See Update for additional UFO link
I won't go into the details about the Balloon Boy fiasco, but there are a couple of point worth noting, some of interesting comparison with the infamous H. G. Wells/Orson Welles War of the Worlds radio play 71 years ago this month.
With Balloon Boy, a number of commentators have noted that this story spread via twitter and other new media, with bursts of micro-information keeping people glued to their cable news networks. This story, however, was entirely a creature of those networks, and reflects how they do business. People are making the inevitable "baby down a well" comparisons, and they do apply. But the breathless chase, the child in danger, the constant "breaking news" marks this as being very similar to the "child/white girl in peril" stories that have come to dominate the news landscape, the cable nets in particular. An outlandish story in 1938 could be believed if it conformed to the format of breaking war news. In 2009, such a story is believable if it conforms to a drawn-out and information poor individual peril story.
Update 1 PM 10/16/09: In his 9/11 call, Richard Heene says his balloon is actually more complex, and there is a directional or propulsion system that has 1,000,000 volts coursing over the skin of the balloon. As others have noted and I suspected, this is tied into the fringe-appeal science/engineering/community of electrogravitics. the most high-profile expression of this has been the lifter community (wiki here). Elements of this community are tied into fringe science, ufology, zero point energy, conspiracy theories (Nick Cook's The Hunt for Zero Point: Inside the Classified World of Antigravity Technology is a major expression of this), and the like. Given Heene's interests, this makes a lot of sense. No idea if he actually was electrifying the balloon or not, but that seems to be what he is talking about.
Here's the sort of thing I'm talking about. Tying Adamski into all of this is just icing on the cake.