Chinese Spy Balloon Rife With American-Made Tech: Reports

  • The Chinese spy balloon that flew over the United States was reportedly loaded with American tech.
  • That technology assisted in the gathering of photos and videos, The Wall Street Journal reported.
  • The balloon was shot down off the coast of South Carolina by the US military earlier this year. 

The Chinese spy balloon that flew over the United States earlier this year before it was shot down by the military was rife with ready-made American technology, according to reports. 

The high-altitude balloon was loaded with American tech that assisted it in gathering photos, videos, and other information, The Wall Street Journal first reported, citing US officials with knowledge of the preliminary findings from an FBI-involved investigation. 

NBC News, citing three US officials familiar with the findings of that investigation, reported that the Biden administration believed the balloon may have been filled with American-made parts shortly after it was detected. 

The balloon was shot down off the coast of South Carolina by a US Air Force F-22 fighter jet in February after the device traveled more than a week over Alaska, Canada, and the continental US. Debris from the massive balloon was then fished out of the Atlantic Ocean by US Navy divers for analysis. 

Officials told The Wall Street Journal that while the balloon collected data as it traversed over the US and Canada, there was no apparent transmission of that information back to Beijing. 

The Pentagon said on Thursday, however, that the Chinese balloon did not collect information as it flew across the country. 

“We believe that [the balloon] did not collect while it was transiting the United States or flying over the United States, and certainly the efforts that we made contributed,” Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder told reporters, according to CNN

Chinese officials have admitted the downed balloon belonged to China but have repeatedly insisted it was a weather balloon that blew off course.

“As China has stated on many occasions, the unmanned Chinese civilian airship drifting over the US was an entirely unexpected accident caused by force majeure. To call it a ‘spy balloon’ that collected intelligence is nothing but a false accusation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told reporters on Friday.