news u s military tracking suspected chinese surveillance balloon spotted over montana

U.S. military tracking suspected Chinese surveillance balloon spotted over Montana

(© –

The U.S. military is monitoring a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that the Chinese government is awkwardly claiming is a weather balloon that has just gone way, way off course.

The balloon, which is flying at an altitude of more than 60,000 feet, was first spotted over Billings, Mont., on Wednesday. The flight path of the balloon has since been determined to have tracked over the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, then over Canada, before crossing into U.S. airspace.

Defense leaders have decided against trying to shoot down the balloon, citing risks to safety and security of people on the ground from the possible debris field.

A senior Pentagon official told NBC News that the U.S. government has communicated with the Chinese government about the balloon’s encroachment on U.S. airspace.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said today that the balloon is “a civilian airship used for research, mainly meteorological, purposes.”

“The Chinese side regrets the unintended entry of the airship into U.S. airspace due to force majeure.. The Chinese side will continue communicating with the U.S. side and properly handle this unexpected situation caused by force majeure,” a spokesperson said.

A Pentagon spokesperson pushed back against those claims, saying the U.S. government is confident the balloon is being used for surveillance.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

In addition to being the editor of Augusta Free Press, I've written seven books, including Poverty of Imagination and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, both published in 2019, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For my commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to my YouTube page, Want to reach me? Try [email protected].

Latest News

american flag

The only way to live authentically in a country of death is to resist

uva health

UVA team’s discovery for treatment of Alzheimer’s in STAT Madness Elite 8

A UVA Health discovery that could help better treat Alzheimer’s disease has made it to the Elite 8 in the STAT Madness online competition.

virginia map

Wexton, Warner, Kaine demand answers on Leesburg Executive Airport remote tower

Virginia congressional leaders are pushing Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and the FAA over the decision to end air traffic control services at Leesburg Executive Airport’s remote tower


‘Survival of many rural hospitals is financially endangered:’ Legislation would amend wage index

richmond virginia

Richmond Police identify victim in March 18 Walmsley Boulevard murder

jail handcuffs

21-year-old Charlottesville man arrested in death of UVA contractor

chris slade uva football

Chris Slade thinks Virginia D linemen can build on success from 2022 season