I first heard about the unidentified flying objects last week and immediately wanted to know more about how people in the United States were reacting to them.
I did some digging and found out most of the country felt the same way I did: shocked and unsettled.
I had many initial questions:
- Why are Chinese representatives within a country that manufactures a large majority of our goods, spying on us?
- What exactly are the objects and how were they detected?
- Is this a potential act of war?
Knowing this is a security threat and a privacy concern to our country is a frightening thought I am sure has been felt by many.
This all began Jan 28. when a flying object, now identified as a Chinese spy balloon, was shot down while flying over Alaska. It featured high-tech surveillance technology and contained collection pod equipment capable of collecting communication signals and other sensitive information about the U.S.
The balloon has been described as white, circular, roughly 200-feet tall and thousands of pounds. That is five times taller than my four-story apartment building.
A spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Beijing was using the balloon as a civilian airship for weather research, and it happened to deviate from the planned course it was on. I don’t believe that for a second.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the top six tools meteorologists use to research weather are:
- Doppler radars
- Satellite data
- Automated surface-observing systems
- Advanced weather interactive processing systems
Nowhere on that list says “spy balloons.” Chinese officials are using weather research technology as an excuse to cover up the obvious infiltration of information they were attempting to gather on the U.S.
Since the initial balloon was shot down, three more unidentified objects have been identified and taken down by the U.S. military. On Feb. 10, off the coast of Alaska, the U.S. military shot down another high-altitude object. Two more unidentified objects were targeted and shot down in Canadian airspace and the Great Lakes by the U.S. military Feb. 11 and 12.
The fact that multiple objects have been taken down in such a short amount of time scares me and everyone I know.
The lack of response from the Pentagon and President Joe Biden has caused an extreme amount of misinformation and fake news to be released which has only caused more panic within the country. Because the FBI is still determining exactly what these objects are, and what China’s message was by sending them, we really have no concrete answers on the situation.
Many different news outlets have stated this is not the first time the Chinese military have used spy balloons and other spy equipment against the U.S. Some sources said Trump and his administration were aware of the balloons, but Trump and many of the people in his administration have came out and said they were not aware of any Chinese spy balloons hovering over the U.S. during Trump’s time in office.
The fake news, assumptions and misinformation about these balloons has affected the entire country and the world. As more information comes out, we will have a better understanding of the consequences of these events and what the U.S. plans to do moving forward.
In the meantime, the best way to stay involved with new information and updates is to check the official website of the U.S. government and fact check your news on multiple reputable sources.