Mysterious Balloon ‘Intercepted’ Over Utah

Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images
Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

A high-altitude balloon that the U.S. military began tracking on Friday as it floated above the Western United States does not pose a threat, according to NORAD.

The mysterious object was intercepted by fighter jets as it flew between 43,000 and 45,000 feet above the state of Utah, slightly higher than most commercial planes fly, between 31,000 feet to 42,000 feet.

NORAD “determined it was not maneuverable and did not present a threat to national security,” and announced that it would continue to monitor the floating object as it made its way toward Georgia on Friday night.

A U.S. official said that the balloon seemed to be made of Mylar and had a small cube-shaped box dangling below it. The origin of the balloon is still unknown, as is its function.

A little over a year ago, the Pentagon alerted several news outlets to the presence of a spy balloon from China hovering over Montana, and it became an inescapable online meme and a sore spot for U.S. relations with China.

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