Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 18, 2023

More Ballooneey News

More ballooneey news:

Hobby Club’s Missing Balloon Feared Shot Down By USAF - Aviation Week

A small, globe-trotting balloon declared “missing in action” by an Illinois-based hobbyist club on Feb. 15 has emerged as a candidate to explain one of the three mystery objects shot down by four heat-seeking missiles launched by U.S. Air Force fighters since Feb. 10.

The club—the Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade (NIBBB)—is not pointing fingers yet.

But the circumstantial evidence is at least intriguing. The club’s silver-coated, party-style, “pico balloon” reported its last position on Feb. 10 at 38,910 ft. off the west coast of Alaska, and a popular forecasting tool—the HYSPLIT model provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)—projected the cylindrically shaped object would be floating high over the central part of the Yukon Territory on Feb. 11. That is the same day a Lockheed Martin F-22 shot down an unidentified object of a similar description and altitude in the same general area.

There are suspicions among other prominent members of the small, pico-ballooning enthusiasts’ community, which combines ham radio and high-altitude ballooning into a single, relatively affordable hobby.

“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,” says Ron Meadows, the founder of Scientific Balloon Solutions (SBS), a Silicon Valley company that makes purpose-built pico balloons for hobbyists, educators and scientists.

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.

Project Picoballoon

Currently, 2000 single-use stratospheric balloons are launched daily. Our balloons are also single-use but require significantly less material, less energy, and have simpler logistics. ...

The probe is a crucial part of our observational system. It performs measurements of meteorological variables such as temperature, humidity, pressure, or wind currents, which it then transmits through a global radio network. It operates entirely on solar power, making it run indefinitely. All of this is possible in its coin-sized package.

How much does it cost to shoot down a balloon?


They spent $2,000,000 to take down one $12 balloon. It was just one of thousands which get launched (legally!) every day.

You think that wasn't worth it?

You have the wrong perception.

Try to see it from the viewpoint of a weapon producer.

Or from the viewpoint of a Congress critter who is looking for bribes donations to finance her reelection:

Some lawmakers have suggested that they intend to put a spotlight on near space — and perhaps get more in the defense budget for those efforts. “It is essential that we provide the military and intelligence community with the necessary resources to detect and monitor objects in near space,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat on the Armed Services Committee.


China blasts US over 'hysterical' balloon claim - AFP

China's top diplomat Wang Yi on Saturday blasted the United States's reaction to what Washington has called a Chinese spy balloon as "hysterical and absurd", in uncharacteristically strong remarks against the top Western power.
Addressing a gathering of world leaders at the Munich Security Conference, Wang said US President Joe Biden's administration has a "misguided" perception of Beijing.
"There are many balloons from many countries in the sky. Do you want to down each and every one of them?" Wang charged.

"We urge the United States not to do such preposterous things simply to divert attention from its own domestic problems."


Biden’s low-key speech on balloon ‘not enough to fix ties with China’ - Global Times
Irrational anti-China sentiment, provocation on Taiwan question may further strain ties

[A]gainst the backdrop of intensifying China-US competition, some administrative departments that initially wanted to use the incident to push their strategy toward China found its side effects went out of control due to complicated domestic politics, Sun said.

The Biden administration may have been overconfident in its ability to set guardrails for China-US relations, and now realizes that once the irrational anti-China sentiment is fanned, any attempt to fix relations will be impeded, Sun said.

Then again: weapon producers may like that too!

Posted by b on February 18, 2023 at 11:48 UTC | Permalink


Well, if any USA citizens feels sad about "free fries" they perhaps can let it go now...


"today we are all French"

A. Pushkin, as quoted by French foreign ministry.

Posted by: Arioch | Feb 18 2023 11:58 utc | 1

The things going on in the US right now are rapidly developing farcical, very dangerous and unstable qualities about it. It might be a strange thing to do so early in the morning but that did not stop me. If you go over to Saker's site there is an article putting forth hypothetical, not entirely far-fetched scenarios of what might be the result of project Ukraine being the final straw in Uncle Sam's bag of malicious tricks.

It's dawning on the world that avoiding Americans at all costs solves a lot of problems.

Ten Days that Shook the World

"The following describes only one of hundreds of possible future scenarios. Some may find this one particularly unthinkable. But if anyone on 17 February 2022 had predicted where we would be today, on 17 February 2023, they too would have been laughed at. Unthinkable? Nobody thought that the 500-year old Western abscess would burst on 24 February 2022, spreading its stink and poison all over the world. But it did. Nothing is now unthinkable in our new, multipolar world. This is both exciting and frightening, but it is also inevitable."

Posted by: chunga | Feb 18 2023 12:02 utc | 2

Wang Yi took up the Balloon story when addressing the MSC earlier today. He acquitted himself against his Atlanticist antagonist quite adequately on the question of how the balloon has effected US-China relations.

His statements can be seen on this feed (sorry without timestamp) ==>

Posted by: too scents | Feb 18 2023 12:09 utc | 3

"Ten Days that Shook the World"

A paper that think Marine Le Pen would behave differently than Macron, Hollande or Sarkozy can't be taken seriously.

