The great H.L. Mencken once said, “Balloonists have an unsurpassed view of the scenery.” They sure do, especially when it’s a Peking balloon flying over Montana.
China has an explanation, and here it goes:
“The airship is from China,” China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
“It is a civilian airship used for research, mainly meteorological, purposes. Affected by the Westerlies and with limited self-steering capability, the airship deviated far from its planned course.”
“The Chinese side regrets the unintended entry of the airship into US airspace due to force majeure. The Chinese side will continue communicating with the US side and properly handle this unexpected situation caused by force majeure.”
Okay, it was a mistake. Yes, it was an honest mistake that the balloon was over “…one of the nation’s three nuclear missile silo fields at Malmstrom Air Force Base. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information.”