US intercepts small balloon over Utah, determines it’s not a threat

By Thomson Reuters Feb 23, 2024 | 4:56 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military intercepted a small balloon over the state of Utah on Friday and determined that it posed no threat to civil aviation or to national security, a U.S. official told Reuters.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the balloon also was incapable of maneuvering itself as it traveled at an altitude of between 43,000 and 45,000 feet (13,106 and 13,716 meters).

The North American Aerospace Defense Command did not respond to a request for comment.

The appearance of the balloon comes just over a year after a U.S. fighter jet off the coast of South Carolina dramatically shot down what it said was a Chinese spy balloon collecting intelligence over the United States.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Leslie Adler)