Le Pen family are probably the oldest active French politician. They are completely integrated to the system.

Posted by: W | Feb 18 2023 12:13 utc | 4

Am off out so just a quickie soz not about balloons but 2022 build up

Diary Log 18 feb 2022

Oleksii Reznikov Ukrainian Defense Minister reported to have received 2,000 tons of defense aid from international partners. Javelin Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs) to Ukraine.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. “We are fully committed to diplomatic conflict resolution only, Ukrainian forces are not planning any offensive operations, and will not use weapons if this might threaten peaceful civilians."

Putin told Ukraine to sit down for negotiations with separatists in Ukraine's east.

White House declares “Russia’s imminent invasion of Ukraine.”


Posted by: olaf22 | Feb 18 2023 12:30 utc | 5

Could be something to do with these guys?

Posted by: Big Johnny Potatoes | Feb 18 2023 12:30 utc | 6

ps hahahahaha means what a load of NATO wank

Posted by: olaf22 | Feb 18 2023 12:31 utc | 7

These people who spend $2M to shoot down a science fair project ... aren't these the same people who have their fingers on the nuclear button?

I just read this morning in my google news feed how NORAD claimed the "Chinese spy balloon" snuck through a gap in radar coverage over British Columbia and just the other day Biden referred to the "Chinese spy balloon program" as if such a thing exists.

Does anyone else find this situation just a tad alarming??

Posted by: HB_Norica | Feb 18 2023 12:47 utc | 8

Speaking of fear caused by guilt, it seems all US carrier groups are safely in home port, except one in med near Turkey?

Is that unusual?

Posted by: jared | Feb 18 2023 13:14 utc | 9

Now Wang Yi's ballon comments have been picked up by Bloomberg, FT and others.

The MSM is focusing very narrowly on Yi's "absurd" quote, to exclude the breadth an sincerity of his full statement.

It is pretty shameful how they selectively report to shape their narrative.

The MSC is just a syrupy Atlanticist orgy.

Posted by: too scents | Feb 18 2023 13:19 utc | 10

i see the balloons of mass destruction narrative is floating merrily along, wafted along by a current of superheated bullshit.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Feb 18 2023 13:24 utc | 11

More apropo, the state of american railroads is representative of american privatization of everything - including foreign relations and war and the state of our infrastructure (and industry and education and medecine) as we are focused on the ability to destroy other nations. Railroads substantially owned by one of us wealthiest (and most influential, but I repeat myself) individuals (via his corporation).

Posted by: jared | Feb 18 2023 13:31 utc | 12

The Russian perspective on shooting down balloons

American taxpayers immediately reminded Biden of the economy: you can’t shoot down a rocket for 400,000 balloons for 12 dollars. But these are all pennies compared to the cost of weapons for Ukraine. According to open data from Congress, the United States has already spent 48 billion, the European Union - 30 billion, Britain - 7 and Canada - 4 billion. And it is becoming more and more difficult for the politicians of the collective West to justify the expediency of these expenses.
Unlike Ukrainian journalists, American journalists believe that it is not delay that is expensive , but the shells that the Armed Forces of Ukraine spend unrestrainedly. Which, in general, is clear: they do not pay for them. According to Bloomberg estimates, the Ukrainian military fires about 30,000 rounds of ammunition every day, that is, almost a million a month. Kyiv is spending them faster than the US and NATO can produce. To solve the problem, the States are preparing to increase production by 5 times, in addition, they are investing $ 3 billion in the purchase of ammunition from allies.

Arms contractors are preparing sacks for dollars, Western defense budgets have swelled over the year. Germany will fork out an extra 10 billion euros next year, France is increasing spending by 30%, and Poland has already spent more than twice on military needs last year. The purpose of all this is the strategic defeat of Russia in order to preserve the world order that the United States has been creating for years. This is explicitly stated by Deputy Secretary of State Nuland, who in the same interview promised the Nobel Prize to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu if he persuaded Vladimir Putin to withdraw troops, and called the objects of the Russian army in Crimea legitimate targets.

“There are many military installations in Crimea that Russia has turned into a critical logistical system and depots for this war. These are legitimate targets that Ukraine is attacking and we support it. Ukraine will not be safe until Crimea is at least demilitarized. This should be part of sustainable deterrence," Nuland said.

She did not specify how exactly she intends to demilitarize Crimea, where Russian military units have always (even under Ukraine) been located. The Russian embassy in Washington said that setting the Kyiv criminals on the Crimea is the same as pushing them to attack Moscow or Vladivostok. In general, judging by the statements of the State Department, there is not even close to a unified position on the issue of Crimea.

As recently as yesterday, Politico newspaper quoted Secretary of State Blinken as saying that America is not pushing Ukraine to attack Crimea, that it would not be wise, because there is too thick a "red line", beyond which, apparently, uncertainty looms for themselves USA. The Americans are especially concerned about Russia's relations with the countries of the Persian Gulf. According to Nuland, Washington is now quietly trying to explain to the Arab states that it is too risky to bet on Moscow.

