United States intercepts balloon over Utah, rules out security threat

The object was detected by two fighters at more than 40,000 feet above sea level, reminiscent of the Chinese spy balloon.

United States reported that it intercepted a balloon flying over U.S. airspace in Utah, although, at first, it is ruled out that it poses a threat to national security.

"In close coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) detected a small balloon at an altitude varying between 43,000-45,000 ft. ... The balloon was intercepted by NORAD fighters over Utah, who determined it was not maneuverable and did not present a threat to national security. NORAD will continue to track and monitor the balloon. The FAA also determined the balloon posed no hazard to flight safety. NORAD remains in close coordination with the FAA to ensure flight safety," NORAD explained in a statement.

For now, there is no more information about the origin and purpose of the balloon.

The episode is reminiscent of the Chinese spy balloon that flew over U.S. airspace for several days last year, which ended up being shot down by the Army. The event generated a wave of criticism against the Biden administration for its hesitance in destroying the object, as its origins were known.