American Pilots Alerted As New Massive Foreign Object Appears In Skies

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

The large balloons sighted recently in the western hemisphere from South America, Canada, Alaska, and the continental United States, and the shooting down of the Chinese spy balloon over the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of South Carolina has resulted in eyes being drawn to the skies looking for further developments in the appearance of unannounced aircraft. It has also come to light that massive balloons have been sighted before near the United States, but did not previously make the news headlines.

The wreckage of the Chinese spy balloon shot down off South Carolina was quickly recovered by navy ships who were waiting offshore to do so. Enough n=machinery and electronics to fill three school buses have been scrutinized and identified, making it certain that the balloon was from China. The Chinese government has stated that the balloon was a “weather” balloon that went off course, but when the balloon entered United States airspace, there was apparently no notice from China about the balloon and its purpose or pathway. Other balloons sighted are still under question, and now there are warnings of another balloon heading toward United States waters.

The Federal Aviation Administration notified pilots that a large white balloon had been sighted approximately 600 miles east of Hawaii on Sunday, according to The Drive. Images on social media displayed a purported air traffic warning regarding the craft, according to The Sun. The alert in the images described the craft’s altitude as between 40,000 and 50,000 feet, although its precise altitude is unknown, Western Journal reported.

“Advise [air traffic control] if object is seen.”

The FAA began notifying pilots of the craft’s presence early Sunday morning, according to The Drive. The pilots of multiple aircraft have acknowledged receiving the warning in ACARS (Aircraft Communications, Addressing and Reporting System) transmissions.

The craft’s origin and national affiliation is unclear, and no country has publicly stated that they are responsible for the craft. Although the downed Chinese balloon likely came on a similar pathway, eyes were not on the lookout as they now are for such aircraft.

Unlike the Chinese surveillance balloon that was shot down after crossing the continental United States, there’s no sign that this balloon has entered U.S airspace yet, but the perceived trajectories have it nearing the western United States and could have it resulting in an eventual arrival in North America.

Due to weather conditions, it was noted that there are several pathways that the aircraft could take, and one estimation of the balloon’s trajectory features it breaching U.S airspace in Hawaii, Western Journal reported.

Big Island Now reported that based on its pathway, the balloon should have flown over the Big Island between midnight and 2am early today. “Pilots and air traffic controllers have been using the Aircraft communications Addressing and Reporting Systems, or ACARS, to alert each other of the presence of a balloon at an altitude many aircraft fly at.” stated. Today’s latest balloon incident comes only a week after the U.S. military shot down three unidentified objects over American and Canadian airspace, although one of the objects was believed to to be a 412 hobbyist balloon that was circumnavigating the world. Parts of those downed balloons have not been recovered and the search for those parts has been called off.

The Sun reported that there are a number of reports of pilots who have seen the balloon on their radar and that the object was spotted above Honolulu. Most reports are coming on social media from pilots and those tracking the balloon with equipment, but Daily Mail notes that Air Traffic Control and other United States officials have not yet confirmed such reports with the identity of the object and with the potential threat it poses to the public yet unknown.

Another strange event involving a balloon occurred last year over the Pacific near Hawaii, with questions about the event still unanswered.

A craft identified as an earlier Chinese surveillance balloon crashed off the coast of Hawaii late last year near where a sensitive missile defense test site is located, according to federal officials cited by Fox News. A Navy P-8 Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft was traveling in the direction of the balloon before disappearing from a flight tracker, according to The Drive. However, the report noted that the flight might not have been connected to the balloon.

“We cannot say with any certainty that it was on a mission to search for the balloon and observe it, but it would match with the direction for doing so,” the report stated. “Still, P-8s often reposition back to the continental United States along these types of routes, so it is just interesting at best at this point,” it concluded.

In regard to the recent balloons, President Joe Biden said, “We are just seeing more of them” but also noted that the U.S. is updating its guidelines for monitoring and reacting to aerial objects.


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