By Ronny Reyes For Dailymail.Com
Published: 19:59 EST, 3 February 2023
Updated: 21:07 EST, 3 February 2023
👁️ The Source Is Right Here!!
The detection of the suspected Chinese spy balloon over the United States triggered speculation that Beijing was mounting a concerted surveillance effort near sensitive military sites.
China has claimed the balloon is a civilian airship that blew off course, but analysts have said the balloon could be a Cold War-era espionage technique deployed in US airspace.
Balloons have been used as a spying technique – including by the US – since the 1950s. But technological advancements mean modern models are harder to detect and have much greater surveillance capabilities.
The balloon currently floating over the US is about the size of three buses. It is believed to have flown over the Aleutian Islands in the northern Pacific Ocean, and then crossed Canadian airspace into the United States.
One model suggests it’s likely to drift further into the Midwest and over Missouri by Saturday, but the nature of the device and changing weather makes an accurate prediction difficult.
The balloon is large enough that destroying it would rain down debris, risking the safety of people on the ground, US officials said.
The balloon’s path takes it over ‘a number of sensitive sites’, a senior Pentagon official said when asked about the presence of nuclear missile silos in Montana.
‘Clearly, they’re trying to fly… this balloon over sensitive sites… to collect information,’ the official added.
However, the balloon’s tech is not ‘revolutionary’ and its observations are not better than what China is capable of seeing through other means such as its spy satellites.
China’s claim that the balloon is a civilian weather-monitoring device are not totally baseless. Such balloons, which can appear similar to a surveillance device, are common tools for meteorological research.
China has sent such balloons over the United States in recent years, the senior Pentagon official said.
The official did not share details, but indicated the flights were detected as far back as the administration of the previous president Donald Trump.
However, the official added, this is the first time a Chinese balloon has stayed in US airspace for an extended period.