My home state of Montana was recently featured in news feeds this week as the first to observe and identify what the US Air Force says is a Chinese spy balloon. The Chinese claim it is a civilian weather apparatus that was blown off course, but the equipment visible in photographs suggests that this is a lie. Beyond that, another similar balloon has been spotted over Latin America – one wayward high tech Chinese balloon might be believable, but two is not a coincidence.
There are numerous theories as to why such a surveillance platform would be used by the CCP and what it is designed to look for, and I thought I would offer a couple theories based on my years of study into similar projects pursued by the US Department of Defense and DARPA.
First, the immediate question is why the Biden Administration has not destroyed the balloon? Why not shoot first and ask questions later? Well, Biden’s silence on this issue suggests he either has no answers or that the truth will make the American public very angry. The most likely reason it has not been shot down is because it is very difficult or impossible to shoot down.
High-altitude balloons travel at 80,000 to 120,000 feet. The average fighter jet can hit altitudes of 65,000 feet and new generation drones can climb to 50,000 feet. These balloons also emit little to no heat signature, which makes them very difficult to target using missiles. If laser technology exists that has such a range, the US military is not talking about it. It might actually be easier to shoot down a Chinese satellite than one of these balloons.
Is there a way? It could be done perhaps with a missile using a large fragmentation-type warhead, but the White House does not seem too interested in exploring options.
Another explanation is that the DoD is waiting to see what these balloons do. This is where I would present a few theories as to their purpose. Here is what I think is most likely given the progress of spy balloon technology right now…