USAF is busy uploading a virus through the balloon, and it’s a damned slow connection.
For administrative purposes, the phrase “anyone important” should be read as “anyone with a lawyer”.
If this really is a Chinese spy balloon (I have no idea), I think its purpose would be more provocation than gathering useful information. “Hey we can send a balloon over your territory, what are you going to do about it?” China does this with flyovers of Taiwan all the time.
I have no idea if this has any connection or not, but Japan, in WWII, did try some attacks on the US mainland with fire balloons. Very ineffective but they did cause a few deaths in the US.
I remain skeptical about what these balloons (are they even Chinese?) until more information is released about them.
I honestly have to wonder if someone told her about Mama Dolce’s Food Processing and she didn’t understand that Fallout is a dark-humored satire rather than a news source.
That’s literally the only other instance of sinister Chinese food factories I’ve ever heard of.
The Chinese government says that it is a weather balloon, which is an admission that it is Chinese.
speaking of loon, it’s interesting that it looks so different than loon; which also used long duration steerable balloons. i wonder why
I read “we don’t want to shoot it down, it might hurt someone” to mean
“We’re looking at the data stream it’s sending back, and don’t want to stop because getting this information about how China operates their signals intelligence (on US emissions) is quite useful”
I’m more inclined to think they want to capture it in-tact and analyze the equipment on it, figure out what it may be doing and what info it might have collected.
Much harder to do with tiny pieces scattered across many miles.
Dubious excuse, for sure. Have you seen eastern Montana? For that matter, most of Montana? Short of trying to drop it on someone or something, the chances of causing damage are pretty small.
I’m sure that the “civilian airship” has anti-tamper mechanisms built into any surveillance equipment that may have mysteriously found its way aboard. It could be as simple as a thermite bomb with a barometric trigger, so that if it drops below a certain altitude everything melts.
The reports I’ve seen suggested that the authorities thought it would actually be less effective for intelligence gathering than a spy satellite, but I guess it depends what intelligence it’s gathering. Or if it’s just intended to see how the US reacts to an ambiguously hostile act.
“They could be scooping up signals intelligence, in other words, they’re looking at our cell phone traffic, our radio traffic,” [Retired US Air Force Col. Cedric Leighton told CNN].
Text: U WANT CHIPOTLE 4 LUNCH?
I believe they stopped being secret in the mid '80s as part of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT Treaty).
That’s why all those B-52s got chopped up in plain sight of any passing satellites and also why the US built highly visible missile bases with closed circuit train lines that passed between the missile hangars (if that’s the right word) on a very dispersed missile base.
The trains would transport a missile between hangars in a perpetual sort of three-cup game and although the satellites passing over the base knew there was a missile on the base somewhere, they would never know if it was on the train being moved, or which hangar it might be residing in.
So to be assured of destroying the missile, the Soviets would have to nuke all the hangars and presumably the train using maybe a dozen missiles.
The whole Mutually Assured Destruction thing was high-functioning fucking crazy…
BTW, has anyone seen Richard Branson recently?
We’ve got secret Chinese police stations here, harassing Chinese citizens on a visa, or extended stays… or even suggesting family back home is in peril if you continue to write/protest/speak in this country against China.
Instead of looking up, look around.
My sarcasm filter may be on the blink, but the reason the Google Loony balloon looks different is that photo was taken just after launch. The balloon envelope is intentionally partly inflated as the gas inside will expand at higher altitude. It wouldn’t be fully inflated until it reaches operating altitude. The only real difference is that Google is allowed to spy anywhere they want to
Asking for a friend: If an Amazon delivery drone were to “accidentally” fly into and deflate this thing, would Amazon stock go up or down?
that makes perfect sense, thanks for the explanation!
( in the mirror universe, my doppelganger is an aeronaut. i have not been so lucky. )
This could also be something we just said so that China doesn’t think we’re investigating it deeper. We may have found all kinds of things out that we don’t want to let them know we’ve found. The fact that we’re not shooting it down over the emptiest areas of the United States because “we don’t want it to hurt people when it comes down” is a pretty tacit admission to me that we’re not shooting it down for some other reason.