Several unnamed Trump officials have admitted that Chinese spy balloons were spotted during Trump’s reign over the U.S., and took no measures to shoot them down.
When they were spotted, officials weren’t quite sure what to make of them, and were classified as “unidentified aerial phenomena,” Pentagon speak for U.F.O.s.
Some were not even detected in real time.
The top military commander overseeing North American airspace, Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, said the Pentagon only learned of them only later, as the Pentagon and intelligence agencies stepped up efforts in 2021 to find explanations for many of those incidents. Officials then reclassified some events as Chinese spy balloons.
Jake Sullivan, the White House’s national security adviser, said on Monday that improved surveillance and “additional means of collection” under Biden were credited for the detection of the recent balloon traversing the country, and an understanding of the events that happened under Trump.
Meanwhile, a Chinese spy balloon has been turned into a political football.
Where were those balloons under Trump?
Numerous officials who served under Trump said Chinese spy balloons were indeed spotted near Texas, Florida, Hawaii, and the territory of Guam.
Additionally, balloons were spotted near Norfolk, Virginia as well as Coronado, California, two military sites with extremely sensitive military equipment, such as aircraft carriers.
“The balloons that overflew Guam and Norfolk were thought to have radar-jamming capabilities, while the flights near Norfolk, where the U.S. stations aircraft carriers, came around the time China was launching its own such vessel.”Bloomberg
While signs pointed to the balloons coming from China, Trump officials were not sure, and became designated as UFOs.
Curiously, we still don’t know why swarms of drones flew over Colorado and Nebraska in December 2019 and January 2020.
While multiple spy balloons have been detected around the world in recent years, intelligence officials typically do not want adversaries to know their surveillance efforts have been discovered.
After an initial report in 2021 that failed to offer explanations for unidentified events, the Pentagon and intelligence agencies stepped up efforts. Biden officials were able to identify 163 of 366 events as balloons.
While the public and some lawmakers speculate that certain phenomenon reported by military pilots and recorded by sensors are signs of extraterrestrial activity, U.S. officials believe they are surveillance activity or airborne trash.
U.S. officials believe that, in addition to the balloon surveillance, China has used quadcopter drones to spy on the U.S. military.