Again and again, Chinese balloons pop up in the American information field . Even yesterday on the main TV channels they were called "spyware" without any reservations. Now Joe Biden has been asked about their true origins, as well as what kind of business ties his family has with China.

- You are criticized that your reaction was excessive due to political pressure.

- I look forward to talking with President Xi and I hope we get to the bottom of it. But I don't apologize for bringing down those balloons,” Biden said.

This is despite the fact that air facilities, according to Biden himself, who was acquainted with the results of the investigation, have nothing to do with any intelligence programs of China or any other country. The balloons were apparently owned by private companies or research institutes. One of the downed balloons even launched a circle of balloon lovers from Northern Illinois. They reported that they lost their balloon in the same region where they shot down other objects. The cost of an air balloon, not even a balloon, but a balloon, which was a weather balloon, was about $ 12, and the Sidewinder missile fired by the F-22 fighter that shot it down costs 400 thousand. Simple calculations were made by the British tabloid Daily Mail.

Former CIA officer Edward Snowden commented on the post: "Please tell me the White House didn't spend all of February launching $400,000 jets and rockets at a local hobby club's $12 balloon. Lord have mercy!"

Pranksters and pranksters in different parts of the country began to launch their balloons into the sky, just to test the reaction of the authorities and local TV channels.

Regarding China, with which, according to Biden, America does not want to fight, but only compete, Washington is already having quite substantive conversations. US military officials have called China America's biggest problem, and there is discussion of what the likely conflict will be. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Acquisitions tells The Associated Press that the Ukrainian experience will be taken into account: "The future U.S. military campaign is likely to rely more on the Air Force and the Navy, taking pressure off ground systems and munitions . " .

It became known that France has already sent the first batch of 14 AMX wheeled tanks to Ukraine. Paris does not exclude the supply of aircraft to Kyiv, unlike Berlin. On this occasion, Chancellor Scholz put it clearly: "Neither now nor in the future." Channel ARD publishes a fresh poll, according to which almost two-thirds of German citizens do not support such a scenario.

In Poland, which, according to local media, has already transferred MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine in parts, is now forming the first special unit from Poles in Ukraine, which will actually be in the composition and direct subordination of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense and perform special tasks - reconnaissance and sabotage activities. The Polish publication received information that a meeting was held in Kyiv on Wednesday: "The meeting was attended by a Polish citizen, who is the organizer of the unit, several Polish volunteers and a representative of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. For security reasons, all these people remain anonymous."

Latvia stood out from the total mass of Ukraine's assistants. There, the Seimas adopted urgent amendments to the law on assistance to the civilian population of Ukraine. They suggest that cars confiscated from drunken Latvian drivers will be handed over to Ukraine free of charge.

Posted by: Oblomovka daydream | Feb 18 2023 13:31 utc | 13

Every day that passes Biden's goldfish gets closer to taking over the White House according to FBI lipreaders.
We're monitoring remarks made by the goldfish in public, said the President
We have the capability to deal with that threat , should it get out of hand.

Posted by: Giyane | Feb 18 2023 13:33 utc | 14

Well this good thing in that it means the defense industry will need more $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ for better weapons to shoot down these very dangerous balloons;-)

Posted by: jo6pac | Feb 18 2023 13:39 utc | 15

Posted by: HB_Norica

I don't find it alarming in part because I worked in Washington and know the drill. The System is systematically corrupt and there's little we can do about it other than support influential people who are trying to avoid catastrophe. Our task is to do our best to build community, be kind and loving to others and pray that is enough. Gradually, those with some influence on oligarchs will respond to a more positive mood from the public and begin to change things.

Posted by: Chris Cosmos | Feb 18 2023 13:45 utc | 16

Our task is to do our best to build community, be kind and loving to others and pray that is enough. Gradually, those with some influence on oligarchs will respond to a more positive mood from the public and begin to change things.

Posted by: Chris Cosmos | Feb 18 2023 13:45 utc | 16

Chris - change will only happen after collapse. That’s why my reccomendation is to vote with our feet.

Posted by: Exile | Feb 18 2023 13:48 utc | 17

Strikes me that China and Russia can efficiently disarm the USAF by releasing a few thousand toy balloons into the atmosphere over North America.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Feb 18 2023 13:48 utc | 18

a few thousand toy balloons
Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Feb 18 2023 13:48 utc | 18


A few thousands??? China makes hundreds of millions of cellphones per year. Billions of balloons would be easy for them if they were so motivated.

Posted by: too scents | Feb 18 2023 14:01 utc | 19

Oblomovka daydream | Feb 18 2023 13:31 utc | 13

nuland's comments about 'legitimate targets' is consistent with the practice (the biggest guns and battleships decide) of international law as it pertains to war.

using that practice, all suppliers to ukrastan are participants in the combat and their territory that is dedicated to supplying ukrastan are legitimate targets.......

this is why the dangerous biden regime should not have nuclear weapons, they are not sane in the exercise of responsibility to anyone but the atlanticists.

