“Blast in the sky” over Billings Montana, where a Chinese spy balloon was spotted infiltrating US airspace – as residents report seeing a jet zoom by after officers came under fire for refusing to shoot it down
- Local witnesses in Billings, Montana, saw an “explosion in the sky” after US officials warned of a Chinese spy balloon flying over the region
- The aftermath video shows a plume of smoke in the sky where the balloon was located
- US officials called the balloon a “clear violation of sovereignty” while warning that it would not be shot down because it was hovering over “sensitive locations”.
An explosion in the sky over Billings Montana, where a Chinese spy balloon has been flying over the region, was caught on camera Friday.
A bizarre video of the aftermath shows a plume of smoke in the sky where the balloon was last sighted.
Dolly Moore, who took video of the scene, said she saw “a jet go by so fast and then an explosion in the sky.” It was not immediately clear if the explosion was the spy balloon bursting.
It comes after the US State Department called the balloon, which traveled 60,000 feet above US airspace, a “clear violation” of US sovereignty but said it would not be shot down because it was over “a number of sensitive locations ” flew .’
Ok, so here’s what I saw out my window just a few minutes ago. I saw a jet fly by so fast and then explode in the sky. Holy crap! Settlements MT. pic.twitter.com/swr8ERC6pf
— Dolly Moore (@MMtTreasures) February 4, 2023
A U.S. defense official said the balloon was the size of several buses — but it posed no immediate threat to Americans. The balloon, pictured over Montana, was tracked for several days but officials decided to use it for fear of debris not shoot down. China claims it is a civilian airship used for meteorological research
The balloon flew over the Aleutian Islands in the northern Pacific and then crossed Canadian airspace to the United States
US officials had said the balloon is big enough that destroying it would rain down debris and endanger the safety of those on the ground.
Analysts said the balloon was about the size of “three buses” and could be outfitted with high-tech equipment like cameras, sensors and radar.
F-22 fighter jets were mobilized to pursue the device as it hovered over Montana, which borders Canada, on Wednesday.
A US defense official said it entered US airspace “a few days ago,” but its exact location was not shared.
However, Montana Senator Steve Daines warned that the balloon may have been aimed at his state’s nuclear missile fields.
“Montana plays a critical role in national security by housing nuclear missile silos at Malmstrom AFB,” Daines wrote to the Department of Defense.
“In the face of increasing global hostility and destabilization against the United States and our allies, I am alarmed by the fact that this spy balloon was able to infiltrate the airspace of our country and Montana.”
This is an evolving story.