US reports that Chinese balloon sensors were found in the ocean

the object that was found

The US military reports that the sensors from the first suspected Chinese spy balloon that was shot down over the US have been found in the Atlantic Ocean.

According to US Northern Command, search teams discovered "significant site debris, including all of the priority sensor and electronics pieces identified.".

The items, which according to the US were used to snoop on secret military sites, are being investigated by the FBI.

Since the first one was shot down on February 4th, the US has destroyed three more targets.

Military officials claim that "large sections of the structure" were also found on Monday off the coast of South Carolina.

According to CBS, the BBC's US partner, the balloon's antenna, measuring about 30-40ft (9-12m), is among the items discovered.

China claimed the high-altitude balloon was a weather-monitoring airship that had gotten out of control, contrary to claims made by US officials who claimed it was a surveillance balloon that originated in China.

Timeline of downing flying objects

Since that initial incident, US fighter jets have downed three additional high-altitude objects in as many days, over Alaska, Canada's Yukon territory, and Lake Huron on the US-Canada border.

According to US media, which cited military sources, the first Sidewinder missile fired by the US F-16 warplane during the Lake Huron attack missed its target and exploded in an unidentified location. Reports state that the second missile successfully struck the target.

Over $400,000 (£330,000) is spent on each Sidewinder missile.

The slow-moving, unknown objects, all of which were smaller than the initial balloon, may be challenging for military pilots to target, according to officials.

The three additional objects were shot down on Monday, according to White House spokesman John Kirby, "out of an abundance of caution.".

They were destroyed "to protect our security, our interests, and flight safety," he said, even though they did not pose "any direct threat to people on the ground.".

According to officials, the balloon that was shot down over South Carolina was the size of three buses. .

Officials described the second object, which was over Alaska, as being the size of a "small car.". Over the Yukon, the third object was "cylindrical.". The fourth flight, over Michigan, was described as "octagonal" but with restrictions. .

The downed aircraft over Yukon appeared to be a "small, metallic balloon with a tethered payload below it," according to a Pentagon memo that was later reported in US media.

In the memo, defense officials also noted that after impact, the object that was shot down in Michigan "subsequently slowly descended" into the water.

Due to bad weather, the recovery of the balloon that was shot down on February 4 was delayed.   .

Debris from the other objects that were blown out of the sky is currently being collected.

The search area in the Yukon Territory, according to the federal police force of Canada, was approximately 3,000 sq km (1,870 sq miles), and it included "rugged mountain terrain with a very high level of snowpack.".

The fragments from the incidents in the Yukon and Lake Huron may never be found, according to Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokesman Sean McGillis, because of their remote locations.

Navy divers helped recover the balloon from the Atlantic Ocean
The balloon was recovered from the Atlantic Ocean with the aid of navy divers.

Major-General Paul Prévost of the Canadian Armed Forces claimed that the Lake Huron object was "a suspected balloon" and that all three of the most recent objects to be shot down appeared to be "lighter than air" vehicles.

The military chief also advised anyone in the public who came across debris to get in touch with the police right away.

According to sources with knowledge of the talks, Secretary of State Antony Blinken is thinking about meeting Wang Yi, China's top diplomat, at a security conference in Munich, Germany, later this week.

The top diplomat of the United States postponed a trip to Beijing that was originally scheduled for last week amid the controversy over high-altitude aircraft.

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