UFO shot down over Canada, probably belonged to an Illinois hobby group

The mysterious flying object shot down by NORAD in Canada on February 11 likely belonged to a balloon hobby club in Illinois, according to a new report Aviation Week. But agencies like NORAD and the FBI won’t tell the balloon club if it was one of their balloons that caused an international incident.

The Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade spoke out Aviation Weekstating that the circumstantial evidence is strong that it was their balloon that was shot down by NORAD fighter jets. The US was on heightened alert at the time after a Chinese spy balloon was spotted by civilians in Billings, Montana before crossing the entirety of the continental US and finally being shot down over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of South Carolina on February 4.

Three other aircraft were shot down in northern Alaska, Canada’s Yukon and over Lake Huron near Michigan. And it’s the Yukon Territory balloon that, given its last reported location, likely belonged to the Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade.

Known as pico balloons, they could easily be mistaken for party balloons, but measure things like humidity, pressure, and temperature while relaying all that weather information to hobbyists via a global network. The balloons are equipped with VHF/UHF antennas that can give radio amateurs information about their coordinates. And how Aviation Week points out that they can circumnavigate the globe multiple times before finally failing.

“I’ve been trying to contact our military and the FBI – and just got round – to try and enlighten them on what a lot of these things are likely to be. And they won’t look too smart to shoot them down,” said Ron Meadows, founder of Scientific Balloon Solutions (SBS). Aviation Week.

Because of their light weight, pico-balloons used by hobbyists are largely exempt from FAA regulations, which may explain why it was difficult to immediately determine who was behind the flying objects.

The US military only began recording large numbers of mysterious flying objects after it began searching for slow-moving objects, which would explain why so many new objects were suddenly identified and shot down in such a short period of time. The balloons were always there, circling the globe, they just didn’t get much attention because of their small size and harmless activity.

President Joe Biden delivered a speech Thursday about the balloons, and while it contained no new information and he declined to answer follow-up questions, he did stress that the three most recently launched balloons were likely weather balloons.

And yes, balloon hobbyists are indeed concerned about balloons still in the air as they approach US airspace.

“I’m hoping that over the next few days when that happens, we don’t get really trigger-happy and start shooting everything,” said Tom Medlin, a hobbyist who currently has three balloons in the air Aviation Week.

You can hope, Mr. Medlin, but it’s clear that at this point the US military will shoot first and ask questions later. They don’t want President Biden to look weak towards China. Or party balloons.

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