Following the national spotlight on the Chinese spy balloon, people have been paying extra attention to UFOs in U.S. airspace. A week ago, the U.S. Air Force shot down three unidentified objects out of the sky, although it wasn’t immediately clear what these objects were.
On Thursday, Aviation Week published a report that suggests the objects may have been an Illinois-based hobby club’s pico balloon that was recently declared “missing in action.”
The club, the Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade (NIBBB), reported that its silver-coated globe-trotting balloon’s last known position was at 38,910 ft off the coast of Alaska on February 10. It is projected that the balloon would be floating high over the central part of the Yukon Territory on February 11 – the same day that a Lockheed Martin F-22 shot down a similarly-described object at a similar altitude in the same area.
All three unidentified objects shot down by the Air Force match the description of a small pico balloon, which would cost between $12-$180 depending on the type.
The two Sidewinder AIM-9X missiles fired at the potentially harmless floating balloons cost $400K each.
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Ron Meadows, the founder of Scientific Balloon Solutions (SBS), who produces pico balloons for hobbyists, educators, and scientists, thought that the unidentified objects could be such balloons and tried to warn the U.S. government about the potentially embarrassing situation that would emerge if they shot them down.
“I tried contacting our military and the FBI – and just got the runaround – to try to enlighten them on what a lot of these things probably are,” said Meadows. “And they’re going to look not too intelligent to be shooting them down.”
Tom Medlin, a retired FedEx engineer who currently has three pico balloons of his own in flight, said, “I’m guessing probably they were pico balloons.”
However, after letting a Chinese spy balloon travel across the entire United States and gather data on the country’s military and missile sites, the Biden regime couldn’t risk additional backlash for a lack of action and opted to shoot the objects down.
National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby reported that all three of the objects “could just be balloons tied to some commercial or benign purpose,” and added that although they “have no specific reason to suspect that [the objects] were conducting surveillance of any kind, [NSC] couldn’t rule that out.”