China Spy Balloon Recovered

( – The last of the debris from the Chinese spy balloon shot down over the Atlantic has been recovered by the U.S. Navy.

On Friday, February 17th, U.S. Northern Command announced they have ended the recovery operation and had collected all that was left of the balloon. Described as the size of four Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons, the Chinese craft carried a surveillance payload the size of a city bus.

The wreckage is now on its way to FBI headquarters for analysis, which is already working on debris previously recovered. Analysts are working to confirm the craft’s purpose by examining its electronics. The wreckage also requires a decontamination process.

The Chinese government blustered and expressed indignation at the US shooting down the craft on February 4th, claiming it was a “civilian” and “meteorological” balloon. US officials dismissed this, saying the balloon was clearly part of a spy operation.

The balloon floated across Western Canada before crossing into the US over Montana. Citizens and politicians were puzzled over why the Biden administration allowed the balloon to float across the country for a week before finally shooting it down.

President Joe Biden said at the time he was worried about shooting down the craft, for fear that falling debris would injure those on the ground. But others countered that there were plenty of sparsely populated areas of the US where the balloon could have been stopped safely, and much earlier.

The balloon floated past several US military installations before an F-22 fighter jet took it down the afternoon of February 4th off the coast of South Carolina.

Investigators may get much less, or nothing at all, from the three additional craft, shot down by US military planes the weekend of February 11th and 12th. Officials said the unidentified craft were taken down over remote terrain with hostile weather and said they did not expect to be able to retrieve any debris.

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