Chinese spy balloon flying above U.S. shot down off Carolina coast

The Chinese spy balloon that’s been spotted over U.S. airspace in recent days has been shot down over the Carolina coastline, officials said.

The balloon, which was first spotted by civilians in Montana — home to one of the United States' three nuclear missile silos — on Wednesday, was described by the Pentagon as a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon. China's Foreign Ministry, however, claimed it was being used for weather research and had blown off course.

Said to be around the size of two to three buses, the balloon — floating at an altitude of around 60,000 feet — flew over Canada and Alaska’s Aleutian Islands before being spotted in the continental United States. It then made its way eastward, being spotted across the country before it was shot down on Saturday afternoon.

Earlier on Saturday, when President Biden — who had not yet publicly addressed the balloon – was asked about the possibility of shooting it down, he told reporters: "We're gonna take care of it."

Soon after, the Federal Aviation Administration shut down three airports in both North and South Carolina "to support the Department of Defense in a national security effort."

This is a breaking news story. Please refresh this page for updates.

mobile apps

Everything you love about and more! Tap on any of the buttons below to download our app.

amazon alexa

Enable our Skill today to listen live at home on your Alexa Devices!