Chinese "weather" balloon shoot-down over US

In summary: Russians and Chinese. In summary, the Chinese government said that this weather balloon was a research balloon, but it was shot down with an AIM-9X missile. The missile cost several hundred thousand dollars, and the balloon was less useful than that because it didn't have any countermeasures.
  • #211
gmax137 said:
So it is ironic that in 1947 the gummint sought to prevent panic by claiming the downed UFO was a weather balloon, but today they claim the foreign "weather" balloon might really be an alien UFO...
We have to assume that at least one part of at least one of the 'unidentified objects' will be / has been found. Even with no maker's ID, there will be mass spec evidence of Terrestrial or Extra Terrestrial Origin. The conspiracy theorists really need to be put to bed. That should include release of all that 1947 stuff too. (Makes you wonder, dunnit?)
 
  • Haha
Likes scottdave
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #212
Ivan Seeking said:
Just FYI:

General Glen D. VanHerck is Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM). NORAD conducts aerospace warning, aerospace control, and maritime warning in the defense of North America. USNORTHCOM partners to conduct homeland defense, civil support, and security cooperation to defend and secure the United States and its interests.
https://www.defense.gov/About/Biographies/Biography/Article/2323163/glen-d-vanherck/
Also features in this article in the Guardian, summarizes where they are.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/feb/13/biden-ufo-shot-down-michigan-flying-objects

Was the push to investigate these objects anything to do with the NASA project? I cannot access the full tweet.

"The Florida Republican Marco Rubio, vice-chairperson of the US Senate intelligence committee, claimed that unidentified aircraft had operated “routinely” over restricted American airspace for years.

“This is why I pushed to take this seriously & created a permanent [unidentified aerial phenomenon] taskforce two years ago,” he said in a tweet."

EDIT: Anyone else keeping up with the different terms and potential acronyms?

UFO Unidentified Flying Object
UAP Unidentified Arial Phenomena
UAO Unidentified Arial Object
UOO Unidentified Octagonal Object
HAO High Altitude Object
UA Unidentified Aircraft

Security briefings must get complicated.
 
Last edited:
  • #213
_nc_ohc=sb8GOIoEVisAX-Ury8B&_nc_ht=scontent-frt3-2.png
 
  • Haha
  • Like
Likes scottdave, davyzhu, hmmm27 and 7 others
  • #214
Tue, February 14, 2023 at 8:39 PM EST

U.S. intelligence officials were tracking the spy balloon that was shot down earlier this month since it lifted off from the south coast of China, U.S. officials said Tuesday.

According to U.S. officials, after takeoff, the spy balloon drifted east in the direction of Guam and Hawaii and then went north to Alaska and entered U.S. airspace on Jan. 28. Given the path, it's possible that the balloon was blown off course by weather, but U.S. officials said that once it came south over the continental United States, it was being controlled by China.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/chines...ligence-tracked-it-soon-after-liftoff-course/
 
  • #215
"The direction of Guam and Hawaii"? They are nowhere near each other.. That's like "the direction of New York city and London", except that they are closer.
 
  • Like
Likes fresh_42
  • #216
Swamp Thing said:
Hello, what's all this now?

This is quite a large thread so excuse me if this already been addressed.
This gives a nice explanation

Some TIL stuff in there for me at least. When you get to 8.30 the video discusses ESA laser technology on the ground with respect to space debris.
On topic again, my contact finally got back and said it (big balloon) was not a weather balloon but could have been a stratospheric research balloon.
 
  • #217
https://aviationweek.com/defense-sp...y-clubs-missing-balloon-feared-shot-down-usaf
Hobby Club’s Missing Balloon Feared Shot Down By USAF
The community is also nervous that their balloons could be shot down next. Medlin says one of his balloons—call sign W5KUB-112—is projected by HYSPLIT to enter U.S. airspace on Feb. 17. It already circumnavigated the globe several times, but its trajectory last carried the object over China before it will enter either Mexican or U.S. airspace.

“I hope,” Medlin said, “that in the next few days when that happens we’re not real trigger-happy and start shooting down everything.”
 
