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Last Post 02/18/2023 05:14 PM by 79 pmooney. 9 Replies.
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79pmooney

Posts:3180

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02/02/2023 07:25 PM
Apparently a perhaps spy balloon has been spotted over Montana. Been tracked from Asia to the Aleutians, Alaska, Canada, Montana.

So? It's a balloon. They don't travel fast. It seems to have not declared itself in our airspace, so what's the big deal? Send up a helicopter, rope it and drag it home. (Granted, that would take some skill but don't we have a few highly skilled pilots and some big helicopters?)
longslowdistance

Posts:2881

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02/03/2023 10:18 AM
Way above commercial airspace. No helicopters up there
79pmooney

Posts:3180

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02/03/2023 11:44 AM
But ... 1) we have had what? 60 years? to figure out how to remove high altitude vehicles from our airspace. Balloon technology and principles are ancient.

2) Wow do we look weak and powerless in front of the world over this.

3) Yes, China says this is a civilian mission that went awry. Maybe true but they just learned they can run spy equipment over our top secrets and we will do nothing.

4) We didn't shoot it down (over sparse Montana) because someone on the ground might get hurt! World wars kill millions. China's population is a billion. Ours is over 1/3 that. But we won't risk a half dozen lives. The US; world's biggest pansy. Also the country that perfected the martial art of killing civilians rather than warriors because it was more effective and safer. Warfare against the people we stole this land from. Attack villages, women and children because you might die fighting their braves. (I grew up with war criminal Custer celebrated as a hero and martyr. Ride past a park with his name every time I ride in town. He died on a planned ambush of a village while the men were gone.) WW2 - bombing German and Japanese cities to kill civilians. No precision bombsights needed.

Oh, on US civilian deaths - while that balloon is falling after being shot down that half dozen civilians would be dying in car crashes.

5) And the trade talks? "You didn't play fair so we're going home." The US big boys here.
79pmooney

Posts:3180

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02/04/2023 08:49 PM
So, we shot it down after it moseyed US air space for 5 days. Now China is all out of sorts. Claiming we violated international law.

I still say we should have had a dirigible/blimp designed to retrieve very high balloons and the like. Rope it and haul it to a cornfield. Check it out. If it's a spy balloon, invite an international observer to come verify that. If it's really a mistake, box it up and return it.

Balloon is grounded before it sees very much of our country so little damage done. Lost face for the owner, we look good with either outcome. We get full access to the technology, not just that which survived a missile and 60,000' fall into salt water.
Orange Crush

Posts:4499

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02/04/2023 08:52 PM
Not a spy balloon, that part is just a ruse. A trial balloon. A test. Biden did pretty well.

The timing (Xi was keen on Blinken visit) may also speak to a power struggle in China (engagement versus conflict with US). Xi somewhat abruptly changed political course fairly dramatically last year which may not sit well with others. “China” is not just some uniformly thinking and acting block.
Orange Crush

Posts:4499

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02/04/2023 09:06 PM
The best part of this story was learning that in 1945 the US Navy tried to shoot down Venus thinking it was a Japanese attack balloon.
79pmooney

Posts:3180

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02/04/2023 09:10 PM

Posted By Orange Crush on 02/04/2023 08:52 PM
Not a spy balloon, that part is just a ruse. A trial balloon. A test. Biden did pretty well.

The timing (Xi was keen on Blinken visit) may also speak to a power struggle in China (engagement versus conflict with US). Xi somewhat abruptly changed political course fairly dramatically last year which may not sit well with others.


With my scenario, you rope it in then tell the world you plucked a toy out of the sky and are now going to ask China (publicly) if they want to back. Do that and I highly doubt any more balloons are coming. Biden 1, Xi 0

But all this does mean we needed to do a Huey Long style project of a super, high altitude blimp. Huge, and unlike anything ever done before. Fit out a trailer and C130 to haul it quickly to where needed. Have a couple of big helicopters to assist in landing this thing with payload (unless ballasting/lift can be done to handle perhaps huge demands).

Given the massive amounts we spend on exotic aircraft, space military, weaponry, ... this would have been a one time expense and little ongoing cost. Keep a C130 and two helicopters ready. (Much like our exotic submarine recovery ship only far, far cheaper. Radically lower maintenance too.
79pmooney

Posts:3180

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02/04/2023 09:15 PM

Posted By Orange Crush on 02/04/2023 09:06 PM
The best part of this story was learning that in 1945 the US Navy tried to shoot down Venus thinking it was a Japanese attack balloon.


They are still working on it only now they realize they need a bigger warhead, not just the range. Top, top secret. If I stop posting, well you now know who's reading this thread. (If they stopped this project, the Pentagon could afford dozens of those dirigibles.)
Orange Crush

Posts:4499

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02/18/2023 11:14 AM
This is hilarious. The object shot down over Canadian Yukon most likely was operated by Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade (NIBBB) during its 7th global circumnavigation. As to the big balloon, it appears the intended target was not mainland US but Guam, it got hopelessly blown off course over Pacific (based on US analysis of flight track) creating an international incident and of course an opportunity to dust off the old Dragon Lady to spy on the spies.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/missing-balloon-yukon-1.6752141
79pmooney

Posts:3180

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02/18/2023 05:14 PM
I heard the balloon shot down over your country was from the store chain Hobby Club and might have cost $12. Not to say it wasn't the NIBBB unit but if it was - well that's impressive! $12 goes 7 laps!
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