The US classifies Chinese balloons as UFOs

On Saturday, February 4, the US Air Force shot down a Chinese balloon over the country. After that, it became known that at least several UFO reports in recent years had been caused by similar objects.

The US military catches a downed Chinese balloon. Source: US Navy

Incident with the Chinese balloon

On February 4, 2023, a US Air Force F-22 fighter jet shot down an object off the coast of South Carolina that turned out to be a Chinese balloon. It was known that before it was destroyed, the balloon drifted in the sky of the United States for at least a week. 

Inspection of the wreckage showed that the balloon was carrying equipment for observing the surface. Anonymous sources in the US Department of Defense said that the balloon had a spy purpose and tracked military facilities in the country. 

At the same time, China confirmed that the balloon belonged to them and apologized that it flew into the territory of the United States. However, they rejected any accusations that it was intelligence. According to them, it was a completely civilian scientific apparatus.

UFOs or Chinese balloons?

It is much more interesting that simultaneously with the news about the damage, the US military reports that during the presidency of Donald Trump, that is, in the period from 2017 to 2021, such incidents have happened at least three more times. But then Chinese balloons with equipment were classified as UFOs, or more precisely as unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP).

How long the US military has known that at least some of the UFOs they are tracking are actually Chinese intelligence officers is not reported. But The Times, citing some anonymous officials, reported that the Air Force hid this information in order not to let the Celestial Empire understand that their efforts were disclosed.

Recently, the Pentagon has been paying more attention to the UAPs. During 2022, closed meetings were held on this subject all the time. Their result is the creation within the Ministry of Defense of the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), which is charged with considering all incomprehensible cases.

But there is nothing surprising in the fact that some UAPs turn out to be Chinese balloons. The unclassified part of the annual report on these phenomena published in January described 510 similar events. Of these, no explanation has been found for 171.But almost as many turned out to be balloons. One can only guess what percentage of them were Chinese intelligence devices.

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