The U.S. military has shot down the alleged Chinese spy balloon off the coast of the Carolinas.
UPDATE: The U.S. has SHOT DOWN the Chinese surveillance balloon off the coast of the Carolinas. https://t.co/9nMP9iDFhF
— DailyNoah.com (@DailyNoahNews) February 4, 2023
The balloon was spotted over Myrtle Beach, South Carolina at 2:00 pm ET.
Fighter jets circled the balloon shortly after as they prepared to shoot it down.
Video of Chinese balloon with fighters from Myrtle Beach, SC #ChineseSpyBalloon #Balloon pic.twitter.com/YKFvPfZ3dd
— Mike G (@SouthCaroliner) February 4, 2023
USAF F-22 fighter jets circling the Chinese spy balloon above Conway, South Carolina. pic.twitter.com/VoWcRWNSqB
— Clash Report (@clashreport) February 4, 2023
The military shot down the balloon at approximately 2:38 pm ET just off the coast of the Carolinas.
NOW – U.S. military has just shot down the Chinese spy airship over the Atlantic Ocean after letting it fly over the country for days.pic.twitter.com/1roYrb30uE
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) February 4, 2023
BREAKING: the Chinese balloon has been shot down pic.twitter.com/Q2cXXJjtyB
— Cliff Maloney (@CliffMaloneyJr) February 4, 2023
According to Paul Sperry, the balloon was flying as low as 35,000 feet and potentially in the path of commercial passenger jets.
BREAKING: The Chinese spy craft has been reported flying as low as 35,000 feet and potentially in the path of commercial passenger jets above a number of states, alarming the FAA, according to federal aviation security sources
— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) February 4, 2023
The FAA had blocked off airspace along the coast of the Carolinas.
🚨#BREAKING: The FAA has blocked the airspace off the coast of North and South Carolina
Currently the US airspace is being cleared along North Carolina and South Carolina coast as officials getting prepared to shoot down Chinese surveillance balloon pic.twitter.com/CKhy1g4Ipj
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) February 4, 2023
The FAA also issued a ground stop for three airports in the Carolinas.
The FAA has issued a ground stop for three airports in the Carolinas for a “national security effort,” as a suspected Chinese spy balloon drifts through the area. https://t.co/x6h4uAwImE
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) February 4, 2023
The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a ground stop for three airports in the Carolinas as a suspected Chinese spy balloon drifts through the area, a spokesperson confirmed in a statement.
The administration also restricted airspace near Myrtle Beach between 12:45 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. ET. for “national defense airspace.”
The affected airports are in Wilmington, North Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina; and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
“The FAA has paused departures from and arrivals to Wilmington (ILM), Myrtle Beach International (MYR) and Charleston International (CHS) airports to support the Department of Defense in a national security effort,” the FAA said in a statement.
The agency has also closed airspace.
— The FAA ✈️ (@FAANews) February 4, 2023
AP provided additional details:
The United States on Saturday downed a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the Carolina coast after it traversed sensitive military sites across North America and became the latest flashpoint in tensions between Washington and Beijing.
An operation was underway in U.S. territorial waters in the Atlantic Ocean to recover debris from the balloon, which had been flying at about 60,000 feet and was estimated to be about the size of three school buses. The balloon was downed by Air Force fighter aircraft, according to two officials who were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.
President Joe Biden had told reporters earlier Saturday that “we’re going to take care of it,” when asked about the balloon. The Federal Aviation Administration and Coast Guard worked to clear the airspace and water below the balloon as it reached the ocean.