Hobbyist balloon detected over Western US appeared to be made of Mylar “no threat to national security”


Important Takeaways:

  • Hobbyist balloon detected over Western U.S. has left American airspace, officials say
  • CBS News first reported that the military was tracking the balloon as it traversed the Western U.S. on Friday. NORAD, the military command responsible for air defense over the U.S. and Canada, later confirmed it had detected the object and said it was floating between 43,000 and 45,000 feet. Its presence prompted enough concern that the command sent aircraft to investigate.
  • One U.S. official told CBS News the balloon was expected to be over Georgia by Friday night. The official said the balloon appeared to be made of Mylar and had a small cube-shaped box, about two feet long on each side, hanging below it.
  • “The balloon was intercepted by NORAD fighters over Utah, who determined it was not maneuverable and did not present a threat to national security. NORAD will continue to track and monitor the balloon,” NORAD said in a statement. “The FAA also determined the balloon posed no hazard to flight safety.”
  • On Saturday, an official with the Department of Defense told CBS News that the object was actually a hobbyist balloon.

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