Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

Unidentified balloon belongs to amateur balloonist: US official

By 37ci3 Feb24,2024

A high-altitude balloon flying over the western United States is the property of a balloon enthusiast, a US official told NBC News on Saturday.

Earlier Saturday, the US military said it had tracked an unidentified “small” balloon flying high over the west, according to two US officials and a defense official.

A fighter jet has been dispatched to monitor a balloon after it was spotted over Utah this morning. Officials said the balloon, which was flying between 43,000 and 45,000 feet, did not pose a national security threat to the United States.

Officials said the balloon was not maneuverable and had a small box-like payload.

NBC News has reached out to the White House for comment. A National Security Council official referred NBC to the Ministry of Defense for an official comment.

“NORAD will continue to monitor and track the balloon,” a defense official said, citing the North American Aerospace Defense Command. “The FAA has also determined that the balloon poses no threat to flight safety. NORAD is coordinating closely with the FAA to ensure flight safety.”

The first balloon informed It was noted by CBS News, about a year after the US has been shot a Chinese observation balloon In February 2023. NBC News previously reported that the spy balloon was able to gather intelligence from many sensitive US military facilities and used balloon American internet service provider to communicate according to many sources.

Chinese government officials denied that last year’s balloon was used for espionage. Instead, they said the balloon was a civilian airship used for meteorological research and was inadvertently drifted into the United States.

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By 37ci3

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