Weather or Spy Balloon?

Larry Mayer/The Billings Gazette via AP

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a Chinese balloon? On January 28th, a Chinese balloon entered American airspace and was spotted by many people living in the areas below its path. The balloon traveled from Alaska, crossing over into Canada, then through Montana, Nebraska, Missouri, and Kansas. Social media and the news were buzzing with images and speculations about the balloon. The balloon was ultimately downed in U.S. airspace over U.S. territorial waters, according to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. The balloon was struck by an F-22, firing a missile roughly six nautical miles off the South Carolina coast, says a senior U.S. defense official. 

China has maintained it was a weather balloon that veered off course. However even with this statement, one cannot deny the suspiciousness of the situation. While the U.S. is still conducting a full analysis of the wreckage, it is clear that the balloon was definitely more than a weather balloon. Standard weather balloons are much smaller than the one shot down. 

But, what is it? There are many possibilities, but the most likely is a spy balloon. The wreckage was examined and many sensors and other equipment were found which all lead to the conclusion that China sent this balloon to spy on America to acquire information and data. This balloon is and should be scaring Americans because of how easy it was for China to spy on the U.S. 

This event only further increases tensions with China, as China responds to these accusations, saying the U.S. also flew more than 10 spy balloons into China. This situation should be a sign to Americans to be more careful with the data they share, as it is inevitable that someone is always watching. 

About the Author

Adi Hansoty
Adi Hansoty is a junior at IMSA who lives in 07 B-wing. He is from Long Grove and is very excited to serve as a staff writer. Outside of writing, he likes to play sports, guitar, and listen to music.

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