  • Like
  • Informative
Likes russ_watters, Borg and berkeman
  • #218
This is what happens when you crank the Radar detection system sensitivity to 11 after being told military sensors were overlooking all kinds of balloons and such, and this was unacceptable. Scrambling jets from Oregon to intercept hobby balloons in Montana. The Chinese must be cracking up laughing with the intelligence they are getting from our responses.

https://www.rtl-sdr.com/the-us-airf...wn-an-amateur-radio-pico-balloon-over-canada/

k9yo_projected_location_3.png

https://edition.cnn.com/2023/02/13/politics/pentagon-memo-canada-small-balloon/index.html
A defense official said that the radar used by North American Aerospace Defense Command was adjusted after the initial high-altitude balloon sighting. “We continue to refine detection settings, and that won’t stop just because we have identified these smaller objects,” the official said.
The Pentagon and White House had not previously disclosed that the first missile did not strike the target, but NORTHCOM and NORAD Commander Gen. Glen VanHerck told reporters on Sunday that acquiring and targeting the object was difficult because of its small size.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Likes pinball1970 and russ_watters
  • #219
nsaspook said:
This is what happens when you crank the Radar detection system sensitivity to 11 after being told military sensors were overlooking all kinds of balloons and such, and this was unacceptable. Scrambling jets from Oregon to intercept hobby balloons in Montana. The Chinese must be cracking up laughing with the intelligence they are getting from our responses.

https://www.rtl-sdr.com/the-us-airf...wn-an-amateur-radio-pico-balloon-over-canada/

View attachment 322422
https://edition.cnn.com/2023/02/13/politics/pentagon-memo-canada-small-balloon/index.html
I was hoping this would have all blown over by now.
 
  • Like
  • Haha
Likes strangerep and gmax137
  • #220
pinball1970 said:
I was hoping this would have all blown over by now.
"Blowing over" is how this all started!
 
  • Haha
  • Like
Likes phinds, Mondayman, hutchphd and 3 others
  • #222
Vanadium 50 said:
"Blowing over" is how this all started!
Holy crap. That is THE best joke I have ever put on pf. I give in.
 
  • #223
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-new...hot-alaska-lake-huron-ends-no-resul-rcna71303

U.S. ends its search for remnants of aerial objects shot down over Alaskan airspace and Lake Huron​

"We don’t yet know exactly what these three objects were, but nothing right now suggests they were related to China’s spy balloon program, or they were surveillance vehicles from other any other country," Biden said in public remarks.

Maybe not 'exactly' but you can bet they have a pretty good idea what they were aiming at. :nb)

 
  • #224
pinball1970 said:
Holy crap. That is THE best joke I have ever put on pf. I give in.
I thought it fell flat.
 
  • Like
  • Haha
Likes Mondayman, pinball1970, BillTre and 2 others
  • #225
russ_watters said:
I thought it fell flat.
Went over like a lead balloo...nevermind.
 
  • Like
  • Love
  • Haha
Likes sophiecentaur, Mondayman, pinball1970 and 3 others
  • #226
For some that fell flat
Dread balloon downed by warplanes
It gave me a lift
 
  • Haha
  • Like
Likes pinball1970 and BillTre
  • #227
Vanadium 50 said:
Went over like a lead balloo...nevermind.
Yeah, I thought I heard "Whole Lotta love..." turned up to 11...
 
  • Like
Likes pinball1970
  • #228
U2 pilot took a photo of the balloon
https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/u-2-pilot-took-selfie-212800274.html

One open source intelligence enthusiast was able to geolocate terrain features in the photo with the view over Washington, Missouri. The analyst states that the image is theoretically fakeable, “but it would be a lot of work to make everything match up.”

Update: The Pentagon admitted the photograph is real and has provided a newer, higher resolution photo, seen below. The location of Washington, Missouri is likely correct.
 
  • Informative
  • Like
Likes nsaspook, gmax137 and pinball1970
  • #229
(Reuters) -A Chinese balloon that flew across the United States was able to gather intelligence from several U.S. military sites and transmit it back to Beijing in real time, despite the Biden administration's efforts to prevent it from doing so, NBC News reported on Monday.

The high-altitude balloon, controlled by Beijing, was able to make multiple passes over some of the sites before it was shot down on Feb. 4, at times flying in a figure-eight formation, NBC said, citing two current senior U.S. officials and one former senior administration official.

The three officials said it could transmit the information it collected back to Beijing in real time, NBC reported.
https://news.yahoo.com/chinese-spy-balloon-gathered-intelligence-111100516.html
 
  • Like
Likes BillTre
  • #231
And what woule you expect the government to say?
 
  • Like
Likes Borg
  • #232
nsaspook said:
https://www.reuters.com/world/us/ch...igence-us-military-sites-nbc-news-2023-04-03/

U.S. says it cannot confirm China collected real-time data from spy balloon​

I must say, if I had bought one of those things and it didn't keep me up to date, minute by minute, I'd be after getting my money back. The only way the US could be sure that information was not getting back to Beijing would have been to shoot the balloon down.
 
  • Haha
Likes kyphysics
  • #233
Vanadium 50 said:
And what woule you expect the government to say?

I would expect them to not make up stuff.

