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    NewsWorldIs it a balloon? Is it a UFO? No, it's the race to the stratosphere

    Is it a balloon? Is it a UFO? No, it’s the race to the stratosphere

    Are we facing the development of new hypersonic weapons that go up into the upper atmosphere, into the stratosphere, so as not to be intercepted, ask some experts?

    As in the movies, the United States was the first country targeted. The story begins with a balloon – “spy”, says Washington, “meteorological” replies Beijing – that ended up in the waters off the coast of South Carolina.

    The US State Department explains that, before being shot down, the device was analyzed in mid-flight by U-2 planes, which allegedly photographed surveillance equipment such as antennas, revealing its true mission.

    China maintains that it is simply a misguided weather device, recalling that US balloons have entered Chinese airspace more than a dozen times in the past year.

    The most unusual thing came later, also in the air: in the following three days, three unidentified flying objects – three UFOs, therefore – were destroyed over North America, without anyone knowing or wanting to reveal their nature. They were flying over Alaska, Canada’s Yukon region and Lake Huron in Michigan when they were destroyed. Speculations about the blatant confirmation of extraterrestrial activity are flying everywhere.

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    The White House rules out the possibility; in fact, the subject caused laughter in the press room while the spokeswoman spoke Karine Jean-Pierrewho did not hide his disbelief.

    Question of height?

    There are very few confirmed facts. One of them is that the alleged spy balloon was flying 18 kilometers high, in the middle of the stratosphere. For Jean-Vincent Brisset, an expert from the Institute of International and Strategic Relations (IRIS), this can have an immediate explanation. “Currently, the United States, but also China, France, certainly Russia, and other big countries, are researching to try to develop new weapons, the so-called hypersonic gliders. Much of the flight of these devices takes place in the stratosphere. We know very little about the stratosphere, in terms of composition, in terms of the circulating winds,” says Brisset. So, is the Chinese balloon a scouting device on a mission to discover a strategic stratosphere where any weapon of war will be very difficult to intercept?

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    lain boyd, director of the Center for Homeland Security Initiatives at the University of Colorado, explains that “this region of the atmosphere is above the belt where planes fly and below space. It is a region that we do not fully understand.” And, therefore, an advantage for those who can do it.

    The procedures have changed and the objects too

    The truth is that NORAD, the North American aerospace defense agency, increased the accuracy of the radar system after the first balloon, which may explain the increase in device detection.

    The remains of the “spy balloon” were able to reach populated territory, so it was only shot down over the Atlantic. Iain Boyd thinks it was too big to be a weather device, but he also doubts that Beijing would send compromising material of an easily detectable size that could fall into American hands. On the same day, another object of the same type flew over Colombia, which Bogotá confirmed. However, no steps were taken to destroy it.

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    The last intercepted device, in Michigan, was six kilometers high and posed a real danger to civil aviation. Jean-Vincent wonders why there are no photographic records or the planes that shot him down. Wasn’t it a balloon? According to the US authorities, it was a “octagonal structure with hanging cables”.

    The Canadian globe, for example, was cylindrical. Brisset points out that countless aerostatic survey devices are released every day.

    There is not exactly an international control system. The devices have pagers. The trajectory can be unpredictable, depending on factors such as wind.

    Source: Euronews Español


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