Pentagon Says Chinese Surveillance Balloon Hovering Over U.S.

Image for article titled The Pentagon claims a Chinese surveillance balloon has been hovering over the US for days

photo: Andrei Pugachev (Shutterstock)

Defense officials claim that a Chinese surveillance balloon has been hovering over the northern part of the United States for several days. The balloon is believed to have flown over a number of different states where sensitive defenses (read: nuclear silos) are located.

Local news on Thursday points of sale in Montana reported that the Pentagon had confirmed that “a high-altitude surveillance balloon” was “just over the continental United States.” Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told multiple outlets that “the US government, including NORAD, continues to follow and monitor it closely. The balloon is currently flying at an altitude well above commercial air traffic and poses no military or physical threat to people on the ground.”

Ryder also told the news media that the government “acted immediately to protect itself from the collection of sensitive information,” but did not explain what action was taken. ABC reports that F-22 Raptors were sent from Nellis Air Force Base to examine the balloon, but that officials would not say whether or not the balloon will be shot out of the sky. Have other outlets reported that the Pentagon recommended not shooting down the balloon.

Short video trending on Twitter allegedly showing evidence of the surveillance balloon. In the video, a man points his camera phone at what appears to be a blurred, motionless point in the sky. “What the hell is that? That’s not the sun!” the man exclaims helpfully.

A local news outlet in Billings, Montana — where the balloon is said to have been sighted multiple times — released a photo of the mysterious sphere-like object:

Others just resorted to it Goodfellas jokes:

That’s definitely weird. The incident comes at a time when the US and China are having a somewhat tense moment. In an effort to counter China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific, the US recently entered into an agreement with the Philippines, allowing for greater cooperation and deployment of US military personnel in the region. American officials have also consistently expressed concern about China increased activities in the South China Sea. Foreign Minister Antony Blinken is also planned go to China for a diplomatic visit in a few days.

The US have allegedly “engaged” China over the blimp incident and expressed displeasure. Pentagon Says Chinese Surveillance Balloon Hovering Over U.S.

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