President Biden on Thursday acknowledged that the three unidentified objects he ordered the US military to shoot down were likely harmless weather balloons.
“The intelligence community’s current assessment is that these three objects were most likely balloons tied to private companies, recreation, or research institutions studying weather or conducting other scientific research,” Biden said.
Following the panic caused by the Chinese balloon that floated over the United States, US fighter jets shot down unidentified objects on February 10, 11, and 12 using heat-seeking AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles, which are worth over $400,000 apiece.
Biden said the military was still working to collect the debris. “Our military and the Canadian military are seeking to recover the debris so we can learn more about these three objects,” he said.
According to a report from Aviation Week, at least one of the objects may have been a hobby balloon reported missing by a club in Illinois that launches small balloons with tracking devices that are capable of traveling the globe at high altitudes.
The club, the Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade (NIBBB), said its balloon was last reported off the coast of Alaska on February 10, and tracking data projected that it would be floating over Canada’s Yukon Territory on February 11, the same day a US F-22 shot down an object in the area.
The balloon they launched is known as a “pico balloon,” a small silver-coated party-style balloon that carries a transmitter. A Pentagon memo described the object that was shot down over Canada as a “small, metallic balloon with a tethered payload below it.”
Canadian authorities said the object that was shot down was traveling at “approximately 40,000 feet.” When the NIBBB’s balloon was last reported, it was floating at 38,910 feet.
The NIBBB isn’t blaming the US government for shooting down its balloon yet and sometimes the transmitters turn off for a few days, but they think it’s a real possibility. Ron Meadows, the founder of Scientific Balloon Solutions (SBS), a company that makes pico balloons, told Aviation Week that he tried to contact the government to tell them they were likely shooting these balloons 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. And they’re going to look not too intelligent to be shooting them down,” Meadows said. According to Aviation Week, the pico balloons can usually be purchased for between $12-180 each, depending on the type.
Rocky Mountain Ham Radio, another group that launches hobby balloons, describes the pico balloons as “a 3-foot mylar foil party balloon, filled partially with ultra-pure helium, and carrying a 13-gram solar-powered APRS transmitter. The balloon is intended to travel for long distances (not to achieve heights) and is not intended to be recovered. These balloons have literally circumnavigated the globe — even multiple times — before finally descending.”
39 thoughts on “The US May Have Shot Down a Small Hobby Balloon With a Sidewinder Missile”
$6m to shoot down balloons. You know other nations are laughing their butts off at us- as well they should. Maybe this is why no photos or video of the ‘objects’ has been released- because they would have been identified immediately by Joe the Plumber.
Let’s all call our local radio stations to request 99 red balloons!
Look at the pretty balloons. Don’t pay attention to grandpa Seymour Hursh, my chillllldrem.
They celebrate Fasching in Germany, the crazy time before Lent in Germany.
These are known as the three pillars of Lent:
prayer ( justice towards God)
fasting (justice towards self)
almsgiving (justice towards neighbors)
Bidenomics, really getting the best bang for your buck.
By the way, he’ll pay for this right? No? Only the taxpayers? Of course.
😂 😂 😂 🤣 🤣 🤣 What a Clown 🤡 🤡 🤡
More baloon nonsense to deflect from Nord Stream revelation.
Russia, China and Iran are winning. Grade b checkers players are making panic moves without thinking. This is very funny.
The balloon fiasco is a way of deflecting attention from the N.S2 pipe line act of war by the USA , Putin is now within his rights to begin hitting America infrastructure , i would suggest shooting down all their spy satellites over Ukraine .
How do we know he isn’t hitting American infrastructure? Just had another train derailment last night, along with a supposed meteorite strike that caused panic in south Texas, multiple large fires in Florida, power outage has JFK closed, etc.
Escalating to a satellite war would be a poor judgment call for Russia to make, though. The US would likely eliminate all of Russia’s 169 satellites before Russia even made a significant dent in the US’s 3,000 or so.
Is it clear the US has satellite killers. About a yr ago the Russians successfully tested theirs (the US news construed it as an accident causing dangerous space debris). Then the US tested theirs on a very large asteroid. …??
The US and Russia have both been testing satellite killers since, at the latest, the 1980s.
The numbers aren’t the point. The complete destruction of any semblance of an international order would be difficult for most of the Earth’s nations to overlook.
We would finally have arrived at a clear view of the real consequences of a one nation über alles planet.
Er…Thomas…perhaps the situations you described can be attributed to Amerikkkan incompetence, with the exception of the possible meteor strike.
According to Consortium News, there are over 1000 train derailments here annually.
War has bern going slow lately. So, adrenaline rush is needed.
