On Saturday US officials announced the military was calling off the search for the balloon objects shot down by fighter jets over Alaska and Lake Huron.
The announcement, The Guardian reported, came “days after balloon hobbyists in northern Illinois indicated that one of the stray unidentified flying objects could belong to their group.”
Authorities have yet to confirm what the objects were, though we know that the one shot down near the US-Canada border was taken out by an F-22, which blasted the object with an AIM-9X Sidewinder missile at about 40,000 feet.
Journalist Seymour Hersh, however, says he does know. The legendary Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, who recently appeared on Russell Brand’s YouTube show to discuss the Nord Stream pipeline explosion, said sources tell him the US military took out one of its own weather devices.
“Can I tell you about the balloons?” Hersh asked Brand after making a crack about the British comedian’s colorful stocking hat. “The federal government has a contract with the meteorology department, the weather department, at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks—that is one cold place, it’s way up there.”
Hersh, who said he’s visited the university campus there, said it’s so cold in Fairbanks that there’s no weather station there. So the university uses what Hersh describes as small aerial vehicles that collect weather data that is transmitted back to officials at the university, who can notify pilots flying over the Arctic Circle of any unusual weather activity.
“They are reporters of that information, and that was what was shot down,” Hersh told Brand. “One of those units…that is sent up by the university but paid by the government to go over the Arctic Circle and report on extreme [weather].”