Illinois hobbyist club’s party balloon missing near where military shot down UFO – Chicago Tribune newstrendslive

As spy balloon panic sent fighter pilots to the skies, the military may have taken out a not-so-hostile object: an Illinois amateur hobbyist group’s party balloon.

The Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade, a hobbyist group that launches hydrogen-filled, radio-equipped “pico” balloons and tracks them as they fly across the world, has declared one of its balloons “Missing in Action.”

The balloon stopped transmitting signals when it had been set to fly near the area in Canada where a military fighter jet shot down an unidentified object last week.

If the time-and-date fit is more than a coincidence, the balloon never stood a chance: The hobbyists use large, plastic party balloons that cost as little as $13 for their scientific fun; the military reportedly took the UFO out with heat-seeking missiles.

The balloon, identified by the hobbyist club as K9YO, had already circumnavigated the globe six times.

It had been declared missing several times before since its Oct. 10 launch, once for as long as 30 days, and it’s not unusual for time to elapse between location transmissions, the NIBBB said in a statement posted on its website.

K9YO last transmitted its location shortly after midnight on Feb. 11 as it flew near Alaska’s Hagemeister Island, off the southwest coast of Alaska, the NIBBB said. The balloon had been flying near 39,000 feet and wind models predicted it would soon fly over Canada’s Yukon Territory, analysis on the NIBBB’s website shows.

Later that day, the North American Aerospace Defense Command detected an unidentified object floating from American airspace in Alaska into Canadian airspace in the Yukon Territory at around 40,000 feet.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden ordered the military to take out the UFO, the two powerful countries scrambled jets and a Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor finally shot the object down.

Afternoon Briefing


Chicago Tribune editors’ top story picks, delivered to your inbox each afternoon.

Military leaders have since described the object as a “balloon.” Canadian forces have attempted to recover the downed object, but the military has not reported finding it. The White House acknowledged the object and two others recently shot down may have had a “benign purpose.”

“The intelligence community is considering as a leading explanation that these could just be balloons tied to some commercial or benign purpose,” White House national security spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the group of Illinois hobbyists has tried to carefully contextualize the halted balloon transmissions, noting that the models that predict flight paths are often incorrect and that balloons often go “missing” before ultimately sending transmissions again.

“As has been widely reported, no part of the object shot down by the US Air Force jet over the Yukon territory has been recovered,” NIBBB members wrote. “Until that happens and that object is confirmed to be an identifiable pico balloon, any assertions or claims that our balloon was involved in that incident are not supported by facts.”

The North American Aerospace Defense Command did not immediately respond to calls and emails requesting asking about the downed object.

The Associated Press contributed.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.