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Spy balloons raise concern from coast to coast

By Samantha Scarlatos, Staff Writer

As seen in the media lately, four unidentified balloon objects have been seen and shot down in the U.S between Jan. 23, 2023, to now, the end of February. 

There are multiple speculations surrounding the origin and purpose of the balloon. It first entered Alaska on Jan. 23 and crossed the country for an entire week before getting shot down, which can be seen all throughout the media including TikTok. 

U.S. officials claim that the balloon passed through western Alaska, the Aleutian Islands to the south, water into southwest Canada, and finally over Montana, before eventually being shot down near North Carolina. Americans are concerned about why it had taken so long for the president to decide to shoot it down. ABC News as well as other news sources state that military advisers in the U.S. said the balloon was too dangerous to shoot down due to the region it was in and the debris that would’ve been difficult to retrieve, which could have been a threat of casualties on the ground.  

Forbes says that the U.S has been tracking these balloons back to when they left China, meaning the federal government was aware of these balloons about a week earlier than the public. 

”While I think the balloon could have been shot down sooner, I understand that the decision to take down the spy balloon at the time they did mitigated the risk of harming people and property. Ultimately, I have to trust that the people we elect have the best interest of the general public in mind when they make decisions like this, understanding that they have more knowledge on the matter,” freshman finance major Grant Tredinnick said.

China stated the balloons were just carrying out weather research. However, U.S. officials have said the intent of the balloon was for surveillance instead.

It was said by China that the balloon was on course to fly toward Guam, but took an unexpected turn north to the U.S due to strong winds. Another balloon from China was found in Costa Rica soon after. China apologized for the scare and insisted it was for scientific research. 

Soon after the incident, China tried reversing the roles by accusing the United states of sending surveillance balloons to them, which the government had quickly denied. 

Between Friday, Feb. 10, and Sunday, Feb. 12, three unidentified objects were shot down, but the White House says there’s no indication of Chinese ownership. Many people are skeptical about the information the government is providing citizens about the situation.

“Reports have said that the information these objects could have collected is also obtainable from space satellites, so I don’t believe the balloons were meant to gather new information,” Tredinnick said.

Forbes also states that the Pentagon had recently stated that they have recovered a significant amount of technology debris from these balloons, which is the size of approximately three school buses. 

With this come those who believe there is something extraterrestrial going on with these objects. Some are convinced that aliens are sending them from afar, hiding in them, and even identifying these balloons as UFOs.  

“I’m not sure what the reason for the balloons are but I’m sure it’s not a positive one,” freshman musical theatre major Lauren Dunn stated.

Whichever story you believe about these objects, many feel that there’s no doubt something odd is going on. This situation has been going on for a few weeks now and citizens are still left with many questions and concerns. 

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