Balloon over Latin America: Social media in Costa Rica was set ablaze with messages and images of a huge white balloon spotted flying over the nation. The balloon is flying at an altitude of about 60,000 feet. It was seen over a sensitive region around Panama Canal. As it is shadowed by mystery on its purpose, it can pose a lot of danger for Latin American people and region.
Balloon over Latin America
The sighting has been validated by Costa Rican aviation authority. Although, they are unsure of the balloon’s origin or purpose. Initially, they speculated that it might have been a weather balloon launched by Costa Rican meteorologists. Though, that was later disproved.
According to reports, the University of Costa Rica’s Centre for Research in Atomic, Nuclear, and Molecular Sciences (Cicanum) regularly launches helium-filled balloons. The institution’s researchers, however, claimed that no balloon had been launched on Thursday.
Amidst this, US defence officials have confirmed the balloon’s presence over Latin America. This was a day after another balloon was spotted in US airspace. It made US Secretary of State Antony Blinken cancel his trip to Beijing. Now, the US has termed it as a spy balloon.
A video filmed in Montana appears to show what could be a suspected Chinese spy balloon that has been flying over the United States for a couple of days, U.S. officials said https://t.co/eCbRMU6QZL pic.twitter.com/v8X7k5g8eP
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 3, 2023
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Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said, “We are seeing reports of a balloon transiting Latin America. We now assess it is another Chinese surveillance balloon.”
What does China say?
Chinese officials have confirmed that the balloon belongs to them. But, they maintain that it was only collecting weather data when it was blown off course.
⚡️Residents of Costa Rica & Maracaibo in Venezuela spread photos with a balloon flying directly over their countries.
1 or more balloons are moving into the Gulf of Mexico in the direction of the United States. pic.twitter.com/yqVdub5y7f
— Tony (@Cyberspec1) February 4, 2023
China said that it had “no intention of violating the territory and airspace of any sovereign country”. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said, “China is a responsible country and has always strictly abided by international laws.” She continued, “As for the balloon, as I’ve mentioned just now, we are looking into and verifying the situation and hope that both sides can handle this together calmly and carefully.”
Loopholes in China’s explanation
It’s questionable why China has chosen a balloon over a satellite for data collection. A balloon is not an ideal excellent platform for the task. Mostly because it can’t be steered, and hardly can be arranged perfectly. Also, it only passes over the area you’re looking at just once. While the satellite is in orbit, it rotates continuously. The only advantage is that it can take high-resolution imagery of the region it is flying above.
Can it possess danger? Yes, it can disrupt the electromagnetic signals of the region. Banking and communication can be affected. Pentagon has refused to shoot it down. They claim they don’t intend to harm people or harm any ground-level property. Though, analysts say the hesitancy can be due to the possible E-bomb. E-bomb i.e., electromagnetic bomb.
On the Chinese balloon — F-22s can operate and maneuver at over 60,000 feet. It is one of their unique abilities, they play way up there with the help of their thrust vectoring and huge control surfaces. Could be while they sourced F-22s from Nellis to intercept and check it out
— Tyler Rogoway (@Aviation_Intel) February 3, 2023
Electromagnetic bombs have the potential to generate electromagnetic pulses (EMP) that can cause harm to or incapacitate electronic devices in large regions. A massive electromagnetic field is created when an EMP weapon is “detonated,” short-circuiting a variety of electronic devices, including mobiles, computers, satellites, radios, radar receivers, and even ordinary traffic lights.
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All sorts of telecommunications equipment can be very susceptible to electromagnetic pulse (EMP) damage, particularly receivers. Radar, electronic warfare, satellite, microwave, UHF, VHF, HF and low band communications, and television equipment are all vulnerable to EMP. Additionally, cars with electronic ignition systems and ignition chips may also be at risk.
Basically, it can impair the whole region if detonated.
What will happen to the balloon?
It’s hard to predict the final destination of these objects without more information. Although, it can end up anywhere in the Atlantic Ocean. Ultimately, they all land somewhere.
Update: The balloon has been shot down by F-22 jets of US Air Force on February 5th.
🚨#BREAKING: Incredible HD footage of the Chinese surveillance balloon being shot down
🚨#MyrtleBeach l #SC
Watch incredible HD video of the moment when the Chinese surveillance balloon was shot down by a single missile from an F-22 fighter jet from Langley Air Force Base pic.twitter.com/KjwTrgcvcb
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) February 4, 2023
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