- The US military shot down a suspected Chines spy balloon on Saturday, February 4, 2023.
- A meteorologist captured a video of jets circling the balloon before shooting it down.
- The Coast Guard asked people to avoid the area of the balloon before the jest shot it down.
The United States military shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon on Saturday and was planning to try and collect the debris in the Atlantic Ocean.
Videos posted to social media showed aircraft circling around the balloon before shooting it down.
The Coast Guard had asked mariners to avoid the area of the balloon due to US military actions “that present a significant hazard” before the jets shot the balloon down on Saturday. The Federal Aviation Administration also temporarily shut down airspace along the Carolina coastline and closed airports in Charleston and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Wilmington, North Carolina.
Senior defense officials said that an F-22 jet from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia shot the balloon with a single shot, according to Fox News.
China has admitted ownership of the device, but the country’s Foreign Ministery said on Friday that it “strayed into the United States due to force majeure.”
One video posted by WCNC chief meteorologist, Brad Panovich, shows two jets circling widely around the balloon floating over Myrtle Beach, North Carolina, at around 1:29 p.m. local time on Saturday.
—Brad Panovich (@wxbrad) February 4, 2023
In another video posted to Twitter, a person yells “they got it, there it goes.” The balloon then appears to dissipate in the sky.
A Fox News live stream of the balloon caught a more clear picture of the exact moment that the projectiles pierced the balloon. The balloon can be seen floating before quickly dissipating into a puff of gas in the video.
Another 45-second clip posted to Twitter shows the approach to the balloon before it’s shot down. The balloon then floats to the ground for around 30 seconds while the jets continue in their path.