Tue. Mar 21st, 2023

The alleged Chinese language spy balloon that was shot down after traversing the continental U.S. has raised questions on whether or not different airships prefer it have floated into different nations’ airspace prior to now.

At the very least 4 different governments have reported further cases of doable surveillance balloons. U.S. Protection officers additionally reported a number of earlier sightings of those gadgets lately.

However, few particulars are publicly identified about many of those sightings. These balloons sometimes fly a lot larger than plane; the newest balloon within the U.S. was hovering at an altitude of 60,000 ft.—practically twice the altitude of most business plane.

Specialists word that it may be exhausting to detect these sorts of balloons when you’re not on the lookout for them. In contrast to missiles and airplanes, army radar operators just like the U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Protection Command (NORAD) aren’t as attuned to choosing up inflatable airships.

The alleged Chinese language spy balloon has sparked quite a few stories of different balloon sightings all over the world.

Lon Tweeten–TIME

Right here’s what we all know concerning the different doable spy balloon sightings.

Different U.S. incursions

Basic Glen VanHerck, commander of U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Protection Command (NORAD), confirmed Monday the Chinese language authorities beforehand despatched surveillance balloons above the U.S. that went undetected. “Day-after-day as a NORAD commander, it’s my accountability to detect threats to North America,” he mentioned at a briefing. “I’ll let you know that we didn’t detect these threats. And that’s a website consciousness hole that we have now to determine.”

Regardless of acknowledging that there have been different doable incursions, the Pentagon has launched few particulars, together with specifics of after they occurred.

Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.), a member of the Home Armed Providers Committee, informed the Washington Put up that lawmakers and army officers spoke on Saturday to debate earlier cases of comparable surveillance balloons within the U.S. Through the Trump Administration, a Chinese language spy balloon reportedly made its option to Texas and Florida, army officers mentioned Sunday. One other such balloon made it to Guam. One crashed off the coast of Hawaii 4 months in the past, Fox Information reported.

Balloon reported over Latin America

U.S. officers additionally mentioned Friday {that a} Chinese language balloon had been noticed someplace over Latin America however didn’t specify an actual location.

Colombia’s army mentioned Feb. 4 that it had noticed a balloon-like object in its airspace. Native media in Costa Rica reported that lots of of individuals had noticed a balloon within the sky on Feb. 2 that was much like the one the U.S. recognized over Montana.

Over Canada

Canada flagged on Feb. 2 that it was monitoring a “potential second incident.” The balloon shot down by the U.S. had beforehand been in Canadian airspace earlier than arriving within the U.S.

In the newest incident within the U.S., a Chinese language spy balloon was noticed about 60,000 toes over Billings, Montana on Feb. 1. It handed by means of Alaska and Canada, in addition to elements of Idaho and Missouri, earlier than the army shot it down above the Atlantic Ocean off the South Carolina coast.

Balloons reported in Asia

The balloon controversy within the U.S. has raised the alarm in Taiwan, which has been below growing stress from flights by Chinese language Individuals’s Liberation Military plane. Taiwan is a self-ruled island that China claims as its personal territory. Some Taiwanese lawmakers are calling for official investigations into whether or not Chinese language spy balloons may very well be used to surveil Taiwan.

Taiwan’s Central Climate Bureau Director-Basic Cheng Ming-dean has mentioned that they noticed the same balloon in Taipei in September 2021 and presumably in March 2022, too, based on the Taipei Occasions.

In Japan, officers are trying into whether or not stories of a flying object in June 2020 was a spy balloon, a authorities spokesman mentioned Monday, Kyodo Information reported.

Extra Should-Reads From TIME

Write to Sanya Mansoor at [email protected]

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