Posted by: paddy | Feb 18 2023 14:14 utc | 20

"There are many balloons from many countries in the sky. Do you want to down each and every one of them?" Wang charged.

"We urge the United States not to do such preposterous things simply to divert attention from its own domestic problems."

Bidenesque is a new word I learned yesterday and it fits.

Posted by: Acco Hengst | Feb 18 2023 14:41 utc | 21

Biswapriya no. 18

Bring it on!!! 😂😂😂😂

Posted by: ThusspakeZarathustra | Feb 18 2023 15:02 utc | 22

"Currently, 2000 single-use stratospheric balloons are launched daily."

Enjoy your next flight on an aircraft! What sound do you think a balloon will make when it's sucked into a jet engine?


Giyane | Feb 18 2023 13:33 utc | 14

On the meanness and, well, vigorousness of goldfish... Do you know Klaus Heissler? ;-)

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Feb 18 2023 15:11 utc | 23

Here’s the link when Wang Yi is starting his speech:

Thanks to too scents for the original link.

Posted by: Zet | Feb 18 2023 15:20 utc | 24

Thank B, for virtually clearing up balloongate, I'd image the Pentagon knew what they were doing (or am I giving them too much credit?) when they turned the hobby balloons into Chinese spy balloons, in the end it looks like its been used as a anti-China propaganda exercise.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Feb 18 2023 15:22 utc | 25

Speaking of fear caused by guilt, it seems all US carrier groups are safely in home port, except one in med near Turkey?

Is that unusual?

Posted by: jared | Feb 18 2023 13:14 utc | 9
Savings on operating costs, I suspect. The government is trying to spend less (also cutting back on procurement contracts) so as to reallocate resources to Ukraine. US Navy recruiting is down, so is the quality of the new sailors. Avoids accidents with expensive war toys.

Posted by: Acco Hengst | Feb 18 2023 15:26 utc | 26

While it is usual for this bar to rail against the MIC, it is also usual to rail against fascism and the globalist agenda. So it’s not conceivable that Pico Balloon Project and Scientific Balloon Solutions from Silicon Valley might be anything other than squeaky-clean and in the best interests of humanity (like all those other Silicon Valley “do no evil” firms)?

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Feb 18 2023 15:28 utc | 27

mentioned it the other day, but i still think there’s a lot of potential win-win to the idea of seeding the skies, particularly over north america, with balloons printed with an image of seymour hersch - change the meme from “spy balloons” to “sy balloons” and eliminate the use of balloon news as a diversion tactic for the media while forcing national conversations about the pipeline story and what it means

Posted by: b real | Feb 18 2023 15:44 utc | 28

Reelease die balloonen!

(From another thread of mine)

John Helmer posted an incredible article on Kinetic Lessons. Many points, but there's a fascinating take on the "UFO" phenomena. While as Snowden and many other have said that it sure smothers Seymour Hersh's Nord Stream reporting, Helmer's source posits:

"Take the so-called Unidentified Flying Object crisis for NORAD [North American Aerospace Defense Command] or the so-called Chinese balloon crisis in the US media. All these UFO shoot-downs and conflicting accounts from the Pentagon, Congress, state governors, the Canadian government, NORAD, etc., show just how vulnerable they feel. There’s been an embarrassingly obvious display of military tactical and political mishandling of weather balloons, and the disconnect between the military and the political commands. All systems were tested and they’ve failed. Everything since has been catch-up, grotesquely overdue, clumsily handled, political posturing. It’s obvious and it’s been noted by the Chinese and Russians."

And the kicker:

"Imagine from the military point of view, if the enemy decided to launch a swarm of a thousand weather balloons, or 5,000 party balloons, from the Sea of Okhotsk – the US defence capacity would be paralyzed, and [President] Biden and [Prime Minister] Trudeau would have shown themselves up to be asses. The US media haven’t caught on to this yet, but you can be sure the Russians and the Chinese have. I suppose Chancellor Scholz and President Macron have ordered up top-secret maps and plans for what would happen to their defences if the Siberian east to westward winds which once carried Chernobyl radiation, and regularly carry Siberian cold snaps, delivered swarms of balloons. A Maginot Line fantasy in the sky?"

Posted by: daffyDuct | Feb 18 2023 15:51 utc | 29

@ b,

Thanks that you posted on this. Where is the Caution on not having any liquids around?

I had an accident, drink in hand, last evening when I read the piece at Aviation Week cited by Larry.
"The club—the Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade (NIBBB)"

In a month of 1000 Sundays you can't make this stuff up.
A $400,000 missile to take down a -$180 mylar hobby balloon said to be a UFO that drifted over Alaska into Canada.

