Chinese spy balloon?
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Started by metmike - Feb. 3, 2023, 10:52 a.m.

What is a suspected Chinese spy balloon doing above the US?


The explanations for something like this have such an extremely wide range of possibilities which is exactly what feeds wild speculation of potentially nefarious news reporting, this time inspired by the Pentagon, an extremely talented source of releasing effective propaganda.

Note all the headlines using the verbiage "spy balloon".

Sure, it might be a spy balloon but we have no idea. It could be a different kind of weather balloon that drifted off course. Weather balloons go up every 12 hours around the planet and provide the most important data that we use in weather models and weather forecasts, as well as for several other key measuring.

These go up at designated sites and rise at a designed rate of ascent around the world at the same time, then after they get extremely high up(usually after 2 hours) are useless and allowed to fall back to earth, where 20% are recovered and can have the instrumentation used again.

This would have been a completely different kind of weather balloon........if that's what it is.

Collecting Meteorological Data by Radiosonde or Weather Balloon

The weather we experience on the ground is produced by dynamic processes that take place throughout the atmosphere. Much like a surface weather observation to record the weather, we need to know what is taking place through the entire depth of the atmosphere. For over 60 years, upper air observations have been made by the National Weather Service (NWS) with radiosondes. Additional information is available at the NWS Upper-air Observations Program web site.

The radiosonde is a small, expendable instrument package that is suspended below a six foot wide balloon filled with hydrogen or helium. As the radiosonde rises at about 1,000 feet/minute (300 meters/minute), sensors on the radiosonde measure profiles of pressure, temperature, and relative humidity. These sensors are linked to a battery powered transmitter that sends the measurements to a ground receiver. By tracking the position of the radiosonde in flight, information on wind speed and direction aloft is also obtained. Observations where winds aloft are also obtained are called "rawinsonde" observations.

The radiosonde flight can last in excess of two hours, and during this time the radiosonde can ascend to over 115,000 feet (35,000 meters) and drift more than 125 miles (200 km) from the release point. During the flight, the radiosonde is exposed to temperatures as cold as -130ºF (-92ºC) and an air pressure only a few thousandths of what is found on the Earth's surface.

At liftoff the balloon is around 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Because the pressure lessens as the balloon goes higher in the atmosphere, the balloon expands. By the time the balloon reaches 100,000 feet it has grown to the height of a two story building. When the balloon has expanded beyond its elastic limit and bursts, a small parachute slows the descent of the radiosonde, minimizing the danger to lives and property.

Only about 20 percent of the approximately 75,000 radiosondes released by the NWS each year are found and returned to the NWS for reconditioning. These rebuilt radiosondes are used again, saving the NWS the cost of a new instrument. If you find a radiosonde, follow the mailing instructions printed on the side of the instrument.

How is radiosonde data used? Understanding and accurately predicting changes in the atmosphere requires adequate observations of the upper atmosphere. Radiosonde observations are the primary source of upper-air data and will remain so into the foreseeable future. Maps of upper air data from radiosondes is available from the Storm Prediction Center web site at

Radiosonde observations are used over a broad spectrum of efforts including: 

  • Input for computer-based weather prediction models 
  • Local severe storm, aviation, marine forecasts, and fire weather forecasts 
  • Winter weather and precipitation type forecasting 
  • Temperature forecasting 
  • Input for air pollution forecasts 
  • Weather and climate change research 

Here is an example of radiosonde data plotted on a chart. The red line shows temperature as you go up higher in the atmosphere, and the green line shows the dewpoint, or a measure of how moist the atmosphere is at a particular level. Wind barbs as you go up are also depicted.



Again, this Chinese balloon is NOT one of these types of balloons, that have only just over 2 hours worth of usefulness but we should know that almost 1,000 weather balloons go up around the planet, 2 times a day.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       


By metmike - Feb. 3, 2023, 10:59 a.m.
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                            High Altitude Science                                        



Intro to Weather Balloons

Weather balloons are a type of high altitude balloon specifically used for transporting scientific payloads into our upper atmosphere. They can carry their payloads as high as 40,000 m ~ 130,000 ft. Every day approximately 800 meteorological weather balloons are released at 00:00 and again at 12:00 GMT at locations around the world. This provides a “snapshot” of our earth’s upper atmosphere twice a day. The few launches done by amateurs every day are just a drop in the bucket compared to the 1,600 or so launches done by meteorological organizations around the world.

In the early 1900s, a meteorologist and geophysicist by the name of Alfred Wegener used weather balloons (image right courtesy of to perform experiments which led him to discover his Continental Drift Theory. He published his theory in 1912. He's theory was met with a lot of resistance and wasn't accepted until the 1960s, more than 30 years after his death. He has also been honored by having both a crater on the Moon and a crater on Mars named after him. James Van Allen, who would later discover our Earth’s Van Allen Belts, also performed many important weather balloon experiments in the 1950’s. Time magazine honored him as Man of the Year in 1960. Imagine what you could discover by launching your own mission to the edge of space!

By metmike - Feb. 3, 2023, 11:12 a.m.
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Let me reiterate, that I can't know if this really is a "spy balloon" or not, however, this is exactly the type of news release by the Pentagon that would be intended to be used as propaganda.

