From the wilds of Montana to the heart of Missouri, a mysterious white orb has been spotted in the sky, leaving people around the world wondering what it is and why it’s there. As it turns out, the answer is both intriguing and unsettling: the white orb is a Chinese spy balloon, according to the Pentagon.
On Wednesday, Larry Mayer, a newspaper photographer and pilot from Billings, Montana, spotted the balloon in the sky and began snapping pictures. The next day, his photographs were being published around the world, and everyone in town was talking about what he had captured through his lens.
The Chinese government has said the craft was never intended for an overflight of Montana, but was pushed off course by westerly winds. Still, many Montanans were left wondering why the Air Force didn’t take it out, and why China would send a balloon in a time of high-tech spy satellites.
The balloon floated out of the state by Friday, and was later spotted in Missouri. Some were concerned about the balloon’s presence and its implications for national security, while others were simply fascinated by the low-tech craft causing an international incident.
As former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer said, “We should take care of our security a lot better.” But he also noted that taking a rental car to the missile silos would be a lot cheaper than sending a balloon from Beijing.
The mysterious white orb has certainly sparked conversation and curiosity around the world. It serves as a reminder that even in a time of high-tech surveillance, low-tech methods can still be effective.