Alien Machines Or Foreign Spy Balloons?


Melissa Hernandez

Are these strange objects flying in our airspace unidentifiable flying objects or spy balloons?

Countries often overstep their boundaries through expansion to have a better advantage with political and military operations. This often threatens the safety of the citizens of these countries. On Feb. 1, an American named Chase Doak spotted what is believed to be a Chinese spy balloon above Billings, Montana. Although China explains that the balloon was used for scientific research, that does not appear to be very believable. The United States Department of Defence responded when Brigadier General Pat Ryder voiced his concern and disapproval of this military tactic of China to collect information to use against the U.S. In part because of Brigadier General Ryder’s testimony, there is compelling evidence that the U.S was under illegal Chinese watch. 

The U.S military strategy to shoot down the Chinese spy balloon was not wrong because China invaded the American airspace and violated international laws. China has openly engaged the U.S into political warfare, and the conflict may turn into a military one. The Brigadier General also explained in a Department of Defense conference meeting how China is undermining the  U.S. because the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, had a planned trip to meet with President XI Jingping when the balloon was detected. The scheduled topic of discussion was the takeover of Taiwan by China and its negative impact on peaceful relations between Americans and the Chinese. 

Because of these circumstances, the spy balloon is a form of betrayal from China. The U.S did right by shooting it down because it was a form of invasion and significantly heightened preexisting tensions between the two countries. It is clear that the spy balloon had advanced satellite networks capable of posing a foreign intelligence threat; it was the size of three buses. The American government’s actions therefore protected potentially important information from being collected by a foreign adversary. The alternative would have been catastrophic; China could have used that information if the beginning of a war were to happen, or it might have even provoked the U.S. into war.

“To be honest it is scary that we are being spied on with balloons. It feels like something out of a movie, but much too far-fetched to be reality,” senior Sophie Gonzalez said. 

The U.S military has recently been advancing into Philippine territory with the goal of trying to prevent China from taking over Taiwan. The fact that China sent the spy balloon and later lied about it in a conference stating it was a scientific balloon indicates that sooner rather than later there could be a war. It could be a war led by misunderstanding or a war started by taking over Taiwan. 

The last time the U.S. airspace was infiltrated was in 1954 during the Cold War, which established important precedents for American foreign policy. The government’s decision to shoot down unidentified flying objects was necessary according to these precedents because China breached the American airspace. It was an act of protection on the US’s part and an act of violence on that of China’s. 

As scary as it is, the U.S had a right to shoot down the spy balloon because if we are being spied on, that information can lead to many disadvantages for us. China will be better prepared and will be more aware of the tactics used from the military

— junior Andrea Cruz

Chinese government officials claim that the balloon was a civilian science project that must have flown towards America by accident. Initially this might have seemed believable, but not once the size of the balloons is taken into account. A two hundred foot tall balloon seems a massive endeavor for civilians to put together, let alone send out. 

“I find it interesting how spy balloons were actually utilized in real life and how they were quite literally shot down with missiles; it is kind of insane. It makes me wonder what this will come to,” sophomore Hayli Perez said. 

According to the Chinese Deputy Director of the Foreign Ministry Information Department, Wang Wenbin, everything was accidental. The Chinese government has blatantly refused to take accountability, and there is no telling what these balloons are doing in our airspace. All there is to know is that it has happened repeatedly, which is extremely unsettling. A country that the U.S. has a political history of disagreeing with is sending spy balloons in our direction, which should be cause for grave concern and suspicion. China’s motives are unclear, though it is undeniable that the act was unrighteous as it was against international law and was an invasion of privacy.