As an aside, it appears that Jao Bai-Ding, in accordance with the wishes of his ChiCom owners, has fulfilled the Bee’s prophecy: Biden Says He’ll Shoot Down Chinese Spy Balloon As Soon As He’s Done Letting It Spy. Brandon Smith has a look into it.
There are numerous theories as to why such a surveillance platform would be used by the CCP and what it is designed to look for, and I thought I would offer a couple theories based on my years of study into similar projects pursued by the US Department of Defense and DARPA.
Lidar Observation From A Balloon Platform
The Chinese have been messing with lidar technology a lot lately. Lidar uses pulsed lasers to measure small variations in terrain to uncover hidden shapes and structures. It also has a knack for cutting through forest canopy and other obstructions. The problem with lidar is that the platforms commonly used to carry the apparatus are faster moving and only capture a snapshot in time. Also, it cannot see through thick clouds, dust, rain, snow or fog.
NASA and DARPA have both been testing lidar from balloons as a means to keep the lasers in the sky longer above a specific area. The Chinese balloon also looks somewhat similar to the equipment used on European lidar balloon experiments.
A lidar based spy balloon would explain Chinese interest in Eastern Montana, where there are numerous known nuclear missile silos as well as suspected hidden silos. The Chinese balloon did in fact come near at least one known nuclear missile base near Billings. Lidar could be exploited to find hidden bases in the region.
Weapons Delivery Platform
High altitude balloons are cheap and relatively effective surveillance platforms that can be used much like satellites but, with the right equipment, could become far more maneuverable. With the CCP’s limited resources it makes sense that they would be utilizing low-cost and low visibility measures instead of expensive and easier to target long range drones or spy planes.
However, these systems are not just useful for observation – They can also be used to deliver weapons packages, including EMP weapons, nuclear weapons and biological agents. The US has been testing balloons for nuclear delivery ever since Operation Yucca in 1956.
In the event of war between China and the US, the CCP may be looking for a way to strike with weapons of mass destruction with a passive delivery system that’s hard to defend against.
The EMP business is worrisome, sure. But war—actual, literal, armies-marching-as-to-no-shit war? Sorry, but despite the recent alarums raised in various quarters about a Chinese attack and/or invasion of the FUSA, I still can’t find it in myself to fret overmuch about the possibility. I mean, why on earth would they bother? They already OWN us lock, stock, and barrel, in both political and economic terms. Given their real-estate acquisitions here over the last several years, a hot war with us would only mean willfully and needlessly ruining the return on their investment.
Then again, though, they’re fucking Commies, so what would they know about maximizing return on investment anyway?
In the end, it all comes down to this: Who really needs military conquest and the attendant hassle, aggravation, and expense, when they de facto defeated us years ago—with the full and witting cooperation of America’s greedy, traitorous Ruling Class—without ever actually having to fire a shot?
I think what your missing, Mike, is how easy it is to turn the chinese back. Trump did just that and quickly. China got hurt much worse than anyone wishes to acknowledge, which is why we got the fauci/china/scam virus. Even now manufacturers are looking at other places, other sources, any way to avoid the war Trump has shown us will be waged. The chinaman assumes war will come, thus mapping our nuclear sites is all a part of their long term strategy.
They know biden will be gone. They cannot be sure what may happen even with massive cheating. China has big problems financially and with a very restless population. Just a few more tariffs on the right goods and china is in deep trouble.
China may own the politicians but they don’t own us, not yet anyway.
I can look up and map exact 10-12-digit GPS coordinates for every ICBM silo in the US inventory – I’ve already mapped a large number in Nebraska already – from Google Earth. Right now. It’s that level of not hard.
Anybody who thinks China doesn’t have this info on speed dial already isn’t paying attention.
I’m still waiting to hear any explanation for the balloon that approaches any military necessity.
There may be some utility, but it’s frickin’ 14th century technology. Adding modern photography and an uplink isn’t much improvement on that reality. It’s like putting a laser sight on a black powder blunderbus.
I disagree. Not every silo is known. Some are hidden. And a balloon being stationary allows for instruments other than camera’s to do some mapping. It’s been suggested that the sensor package may include lidar, a 3d capable measurement technology. You can look it up for further info if interested. But one thing it needs is slow or no movement.
