(RightWing.org) – A massive Chinese balloon carrying surveillance equipment and sensors crossed into US airspace on January 28. Officials from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) claimed the vessel was an errant meteorological civilian airship used for research that strayed from its course due to high winds. A week later, a US F-22 Raptor fighter jet downed the aircraft off the coast of South Carolina at the direction of President Joe Biden. As it turns out, the US government may have covered up the presence of several other spy balloons.
An unnamed “senior defense official and senior military official” held an off-camera press briefing on the “high-altitude surveillance balloon” on February 4. They announced the US military shot down the balloon using a single missile earlier that day. The officials claimed it was the “first available opportunity” to take out the balloon without posing a risk to civilians.
Stunningly, the officials disclosed they knew this wasn’t the only Chinese balloon “operating in the Western Hemisphere.” According to them, a second one was observed flying across Latin American countries and was part of a fleet of surveillance airships violating the sovereignty of other countries. A third balloon is reportedly flying somewhere, according to a recent report by The Washington Post who quotes unnamed officials. If true, the government is talking.
Something is happening, folks –Pentagon says another Chinese spy balloon is traveling over Latin America https://t.co/KjdQVPo6lQ
— Stone (@StoneBryson) February 4, 2023
The defense and military officials also admitted a third surveillance balloon flew over the continental US since Biden assumed office and “at least three times during the previous administration.” However, they didn’t provide any additional information about the previous flights or explain why the government didn’t advise the public of the flights.
Former President Donald Trump quickly denied the claim, telling Fox News Digital that had a Chinese balloon crossed into US airspace during his administration, “we would have shot it down immediately.” Likewise, former Defense Secretary Mark Esper and National Security Advisor John Bolton said they hadn’t heard of any incidents involving PRC surveillance balloons during their time in office. According to Fox News, a senior Biden administration official claims they weren’t detected, and this information was discovered after Trump left office.
The long-term impact of the Biden administration’s decision to take down the balloon remains unclear. In the short term, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement condemning the downing of its “unmanned airship.
On February 3, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken canceled a scheduled visit to the PRC due to the presence of the surveillance balloon over US airspace.
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