For several days, the government has been keeping a close eye on a Chinese surveillance balloon that has been floating in the sky above the United States’ northern region, according to NBC News.
Discussions have been held about the possibility of shooting down the object.
A report stated that on Wednesday, a balloon was seen in Billings, Montana. The suspicious balloon had originated from the Aleutian Islands, going through Canada before arriving in Montana.
A spokesperson for the Pentagon made a statement to NBC News. Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said in this statement, “The United States government has detected and is tracking a high-altitude surveillance balloon that is over the continental United States right now.”
Ryder continued, saying, “Once the balloon was detected, the U.S. government acted immediately to protect against the collection of sensitive information. We continue to track and monitor it closely.”
A high-ranking member of the military confirmed the presence of the balloon in the United States, but did not provide any information regarding its whereabouts.
Reports indicate that a senior defense official commented on the object, saying, “Currently we assess that this balloon has limited additive value from an intelligence collection perspective over and above what the PRC can do through other means.”
The representative declared that the balloon does not constitute a danger to civilian air travel, mainly due to its height.
These balloons are capable of following moving objects on the ground by capturing electronic signals and transmissions.