10/16/2009 at 07:00 AM EDT
Richard Heene faced his own wild ride on Friday, battling rumors that Thursday's frantic rescue effort to save his 6-year-old-son Falcon – who was believed to be aboard a homemade helium-filled balloon that floated high over Colorado
for more than two hours with National Guard and sheriff's helicopters in its pursuit – was the result of a publicity stunt.
Appearing on Friday's Today show
, Heene said such accusations were making him angry. As he spoke to the NBC morning program's Meredith Vieira, Falcon, who had safely hidden in the rafters of the family garage while the balloon adventure played out on national TV, got sick to his stomach on camera.
Reality TV fans may remember Richard and wife Mayumi
from the ABC show Wife Swap
. Their episode aired on the show's October 2008 premiere.