The US Department of Defense (DoD) said fighter aircraft successfully brought down a high altitude surveillance balloon launched by and belonging to China over the water off the coast of South Carolina on February 4.
Footage filmed by Twitter user @YoDannymusic shows jet contrails and a white object falling over Murrells Inlet, near Myrtle Beach. Onlookers can be heard saying “they shot it, they shot the balloon down.”
President Joe Biden told reporters he “ordered the Pentagon to shoot it down on Wednesday, as soon as possible,” but explained that officials felt it was best to take the balloon down when it was over water.
The DoD said the balloon was being used by China in an attempt to surveil strategic sites in the continental US. The craft was safely taken down over US territorial waters, according to officials. Credit: @YoDannymusic via Storyful