What imaginable intelligence did the Chinese language peek balloon bring together? | USA TODAY


In February, a suspected Chinese spy balloon flewover the United States before being shot down by an F-22 US war planeoff the coast of South Carolina. The US Navy recovered the debris fromthe 200-foot tall vessel to examine its capabilities and thepotential intelligence itgathered along its journey at 65,000 feet. So what kind of information couldthis spy balloon have collected? Let's start by lookingat the path it took. Well, we know that it started,.

It entered the United Statesat the Ellucian Islands, and then it flew over parts of Alaska,re-entered the United States at Idaho, but went over Montana whereMalmstrom Air Force base is and other sites that havenuclear missile silos. We can surmise from other sightingsof it over Kansas that it probably went over Nebraska as well,where strategic air command is. So it probably went over nuclear missilesites as well as command and control. These sites are sensitivefor a reason, right? I mean, they're the most strategicassets that the military has.

They have nuclear weapons that coulddestroy the world. So they need to be, have the utmost security. And if youhave a foreign adversary looking at them, presumably they're picking upsome information from that. They would certainly have had highresolution cameras on it to take still photos, but they probably hadfull motion video as well. They may have also had devicesthat would've picked up on communications. The balloon itself was 200feet tall and the payload that carried the surveillance gear was thesize of regional jet airliner and it.

Weighed thousands of pounds.So if you're dropping that, shooting it down and it drops from60,000 feet, it's gonna hit something. And the other factor wasthat we spied on the spy. We picked up on its capabilities becauseit was over the United States and we were able to monitor itand see what it was doing. So we learned just as much as the Chinese in examining what was goingon with their balloon.

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