= = = = = =


The Chinese are not amused. Imo, the Blinken visit was cancelled under cover of the balloon incident...BUT China got a heads-up, you bet, as we read FT reports:

White House to hold ‘secret’ talks with Taiwan officials – FT

The Asian island’s foreign minister and national security adviser will reportedly visit Washington while a US delegation travels to Taipei

A Taiwanese delegation that is reportedly set to arrive in the US over the weekend will take part in “secret talks” with White House officials, the Financial Times has claimed, citing anonymous sources.

According to the outlet, the meetings will be part of a special diplomatic dialogue intended to remain private so as to avoid provoking a reaction from China, which considers Taiwan part of its territory. The Taiwanese delegation will reportedly be led by Foreign Minister Joseph Wu and National Security Adviser Wellington Koo. [.]

An invitation to read Larry Johnson's latest
Why Is The U.S. Agitating For War With The Two Countries That Supply Critical Pharmaceuticals, Rare Earth Minerals And Uranium?

Soon enough we will wake up reading the latest bombshell - that China made public its Military Alliance with Russia - an attack on Russia is also on China.

= = = = = =

Jens needs a puke bag.
Stoltenberg sets condition for Kiev to join NATO

Only a “sovereign and independent” Ukraine can be a member of the US-led bloc, the secretary general said

He just tipped his hand. And Putin's team knows well, now confirmed, 'all of UKR must be liberated' to the Polish border.

Posted by: Likklemore | Feb 18 2023 15:52 utc | 30

"We urge the United States not to do such preposterous things simply to divert attention from its own domestic problems."

Wang speaks to the internal aspect of global colonialism. Inside USA, there's an absolute news-blackout on revelations from putative negotiators that the Minsk accords were just a ploy, and on the NordStream geoterrorism. Possibly one US American in 1,000 even knows about both of those historic milestones, which thoroughly explain where we've been and where we're headed.

Blindfolded -- so obviously blindfolded by an apparently absolute propaganda triumph. Despite it all, most US Americans still speak and write of the "Chinese Spy Balloon". Will it ever be possible for US Americans to feel any guilt over actions of our government? We're never allowed to question our fundamental moral exception: If USA did it, it must have been right.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Feb 18 2023 15:52 utc | 31

Video link @ 3 from to scents from Munich Security Conference.. Time stamp for Wang Yi, China Foreign Minister begins about 1 hour 55 minutes. Addresses balloon issue in response to question about 2:15.

Posted by: mjh | Feb 18 2023 15:57 utc | 32

Posted by: Derek Henry | Feb 18 2023 15:46 utc | 32

Looks like you lifted this dissertation verbatim from

Posted by: Drake Schroeder | Feb 18 2023 16:04 utc | 33

Nothing shows the Empire of Lies true identity as an hysterically insecure fop, as Balloongate.

As each new crazy story emerges, especially the current rage of conglomerate 'sentient' AI projects, it's easier and easier, nature notwithstanding, to nod one's head at the concept that this is all a simulation.

At least that's the hope because all the current trends lead to extinction.


Posted by: gottlieb | Feb 18 2023 16:06 utc | 34

Posted by: bevin | Feb 18 2023 15:41 utc | 30

Seconded !!!

Snake oil salesmen like Derek Henry need to go through the spiel to convince themselves

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | Feb 18 2023 16:10 utc | 35

“What is the left known for today? Mostly for Identity politics and climate change activism. What happened to the anti-Wall St and anti-War left? Were they bought out, transformed, defanged, and purposefully refocused for the benefit of the corporate world — by changing their driving ideology into being singularly concerned about racial and ethnic issues, cultural issues, sexual and gender issues, and climate?” From The New Progressive World Order

Posted by: kana | Feb 18 2023 16:13 utc | 36

The supreme, the la de creme de creme is the tax payer money myth.

Posted by: Derek Henry | Feb 18 2023 15:46 utc | 32

This was your conclusion??? To your otherwise excellent info? Do people still facepalm?

Posted by: Rjb1.5 | Feb 18 2023 16:14 utc | 37

I'm delighted that violent racist-supremacist AmeriKKKa will soon be conducting fake Freedumb Of Navigation patrols in the seas near China. This'll be a World 1st - a nation which believes ALL of its own bullshit vs a country too busy Nation Building to indulge in bullshit.

I'm expecting the Chinese to teach the AmeriKKKans how to laugh at themselves (along with everyone else on the planet).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 18 2023 16:37 utc | 38

@ Posted by: Derek Henry | Feb 18 2023 15:46 utc | 32

Would you kindly distinguish between your own words and those which you lift from other writers without attribution? And be more considerate of the bar by articulating how your post connects to the OP; and being more concise?

Where is Outraged to keep this train of thought on track?

Posted by: suzan | Feb 18 2023 16:40 utc | 39

You know things are interesting when we have trolls in the bar disrupting sideline threads at MoA....grin

This balloonacy is how empire dies. One example after another of anti-humanistic behavior and eyes open from lives of zombiedom.

First they came for the Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade (NIBBB) and I did many in the NIBBB are waking up for the first time and saying WTF?

What is the next event that is going to be turned into a Hollywood production along the Wag The Dog lines?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 18 2023 16:52 utc | 40

Russell Brand Seymour Hersh interview on balloon.

The whole Brand / Hersh interview was kicked from YouTube.

Posted by: too scents | Feb 18 2023 16:54 utc | 41

The original 200 ft diameter reconnaissance balloon...with massive arrays and ability to manoeuver is not a 20 ft free floating weather balloon with simple short wave transmitter....these are all distractions. The infrastructure of the United States collapses whilst billions are sent to bolster their criminal off shore proxy Frankenstein monster....I think the distraction is to mask the heightened military activity and preparation of NORAD for what they know is coming... because they are orchestrating it

Posted by: Joe | Feb 18 2023 17:25 utc | 42

@Derek Henry | Feb 18 2023 15:46 utc | 32

Here is an idea: Start a blog and see if you get anyone to follow it (I would not).

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 18 2023 17:34 utc | 43

@Likklemore | Feb 18 2023 15:52 utc | 34

He just tipped his hand. And Putin's team knows well, now confirmed, 'all of UKR must be liberated' to the Polish border.
This is now obvious, even to NATO and its handlers. So they want that scenario it seems.

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 18 2023 17:37 utc | 44

Welp, looks like I’ll be taking up picoballooning as a hobby.

Posted by: Lex | Feb 18 2023 19:17 utc | 45

The "absurd" ballonacy incident was a key feature of China's appearance at the Munich Security Conference as Global Times reports, "Senior Chinese diplomat blasts US reaction to balloon as ‘hysterical, violates intl norms’":

Wang, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, said the "balloon" was a civilian unmanned airship, which was blown into US airspace due to a strong westerly wind. We requested the US to handle it calmly, professionally through communication with China. "Regretfully, the US disregarded those facts, deployed advanced fighter jets and shot down a 'balloon' with missiles," Wang said.

"Such action is absurd, hysterical and pure abuse of military force." It is an apparent violation of international norms, in particular the principle of the Chicago Convention, or the Convention on International Civil Aviation....

There are numerous balloons floating around the Earth, belonging to different countries. Will the US shoot all of them down? Wang challenged....

"We advise the US to stop doing such ridiculous things out of domestic political calculation. We also urge the US to show sincerity, correct its mistake, and face up to and address its damages to China-US relations," Wang said....

The US claimed it is "competing with China." China never fears competition, but it must be fair and rule-based. But what did the US do?

Wang cited the US' CHIPS and Science Act, blasting it as pure protectionism, selfishness and unilateralism, which seriously breached the principle of free trade and the rules of the WTO.

It is an irony of history that the US stands opposed to the free trade it has long advocated… The US has torn apart its disguise in attempt to blatantly plunder, Wang said.

The modernization of China as a country of 1.4 billion population should be heralded as huge progress for mankind, why should the US seek to hinder it? Wang asked. [My Emphasis]

According to the report, all the above was produced during the Conference's Q&A portion. I conducted a search to find Wang Yi's Conference speech but have not found it yet. Last year during his video address to the Conference, Wang Yi reiterated the need for all to adopt the concept/principle of indivisible security--the very thing the Outlaw US Empire/NATO have refused and broke treaties over. I'd be shocked if Wang didn't include it in his speech as the principle is at the center of Xi Jinping's Global Security Initiative.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 18 2023 20:55 utc | 46

I know it’s only words, but I always get a tremendous kick out of whenever Chinese or Russian officials berate the US.

Posted by: Featherless | Feb 18 2023 21:02 utc | 47

@jared | Feb 18 2023 13:14 utc | 9

Any Carrier Strike Force (CSF) is too dangerous to leave unmolested in the case of conflict. One under the protection of shore based anti-missile defense one might survive, though I would not bank on it in a world where Russia and China definitely, and North Korea and Iran probably, already possess hypersonic missiles. On the ocean it is likely that none will survive more than a few hours after the initiation of hostilities with any of the above countries. And each of the 11 US CSFs probably represents around $30 Billion and 5,000 to 10,000 lives. Not even the military wants to lose so much at one time.

Which is why I feel nervous anytime they are clustered in US ports.

Posted by: Hermit | Feb 18 2023 22:13 utc | 48 links to this article:

Lessons from the Phantom Airship Panic — of 1913
A pre-WWI frenzy over German zeppelins reflects eerie similarities to the current controversy over Chinese balloons.

Interesting historical note. I'd like to add that I've been interested in the whole topic of UFOs going back to the '60s. As part of my research, I learned that not only have there been UFO "flaps" - waves of sightings, as they're called - throughout the last half of the 20th Century, there were also waves in previous decades going back to the 19th Century. There were sightings of "mystery airplanes" before WWI along with these balloons, primarily in the northern countries. And there were "foo fighters" seen by Allied pilots during WWII, preceding the first "official" UFO sighting by Kenneth Arnold in 1949.

There were also a number of well-known cases in the US in the 19th Century of "airships". All the familiar tropes of UFO sightings were included in these events: cattle thefts, unusual people with accents emerging from the "airship" with explanations for their presence which made no sense - in other words, "contacts", and the like.

