Incident prompts FAA ground stop, closing down several airports
The Chinese spy balloon drifts to the ocean after being shot down off the coast in Surfside Beach, S.C., on Feb. 4, 2023. (Randall Hill/Reuters)
By Jack Phillips
February 5, 2023Updated: February 5, 2023
Please see below YouTube link.
BREAKING: F-22 Fighter Jet Fires Down Chinese Spy Balloon – Aftermath Recorded by Eyewitness
New video footage posted online shows the moment a U.S. military aircraft shot down a Chinese spy balloon near the South Carolina coast on Saturday.
Videos posted to social media showed what appeared to be a fighter jet circling around the balloon before it shot the balloon down.
In another video posted to Twitter, a person is heard yelling that “they got it, there it goes.” The balloon then appears to collapse in the sky.
A 45-second clip posted to Twitter shows the balloon before it was shot down. It then floats downward while the U.S. military jets continue on their path.
The giant white orb was spotted Saturday morning over the Carolinas as it approached the Atlantic coast. About 2:39 p.m. EST, a U.S. military jet fired a missile at the balloon, puncturing it while it was about 6 nautical miles off the coast near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, officials said.
A news release issued by the Department of Defense confirmed it was an F-22 Raptor that shot down the aerial device.
“The balloon, which was being used by the [Chinese military] in an attempt to surveil strategic sites in the continental United States, was brought down above U.S. territorial waters,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III said.
Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials on Sunday fumed over the downing of the balloon, saying the regime “strongly disapproves of” the incident. The CCP again asserted that the balloon was used in a “civilian nature,” although such claims have been previously downplayed by U.S. officials.
A number of both Democrat and Republican officials have said that the balloon should have been shot down days ago after it was spotted near Billings, Montana. Defense officials had told reporters that the Pentagon considered downing the aircraft but decided against it.