Pentagon: Chinese spy balloon spotted over Western US

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is tracking a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that has been spotted over U.S. airspace for a couple days, but the Pentagon decided not to shoot it down over concerns of hurting people on the ground, officials said Thursday. The discovery of the balloon puts a further strain on U.S.-China relations at a time of heightened tensions.

A senior defense official told Pentagon reporters that the U.S. has “very high confidence” it is a Chinese high-altitude balloon and it was flying over sensitive sites to collect information. One of the places the balloon was spotted was Montana, which is home to one of the nation’s three nuclear missile silo fields at Malmstrom Air Force Base. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information.

Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, Pentagon press secretary, provided a brief statement on the issue, saying the government continues to track the balloon. He said it is “currently traveling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic and does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground.”

He said similar balloon activity has been seen in the past several years. He added that the U.S. took steps to ensure it did not collect sensitive information.


So the question is.........if similar balloon activity has been seen in the past several years, why did the Pentagon, intentionally do a well constructed press release THIS TIME to imply nefarious intent from a "spy balloon" that they didn't deem necessary to all the previous similar times?

By metmike - Feb. 3, 2023, 11:20 a.m.
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Blinken Trip to China Postponed After Spy Balloon Spotted Over U.S.

China says craft was a weather balloon blown off course

The stench of propaganda is getting stronger now. The Pentagon said previously "He said similar balloon activity has been seen in the past several years"

So why, this time does the Pentagon do a major press release, announcing the discovery of a "spy balloon" is similar to recent years........which is immediately  followed by a press release of a cancellation of a trip by Blinken to China based on the "wild speculation-sold as nefarious" of the first press release.

By metmike - Feb. 3, 2023, 11:27 a.m.
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National Security


China Claims Spy Balloon Floating Over US Nuclear Sites Is for 'Scientific Research' 

Biden has refused to shoot down vessel over fears of falling debris

We're supposed to believe that the US is leaving a China spy balloon floating over our air space, trying to collect data over sensitive sites in the US..........because they are afraid that shooting it down might hurt people.

In other words, we must allow China do this because we are afraid taking actions might hurt people on the ground.

China is laughing their butts off. If that were actually true, it would suggest to China that they can send up spy balloons or surveillance over US air space and the US won't do anything because it might hurt people on the ground to take them out.

The stench of propaganda is nauseating.  

By metmike - Feb. 3, 2023, 11:37 a.m.
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On 2nd thought, China is probably admiring the US for releasing such effective propaganda which is being gobbled up by the news media and US people (-:

Again, I can't know this is NOT a spy balloon but some of the crazy things stated and timing of press releases strongly  contradict that.

Why would the Pentagon even want us to know that China is spying on us above  our air space and they can't do anything about it?........let alone doing a huge press release to announce it?

It makes them look impotent when you apply critical thinking.

By metmike - Feb. 3, 2023, 11:45 a.m.
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Airspace[1] is the portion of the atmosphere controlled by a country above its territory, including its territorial waters or, more generally, any specific three-dimensional portion of the atmosphere. It is not the same as aerospace, which is the general term for Earth's atmosphere and the outer space in its vicinity.

Vertical boundary

There is no international agreement on the vertical extent of sovereign airspace,[citation needed] with suggestions ranging from about 30 km (19 mi)—the extent of the highest aircraft and balloons—to about 160 km (100 mi)—thought to be the lowest extent of short-term stable orbits, disproved by the satellite Lixing-1 having a stable orbit with an apogee of 140 km (87 mi) for three days.[6] The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale has established the Kármán line—at an altitude of 100 km (62 mi)—as the boundary between the Earth's atmosphere and outer space,[citation needed] while the United States considers anyone who has flown above 80 kilometres (50 mi) to be an astronaut[citation needed]. Indeed, descending Space Shuttles flew closer than 80 km (50 mi) over other nations, such as Canada, without requesting permission first.[7] Nonetheless, both the Kármán line and the U.S. definition are merely working benchmarks, without any real legal authority over matters of national sovereignty.


This "spy balloon" is at around 66,000 feet or 12 miles up and crystal clearly in United States  air space by anybody's definition.

By metmike - Feb. 3, 2023, 12:10 p.m.
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The US is doing quite a bit to help start WW-3 with Russia instead of working on negotiations or peace........the US/West/NATO strategy is to beat the Russians on the battlefield, no matter what it takes or where it goes.

Now, instead of working on peace with China, they pull this crap to vilify China and cancel talks that would lead to peace?

Propaganda is for chicken sheets that won't confront evil with the truth or authentic actions based on fixing the problems. 

Propaganda is for dishonest sources that are focused on controlling narratives and what they want people to believe in. 

By metmike - Feb. 3, 2023, 12:27 p.m.
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Balloon drama comes at precarious time in US-China relations

      The Pentagon says it’s been tracking the balloon – the size of three buses, according to a defense official – for several days but made the decision not to shoot it down. It reasoned that the balloon was wafting well above commercial and military air lanes – and that it was not a huge intelligence threat.  

        This seems a reasonable position since Chinese surveillance satellites with a far greater capacity for espionage are known to hover in space over the US. And officials said it’s not the first time the US has tracked one of Beijing’s balloons during this and previous administrations.  


They're buying it hook line and sinker. Why would China do this if they have survellance satellites with far greater capacity. And if it's not a huge intelligence threat........why are the headlines dominated by verbiage implying the exact opposite? Why tell us this time and right now, if  similar balloons have been tracked in the past?