I used to hang out with the late journalist John A. Keel, who was probably the smartest guy ever to look into UFOS, whose theory was that all these events might be caused by the human brain being influenced by waves of cosmic energies which sweep the Earth frequently at frequencies which could have a neurophysiological effect on the human brain. He wrote several books on the topic

There is solid evidence that focused magnetic fields can have a hallucinatory effect on the brain. There was a scientist up in Canada at Laurentian University named Persinger who had done extensive research on this. He had a "chair" with a concentrated magnetic focusing device built on it. If a person sat in it and the device was turned out, they shortly begin experiencing hallucinations. The hallucinations tend to agree with whatever the individual's religious beliefs or world views are. For instance, one person will hallucinate their dead grandmother, another will "see God", and so forth.

Persinger wrote a book years ago which suggested that UFO sightings correspond to seismic events, which are known to cause shifts in the geomagnetic fields of the earth in a localized manner. He did something like 500 technical papers on related theories.

The guy was pretty serious. See the Wikipedia entry here: Michael Persinger Unfortunately, he was removed from his teaching position for bogus "woke" reasons and died committing suicide.

Not an explanation for the current "balloon hysteris", obviously. That explanation rests with the morons running the United States.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Feb 18 2023 22:28 utc | 49

The site of the Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade was taken down early this morning. Don't get in the way of the narrative...

Posted by: ColoradoFrench | Feb 18 2023 22:34 utc | 50

NEW UPLOAD: the only detailed survey of America's Cold War spy balloon program, "The Moby Dick Project: Reconnaissance Balloons over Russia" by the late Smithsonian aerospace historian Curtis Peebles.
No better way to contextualize today's flights.

Source ==>

Posted by: too scents | Feb 18 2023 22:46 utc | 51

Balloonacy - the gift that keeps on giving...

First they came for the Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade (NIBBB) and I did nothing

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 18 2023 16:52 utc | 40

Then they came for the helium producers and I said nothing... because my voice was too squeaky!
I came across the Aviation Week piece featured by b a day or so ago and after I had stopped laughing, I thought that the US government had just opened itself up to even more trolling. How many more people are now going to join the pico-balloon hobby just for heck of it? I can envisage those cuddly folks at 4chan getting involved, just as a starter!

Still, despite any financial benefits the MIC may ultimately gain, the more Sidewinders used up against ‘muh spy balloons’, the less available for immediate deployment elsewhere.

Posted by: West of England Andy | Feb 18 2023 22:56 utc | 52

As usual, Maria Zakharova's weekly briefing has several gems making it hard to choose. But given this thread's topic, IMO her discussion about the Twitter Files seems quite appropriate:

Recently, several materials were published on the results of investigations by journalists who gained access to the documents of the administration of the social network Twitter. The conclusions of the study themselves and the complete lack of reaction of the White House and the State Department to this topic deserve attention. Vladimir Nuland, please pay close attention to this topic.

But that's about it. So, not only experts on America, but also ordinary people far from foreign policy remember the large-scale, even total media campaign about "Russian interference" in the US presidential elections in 2016, which was deployed by the Democrats and the mainstream controlled by them against D. Trump. A side victim then was Russian-American relations. We were accused of interfering in the elections, "hacking everything", stealing something, launching it in the media and this influenced the course of the elections. Therefore, in the end, the outgoing US President Barack Obama expelled Russian diplomats, took away our real estate, etc.

One of the centers where the false factology about "Russian troll factories" was generated, which was then replicated in the American and global media, was the Hamilton 68 project – an "initiative to combat deliberately distorted information" – the result of the work of the Alliance for Democracy at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. This think tank is funded by several governments, including the United States, Switzerland and Germany.

And who is on his board? Familiar faces, seasoned Russophobes such as M. Chertoff (former Secretary of Homeland Security under George Bush Jr.), M. McFaul (scandalous US Ambassador to the Russian Federation under B. Obama), B. Kristol (former editor of The Weekly Standard magazine) and J. Podesta (chairman of the movement "America for Hillary"). At one time, there was even John Sullivan (the current assistant to US President Joe Biden for national security).

An explosive mixture of intelligence agencies, Democratic politicians, these ultra-liberals and media thieves.

What did Hamilton 68 and Twitter's administration do? This, according to journalists, is, at a minimum, about collusion between the largest IT giant and representatives of the liberal establishment. Their goal was to censor conservative points of view and introduce the dogmas of democratic politics. Democratic – I mean neoliberal, the very one promoted by W. Nuland, Joe Biden and this whole campaign with the Clintons. By zombifying American and global audiences with the myth of "Russian influence and threat."

Over the years, the Hamilton 68 has generated hundreds, if not thousands, of news about "Russian bots." Their know-how was a "secret source" — a list of 644 accounts they claimed were linked to the Kremlin. This could go on for decades.

