Friday, February 3, 2023


This is coolbert:

“The balloon is currently travelling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic and does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground,” - Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder.

This sounds like something from over sixty years ago! Indeed it is something from over sixty years ago.

And as such must be considered in the historical context.

"1. China spy balloon - live: American military detects high-altitude surveillance balloon hovering over US"

"Pentagon has been tracking the Chinese balloon for several days as it travelled over the northern United States"

From | Graeme Massie | Arpai Rai | Los Angeles | 2 Feb 2023.

"The US military is tracking a suspected Chinese high-altitude spy balloon as it makes its way over the northern United States."

"Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said that the US has so far decided against shooting down the surveillance balloon"

Click on image to see an enlarged view.

Consider historical circumstances from "over sixty years ago" the American high-altitude balloon intelligence gathering Project Genetrix.

"Project Genetrix, also known as WS-119L, was a United States Air Force program designed to launch General Mills manufactured surveillance balloons over Communist China, Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union to take aerial photographs and collect intelligence."


"Between 10 January and 6 February 1956, a total of 516 high-altitude vehicles were launched from the five different launch sites Gardermoen, Norway; Evanton, Scotland; Oberpfaffenhofen and Giebelstadt, West Germany; and Incirlik, Turkey; 54 were recovered and only 31 provided usable photographs."

Take and product from the project rather scant and mediocre for the amount of effort. Genetrix "discovered only one target of significance".

USA also testing from four years ago much to my surprise newer and extremely more sophisticated high-altitude drifting surveillance balloons.

2. "Pentagon testing mass surveillance balloons across the US"

From | Mark Harris | 2 Aug 2019. Archived article.

"Exclusive: the high-altitude balloons promise a cheap monitoring platform that could follow multiple cars and boats for extended periods"

"The US military is conducting wide-area surveillance tests across six midwest states using experimental high-altitude balloons, documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reveal."

"Up to 25 unmanned solar-powered balloons are being launched from rural South Dakota and drifting 250 miles [400 km.] through an area spanning portions of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Missouri, before concluding in central Illinois."

Wide-area surveillance of large swaths of landscape beyond merely taking pictures!

A balloon drifting at an altitude of 70,000 feet [22,000 meters] that line-of-sight either side of the balloon's path about three-hundred seventy-five miles [600 km.].

Balloons yesterday, today, tomorrow, forever.


No comments: