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US & World

Chinese Spy Balloon Shot Down Over Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

“That’s my Air Force, buddy!”

In a defining “‘Murica” moment, there was unrestrained (and unrefined) rejoicing on the coast of South Carolina after a suspected Chinese spy balloon was shot down over the Atlantic Ocean near Myrtle Beach on Saturday afternoon.

The order to shoot down the balloon was given by U.S. president Joe Biden.

“I ordered the Pentagon to shoot it down on Wednesday as soon as possible,” Biden said.

“ASAP” wound up being approximately 2:29 p.m. EST Saturday as the balloon – which China insisted was a civilian weather experiment – moved over U.S. territorial waters to the southeast of an area known as the ‘Redneck Riviera.’

Needless to say, locals were ecstatic …

“They decided that the best time to do that was when it got over water within our 12-mile limit,” Biden said. “They successfully took it down and I want to compliment our aviators who did it.”

Four U.S. Air Force Lockheed-Martin F-22 Raptors were scrambled from Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Newport News, Virginia. The balloon was downed by an F-22 with a single AIM-9X sidewinder missile – a short-range air-to-air missile.

A recovery effort involving U.S. Navy and Coast Guard forces was launched immediately after the balloon was shot down. The balloon reportedly came down in an area of water with an approximate depth of 47 feet, according to “senior military officials” quoted by The Wall Street Journal. Debris was spread out over an area of approximately seven nautical miles, these officials claimed.

Chinese leaders insisted the balloon had an exclusively scientific purpose – and that it veered off course due to unexpectedly high winds. U.S. officials disputed that contention, claiming the floating orb was a “high-altitude surveillance balloon.”




Even before it was shot down, the balloon’s presence over American air space prompted a geopolitical crisis between the world’s two dominant superpowers.

U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken cancelled a planned trip to Beijing on Friday – calling the alleged Chinese espionage activity an “irresponsible act and a clear violation of U.S. sovereignty and international law.” The drama comes six months after former U.S. speaker Nancy Pelosi enraged China by making a formal visit to Taiwan – an island nation over which China claims sovereignty.

Biden was decidedly not keen on Pelosi’s trip, although he apparently (unknowingly?) reversed decades of “strategic ambiguity” regarding U.S. policy toward Taiwan in May of 2022 when he claimed the United States would intervene militarily in the event China were to launch an attack against the island nation.

“Yes,” Biden said in response to a question. “It’s a commitment we made.”

White House officials quickly walked back those comments, stressing America would not directly intervene if China attacked Taiwan but would rather help it defend itself – similar to the massive support taxpayers provided to Ukraine amid its invasion by Russian forces in February.



Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.



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Observer February 5, 2023 at 8:37 am

I would hate to be the Navy or Coast Guard personnel chaged with retrieving the balloon debris from that nasty Myrtle Beach doo-doo water.

Bob February 5, 2023 at 2:31 pm


Luckily, our intelligence services had already hacked the device attach to the ballon days before it was dumped in the doo-doo water.

Chinese "Meteorologist" February 6, 2023 at 11:36 am

Ok, password compromised, we go with next password: password2

Observer February 5, 2023 at 8:14 pm

I am glad for them, in that case!


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