"Mr. Xi...I'm ready for my close-up!"
New images that were reportedly taken on February 3, 2023 of the Chinese spy balloon that threw the nation into a frenzy have been released by the United States Department of Defense.
The images were from when the balloon was flying at 60,000 over the American Midwest, according to Breaking 911. They were captured by a U.S. U-2 spy plane that was trailing the balloon across the country, the report says.
The report says the balloon's payload - consisting of reconnaissance sensors, antennae, and solar power panels - can be seen the photo, along with the shadow of the U-2 plane that was following it.
Recall, last week we wrote about how Republican senators had "raised concerns that U.S. manufacturing might have assisted in the construction of the Chinese spy balloon...".
The Epoch Times noted that Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) took part in an all-senators classified briefing on Feb. 9, held by officials from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Pentagon, and the State Department. The agencies held a separate classified briefing for House lawmakers on the same day.
After the briefing, Sullivan told reporters that the question of whether American companies helped build the Chinese balloon was raised, but officials didn’t provide a conclusive response.
As we reported last week, the balloon was eventually shot down over the Atlantic on February 5, 2023. A US F-22 stealth jet was responsible for downing it off the Carolina coast.
The recovery mission of the balloon is ongoing and little new information about what it contained has been released over the past week. Several U.S. Navy and Coast Guard vessels established a security perimeter where the balloon hit the water, about six nautical miles off the coast of South Carolina, The Epoch Times reported the day after it was shot down.