Why Would China Use A Balloon To Spy on American Air Bases & Missile Launchers?
For a few days, the buzz was all about UFOs and little green men invading earth. And then we found out that it was only research and hobby balloons that our Air Force shot down over the US and Canada, except, of course, that pesky Chinese spy balloon that started it all. How could this happen?
Let’s start at the beginning of it all, that Chinese spy balloon. The balloon was large enough and equipped with enough spy equipment to trigger a reading from our radars on the perimeter of the US and Canada. In the military, both the US and Canadian Air Forces, it is known as the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). It is a zone that covers more than one hundred miles from ours, and Canada’s, shorelines into the ocean. There is a radar belt that monitors the airspace within the ADIZ, and the Chinese spy balloon was spotted as it came into that area.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD,) whose radars monitor the ADIZ, picked up an anomaly. To understand this anomaly we need a basic lesson in radar and how the military uses it. Radar signals are sent from an antenna in the direction of its zone. If those signals strike a metal object they bounce back to the antenna and are seen on the radar operator’s scope.
The thing is that there is a lot of clutter in the skies. Even many raindrops carry enough metallic material to reflect back and give the radar operator a false reading. So there are controls on the radars that allow the operator to filter out this clutter. Modern radars connected to computers have algorithms that determine what the radar operator will see on their screen, depending on the parameters placed on the radar.
You see, a radar operator working in an Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC), or an approach radar to an airport would want to see every type of aircraft it could, including the old Piper Cub, which was made of wood and fabric, with the engine the only metal to reflect the signals back to the radar antenna.
But the ARTCC and local air traffic control are federal employees, while those watching the ADIZ are military. And the military has different priorities. The only reason for the ADIZ is to spot any enemy incursion into NORAD territory. So the military’s algorithm is based on fighter, bomber, and transport aircraft. When something doesn’t fall within those parameters it becomes an anomaly.
And the Chinese spy balloon did not fall within the parameters of an enemy aircraft and was forwarded to the operator as an anomaly. The on-duty commander of the radar squadron looked at the anomaly and, in the instance of the spy balloon, determined that a closer look needed to be taken. F-22s were scrambled and the spy balloon was identified.
Now balloons are a fact of life in the skies. There have been weather balloons released into the atmosphere since before the invention of radar. So they are a part of the clutter that the ADIZ radars are programmed to filter out. That is until the Chinese spy balloon was detected by an alert radar officer who wisely sent fighters to get a closer look.
And then an inept president did not have a clue what to do about it as it completed its mission of getting close-up, real-time information on some of our nation’s most secret Air Force bases housing two legs of our nuclear triad, ballistic missiles, and stealth bombers, to deter an enemy from using nuclear weapons against us.
Remember that the balloon was remotely turned to change course in order to hit both the missile launchers located in Montana as well as Offutt Air Force Base, which is the headquarters of our bomber command. It also was close enough to photograph Whiteman Air Force Base, home of the B-2 stealth bomber.
And slow Joe did nothing as China gathered enough information to determine if an attack on the US, or Taiwan, is feasible. Joe’s response gave them all the intelligence they needed. However, Ole Joe took a lot of flack for his non-response, even from his adoring mainstream media. So to save face he ordered tighter surveillance against balloons. And so our military changed the tuners and algorithms, and overnight we spotted balloons everywhere.
One was shot down over northern Alaska. Another after it crossed Alaska and was inside Canadian Air space. A third balloon was spotted over Montana; however, fighter aircraft scrambled to locate and identify it were unable to find it. This balloon had so little metal on board that it then disappeared, only to resurface over Michigan, where it was shot down by a F-16 over Lake Huron.
These balloons were located only because the radar filters were lowered to allow low return signature flying objects to be seen by our ADIZ radars. It was a face saving attempt by Biden. But, like everything Biden does, that, too, backfired. We don’t know when the military realized that they had shot down hobby and weather balloons, but judging by the White House’s response, rather soon.
Knowing that Ole Joe would look exactly like the dottering fool he is, the White House and the Pentagon remained silent on the issue, fueling speculation about outer space aliens, little green men, and a coming war of the worlds.
The truth finally came out, at least that one of the UFO’s was a hobby club’s balloon, and once again Biden emerges with egg on his face. But to answer the question about how we all of a sudden spotted all these balloons over the United States, the answer is that they were always there, we just ignored, until Biden took control of our military.
About Joe Ragonese
Joseph Ragonese is a veteran of the United States Air Force, a retired police officer, has a degree in Criminal Justice, and a businessman, journalist, editor, publisher, and fiction author. His last book, “The Sword of Mohammad,” can be purchased at Amazon.com in paperback or kindle edition.