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Chinese Spy Balloon loitering over continental US

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Chinese Spy Balloon loitering over continental US

Old 3rd Feb 2023, 00:15
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Chinese spy balloon flying over U.S. Pentagon says

A Chinese surveillance balloon has been spotted over the continentalUnited States and scrutinized by the U.S. military for several days, prompting the Pentagon to consider shooting it down, senior U.S. officials said Thursday, a strikingdevelopment in a time of rising tensionbetween the twoworld powers. I would have thought a balloon couldn't accomplish anything that a modern spy satellite could? I'm too new to post a link, maybe one of you seasoned members could...
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Old 3rd Feb 2023, 00:59
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Chinese Spy Balloon loitering over continental US

Currently over Montana. I recall a similar report last year but believe it was above FL450

Curious whether any NOTAMs have been published regarding this "incursion". Apparently there was a ground stop at KBIL


Last edited by unworry; 3rd Feb 2023 at 01:13.
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Old 3rd Feb 2023, 01:01
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BREAKING: U.S. State Department summons Chinese diplomat to deliver "very clear and stark message" after spy balloon detected over US
Tankers seem busy - wonder how many fighters are up there giving it the eyeball

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Old 3rd Feb 2023, 01:15
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More details in this updated NPR article
https://www.npr.org/2023/02/02/11539...ntana-pentagon
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Old 3rd Feb 2023, 01:29
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This shot looks very different to the dirigible cigar-shaped one posted in today's other thread. If this 'round' one is correct, then it looks very similar to one that drifted 'mysteriously' over Japan a couple of years back. There was at the time some debate as to whether the rack hanging from it could provide some form of guided propulsion or not, as I recall.
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Old 3rd Feb 2023, 02:14
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Quick! Inflate a whole bunch of these!:


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Old 3rd Feb 2023, 02:59
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"You're gonna need a bigger gun!"

Deploy the dummy missiles!


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Old 3rd Feb 2023, 04:23
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wonder how many fighters are up there giving it the eyeball
Reported elsewhere as two F-22 with tanker support.
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Old 3rd Feb 2023, 05:35
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One would assume our friends at Fort Meade are using national technical or some other means to listen in on what's going back to Beijing, which would also be a good reason for not shooting it.
As an old spook once said "...they were listening to you, and we were listening to them listening to you..."!
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Old 3rd Feb 2023, 07:09
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Imagine the same thing happening with a US spy-balloon flying over China. They would rev into red RPM.
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Old 3rd Feb 2023, 07:56
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Originally Posted by unworry
Curious whether any NOTAMs have been published regarding this "incursion".
according to this statement no need for a NOTAM , we have enough of thsoe CYA ones already ...
Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, Pentagon press secretary, provided a brief statement on the issue, saying the government continues to track the balloon. He said it 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."
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Old 3rd Feb 2023, 10:06
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Hm, if this thing mysteriously deflates and comes down anywhere in the desert, who would complain?
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Old 3rd Feb 2023, 11:22
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How high is the balloon?

How high is this balloon? One talking head on the morning news said 300 miles! That doesn't make sense.

Then she went on to say something like, "Perhaps we can send up a fighter and cast a net over the balloon and drag it back down."

If they try that, I certainly hope they make a high quality video so they can use the footage in the next Spiderman or Tom Cruise movie.

Does the F-35 internal weapons bay have a "cast net" option that they've been keeping secret from us?
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Old 3rd Feb 2023, 13:24
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Well...Even above FL450 any civil Gulf or Glex could hit it...At least till FL 510 iirc...Does anyone knows for sure wich FL he is opr?
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Old 3rd Feb 2023, 13:25
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We need a few darts players.
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Old 3rd Feb 2023, 13:40
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Why all this fuss over “spy balloons”? Regular commercially available satellite imagery that everyone can view on Google Maps provides all the intelligence anyone needs:

To Find America's Nuclear Missiles, Try Google Maps

I’m sure the “spy” satellites used by various countries will show even greater detail, so no need for anyone to kick up a stink about being “spied on” from a balloon. Especially the US, when they are doing the same thing. There’s probably half a dozen NSA satellites over China photographing every square inch as we speak:

Everything We Know About America's Secret KH-11 Recon Satellites
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Old 3rd Feb 2023, 13:44
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Regular commercially available satellite imagery that everyone can view on Google Maps provides all the intelligence anyone needs
Complete speculation on my part, but maybe it's not images the Chinese seek, but rather relayed transmissions or signals?
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Old 3rd Feb 2023, 14:12
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It would be illuminating, if not downright amusing for someone to explain just how Uncle Sam is supoosed to 'down' a balloon. Surveillance balloons tend to fly in the stratosphere way above the service cieling of most, if not all fighters which in any case are not equipped with any weapon that could credibly deflate a balloon. Perhaps a very close (feet away) supersonic pass might do the trick but you'd probably need an X15 or SR71 to get that high - if you were lucky and the balloon was low enough..
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Old 3rd Feb 2023, 14:17
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR
Complete speculation on my part, but maybe it's not images the Chinese seek, but rather relayed transmissions or signals?
Even if there’s Chinese spies on the ground transmitting messages back to Beijing I don’t think they need to relay their signals via a massive balloon hovering over the middle of Montana.

The US government released a statement pretty much admitting the reconnaissance capabilities gained by the balloon wouldn’t be as useful as what they already have via satellite.

(Retd USAF Col.) Ganyard predicted the balloon was an experiment gone awry.

Such balloons are not controlled after their release and while they are normally equipped with mechanisms to deflate over an open area, the mechanisms can fail, Ganyard said. So it's possible the balloon would have drifted over from China after multiple days, rather than being nefariously deployed.

China intentionally deploying a reconnaissance balloon over the U.S. would be highly provocative, with little value, Ganyard said, noting that Chinese satellites are able to collect information in a similar manner.


Last edited by dr dre; 3rd Feb 2023 at 14:36.
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Old 3rd Feb 2023, 14:19
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR
Complete speculation on my part, but maybe it's not images the Chinese seek, but rather relayed transmissions or signals?
If so what would be the point of sending a huge stratospheric balloon that can be spotted miles away... ?
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