The most famous UFO incident in the history of the United States occurred on July 8, 1947, when the Roswell Army Air Field issued a press release stating its personnel had recovered a crashed “flying disc.” That announcement was quickly retracted and replaced by a report of the recovery of a downed weather balloon – a report that decades later was replaced by an Air Force report stating it was a nuclear test surveillance balloon from Project Mogul.
The second-most famous UFO incident in U.S. history may have occurred on February 2, 2023, when officials in Montana began receiving reports of a UFO over Billings and other areas, including Canada and Alaska. That report was quickly retracted and replaced with a statement from the U.S. Defense Department that the UFO was actually a “high-altitude surveillance balloon” which belonged to China. It also stated that F-22 fighter jets were standing ready to shoot down the balloon if ordered to do so by the White House – mostly because it was flying over nuclear missile silo fields at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana.
Both of these reports – 75 years apart – have UFOs, government retractions, balloons, nuclear sites and military involvement. This is the year the Pentagon has begun to release reports from its new department for UFO investigations. It is also just a few years after the Pentagon admitted its military pilots have encountered UAPs which cannot be explained, and drone swarms possibly from Chinese vessels. Has anything changed since the Roswell incident in 1947 when it comes to UFOs, balloons, the U.S. military, other national militaries, surveillance, nuclear weapons and nuclear warfare?
“The U.S. is tracking a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that has been spotted over U.S. airspace. Suspected sightings of the balloon over Billings, Montana, came around a two-hour shutdown of the city’s airport. A senior defense official said the U.S. did get fighter jets ready to shoot down the balloon if ordered to by the White House. The Pentagon ultimately recommended against it over risks of harm for people on the ground.”
The U.S. media has been reporting on the Chinese balloon since reports like the one above were released by the Pentagon to the Associated Press. The Pentagon quickly decided not to shoot down the balloon – whose size was not specified but was large enough to be seen and identified by commercials pilots flying in the area before the Billings Logan International Airport was shut down – because it would create a debris field large enough to put people on the ground at risk. So, 75 years later, a crashed weather balloon can still look and act like a crashed flying saucer.
The recently released first installment of the Pentagon’s public report on UFO investigations made one thing clear – most UFO sightings can be explained and one of the most popular explanations was balloons of all sizes – from mylar party balloons to hot air balloons to weather and surveillance balloons. Seventy-five years later, most people still can’t tell the difference between a balloon and a UFO – in 2022 the U.S. Air Force revealed it was tracking a strange unmarked balloon in the skies above Kauai, Hawaii – the photos of the two balloons appear to be very similar. Also, the Hawaii balloon was near the Kauai Test Facility and the Pacific Missile Range Facility. Seventy-five years ago, the Roswell UFO incident may have been a high-altitude balloon whose primary purpose was long-distance detection of sound waves generated by Soviet atomic bomb tests and whose crash took place near one of the country’s largest air bases.
“The current flight path does carry it over a number of sensitive sites. But out of an abundance of caution, we have taken additional mitigation steps. I’m not going to go into what those are. But we know exactly where this balloon is, exactly what it is passing over. And we are taking steps to be extra vigilant so that we can mitigate any foreign intelligence risk.”
At a Pentagon press conference, a senior defense official explained that the government was confident it knew what this balloon was and saw no imminent danger that would force the White House to order it shot down. As of this writing, that is still the case despite calls to do otherwise by members of the government and the public. It is interesting that none of the now many instances of U.S. military pilots encountering unidentified flying and underwater objects and unidentified drone swarms ended up in an order being given to shoot them down – despite that fact that the pilots were accompanied by warships and planes fully capable to do so. This has happened so often – and the incident over Montana is the latest and no doubt not the last – that one must wonder why the military has never (to our knowledge) engaged with these UAPs. Danger from falling debris is not an issue when the incidents occur over water.
“China is a responsible country and always abides strictly by international law. We have no intention of violating the territory or airspace of any sovereign country.”
China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said Beijing was investigation the reports of the surveillance balloon and urged caution not to jump to any hostile conclusions. A later statement said the balloon was a civilian wone which had been blown off course. Another spokesperson at the Pentagon press conference agreed, saying that foreign surveillance balloons have been tracked in the past several years, but this one was moving slower over a more unusual area – yet it was not getting any kind of intelligence that couldn’t already be obtained by spy satellites. Seventy-five years ago, the balloons allegedly causing the Roswell incident were involved in the growing Cold War with the Soviet Union. Today’s balloon incident is part of growing tensions between the U.S. and China.
Balloons were the first airships and the first form of aerial surveillance technology. Hundreds of year later, they’re still being used for the same purpose. As of this writing, the biggest danger of this balloon incident may be in the rhetoric it is causing in Washington DC and Beijing. For the rest of us, it offers a good time to reflect on UFOs, their link to warfare and nuclear capabilities, and that fact that these things have not changed during the modern history of UFOs.
Seventy-five years is long enough. Let’s get the truth about the connection between UFOs, balloons, the military and nuclear weapons out in the open.