At Least $1.5 Million Spent by Pentagon to Take Down Balloons Now Described as for Recreation or Research

According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. military spent more than $1.5 million to bring down three balloons. These balloons are believed to be owned by private entities that were used for research or recreation.

Biden stated recently that the intelligence community believes that the three objects are most likely balloons linked to private companies, recreation, or research institutions that study weather or conduct other scientific research.

The president stated that if an object poses a threat to the safety or security of the American people, it would be taken down.

AIM-9X Sidewinders missiles were used to take down the balloons. Each missile cost $400,000 for each of the four missions. One missile was missed while trying to down a balloon flying above Lake Huron.

Gen. Milley stated, “First shot missed on the fourth balloon.” “The second one over Alaska…that one hit. That was the third one that hit the Yukon. He explained that the fourth shot over Lake Huron was missed by the second shot.

Despite no official findings by the FBI, the FBI has abandoned the search for downed balloons in Alaska and Canada’s Yukon.

According to the Pentagon, it does not include the cost of flights or the manpower required to detect balloons in the equation. The Pentagon considers these flights to be part of pilot training exercises and has budgeted for them, the defense officials stated.

North American Aerospace Defense Command has now stated that the balloons could have endangered commercial air traffic and flown at altitudes of between 20,000 to 40,000 feet. The Chinese spy balloon, which flew across the continent at an altitude of around 60,000 feet, was in contrast.

“Every day, North American Aerospace Defense Command is monitoring the skies above North America. Air Force Colonel Elizabeth Mathias, NORAD’s spokeswoman, stated that they use radars and aircraft to identify, track, assess, and evaluate potential threats.

China claimed that the balloon it was launching was also a weather balloon. However, after threats of revenge and receiving further U.S. sanctions China responded with sanctions against American defense contractors.

The president requested that new guidelines be developed for such situations and will share these “classified policy parameters” when they are complete.