Unidentified Balloon Over U.S. Belongs To Amateur Balloonist: Report

NASA weather balloon and testing payload Golden Colorado

Photo: milehightraveler / iStock / Getty Images

The unidentified balloon being tracked by the U.S. military belongs to an amateur balloonist, according to a report by NBC News.

The small balloon was spotted by military aircraft floating over Colorado at an altitude of 43,000 feet. The North American Aerospace Defense Command then scrambled fighter jets, which intercepted the balloon over Utah.

The balloon was not maneuverable and was carrying a small payload. The pilots determined the balloon did not pose any threat.

"In close coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) detected a small balloon at an altitude varying between 43,000-45,000 ft," a NORAD spokesperson told Fox News. "The balloon was intercepted by NORAD fighters over Utah, who determined it was not maneuverable and did not present a threat to national security. NORAD will continue to track and monitor the balloon. The FAA also determined the balloon posed no hazard to flight safety. NORAD remains in close coordination with the FAA to ensure flight safety."

The balloon sighting comes roughly one year after a Chinese spy balloon was spotted flying across the western U.S. Fighter jets tracked the balloon as it floated over the country before shooting it down in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the Carolinas. The balloon contained American technology that was used to collect audio and visual data. However, the balloon did not transmit the data it collected before it was shot down.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content