While 'real-time' (as in a continuous up/down link) is nice, it's not a critical ingredient on a system like this that's slow and likely self-controlled to loiter over a remotely selected targets of opportunity. For signals (communications monitoring) intelligence it's very common to batch preprocessed blocks of actual signal intercepts up to relays. When most people hear 'real-time', they think of Hollywood BS stuff like this.

 
  • #234
nsaspook said:
I would expect them to not make up stuff.

While 'real-time' (as in a continuous up/down link) is nice, it's not a critical ingredient on a system like this that's slow and likely self-controlled to loiter over a remotely selected targets of opportunity. For signals (communications monitoring) intelligence it's very common to batch preprocessed blocks of actual signal intercepts up to relays. When most people hear 'real-time', they think of Hollywood BS stuff like this.


I liked the morse code "CQ"
 
  • Like
Likes nsaspook
  • #235
nsaspook said:
I would expect them to not make up stuff.
"And now, from the same people who brought you the Gulf of Tokun, now comes...."

I don't really expect them to say "The Chinese were after A, B, and C, They got A, and they didn;t get B, and we're not so sure about C." I really, really don;t expect them to say "The Chinese were after X, and they think they got it, but we managed to slip in Y in its place."

Well, not unless they actually got X. :wink:
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Likes Borg and fresh_42
  • #236
It is easy. I mean really easy.

It is easy for CNN to say: "The Chinese balloon spied in real time on military installations."
If US officials would confirm that, they would allow putting public pressure on them to respond with actions.
If no US official comments on this, or at least do not confirm the CNN claim, then they can do whatever they want, including taking action.

So why in the world would anybody cut his options in half without the least necessity? Stay silent and have all options at hand, or stupidly comment on a newspaper article and let the public put pressure on you? That doesn't make sense.
 
  • Like
Likes Vanadium 50
  • #237
Before I forget this argument: China (big blind position) said they haven't got anything (weather balloon) but they didn't fold. The US raised its hand (shot down the balloon and salvaged as many parts as possible) and now it's China's move again. Why would anyone show his hand in such a situation? Better they keep thinking you have a hand!
 
  • #238
there's a phrase for that:
We can neither confirm nor deny ...
 
  • Like
Likes nsaspook
  • #239
BillTre said:
there's a phrase for that:
We can neither confirm nor deny ...
Also very popular:

At no time was there any danger to the public.
 
  • Like
Likes nsaspook and BillTre
  • #240
Vanadium 50 said:
"And now, from the same people who brought you the Gulf of Tonik, now comes...."

I don't really expect them to say "The Chinese were after A, B, and C, They got A, and they didn;t get B, and we're not so sure about C." I really, really don;t expect them to say "The Chinese were after X, and they think they got it, but we managed to slip in Y in its place."

Well, not unless they actually got X. :wink:

In the Gulf of Tonkin at least there was actual valuable intelligence being collected.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DESOTO_patrol
https://www.vietnamwar50th.com/1945...20-DeSoto-8221-Patrols-in-the-Gulf-of-Tonkin/
 
  • #241
Do they pack those in powder when they fold them up? I would think there might be electrostatic sticking issues upon launch.....(it is a good question 'cause I sure don't know)
 
  • #242
hutchphd said:
Do they pack those in powder when they fold them up? I would think there might be electrostatic sticking issues upon launch.....(it is a good question 'cause I sure don't know)
You are referring to the "something inside" comment. Perhaps it's condensation as the pressure (albeit very low) changes. Like a short lived con trail.
 
  • #243
Is there any way ice could have condensed on the interior on the way up? Seems unlikely.
 
  • #244
Not in the interior because they would (presumably) use the purest lift gas available (at the price). I was thinking of the internal gas cooling as it burst. I wonder about the proportion of H2O vapour at that height. It could be higher and probably more stable than it is, lower down.

Which makes me wonder about the lift gas used. H2 has better lifting than He and safety is less of an issue than with passenger craft. Also, it must be a lot cheaper.
 
  • #245
sophiecentaur said:
H2 has better lifting than He
Yeah, but only by 7-8%.

It has the advantage and disadvantage of going boom. If you want to destroy the evidence, it's easy. The political repercussions of gaving something go boom over someone else's country might be less desirable and likely difficult to predict.
 
  • Like
Likes nsaspook

Similar threads

Replies
3
Views
975
  • General Discussion
Replies
8
Views
1K
  • General Discussion
Replies
6
Views
1K
Replies
27
Views
2K
Replies
16
Views
1K
Replies
17
Views
1K
Replies
9
Views
2K
  • General Discussion
Replies
15
Views
2K
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
2
Views
2K
Replies
3
Views
842
Back
Top