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Why balloons are now in public eye — and military crosshairs

3 Comments
By ELLEN KNICKMEYER

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There are hundreds of hobbyist balloons circling the Earth right now. These are $200 + $50-$200 in electronics an have their own ham radio callsigns and use open communications with an RF to internet gateway protocol to report their positions from almost anywhere in the world, where it is legal. They use geofencing to NOT broadcast when over countries that don't allow it - including the UK and NK.

I suspect the answer for govts will be a public tracking DB with mandated registration containing altitude and GPS positions and perhaps a parachute to safely de-fly any balloons under 40K ft. After all, the US requires registration for flying drones even where allowed in the US without any specialized license requirements, though larger 10lb+ drones that want to fly over public streets and buildings or anywhere near an airport require additional approvals. I happen to live in the landing path of a small airport, so small planes are coasting over the property about every hour. Some are business jets, but no airliners. It is technically illegal for me to fly my drone on my property, but I keep it below the treetops, so nobody is going to notice or complain. If it was flying over the neighborhood, I could see the cops being sent out, definitely.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

We've also had kites in the air by hobbyists and for war uses. That's nothing new either.

Still, I can imagine the hysteria the American AM mayhem dum-dum media probably will stir up.

About 30 years ago it was the fashion for everyone to report an encounter with angels because new agers decided they believed in them, and the end of the millennium was coming up. Remember 'Touched by an Angel' on TV, anyone? And of course, there's always been good ol' UFOs, esp. again during the new age 'special' year of 2012 because the Mayans supposedly forecast that during that year flying saucers piloted by Elvis Presley and George Harrison would land on Earth and take all good boys and girls to Heaven. And let's not forget the C/rapture of 1988, after '40 years of peace in Israel'. (Huh???!!!).

Ahhh, it's all too much. While I don't doubt that China has been sending these spy balloons now and during the trump era, don't think the US doesn't spy as well. Didn't we have that U2 incident where the Soviets shot one down during the 60's?

Nonetheless, watch the uninitiated flap their jaws like Pac-Men. Rawr rawr rawr......

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A pilot wouldn’t know if they hit one? They would if it went into the engine and caused damage

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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