A massive spy balloon believed to be from China was seen above Montana and is being tracked as it flies across the continental United States, with President Joe Biden for now deciding against “military options” because of the risk to civilians, US officials said on Thursday, Report informs via ABC News.
“The United States government has detected and is tracking a high-altitude surveillance balloon that is flying over the continental United States right now,” Brigadier General Pat Ryder said in a statement on Thursday.
“NORAD [North American Aerospace Defense Command] continues to track and monitor it closely,” Ryder said. NORAD later said in a statement that its commander, Gen. Glen VanHerck, “assesses the balloon does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground at this time. The balloon is currently traveling at altitude well above commercial air traffic.”
The defense official said they “are confident” the balloon was sent by China.
Members of Congress on Thursday pushed for more answers.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy requested a “Gang of Eight” briefing on the Chinese balloon, and a US official told ABC News that their staff was briefed Thursday afternoon and that they’ve offered additional briefings.