On Monday, the United States military provided more information regarding the mysterious balloon spotted over Hawaii late the previous week.
The Department of Defense and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) jointly detected and observed an unmanned balloon at around 36,000 feet off the coast of Hawaii on April 28 using newly established parameters for monitoring U.S. airspace, according to a statement released by the Department of Defense. According to the spokeswoman, the FAA was reportedly involved in the identification and surveillance.
Without knowing the balloon’s owner, the statement asserted that there was no proof that the balloon was being controlled or steered by an external or hostile actor. The balloon never directly threatened the safety of those on the ground and did not fly over military bases or other critical government infrastructure.
According to authorities, it was flying at a level that presented no threat to commercial aircraft.
According to the statement’s final paragraph, Defense Secretary Ash Carter agreed with his military commanders’ assessment that, given these findings, no action should be taken against the balloon. The balloon crossed into international waters after leaving Hawaiian airspace.
On Monday, NBC News reported that officials believe the balloon is heading toward Mexico.
Following the February news that a Chinese spy balloon had flown over the United States, this balloon is the latest in a string of similar incidents. When it first reached American territory, President Joe Biden’s government did not take action to shoot it down.
At first, DoD officials assured lawmakers that they’d taken precautions to stop the Chinese spy balloon from transmitting any information it had gathered while flying over sensitive American bases.
Despite the Pentagon’s claims that the balloon was prevented from transmitting any data, a report issued at the beginning of the month claims that the balloon could have collected and reported intelligence from American military locations.