This is supposed to make Biden look tough on China and ramp up the tensions with China and give people the choice between Biden and China.

When it come to choosing between Biden and  his corruption evidence which is coming up and disastrous handling of numerous situations, people will choose the truth NOT Biden.

What can he possibly do?

Divert the attention to choosing between Biden and China.

Propaganda that makes it a US vs China issue and Biden is on the side of the US. Of course we need to align ourselves with Biden. This is PR propaganda to support this administration. 

they’ve taken a situation that’s happened many times before and is likely not any threat and spun it into propaganda.

By 12345 - Feb. 3, 2023, 12:57 p.m.
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By mcfarm - Feb. 3, 2023, 1:36 p.m.
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so, don't we all long for the days of actual adults in charge and at controls at th CIA, The FBI, the DOJ and SEc of Def. Look at us now as the world laughs again. High nice it would of could been to take one of those balloons down, examine it, find out exactly what is was , what is in it, what secrets it might tell us but now that we have broadcasted every detail of what we know to the world that option is long gone. So frustrating to watch teared up emotional babies in charge and the mess they make on a daily basis

By metmike - Feb. 3, 2023, 3:10 p.m.
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You're believing it's a spy balloon and basing observations off of that.

 It isn't a spy balloon or they would have shot it down in MT, where there is an extremely low risk of it affecting anybody, instead of allowing it to track across our country and make us look like idiots.........ok, maybe we are just idiots.

This is likely a US propaganda operation.

And if you thought that the CIA and US intelligence operations, the government didn't use propaganda before this "new age of corruption"  and were acting anything close to honesty, basing their operations on justice, where were you during the Vietnam war? Cold War? Korean War? Iraq War-during Bush-2?

MAJOR Propaganda has always been one of their biggest tools to accomplish objectives. 

Some of us are just getting better at recognizing it BECAUSE WE HAVE ACCESS TO THE TRUTH, using profoundly enlightening sources online. 

During the 1960's and the Vietnam war, for instance when the US government told us something.........we had to just believe it. Or watch ABC, CBS or NBC to hear their comments, which often just regurgitated messages because even they didn't have access to info that we have today.

I can find it and post it on a forum today, right?

Sadly, even though others can do that same thing on social media, social media is loaded with massive DISinformation too, so if you don't fact check or do your own investigation, you're often more likely to get BAD information coming from sources that are biased and political. 

6 Things you didn't know about the CIA

War Programming: The Propaganda Project and the Iraq War

U.S. Official Propaganda During the Vietnam War, 1965-1973

Lyndon Johnson’s War Propaganda

By mcfarm - Feb. 3, 2023, 3:46 p.m.
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again "wouldn't it be nice to know what it was" now just where did I say it was most definitely a spy balloon??????

By 12345 - Feb. 3, 2023, 7:28 p.m.
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By 12345 - Feb. 3, 2023, 7:40 p.m.
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What’s inside China’s spy balloon? Former CIA director explains

By 12345 - Feb. 3, 2023, 8:11 p.m.
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By metmike - Feb. 3, 2023, 8:32 p.m.
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Thanks Jean,

Brennan has 0 credibility in my book. When he speaks, I find it hard to not automatically believe the complete opposite of what he states because of his long history or blatant bias/dishonestly and being wrong. 

He does come up with astute observations sometimes but it's a challenge to figure out when those times are to somebody that knows FAR LESS about intelligence than he does. 


The 2nd guy nails it  using critical thinking to come up with an explanation that is most logical and consistent with the facts/situation. His advise is sound.

 What he states makes total sense considering recent Chinese attempts to increase diplomacy. 

This balloon could never be a secretive data/intelligence gathering spy tool. There doesn't even seem to be any opportunity to obtain data that their satellites can't already get from outside our air space.

Why track a balloon in the (upper) atmosphere, for days  across our entire country like this where 10's of millions of Americans can actually see it from their backyards when the skies are clear?

Considering the much more sophisticated  and powerful  secretive satellite technology that China has, the spy balloon trying to gather data from the US narrative makes no sense.

If it did, and the US claims they were monitoring it for a couple of days hovering in MT............the state with the least dense population with minimal risk to people and property, then why didn't we shoot it down over their skies???

U.S. Population Density by State, 2010 (people per square mile)

By metmike - Feb. 3, 2023, 9:42 p.m.
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The worst thing that we could have done is cancel the visit by Blinken!

Blinken, Wang Have First China-US Talks Since 20th Party Congress                    

The Chinese foreign minister stressed to his U.S. counterpart that Washington should not expect Beijing to change course.

Wang Yi Has a Phone Call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken


Regardless of what you think of China, they are positioned  with smart economic, energy, educational and developmental policies/strategies to far overtake the US in many fields. In some, while we were making minimal progress....they  already blew right by us and most people have no clue that it happened!

This isn't be scared of China rhetoric. It's be their ally as much as possible to negotiate the best deals for both countries while strongly asserting ourselves in the global markets.

They've been our main competition in the last decade, eroding our dominance in many markets. It's a really good thing to protect our economic and other interests based ON REAL ISSUES!

Compared to the extreme importance in those realms, using a balloon incident like this to make key foreign policy decisions that are 1 million times more important to our future relationship with China,  our main competitor for decades is really dumb.

It's in our best interest to maintain a relationship that protects our interests thru diplomacy and when appropriate protect them with aggressive actions.

 Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, their economic and other fields power is growing much faster than ours.

They have  3 times as many in the population that will work for less wages and alot of brilliant people.

We're a nation of brilliant but spoiled, less motivated people. We still have many advantages, including our form of government and freedoms. Read the accurate analysis in the report below. It's not pretty for the United States.

ITIF Search

Wake Up, America: China Is Overtaking the United States in Innovation Capacity

Summary of Innovation Outputs

Innovation outputs are where China made the most progress relative to the United States and where it ended the decade with the largest advantage—and China appears to have shaken off the “fat tech dragon” moniker. By the end of the decade, China published more scientific articles in all fields reviewed except for the geological, atmospheric, and oceanic sciences, but citations data shows that its research is still less influential than the United States’ in all fields except mathematics and statistics. China surpassed the United States in IPFs granted in every field, and it caught up to or surpassed the United States on a per capita basis in telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and ETs. Incredibly, China received 11.4 times as many ET IPFs in total and more than 2.5 times as many on a per capita basis than did the United States in 2020. Cross-border IP receipts suggest China’s IP is still far less valuable than the United States’. However, China made rapid progress in this regard starting in 2016–2017. Between 2016 and 2020, China’s cross-border IP receipts increased by over 400 percent and its IP receipts as a share of its GDP quadrupled.

By 12345 - Feb. 3, 2023, 11:03 p.m.
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By metmike - Feb. 3, 2023, 11:26 p.m.
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Thanks Jean!

2nd Chinese surveillance balloon spotted over South America, Pentagon says

China to South America is halfway around the planet and in the different hemispheres.

How does a balloon this size travel 10,000 miles before suddenly being spotted?

I guess it would have been tracking mostly over the Pacific Ocean, so not seen that entire time.

We missed the one in the US while it tracked thru Alaska and Canada, apparently.

Pacific Ocean

By metmike - Feb. 3, 2023, 11:48 p.m.
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Maybe these balloons will be like the classified documents that have been out there for numerous years in storage of different politicians (-:

We're shocked the first time it's reported............then, all of a sudden they start popping up in more and more places and we find out its not as unusual as previously thought(-:

By metmike - Feb. 4, 2023, 9:06 a.m.
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I apologize for getting carried away yesterday with a US government propaganda screed before not fully understanding what’s going on with the Chinese balloon.

explanations by our side, even if they are not completely accurate would not necessarily be propaganda in this case. 

our constantly being bombarded with constant blatant propaganda on the war in ukraine and the anti science, fake climate crisis campaign we’re getting to me.

By 12345 - Feb. 4, 2023, 12:36 p.m.
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By 12345 - Feb. 4, 2023, 3 p.m.
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By metmike - Feb. 4, 2023, 3:41 p.m.
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Interesting that they claim Biden was being advised about the balloon, starting Tuesday, then it was supposedly hovering in MT, where they had a very lengthy time frame to take it out with extremely minimal but not 0 risk below. 

After NOT doing that the first couple of days, I get not doing anything after it tracked across the US over higher population density areas. There really is no way to accurately predict the rate of fall and it may not be that easy to take down.

But now its a bigger challenge. You should take it out at the coastline. Will the debris field may be spread out over dozens of miles or more. ....over the Atlantic ocean. 

Will it will hit the ocean at night and sink quickly?

Added: I typed this up earlier today and sent it AFTER they'd already shot down the balloon.  Thanks, Jean.

By metmike - Feb. 4, 2023, 3:45 p.m.
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Thanks Jean,

You're 1 step ahead of me again (-:

I actually started typing the previous post earlier today and forgot to send it, then just sent it..........AFTER they already shot down the balloon.

U.S. military shoots down suspected Chinese surveillance balloon

By 12345 - Feb. 4, 2023, 8:14 p.m.
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By metmike - Feb. 4, 2023, 10:03 p.m.
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That was a wonderful video, Jean.

They shoot it down at around the 42 min. 30 second mark.

The balloon, since we've been observing it has been following the winds at 66,000 feet exactly. 

Not sure where these stories about it having the ability to maneuver it came from and that it hovered in Montana to gather data. 

Or why they didn't take it out over Alaska or Canada, tracking it and knowing from the upper level winds with almost certainty that  it was headed straight into the continental US.

That would have been applying meteorology 101!

By metmike - Feb. 5, 2023, 12:56 a.m.
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China protests after US jets shoot down suspected spy balloon

By metmike - Feb. 5, 2023, 1:11 a.m.
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             What was the flying object in Arizona's sky Tuesday night? Turns out, it was no UFO

June 9, 2021


Below is an image of a long duration flight,  high altitude weather research balloon that the US had in the air during the same time frame of the Chinese balloon. So how often are these types of balloons in the skies?

These are NOT the radiosonde balloons that were mentioned earlier which usually have a lifespan of just over 2 hours. There are around 900 that go up 2 times a day.  92 of those are in the US.

Here's more on that type of weather balloon that this WAS NOT:

Weather Balloons


Everybody knows about the NWS radiosonde balloons, described above. However there  appears to be  many more of the  type of weather balloons below and at the top of the page than we realized. This is what China is insisting their balloon was.

