ST. LOUIS – On almost any other day, the China spy balloon may have gone unnoticed in our skies, but not Friday.
The skies were crystal clear, and that massive white balloon glowed like a bright star up against the deep blue sky. From the moment it entered the skies over Show-Me-State Friday morning, it has been the talk of the state.
Pilots and air traffic controllers at Kansas City International Airport spotted the balloon just after sunrise as it floated along at roughly 60,000 feet… carried along to the southeast by northwesterly winds. By midday, weather computer models made it clear that the track was taking the balloon right over the St. Louis metro area.
The balloon was easy to see with the naked eye when it arrived around 3 p.m. St. Louisans had mixed reactions to seeing a spy balloon from China looking down on the Gateway City.
“It’s unbelievable for two reasons. One, you can look right up there and see it. And two, it’s hard to believe it’s there, and we haven’t taken it out,” said Michael George.
“I’m not very happy about it. It’s right over our city right now, and I think they really should shoot it down,” said Pearl Lewis.
NORAD issued a statement acknowledging they are tracking a “high-altitude surveillance balloon,” but they say, “the balloon does not present a military or physical threat.”
Those words did not settle the nerves of some St. Louisans.
“If we had an object like that flying over China, what would they do?” George said.
“We don’t know what they’re doing. Even though they claim it’s nothing. We don’t know.” said Paige Kehlenbrink.