BY TYLER DURDEN
FRIDAY, FEB 03, 2023 – 06:55 AM
US military commanders have advised President Biden against shooting down a Chinese spy balloon flying over the US.
Reuters said the US military took "custody" of the "high-altitude surveillance balloon" and deployed military aircraft, including stealth fighter jets, to observe it.
Such balloons operate at an altitude of 15-22 miles, well above commercial air traffic. The balloon’s size is estimated to be equivalent to three buses.
🚨#BREAKING: More video of the Chinese spy balloon⁰
📌#Montana | #USA
More video is coming out as
The Chinese high altitude surveillance balloon was seen over Billings Montana yesterday.
The size of balloon is three buses wide and has been flying over the Northern U.S. for days pic.twitter.com/4iUVvJQCG8
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) February 2, 2023
A photo of the Chinese spy balloon currently over Montana. The Pentagon’s been tracking the balloon, about the size of three buses, for a few days, but decided against shooting the balloon down, on account of it not posing a military or civilian threat. pic.twitter.com/xLRovjKxbI
— Domenico (@AvatarDomy) February 3, 2023
#BREAKING: A massive spy balloon from China has been surveilling the United States. It is described as the size of three buses and includes a technology
bay – US Media #BreakingNews #usa #Internationalleaks #China pic.twitter.com/x10a1xkdkh
— International Leaks (@Internl_Leaks) February 2, 2023
"The United States government has detected and is tracking a high-altitude surveillance balloon that is over the continental United States right now," Pentagon spokesperson Brigadier General Patrick Ryder told reporters Thursday.
"The balloon is currently traveling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic and does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground," Ryder continued.
Right now, the spy balloon appears to be occupying Montana airspace. This alarmed the state’s Republican Senator Steve Daines, who sent an alarming letter to the Department of Defense (DOD). He said the spy balloon is a "concerning event": because Montana airspace includes "Malmstrom Air Force Base (AFB) and the United State’s intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) fields."
Looks like three #USAF RC-135s were observing the "Chinese Spy Balloon" over Montana today. These planes are known to track objects the size of a soccer ball from a distance of 300 miles. #ChineseSpyBalloon pic.twitter.com/IGlPetCmUN
— Wilson (@WilsonsWorld) February 3, 2023
Daines wrote that given "the serious nature of the event," he is "requesting a full security briefing from the administration on this situation."
"It is vital to establish the flight path of this balloon, any compromised US national security assets, and all telecom or IT infrastructure on the ground within the US that this spy balloon was utilizing," he continued.
"As you know, Montana plays a vital national security role by housing nuclear missile silos at Malmstrom AFB," the senator said.
Separately, Canada’s defense ministry is monitoring a "potential second incident" but declined to give further details.
News of the spy balloon followed CIA Director William Burns’ speech at a Georgetown University event, where he called China the "biggest geopolitical challenge" facing the West.