MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WBTW) — The suspected Chinese spy balloon that was first spotted in Montana has been spotted floating across the Lowcountry Saturday.
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The balloon was first spotted in Montana, then over Missouri. The balloon was Charlotte, North Carolina shortly after 10 a.m. Saturday morning.
By noon, the balloon was spotted in the Hartsville and Florence areas of South Carolina.
The mysterious balloon made its way to the Lowcountry just before 2 p.m. where it was spotted over Moncks Corner and Murrells Inlet.
This balloon is roughly 60,000 feet above the surface.
China insists the balloon is just an errant civilian airship used mainly for meteorological research that went off course due to winds and has only limited “self-steering” capabilities.
The United States says it is a Chinese spy balloon without a doubt. Its presence prompted Secretary of State Antony Blinken to cancel a weekend trip to China that was aimed at dialing down tensions that were already high between the countries.
The FAA paused departures to Wilmington (ILM), Myrtle Beach (MYR) and Charleston (CHS) airports to support the Department of Defense in a national security effort.
The FAA cited “national security initiatives” for the shutdown.
President Biden said Saturday morning that officials “are going to take care” of the balloon. Biden didn’t go into detail.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.