            Thousands mistake US research aircraft N257TH for Chinese spy balloon 

A balloon floats over Columbia, Montana, on Friday. Photo: Missourian via AP

  • More than 4,000 users were following every move of the high-altitude research balloon on Flightradar24
  • The aircraft-tracking website later updated its label for the US airship, adding that the object was ‘not a Chinese balloon’


This was that balloon, pictured above from the US that was in the air at the same time as the Chinese balloon.  If not for the Chinese balloon, we'd never have heard/read a thing about N257TH. Nothing nefarious about N257TH but how many (hundreds?) just like it have tracked across our skies?  The rest of the world?

Does 257 mean 256 of them before it?



Operating as Project Loon 617 


first seen near Santa Fe, NM

last seen near Charleston, SC


Tue 31-Jan-2023  06:40PM MST  

Sat 04-Feb-2023 04:13AM ESTestimated arrival time

By metmike - Feb. 5, 2023, 12:46 p.m.
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Something is still totally missing from this discussion which is why, from the get go I jumped to the propaganda conclusion before having all he facts.

Who has heard about the climate crisis?

Who has heard about the climate crisis thousands of times?

Who knows that scientists are getting funded with billions of dollars, from governments and private firms to study it? In fact, more than almost any other scientific field in this age.

You can't study it without atmospheric data. Surface observations and radiosonde weather balloons that go up at 900 locations, twice daily offer the best opportunities for basic weather information(temp, humidity, wind, pressure at different levels) but there are numerous other independent  research studies that can measure dozens of others important elements in the GLOBAL atmosphere, especially at high altitude?

We found out about 1 of them ACCIDENTALLY because that balloon was mistaken for the Chinese balloon late last week.

Why are we hearing exactly nothing about these countless, legit studies taking place?

All the stories keep insisting that this was not like all the other weather balloons and compare it to the radiosonde balloons that go up 2 times a day. Dugh, how misleading and dishonest. 

IF this was a civilian research balloon gathering data to study the climate crisis it would be totally different than those weather balloons. Why would we even compare them.......except for a bogus debunking of something using dishonesty and ignorance.

When people do that, it causes me to NOT TRUST the sources telling up what they want us to believe. 

I/we already know to NOT TRUST CHINA about...........everything. I think these sources, know that we know that and so they can lie with impunity about this and anything  related to China and we will automatically believe them, not China. 

As a meteorologist, many of the things THEY have stated don't make sense to me. That includes NOBODY considering that this balloon COULD HAVE been a research balloon studying climate if those don't exist.

Again, let me repeat. I never believe China, that's the instinctive, first respons but the other side has to make sense and be honest about the objective facts for me to believe them.

By metmike - Feb. 5, 2023, 1:41 p.m.
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Since nobody reading this is an expert on weather balloons, except 1 of us, let's provide an analogy to what they're doing here.

If these were dogs, instead of weather balloons, they would be comparing a miniature Poodle(radiosonde weather balloons) with a Great Dane (research weather balloon) and using the huge differences as evidence that a Great Dane is not a dog because a Poodle is a dog and the Great Dane is different than that.

Please compare this supposedly research, data collecting balloon to other research, weather/climate data collecting balloons that we know are out there that they are NOT telling us about and are similar to this and tell us why this isn't one of them. 

Compare a Great Dane with other Great Danes not poodles, please!

There could be really good reasons but so far, the ones they've provided don't disqualify this from being a weather/climate data gathering balloon. 

After the lack of being transparent on this and the extremely flawed thinking/explanations, I'm extremely suspicious about what they will claim they found with this balloon.

Who thinks that if it turns out to be exactly what the Chinese claim it is and the US assertions were completely wrong (and they have the balloon/instruments with NOBODY THAT CAN CONTRADICT THEM)  that they will say anything except things that make them and Biden look good?

Maybe China is lying completely but what just happened makes 0 sense for them to have done this unless they are telling the truth.

There was almost nothing to be gained and everything to lose for them and this so called secret spy balloon, not generating data that they can't get from satellites was intentially tracking across the US in full view of millions of  people on the ground with their eyes and tracked by everybody in the world for days.

What was to be gained by intentionally doing this?

By metmike - Feb. 5, 2023, 4:38 p.m.
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Here's another item.

We know with certainty that they were tracking this when it crossed Alaska, which is a huge state and is US air space.

US intelligence didn't just think "wow, what is that, I wonder where it came from. We know it's not ours but let's just watch it before we try to figure anything out"

They immediately identified it with conversations with China. It's what they do.

They could have taken it out easily then if it's what they claim it is with almost no risk to people. 

Instead, they watched it cross Alaska and all of Western Canada, obviously headed straight towards the US. ........and did nothing?

They could have taken it out again, the minute it returned to US air space, across the Canadian border in a number of perfect locations where there are almost no people living. 

China was telling them what China is still telling them. Did they believe them then and that's why they didn't shoot it down?

When people started seeing and reporting it and reports came out that it was a Chinese spy balloon, that's when the hoopla started. 

Then, they claimed that similar balloons to this had tracked thru the US in recent years. Obviously, to show that it wasn't unprecedented. They said that it was no threat because it can't get any vital data and that's why they were allowing it to pass, as well as not wanting to risk the debris hurting people(I buy that one) .  

If it can't get any important data(other than weather) while tracking across the US, then why would the Chinese do such a stupid thing INTENTIONALLY?

In fact, it seems impossible to believe that the US and China were not having conversations about this balloon days before we found out about it.

