I am shocked and horrified at the Chinese weaponization of balloons, and their use against innocent Americans. But it was inevitable. With the growing influence of Chinese financial institutions, our political and business leaders should have predicted that American families would be dangerously vulnerable to inflated balloon payments on their home mortgages. While it is difficult to say why China chose this moment to inflict damage on the U.S., pundits will be quick to… what? Not balloon payments? An ACTUAL balloon? You’ve got to be s#!t!ng me.
Ah. Yeah. Right. Balloon warfare in the 21st Century. Somewhere in Washington, a group of highly paid experts is considering the dangers of balloon warfare and the perils of the “Balloon Gap” with China. I GUARANTEE that whatever solutions they find MUST include the development of a multi-billion dollar air-superiority balloon, with stealth. Yeah… it’s coming.
OK, let’s back on track. News stories have pointed out that balloons were used extensively in America’s Civil war, and were probably first used in the 1790s during the French Revolution. Two centuries ago. True, during WW II the Japanese did try floating balloon firebombs over the US. But they sent over 9,000 of these “Fu-Go” bombs. If it’s for spying or as a weapon, you need to use a LOT of balloons. Why? Because you can’t steer balloons; they get blown around by the wind. A bomb or a spy device usually needs to go somewhere specific. A lone balloon floating thousands of miles is very unlikely to find a specific target.
On the other hand, if you plan to use THOUSANDS of balloons, you’re guaranteed that at least a few will reach the right continent. Not exactly state-of-the-art spycraft. China has satellites, drones, and a ton of spies around the world. Why use a balloon? If China wants plain old aerial photography, Air China flies to New York, Washington, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Houston. I’ve never flown on an Air China flight, but just about every modern plane I’ve flown on for the last 10 years has cameras on the plane pointed forward and downward. Passengers can use their seat-back monitors to check out these cameras at any point in the flight. I’m sure that there’s some special office of Chinese Intelligence that combs over these images for anything important.
While I believe with all my heart that there is virtually nothing that China won’t do to spy on the U.S. And it was a REALLY BIG balloon. Still, America launches 800 weather balloons EVERY DAY. And other nations launch another 1,000 weather balloons daily. With hundreds of thousands of balloons floating in the skies, it is just barely possible that one Chinese weather balloon made it to the US. In fact, I suspect that many foreign weather balloons have landed (or fallen) in obscure places around the US. But if you’re spying, why make a super gigantic balloon that’s easier to spot?
Alternatively, the US and China are conspiring to hide a UFO invasion. Well, invasion by incredibly advanced aliens that build incredibly flimsy spacecraft. Perhaps this is evidence that even the most advanced civilizations use “lowest-bid” government contracts?
Of course, if some midwest farmer tells us, “Those floaty things? Why a dozen have been driving by every day for the last 10 years”, then it’s time the US builds its Global Balloon Defense System. It will give the U.S. Space Force something to do.
What do you think? Balloons are the most dangerous spy machines? The Chinese Communist Party is developing a sense of humor? It’s been a slow news day?