Chinese spy balloon spotted in the Foothills Saturday morning, later shot down by U.S. military

Published 4:09 pm Saturday, February 4, 2023

FOOTHILLS– Early Saturday morning, residents in our area claimed to have spotted the massive white balloon suspected to be a Chinese spy balloon drifting across the sky. Saturday afternoon, the balloon was shot down by U.S. military, just off the Carolina coast.

Residents in Landrum, Mill Spring, Lake Lure, Asheville and Rutherford County claimed to have seen the balloon Saturday morning as it traveled across the Carolinas.

Officials with the Pentagon say that a Chinese spy balloon entered into U.S. airspace earlier this week. Over the last few days, it has been making its way across the continental U.S., traveling east. First reported in Montana, it continued to drift across the country, sometimes at an altitude as high as 60,000 ft. according to the Pentagon.

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Many took to social media, sharing photos and comments about seeing the balloon in the Foothills.

The Chinese government claims the balloon was just a weather balloon that had gone off course, but U.S. officials reject that claim, saying the balloon was being used for surveillance.

Later in the day, the balloon was seen above Charlotte and other cities in North and South Carolina.

The balloon was shot down after it drifted off the East Coast. A ground stop issued by the FAA that grounded flights out of three airports in the Carolinas was lifted shortly after.

The Pentagon said Friday evening that another Chinese spy balloon has been spotted over Latin America.