Balloon No Threat While Over NW MO, Pentagon says

High-Altitude Surveillance Balloon Spotted Over Warrensburg on Feb. 3


The National Weather Service in Kansas City confirmed in a Tweet that the weather balloon seen over the northland was not a NWS weather balloon.

 On Feb. 3, a high-altitude surveillance balloon floated within the airspace above Warrensburg. At 60,000 feet approximately, the balloon went unnoticed by many University of Central Missouri students. The balloon posed no threat to UCM’s campus safety and security, according to Chief Bill Brinkley, UCM Director of Public Safety.

 “We didn’t have any official notifications and didn’t have any concerns that day, we just monitored the media,” Brinkley said. “We monitor more low-level traffic with Skyhaven here.”

   According to a Pentagon spokesman, a Chinese government surveillance balloon drifted for seven days across the United States, which included northwest Missouri. As the balloon floated over the center of the U.S., many people came out to squint at the sky, but it did not cause any threats or danger. 

  U.S. Pentagon officials said the balloon began its travel from China to the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, and then through northwest Canada before arriving in Montana on Feb. 1. Then, the balloon’s flight line was on a southeasterly track. After soaring across the U.S., the balloon was brought down on Feb. 4 off the coast of South Carolina.

  According to the North American Aerospace Defense Command the balloon did not pose a physical or military threat to people on the ground.

  “When it [the balloon] entered U.S. airspace and came over the continental United States, we began to develop options on how to take it down and address this threat, with the idea being that we wanted to wait until it was over water so that we could mitigate any potential civilian harm or property damage,” Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder said.