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What We Know About The Suspected Chinese Spy Balloon Flying Over United States

The United States is following a Chinese spy balloon, high in the sky, over the lower 48 States.

Here’s what we know so far.

Is it there?

The Pentagon was first Recognized the suspected reconnaissance balloon on Thursday as it was spotted over Billings, Montana, after it flew over Alaska’s Aleutian Islands and through Canada, According to NBC News.

The Pentagon stated that the balloon was located above the central continent United States and moving eastward. It could remain there for several more days. Although its exact location was not known as of Friday afternoon, there were indications that it might be in northeast Kansas or Missouri.

Senator @RogerMarshallMD According to reports, the Chinese spy balloon is currently over northeast Kansas at 12:15 p.m.”> #KAKEnews

— KAKE News (@KAKEnews) February 3, 2023

Many people are interested in a Chinese spy balloon. Recent sightings of the spy balloon north of Kansas City. A forward trajectory based upon atmospheric steering currents would take it to St. Louis tonight and North Carolina Saturday. Follow Wash Post live updates: a>=””>

— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) February 3, 2023

There have been several reports from northwest MO about a large balloon visible at the horizon. It can be seen from Pleasant Hill, MO and the KC Metro. It is not an NWS weather balloon, as we have confirmed.

— NWS Kansas City (@NWSKansasCity) February 3, 2023

What is it?

China’s government claimed on Friday the balloon is a “civilian airship used for research, mainly meteorological purposes.” Beijing claimed that the balloon was essentially blown off course.

The Pentagon rejected this explanation on Friday, describing the balloon as being a “surveillance balloon” That “violated U.S. airspace and international law,” per CNN.

Is the balloon a danger?

Brig. Brig. Currently, it does not “present a military or physical threat to people on the ground.”

He said that the balloon was inflated. “traveling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic.”

What is the balloon looking for?

Multiple reports indicate that the spy balloon was seen near a Montana base housing 150 Minuteman III intercontinental missiles.

A senior defense official The Wall Street Journal The U.S. government took steps to protect sensitive sites and stressed that such a balloon was believed to provide China with a valuable resource. “limited additive value” It can gather more information than what satellites could.

What does a balloon look like?

KSVI-TV Montana’s news station Published a photograph Megan Nielsel captured the image from the ground. It shows what appears as a device attached a white ballon.

PHOTO 🚨 The giant Chinese spy balloon over Montana – KSVI-TV

— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) February 2, 2023

Are you able to control the balloon?

Ryder, Pentagon Press Secretary, stated that the balloon is currently at approximately 60,000 feet in the sky and is being monitored. “maneuverable.”

Although he did not give any further details about how it could be controlled he said that the U.S. communicates with China.

Why not just shoot it down?

According to a senior defense official, the U.S. determined that shooting down the balloon could pose a danger to people on the ground.

“President Biden was briefed and asked for military options. Secretary [Lloyd] Austin convened senior DOD leadership yesterday, even as he was on the road in the Philippines,” During a briefing held Thursday, the official stated: Newsweek.

“It was the strong recommendation by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Milley, and the commander of NORTHCOM, General VanHerck, not to take kinetic action due to the risk to safety and security of people on the ground from the possible debris field,” The official added.

Ryder According to reporters, Friday: “In terms of the size, I’m not able to get into the specifics other than to say that it is big enough that, again, in reviewing our approach, we do recognize that any potential debris field would be significant and potentially cause civilian injuries or deaths, or significant property damage.”

There are still those who demand that the balloon be taken down. “I’d pull the trigger if they let me,” tweeted Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT).

Do you think there are more?

Canada’s military said it is monitoring a “potential second incident,” and the country’s intelligence agencies are in contact with their U.S. counterparts, Toronto Star.

Ryder, a Pentagon official, stated to reporters Friday that the U.S. was Tracking one balloon Referred questions regarding a second balloon to Canada.

Broadly speaking: The Pentagon: “Instances of this kind of balloon activity have been observed previously over the past several years.”

What are the consequences of this balloon controversy?

Antony Blinken is Secretary of State Postponement of a trip planned This weekend, go to China

Some lawmakers, including Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) And House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), demanded briefings by the Biden administration.

The United Nations asked the U.S. to call on China and China. “do whatever they can to lower tensions,” CNN.

This is an evolving news story. Check back

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