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Subject Third Chinese spy balloon is ‘operating near US interests’ – but officials won’t say where.
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Original Message Third Chinese spy balloon is ‘operating near US interests’ – but officials won’t say where, after shooting down first balloon off South Carolina coast
An anonymous source said a third balloon is likely operating near the US, but did not reveal its location
The first balloon discovered in the US was shot down today at 2.30pm by a F-22 Raptor out of Langley Air Force base with a single AIM-9X sidewinder missile
Another balloon was discovered in Latin America on Friday
PUBLISHED: 19:16 EST, 4 February 2023 | UPDATED: 19:20 EST, 4 February 2023

A third Chinese spy balloon could be lingering near US interests, but officials won't say where it is.

An anonymous source told the Washington Post a third balloon is likely operating near the US after the first balloon was discovered hovering over Montana on Thursday and another was found above Latin America on Friday.

source told the Post that the discovery of the balloons was an embarrassment to the Chinese, who are 'freaked' out by the incident. 'They’re in a very tough place,' the source told the outlet. 'And they have very few cards to play right now.'

China had said the first balloon was collecting weather data when it was blown off course. However, on Saturday, two officials told the Washington Post that the balloons were part of a Chinese military surveillance program that relies on technology that helps supply the People’s Liberation Army.

he administration finally told the public on Thursday after local Montana paper, the Billings Gazette, published photos of the balloon.

The emergence of the spy aircraft comes on the heels of a classified report to Congress which outlined advanced new technology that US adversaries were harnessing to spy on the country.

The report last month mentioned at least two incidents of a rival power conducting aerial surveillance with what appeared to be unknown cutting-edge technology, sources told The New York Times.

Although the report did not single out any country, two US officials familiar with the research named China.

The two sites where the unusual surveillance was detected included a military base in the US and another overseas.

Since 2021, the Pentagon has studied 366 unexplained incidents and determined that 163 were balloons.

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