Russia kidnapping children. planning coup in Moldava, Putin splashed on PBS — his best evil self. Slew of CNN encouragements on Putin’s throne shaking, brave dissidents, soldiers recruited from prisons, Now we learn of all attacks on American infrastructure, bad Putin even managed a meteorite strike.
We should console ourselves that we have thousands of satellites,
One of the most dangerous things to do is to underestimate the enemy. We are not inocent bystanders. Clearly, based on all the hyperactive propaganda one must conclude that NATO is itching for escallation — but fretting over the uncertainity,
But fear not — Russia is weak, we are strong, what can go wrong with a tiny escallation?
Our media has been putting Mother Russia on a psychiatric sofa for a while.
Let me place our media on a psychiatric sofa, I see a strange mix of Russia obsession.
A mix of hate, contempt, envy and fear. As irrational as it can be. Because the fear is not the fear of hated enemy, but the fear of failure to conquer it.
Russia’s very existence was and is an irritant to some. But today, Europe is not the center of the advanced world. Russia is an Asian country as well. Thus being snubbed by the West is no longer that important, as the West no longer controls global production. There is not a thing that West has that others do not have as well. Leverage is gone. Military strength will not be the decisive element in the end.
The Biden administration is the dumbest one of my lifetime. Blunder after blunder. Sleepy Joe is napping while Nuland and Blinken are flushing the US down the toilet.
And the rest of the story is all the party balloons they missed.
Open season on party balloons. Jesus. After the nuclear holocaust whatever historians are left are going to point to this as an obvious warning sign.
All Putin need do is flood the sky with party balloons
Har! I can see it now, Robert; scads of ordinary helium balloons with “Happy Birthday Tatiana” printed on them 😁
Time to send up my birthday balloons for interception by an F-35…!
Golly, only $400,000 to knock it out of the sky. I feel so much safer – and poorer.
That is only the missile. Total cost including fuel, operating expenses, and maintenance is over $500,000.
Mylar is used on walls in grow rooms to reflect the light on the evil marijuana plants. Waiting for the government to tell us this was just a part of our war on drugs.
So, we shutdown $12 balloons with $400,000 missiles. Hey, when you’re a hammer, everything to you is a nail.
“US May Have Shot Down a Small Hobby Balloon With a Sidewinder Missile”
In unrelated news, beloved Illinois balloon club mascot, ‘Aviator Pup,’ still missing.
Joey Balloon Boy Biden is a tough guy when he is fighting weather balloons.
He spent over $500,000 blowing up a $12 children’s science project.
The Russian MOD is fighting a very successful war of attrition disarming NATO (Ukraine was disarmed in March), tank by tank, artillery by artillery, air defense by air defense.
NATO overall has accumulated the following equipment losses;
385 Aircraft, 209 helicopters, 3152 UAV’s, 404 Anti Aircraft systems, 7891 tanks inc. APC’s, 1024 multiple rocket launchers, 4111 rocket launchers and 8407 military automotive equipment.
What the empire looses in the Ukraine, they loose for the final Russian attack on NATO. Remember Russia attacked Ukraine just as NATO was about to unleash in the Donbass. Russia has shown they will pre-emptively attack to defend the Motherland when the time is dictated by events on the ground.
Feb 18, 2023 Downed “UFOs” Were Actually Hobbyists’ $12 Mylar Balloons
Guest host Aaron Maté marvels at the disparity between the cost of these hobbyists’ balloons and the Sidewinder missiles used to bring them down.
February 16, 2023 Hobby Club’s Missing Balloon Feared Shot Down By USAF
There are suspicions among other prominent members of the small, pico-ballooning enthusiasts’ community, which combines ham radio and high-altitude ballooning into a single, relatively affordable hobby.
What a relief! And here I was worried that Top Gun Maverick had just taken out Mary Poppins.
Just FYI, CNN was still peddling the “Chinese Spy Balloon” lie as of 2/18/23 (yesterday): “Blinken and Chinese counterpart meet in first face-to-face since spy balloon shot down” https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/18/china/blinken-wang-yi-munich-intl-hnk/index.html
By the way, it took 4 “REPORTERS” to write this article.
Once again, boys and girls, our tax dollars hard at work!
Now, truthfully, don’t you feel more “secure” knowing that the Regime blasted a few mylar hobby balloons outta the sky?
Well, just deranged people, no surprise at all. I thought they were after hot air, well they are, like Alice in Wonderland.
The war machine springs to life
Opens up one eager eye
Focusing it on the sky
The 99 red balloons go by
Even if the general German economy is taking a hit, Nena’s royalty checks are probably much larger lately.
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