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Object Shot Down With $400,000 Missile By Biden Admin May Have Been $12 Hobby Balloon



One of the three aerial objects shot down by the Biden administration using a $400,000 missile last weekend may have been a $12 balloon released by a ballooning hobby group.

The Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade (NIBBB) says their “Pico Balloon” is now “Missing in Action,” and that its last transmission was in the same area and on the same day that the U.S. military shot down an unidentified aerial object.

“Pico Balloon K9YO last reported on February 11th at 00:48 zulu near Hagemeister Island after 123 days and 18 hours of flight,” the NIBBB blog post, which was posted on February 14, says. “For now we are calling Pico Balloon K9YO Missing in Action.”

Two days later, Democrat President Joe Biden announced that the unidentified aerial objects his administration had recently shot down were “most likely” privately owned balloons used for research, and not related to China like the Chinese spy balloon shot down earlier this month. 

“We don’t know yet exactly what these three objects were, but nothing right now suggests they were related to China’s spy balloon program or that they were surveillance vehicles from any other country,” he said. “These three objects were most likely balloons tied to private companies, recreation, or research institutions studying weather or conducting other scientific research.”

Later that day, Aviation Week reported that one of the three unidentified objects was likely the missing NIBBB balloon.

“The descriptions of all three unidentified objects shot down Feb. 10-12 match the shapes, altitudes and payloads of the small pico balloons, which can usually be purchased for $12-180 each, depending on the type,” the report said.

The ballooning enthusiasts community also suspects it was pico balloons that were shot down, but have struggled to get answers from the Biden administration.

“I tried contacting our military and the FBI—and just got the runaround—to try to enlighten them on what a lot of these things probably are. And they’re going to look not too intelligent to be shooting them down,” said Ron Meadows, the founder of Scientific Balloon Solutions (SBS), a Silicon Valley company that makes purpose-built pico balloons for hobbyists, educators and scientists, according to Aviation Week.

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