At that point, Biden had no choice to shoot it down because their explanation of what it was contradicted with their NON actions to take it out when they had the chance earlier and he was getting slammed pretty bad for it.

Then, we hear that this was the plan all along.


When the "spy" balloon was in Alaska, over US air space, US intelligence decided "let's let the spy balloon, trying to gather sensitive information about the United States,  cross the entire continental US and THEN we'll shoot it down. Hugh?

These balloons have radio transmitters and any data that it collected was, with 100% certainty, instantaneously sent to China. Shooting the balloon down AFTER it gathered the data across the US instead of BEFORE it started it's track is a retarded rational if this really was a spy balloon here to gather sensitive data. 

By metmike - Feb. 5, 2023, 4:53 p.m.
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At this point, we know China is never going to change their position. They will always say this was a balloon gathering atmospheric data that went off course.

What will the US say?

What would be nice and actually smart for everybody would be for them to say "we recovered the balloon and verified that it was a Chinese weather research balloon. We apologize that we had to shoot it down but had no choice because it violated US air space and there was evidence that it could have been a spy balloon"

Then,  everybody is happy. The Chinese feel vindicated and get an apology........then they can take responsibility for allowing the balloon to take this path and apologize to the US for what they caused"

People in the US, then can feel that our government took aggressive actions (even with a lag of several days) to verify the intent of the balloon to hold the Chinese accountable.

Even if it's a lie, it's the smartest lie ever and the best part, if Biden really does want to improve relations with China, is that's exactly what it will do.

Most other responses/explanations are bad to worse.

By metmike - Feb. 5, 2023, 10:08 p.m.
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What's next in the saga of the suspected Chinese spy balloon


One of the more ridiculous spins put out on this is by the Ds is that we intentionally let it track across the country so that we would watch it and learn about it.

The Rs, on the other hand would never entertain any chance that this could actually have been a research weather balloon that  wasn't intended to go here.

1. China has been trying to improve relations with the US recently. Sending a spy balloon to gather intelligence data across the US ahead of  them hosting a positive  diplomatic encounter with us  makes absolutely no sense, especially when you consider China's recent positive signals in that direction.

2. It's obvious that people are just blatantly ignorant about research weather balloons that are more numerous than they know and what they do. This very well COULD HAVE been one. To insist it could not have been one based on what we know is complete ignorance of this field.


NOAA teaming up with Arizona firm to advance study of stratosphere

Under the agreement, World View’s “Stratollite” balloons will carry a miniaturized NOAA instrument to measure atmospheric particles on a series of flights in 2021 that will last weeks and cover thousands of miles at altitudes above 55,000 feet. 


This map depicts the flight path of a Stratollite flight, depicting the long duration and coverage of the high-altitude balloon during missions. Credit: World View 


High Altitude Weather Balloons Launch


Balloons Offer Near-Space Access for Space Biology Researchers

Welcome to the homepage of NASA's Balloon Program Office located at                        Wallops Flight Facility


Since its establishment more than 30 years ago, the NASA Balloon Program has provided                    high-altitude scientific balloon platforms for scientific and technological investigations,                    including fundamental scientific discoveries that contribute to our understanding of the Earth,                    the solar system, and the universe.                               

For more information about the program, please check out the drop-down menus above.                               

For more information on the Ballooning Process, click here.

NASA Code 820


By 12345 - Feb. 5, 2023, 10:15 p.m.
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By 12345 - Feb. 4, 2023, 8:14 p.m.





By metmike - Feb. 5, 2023, 10:32 p.m.
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Here's more. There have likely been many thousands of projects in the last few decades that use high altitude weather/science  balloons......... that are NOT the twice daily weather balloons that go up around the world, twice daily that we read about, being compared to this so called spy balloon. 


Research Note • DOI: 10.2478/gsr-2019-0007 GSR • 7 • 2019 • 62–69Gravitational and Space Research
A High-Altitude Balloon Platform for Space Life
Sciences Education

High Altitude Balloon
A Major Qualifying Project Report
Submitted to the Faculty of
In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the
Degree of Bachelor of Science

Students film breathtaking curvature of Earth using high-altitude weather balloon

Overlook Horizon Inc


Overlook Horizon is dedicated to inspiring students into science & technology fields of study using high altitude weather balloon flights as our inspirational platform. We design, teach, support and plan weather balloon missions that obtain jaw dropping photos & videos and allow students to plan & contribute to NASA-like missions in the real world. We hope to inspire students to create their own projects or further their studies in science & tech!

High-Altitude Ballooning


For those that insist that this balloon from China couldn't have been a high altitude science/weather balloon, collecting data similar to some of the projects above and on the next page.....YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT!!!!

For sure China is doing research in these areas. For sure they are using high altitude science/weather balloons to do it.

We don't have access to all the work and tools and scientists that China uses. However, some of the balloons and payloads they use for gathering NON intelligence data,  very likely look similar to the balloon that was just shot down.  In fact, it could very well have been one of them.

I'm not saying that it was, just that people who insist they know it wasn't and that this was a spy balloon gathering sensitive information in the US,  not related to science are ignorant of the science and technology.

By metmike - Feb. 5, 2023, 10:43 p.m.
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High Altitude Ozone Research Balloon

High Altitude Balloons as a Platform for Space Radiation Belt Science

Inquiry-Based Early Undergraduate Research Using High-Altitude Ballooning

A method for sampling microbial aerosols using high altitude balloons

A method for sampling microbial aerosols using high altitude balloons.

