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Chinese balloon spotted over area

A Chinese balloon flew over the United States and was viewable locally, as shown from this photo taken in Fruitland. Photos by Jay Forness

An aircraft from China, suspected to be a spy balloon was viewable from southeast Missouri on Friday night.

The balloon entered United States airspace on Saturday, Jan. 28 – when it flew around the southern tip of Alaska. After entering Canadian airspace on Jan. 30, it floated back into American airspace on Jan. 31 over northern Idaho.

It continued traveling southeast over the continental U.S. over the course of several days, and was seen from the Kansas City area around noon on Friday, Feb. 3.

The balloon was spotted from the Jackson area around 5 p.m. on Friday. The aircraft was visable to the naked eye and appeared to be north of Jackson.

On Saturday, Feb. 4, the balloon was seen over North Carolina in the morning. It was shot down by the U.S. military on Saturday afternoon. A missile from an F-22 stealth fighter jet took down the balloon as it flew over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of South Carolina.

The balloon had been flying approximately 60,000 feet high and was about the size of three school buses.

The Chinese balloon was spotted as a bright spot in the sky above Saxony Lutheran High School on Friday.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past five years. He can be reached at

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