Did a superpower showdown provoke the U.S. into using a fighter jet to shoot down a hobbyist group’s research balloon in Canada? That’s the question the public — and the FBI — wants to answer, after the U.S. military shot down several unidentified airborne objects last weekend.
A military spokesperson tells NPR it’s their understanding that the FBI has spoken to the hobbyist group in question — the Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade, based just north of Chicago — in an apparent attempt to determine whether their small balloon might have inadvertently caused a big ruckus.
But the hobbyist club’s members are warning that while their balloon, whose radio callsign is K9YO-15, is missing in action, it’s too soon to say whether it was shot down by a warplane. They also say their balloon launches follow all federal regulations.
The Biden administration said on Friday that it cannot confirm any reports potentially identifying the objects that were shot down, citing ongoing investigations.
Read more at NPR.org