But then in the materials of "Twitter" journalists found this list. It turned out that there are almost no Russians there, but there are many real Americans. This is a forgery. "Russian influence" called the conversations of ordinary conservatives. Banal deception. And worse, surveillance of their own citizens, who simply shared their political views. It was all passed off as "Russian influence."

What happens in Washington after such a high-profile exposure? This is the collusion of those they always put on a pedestal. Those media platforms, IT giants that provide a free exchange of opinions, in a word, media professionals. Silence, as always. That no investigation based on facts, everyone does not see, does not hear, does not understand anything. They turned off the electricity, the computer did not turn on. Every time.

An investigation into Nord Streams by American journalist Sergei Hersh has now been published. Everything, eyes to the floor, this is complete nonsense, we do not hear anything, we do not know anything, we will not comment on anything. Twitter was investigated "from within" the organization. This was written by American journalists who have nothing to do with us. None of the officials say anything.

Journalists, as usual, were called distributors of "conspiracy theories" (this is their favorite) and ignored in every possible way. Let me remind you that "conspiracy theories" and similar rhetoric were developed by US intelligence agencies (we even gave information) in the 1960s, when it was necessary to somehow begin to control American investigative journalists. The United States told everyone that freedom of speech is our everything, and it was necessary to somehow limit it. Those who worked for these very structures and worked out the necessary version could be called investigative journalists, and those who pulled out inconvenient facts (largely discrediting the authorities) began to be called representatives of the "conspiracy theory". Classic story. It was a campaign developed by U.S. intelligence agencies. Now it's all come out. But the official authorities in every possible way ignore the requests of journalists in this regard.

How is the Hamilton 68 PR project doing after the exposure? Continues to be alive. Now it's Hamilton 2.0, which has expanded its reach to "analyzing disinformation from China and Iran."

There are dozens of such PR agencies masquerading as Russophobic research and other non-governmental organizations with carefully hidden government funding in Washington and London. We are glad that after our revelations, many of the defendants, such as the general director of the global Association for Public Affairs and Communications (PRCA) F. Ingham, are not doing very well.

State funding of such "shops" explains the lack of an official reaction. "Snout in the fluff". Another recent example is the revealed State Department funding of another office to combat "hostile propaganda" – The Global Disinformation Index. It's a British organization with two affiliated U.S. nonprofits leaking blacklists to advertising companies to stop funding and shut down conservative websites that spread alleged "misinformation." Funding for this "Index" went through the National Endowment for Democracy, which in 2021 alone received $ 300 million from the US State Department, and the Center for Global Engagement at the State Department.

We will follow the development of this fascinating story and draw attention to such fake NGOs, because they, among other things, build the entire system of Western lies (they call it the "system of Western democracy"). We see who stands inside this Western rotten democracy. Allegedly, NGOs paid for by the same democracy for a lot of money, clearly working off the order of the administration that writes them these checks. The meaning is simple – opposition to our country, the use of the theme of Russia for internal political showdowns, unfair competition.

I know many people loathe Elon Musk, but I commend him for releasing the Twitter Files as they provide proof for many speculations over the last seven years.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 18 2023 23:30 utc | 53

Below is a new ZH posting title

US Ends Search For 2 Airborne Objects Recently Shot Down Over Alaska And Lake Huron

And in a related note there is this posting title at ZH

Donald Trump Plans To Visit Ohio Town Of Toxic Train Derailment

Folks including myself have said bad things about Trump and Musk but you have to give them credit for helping bring empire down

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 19 2023 0:00 utc | 54

Posted by: ColoradoFrench | Feb 18 2023 22:34 utc | 50

"The site of the Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade was taken down..........."

The site does appear to be down, but you can still view the last archived page from yesterday:

Posted by: JK in Glendale | Feb 19 2023 1:34 utc | 55

. . . .from China Defense Blog
Move Over Sputnik...Kuaiyun Could Be the New Red Scare Over America

It's seems possible a new Chinese unmanned system is the "UFO" being shot down over North America this weekend. The system that fits the general description given by intercepting pilots is the Kuaiyun C4ISR ballon platform.

The Kuaiyun project was announced by state news Xinhua in September 2018. Kuaiyun was intended " to build a floating mobile platform that can reach the stratosphere, and provide services such as hydrogeological observation, major disaster monitoring, and information support and surety."

Kuaiyun disk-balloon and underslung UAV: . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 19 2023 3:32 utc | 56

Featherless no. 47

Agree. And they say it so eloquently. Not the alarmist rhetoric of the west.

Posted by: ThusspakeZarathustra | Feb 19 2023 9:03 utc | 57


The US expects Russia to step down as the more sane participant in the conflict when the next step would be global annihilation.

bible story:

Only the wise king is missing nowadays.
Those run of the mill "sovereigns" have the wool pulled ...

Posted by: MAKK | Feb 19 2023 13:57 utc | 58

The United States believes Russia, as the more rational party to the dispute, should withdraw when the alternative is global destruction. monkey mart

Posted by: evaleon | Mar 1 2023 9:06 utc | 59

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