The U.S. military is currently monitoring a suspected Chinese spy balloon that has been hovering for several days over the northern United States.
Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said in a statement on Thursday that the “high-altitude surveillance balloon” poses no immediate threat to the United States and will be monitored for the time-being.
“The United States Government has detected and is tracking a high-altitude surveillance balloon that is over the continental United States right now,” said Ryder, adding:
The U.S. government, including NORAD, continues to track and monitor it closely. The balloon is currently traveling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic and does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground. Instances of this kind of balloon activity have been observed previously over the past several years. Once the balloon was detected, the U.S. government acted immediately to protect against the collection of sensitive information.
According to NBC News, the balloon was initially spotted over Billings, Montana, after it had flown over the Aleutian Islands and through Canada. The exact whereabouts of the balloon remains unknown to the public at this time.