Have you heard about the mysterious Chinese surveillance balloon that has recently been spotted in the skies of North and South Carolina? This strange incident has caused the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to pause flights at three airports in the two states in order to support the US Department of Defense in a “national security effort.”
The FAA announced on Saturday that flights at Wilmington International Airport in North Carolina and Myrtle Beach International and Charleston International airports in South Carolina have been paused until 2:45 p.m. The airspace near these airports has also been closed. The balloon has been seen in both states on Saturday and the Biden administration is reportedly considering a plan to shoot it down once it moves to be over the Atlantic Ocean.
The Chinese government has denied that the balloon’s purpose is surveillance, claiming that it is a weather balloon that went off course, and said it did not intend to violate any country’s sovereignty. However, US officials have rejected this and have stood by their conclusion that the balloon’s purpose is surveillance. The balloon is reportedly traveling at about 60,000 feet above the ground, which is considerably higher than the roughly 40,000 feet maximum altitude that commercial airplanes fly at.
The South Carolina sheriff’s office has asked residents not to “shoot” at the balloon, as falling debris could injure people on the ground. The incident has caused a stir among aviation experts and the general public alike, as the mystery of the Chinese surveillance balloon continues to unfold.