The balloon was allegedly designed by the People's Republic of China "in an attempt to observe strategic sites in the continental United States," says US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
The Chinese spy balloon that had been flying over the country's airspace was taken down by a US military fighter aircraft as it was floating beyond the shores of South Carolina and across the Atlantic Ocean. The balloon was allegedly designed by the People's Republic of China "in an attempt to observe strategic sites in the continental United States," says the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, adding that the military shot down the balloon at the request of President Joe Biden. According to Buzzfeed News, during a call with a Chinese foreign affairs official, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he "made clear that the presence of this surveillance balloon in the US airspace is a clear violation of the US sovereignty and international law."
The balloon was a "high-altitude surveillance balloon" that entered continental airspace near Idaho on Tuesday before floating across Montana. However, the Chinese officials stated that the balloon was a civilian airship with "mainly meteorological purposes" that accidentally happened to loom over the US. It still isn't clear what data the spy balloon retained while flying over the country. However, Twitter users are making the most out of this situation and producing thousands of memes in honor of shooting down the balloon.
Protestors in Los Angeles held a vigil and flew balloons in remembrance of the Chinese Spy Balloon 🎈 pic.twitter.com/zePZ91YGDv— Clown World ™ 🤡 (@ClownWorld_) February 5, 2023
Did you see how the U.S. shot down the Chinese spy balloon??? pic.twitter.com/AoF2OXAJnE— Michael Schwab (@michaelschwab13) February 5, 2023
Oh great, here comes the German spy balloon. pic.twitter.com/pD8MgBgH92— jim rose circus (@jimrosecircus1) February 5, 2023
Not gonna lie… this is funny. pic.twitter.com/KBnQmPBMUe— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 5, 2023
SPOTTED: Mexican spy balloon pic.twitter.com/annqVySEzv— Laura Martínez 🥑 (@miblogestublog) February 5, 2023
Personally, right now, I think the Chinese spy balloon is very down to earth.— Svengoolie (@Svengoolie) February 4, 2023
RIP Chinese Balloon 💔😭 You’ll be missed pic.twitter.com/fP1hUAhbB5— ✨SECRET SERVICE LIVES MATTER✨ (@671JH) February 4, 2023
The military just shot down my gender reveal balloon, wtf?— Kevin Sussman (@KevinSussman) February 4, 2023
The US has shot down the Chinese spy balloon but, as always, it was filled with licorice, Gummi bears and other stuff nobody wants, and not enough KitKats pic.twitter.com/GCnOHzhCrb— Paul Rudnick (@PaulRudnickNY) February 4, 2023
🚨👀BREAKING: A local man has SHOT DOWN the CHINESE SPY BALLOON in an EXTRAORDINARY act of vigilantism! pic.twitter.com/6QM6ORNXwH— ᴍʏ ᴡɪʟʟᴏᴡ ᴍᴇᴍᴇꜱ🇺🇲 (@MyWillowMemes) February 3, 2023
That balloon was my best friend and you killed it!— Alex Hooper (@HooperHairPuff) February 4, 2023
BREAKING: authorities now confirm that what we thought was a spy balloon was actually Grizabella on her way to the Heaviside Layer pic.twitter.com/mdtHVHWgEd— Tom Zohar (@TomZohar) February 4, 2023