Iridium: Global OTH data communications for high altitude scientific ballooning


NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

While the scientific community is no stranger to embracing commercially available technologies, the growth and availability of truly affordable cutting edge technologies is opening the door to an entirely new means of global communications. For many years high altitude ballooning has provided science an alternative to costly satellite based experimental platforms. As with any project, evolution becomes an integral part of development. Specifically in the NSBF ballooning program, where flight durations have evolved from the earlier days of hours to several weeks and plans are underway to provide missions up to 100 days.


metmike: There are many more but you certainly get the point.

By metmike - Feb. 5, 2023, 11:25 p.m.
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Thanks, Jean.

I'm not buying that theory because:

1. Why would China do something intentionally that makes China look bad.   Even if it was a mistake, it makes China look incompetent/bad. If it was intentional it makes China look extremely bad. China never has and never will be doing things that are not good for China and their image.

2. China and Biden are completely at odds here. If it was manufactured to make Biden look good, it was pretty costly to send up a balloon with instrumentation and technology that had to be extremely expensive for China as well as costly to their reputation. 

3. I was thinking that this made Biden look bad, not good.  His people stated it's a suspected spy balloon.  If it really was a spy balloon, then he should have taken it out BEFORE it tracked across the country. His office could have stated that its a science/weather balloon, like what China says to avoid all this.

Instead, Biden let it track across the entire country BEFORE it accomplished it's data collecting mission. It doesn't take much skill to shoot down an unarmed balloon, floating at 60,000+ feet.

4. Now we might  get to hear stories about the balloon based on the fragments found.   If they shot it  down in MT, they wouldn't have to use divers going to 50 feet trying to find the pieces. I really don't see how this makes Biden look good.

This is the timeline:

By 12345 - Feb. 6, 2023, 4:26 a.m.
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WELL, MM ....





By metmike - Feb. 6, 2023, 11:18 a.m.
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Sad but very true, Jean.

The gatekeepers just use our advanced technology to manipulate people into thinking what they want us to think so that we can be manipulated. 

Most of the media is biased and is driven by an extremely competitive business that's losing individual market share because its not longer ABC, CBS or NBC or your local newspaper.

There are many thousands of sources and ways to communicate that didn't exist a few decades ago. Their ratings are being decimated from so many source/competition so they ARE sensationalizing and telling people the news that people want to hear.  Using every gimmick under the sun.

Social media has become dominant, along with DISinformation from diabolical sources and ignorant sources that pass it on because they want to believe it. We don't fact check stuff that we want to believe in, only the stuff we don't want to believe in.

By 12345 - Feb. 7, 2023, 10:51 a.m.
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By metmike - Feb. 7, 2023, 12:26 p.m.
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Thaks Jean,

Much of what that source stated makes complete sense.

Funny thing is that I apologized a few days ago for getting carried away accusing them of pushing propaganda before having enough information to confirm that. Now, there's been plenty enough propaganda to KNOW this situation is being dominated by propaganda. 

I showed you over the weekend some of the ongoing (thousands?) of scientific high altitude balloon projects that gather data that almost nobody hears about or knows anything about. Not because they're secretive but because it's a type of boring, data gathering  science not reported frequently.

There is a 100% probability that China has numerous projects going on similar to this........unless they've given up on atmospheric and other types of science.......which we know is not the case. 

I showed you some of the US projects because the US shares its science information with us freely. 

China does not share their science gathering information with us freely. If this was a scientific/weather data gathering balloon, we would not have known what project in China was responsible because China does not share that information.

So it looks like a science/weather data gathering balloon. It moves like a science/weather data gathering balloon. It's extremely consistent with the defining justification and benefits of using these valuable tools for gathering science/meteorological data that can't be obtained any other ways.

But we're being told that it can't be a science/weather data gathering balloon and it was, instead a spy balloon, gathering sensitive information to use against the United States by a adversary that just, arrogantly, in our face marched their enormous spy balloon across the entire country for everybody to see from the ground.

If they were also telling us about the REAL SCIENCE balloons that it most resembles..........then I could believe them.

But they don't want us to know about those types of balloons that are much more common than everybody realizes because it would destroy the narratives they want to control.

Again, I can't prove anything but am just using the facts and science  to KNOW that they are being extremely deceptive about many things and when sources do that, when they spew more NEW bs that makes no sense but you can't prove it.........there's a good chance that it's similar to the OLD bs that you did prove.

By metmike - Feb. 7, 2023, 12:40 p.m.
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And they can propagandize with impunity here because it's China.

Nobody on either side will be China.........because it's China. Even when most of the facts line up to support China(the ones they, interestingly won't provide-media included) everybody will believe what the US says but not China.........because it's China.

They've been doing the exact same thing with Russia during this war. Russia really is diabolical by any reasonable standard with the unjust atrocities they have wreaked on Ukraine.  

That means the US and West/NATO can propagandize with impunity because everybody will be believe everything they state, even massive lies because they're the good guys and believe nothing that Russia states even the truth because Putin is evil.

The war could have been avoided if Ukraine had agreed to NOT join NATO. That seems insanely simple and doesn't justify what Putin did..........but they don't want you to know that THEY had total control over a peaceful settlement but chose a war with Putin, who made it crystal clear that a war was coming as long as Ukraine, Zelensky and NATO plan to unite.  Instead of negotiating with Putin, they choose war with him over NATO. Every authentic fact supports that. 

