rivers at Beckley West Virginia. Additionally, BADLANDS visited Costa Rica and experienced a similar sensation. YEAH BABY ! That's what I want.
When my family and I were in the Grand Canyon this past June, I was informed that the Colorado River which flows through the bottom of the Canyon, is the #1 white-water rafting spot in the US of A.
Our time in Arizona was limited to three days. Plus, it seemed I was the only one who wanted to squeeze a mega-thrill ride in. Perhaps the slim possibility still existed until we went to a campfire lecture. During the presentation, we were told of the true Dr. Jekyll-like story of Mr. Glen Hyde and his newlywed bride, Bessie. THE HYDE'S, GLEN (30) AND BESSIE (23), IN THE EARLY PART OF THEIR DARING HONEYMOON.
The Hyde's were married on April 12, 1928. When they had the time six months later, they decided to have their honeymoon, rafting through the Grand Canyon. At the time, less than 50 people had TRIED white-water rafting that section of the Colorado River. More specifically, none of them were women.
WE WERE SO HIGH UP THAT OUR TINY GLIMPSES OF THE COLORADO MADE IT LOOK LIKE A MEANDERING BROWN LENGTH OF DENTAL FLOSS.
Bessie was a novice rafter. But Glen a native Idahoan, had experienced white-water rafting on the Salmon and Snake rivers. In the 20-foot sweep scow he built, their unique and romantic trip began on the Green River in Utah. THE MIGHTY COLORADO FLOWS FROM COLORADO TO CALIFORNIA.
The early portion of their trip was easy and served as hands-on instruction for Bessie. THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM.
In mid-November, BEFORE the adventurous couple hit the heavy-duty rapids, they landed their boat at the foot of the Grand Canyon's Bright Angel Trail. The nine-mile hike up, took them to the heart of the tourist center, the South Rim Village. They stayed one night at the El Tovar Hotel and bought supplies.
THE FRONT OF EL TOVAR HOTEL. BUILT INTO THE ROCKY SOUTH RIM WALL, THE BACK END STUNNINGLY OVERLOOKS THE CANYON.
The historian Adolph G. Sutro accompanied the Hyde's down to their boat. He rode a couple of days with them to get a feel for the experience and to prolong his interview opportunity. On November, 18th, he was set ashore. Glen and Bessie Hyde were never seen again. Their people didn't hear from them for weeks and a search party including airplanes was organized. About 142 miles upriver, their scow was found upright, intact with all the supplies snugly strapped down.
The common belief is that they were swept from the boat in intense rapids 15 miles downstream, got caught underwater on rocks and drown. However, there has also been a weird assortment of legends, rumors and theories which have all been scientifically disproved. Additionally, down through the years there have been impostors claiming to be the Hyde's. ITS TOO BAD. NOT FOR THEM BUT FOR ME. IF WE DIDN'T HEAR THEIR STORY, MAYBE I COULD HAVE LIVED-OUT MY WHITE-WATER FANTASY.
Unlike the Heene's, the Hyde's laid their lives on the line...and lost...even worse, they never became famous. To prove it, if you didn't read this, you probably would have never heard of them.
The Hyde's never got what they wanted out of their haunted honeymoon but, their unsolved mystery has been glamorized many times in print...most recently by a Lisa Michaels book, "GRAND AMBITION." If you'd rather wait for the movie, there's one in the conception stage now.
I don't think I'm being even a little cynical but the Heene's, the other hollow-wieners, will probably get more than their ten minutes of fame after all. I'm certain some weasel will buy the rights to their story, pay-off whatever fines they incurred and supply a dream-team legal staff to keep those gutter-snipes out of jail.