I don’t know what it was for, but there was certainly a reason, and it wasn’t to prove biden is a corrupt china owned POS.
I don’t think the chinaman cares what the weather is over montana. If they do, they can just tune into the weather channel.
No, they’re not, and in fact by treaty obligation, they’re all well-known.
And it’s been widely acknowledged by DoD this wasn’t the first such incident.
Meaning, dollars to donuts, they decided to out this one, just for the PR value.
As I noted elsewhere, and as anyone from SAC Norad or the Silent Service from 1946-1990 can tell you, don’t tell your enemy how early you can detect him, and you frequently just sity back and watch what they’re doing, because it gives you more intel on what they can do and what they’re interested in, than any intel they think they’re getting from you.
We did that with Russian subs and aircraft for decades at the height of the Cold War, with far more at stake.
“by treaty obligation”
There are a number of ways to get around treaty obligations including just ignoring it if you don’t get caught. And if you do get caught what’s the penalty?
There were hidden silo’s at one time. I haven’t kept up with that and don’t know for certain what the current status is. The ballistic missile submarines parked off the coasts of the bad people make the silo’s less important. There just one part of a multi front threat.
Since the public knew it was up there, it’s hard to claim we didn’t want to give away our ability to detect a fucking giant balloon or that we were monitoring it unknown.
Shooting it down before it enters our airspace would give away what secret they can’t just ask biden for?
But, as I said above, I don’t know why it was there. There was a reason however. And I doubt it was to determine our response to a balloon.
There may have been hidden silos at some time. Not for decades, though.
As I said, once you spot one with Google Earth, you can spot them all. (It’s hard to camouflage a 110-ton 3½’ thick concrete silo door, and they all have perimeter fencing.)
And Russia has had at least that level of tech since the 1970s.
(One publisher couldn’t get satellite photos of a US ICBM launch facility in the 1980s/early 1990s for a novel’s cover from DoD, because “classified”.
Undeterred, they wrote to a Russian “commercial” satellite photo service, and they sent him pics of a typical SAC launch complex and silos, same week.)
The Bee – Tomorrow’s Headlines Today!
EMP is easier using a missile or satellite. I’m sure we’ll never hear about the payload, though I’ve heard that it did have propellers to change course . . .
Maybe. If a country like china can fly a balloon to just the right spot for an EMP strike, with no interference from us, that’s easier than taking a chance on a missile getting shot down.
Joe Blow from BFEgypt, or Micronesia, or Lichtenstein could fly a balloon to that spot.
Getting a balloon big enough to heft a functional weapon of sufficient size to that spot and altitude would probably require something of a size that would dwarf the LZ Hindenburg, and be visible with the naked eye at 1000 miles, and detected by NORAD two days before it crossed into US airspace.
Any useful payload you could imagine could be delivered easier by truck from Mexico.
Whatever they were doing rises to the level of mischief, not strategic strike.
The Soviets watched U-2s impotently for months before they finally shot one down. Even then it was primarily for propaganda.
I suspect the same is true in this case. And the backstory is, this has gone on for years. So ask “Why was this revealed this time?”
I think you’re wrong and so do others. And I don’t think you have a handle on the lift capabilities of large balloons:
“Dry run: Balloons called top ‘delivery platform’ for nuclear EMP attack”
“In a 2015 report for the American Leadership & Policy Foundation, Air Force Maj. David Stuckenberg, one of the nation’s leading EMP experts, wrote extensively about the threat balloons carrying bombs pose to national security.“
Let’s think about that for a minute, JW.
At an altitude where there’s virtually no air for such things to work.
But where the Jet Stream moves at hundreds of miles per hour, hence the name.
And they’re going to not work even better against that.
Such an allegation is approaching the utility of screen doors on a submarine. And probably originally posted by someone who slept through 7th grade science class, when the earth’s atmosphere was discussed.
I advise caution when passing along such levels of obvious nonsense.
Hey, take that one up with the DOD:
Navy releases close-up photos of Chinese surveillance balloon recovery – ABC News (go.com)
“Officials have said the debris field is approximately the size of 15 football fields by 15 football fields and that the balloon had propellers and a rudder.”
Don’t know about the utility of same, but have heard the best way to navigate was to change altitude and catch the wind going where you want to go . . .