They're using the same global adversary propaganda playbook here with China.

By metmike - Feb. 7, 2023, 1:09 p.m.
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Trump-era Chinese spy balloons went undetected


At least three suspected Chinese spy balloons flew over the US undetected during the Donald Trump presidency, defence officials have said.

"The US did not detect the balloons at the time, said Gen Glen VanHerck, citing a "domain awareness gap".

They may have initially been classified as UFOs, according to the New York Times and Bloomberg."


No mention of those balloons, being  likely high altitude scientific/weather balloons. If this were true, them being a spy balloon, then what benefit would it have been to China to fly a balloon like this in US air space(just barely in the past over NON sensitive areas)?

Balloons(including high altitude balloons) gather extremely valuable ATMOSPHERIC DATA that satellites can't measure.

Balloons cannot gather much sensitive land data that satellites can't already detect from a distance, outside of US air space.

By metmike - Feb. 8, 2023, 12:12 p.m.
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U.S. briefed 40 nations on China spy balloon incident, diplomats and official say

The diplomats at the Beijing briefing said they were told that the solar panels on the balloon meant that it needed more power than a weather balloon, and that its flight path did not conform with natural wind patterns. U.S. officials have said the balloon was equipped with rudders and propellers.

"Based on the U.S. briefing, our own understanding about such balloons and the fact that China has so far refused to name the company or entity that owns this balloon, we find it hard to believe it is a civilian weather balloon," said a Beijing-based Asian defence diplomat.


This COULD HAVE been a spy balloon but their reasoning continues to be very flawed based on them using people's lack of understanding of high altitude LONG TERM FLIGHT weather balloons.

Some of them ABSOLUTELY DO  have the ability to control their flight path. They keep comparing it with radiosonde balloons. This is dishonest! 

Even if that was not an indisputable fact, why couldn't a weather balloon gathering important scientific  data be designed to do the same things that a spy balloon can do using the exact same technology?

Of course it can. If the technology exists for spy balloons, why would they not use it also in high altitude weather balloons gathering important scientific information?

They don't save the technology......only for certain surveillance like this.

Especially since China is not sharing what their designs/technology is for weather balloons and their surveillance balloons.

The US knows that China will  never do that. 

The US would not reveal that classified they can state whatever they want about this balloon with impunity and will NEVER be proven wrong with evidence from China. 

My lack of trust in the explanation is that they are intentionally saying false/deceptive  and misleading things and the entire reason to do that is to exploit people's lack of understanding in this field and the fact that nobody will believe anything that China states.

When the truth backs you 100%, you don't need to do that.

By metmike - Feb. 8, 2023, 12:31 p.m.
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One of the most ironic elements to this relates to the funding of scientists regarding the fake climate crisis.

This is a big part of why many scientists are on board. There's an unlimted gush of many billions available so that almost any scientist that is doing a study on climate change will have access to the funding to afford the latest technology. 

Other than COVID, there is nothing in science generating nearly as much funding in recent years. 

In that environment, we are supposed to believe that a  weather balloon, studying climate by gathering atmospheric information that satellites and radiosonde balloons can't gather would not be designed with the latest technology??

Only spy balloons doing surveillance would have that technology??

“it is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” - Upton Sinclair

“it is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” - Upton Sinclair


Follow the (Climate Change) Money

China’s domestic climate change policy


Again, this doesn't disprove their case that this was a spy balloon..........maybe it was.

Just shows one of their false statements about why this couldn't have been a weather balloon.

By metmike - Feb. 8, 2023, 3:05 p.m.
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I could have easily been convinced that this is a spy balloon and it might be but will repeat the logic here.

If it was NOT a weather balloon, there is no reason to lie about reasons for it to not be a weather balloon. The truth would back them up. 

What they have decided is that this is the type of balloon it was:

What We Know About The High-Altitude Balloons Recently Lingering Off America’s Coastlines

The military has been testing high-altitude balloons that are steerable and can remain aloft for long periods while carrying cutting-edge payloads.

There's actually a tremendous amount of really good information in this story which suggests its probably a spy balloon but still very well could be a larger than usual weather balloon(do we assume China can't make anything bigger than we do?) 

Explainer: What we know and don't know about the Chinese balloon


Kaymont, a U.S. firm that makes and distributes weather balloons globally, said the size, payload and flight time exceeded the capabilities of typical weather balloons that are made of latex.

"A typical weather forecasting balloon will have a lightweight radiosonde payload that is about 200 grams in weight. The balloon at release will be about 1.4 metres and will burst around 6 metres in diameter, and the flight time will be between 90-120 minutes," Jesse Geffen, a Kaymont account manager, told Reuters.

"Photographic payloads (high altitude photography and videography) may be carried by larger balloons, but wouldn't even be a third of the size of the balloon that flew over the country."


This is why I know they are intentionally deceiving which goes back to my Great Dane and Poodle analogy. 

Demonstrating that a Great Dane is not a poodle and that a poodle is a dog, so a Great Dane must not be a dog would only work if people didn't have any idea what dogs were and they could exploit the ignorance about dogs. They are doing that exactly with the statement above about weather balloons and it works with people that don't know much about weather balloons...........almost everybody.