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  • Writer's pictureTopsail Times

Front Page: Let's Talk Balloons

With the recent report of Chinese Weather balloons flying over our country, questions are being asked. Why did the United States allow one of the balloons to cross the United States (from Alaska to North Carolina) before shooting it down over the ocean?

Why didn’t the balloon get shot down over Alaska? How many military sites did the balloon pass over in the United States? Why wasn’t the balloon captured, in flight, and brought down for inspection? If the balloon was controllable (it appeared to move at times as though being controlled) why didn’t the Chinese steer it away from the United States?

Are foreign balloons new in our airspace? The answer is no. There is a historical marker in Nebraska that details that during World War II the Japanese built thousands of paper balloons to send across our borders carrying small bombs with the intention of starting fires. Though it is unclear how many were launched, less than 300 balloons were reported across the county. Parts of five balloon bombs were recovered in Nebraska. Even though they were not considered a real threat to the United States, they were blamed for six deaths and a few small fires. The information about the balloons was not made public until after the war ended.

Is China upset about the destruction of their “weather balloons”? Most reports claim that yes, they are not pleased, and they will respond. What does that really mean? If anyone knows they are not sharing.

Were you aware that the Chinese Government has set up “police departments” of their own across 53 countries? The one in the United States was recently discovered in New York. Our northern neighbors, Canada, claim to have one in Toronto. Is it legal for one country to have civilian police stations in other countries without approval? The simple answer is no. Not only does this violate the sovereignty of the countries involved, but it also violates law enforcement processes.

When questioned about these “police departments” the Chinese government states that the opening of these stations was simply to allow citizens to renew driver’s licenses that were unable to travel during the covid restrictions. If that is the case, why not call them Chinese DMVs? While some countries are not opposed to the departments, other countries want them out. Recently Ireland shut down the operation in their country and the Netherlands and Spain are currently working on doing the same.

There are open cases related to Chinese “volunteers” of these stations being responsible for harassing, stalking, black mail, monitoring and illegally trying force people back to China. Since the current Chinese President has been in power, almost 250,000 people (about half the population of Wyoming) have claimed to be recipients of such behavior.

Does China have a financial interest in the United States? Most people do not realize how many American businesses are now owned by China (or Chinese investors). Locally, Smithfield Foods was purchased for 7.1 billion dollars, General Electric Appliances were sold for 5.4 billion dollars, and AMC Movie company was purchased for 2.8 billion dollars.

At the time of the article, four balloons or unidentified flying objects (UFOs not attributed to outer space aliens) had been identified or shot down.

Sailors assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 2 recover a high-altitude surveillance balloon off the coast of Myrtle Beach, S.C., Feb. 5, 2023. U.S. fighter aircraft under U.S. Northern Command authority engaged and brought down the balloon within sovereign U.S. airspace and over U.S. territorial waters on Feb. 4. Active-duty, Reserve, National Guard and civilian personnel planned and executed the operation, and partners from the Coast Guard, Federal Aviation Administration and FBI ensured public safety throughout the operation and recovery efforts.

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