Did the Biden Administration Spend Over $400,000 to Shoot Down a $12 Balloon From a Hobby Club?

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The United States Government may have set a new record for government waste in their attempts to shoot down floating balloons.

After the Chinese spy balloon incident captivated the news cycle, it seemed as if more unidentified objects were popping up every day.


Now a new report from Aviation Week may have uncovered what one of those confusing objects could have been.

According to the report, it could have been a “pico balloon” belonging to a hobbyist club based in Illinois.

These observational items are used by many clubs, but one in particular from the Bottlecap Balloon Brigade out of Northern Illinois has been missing since February 10th. Off the west coast of Alaska. Flying at 40,000 feet. Where the U.S. Air Force just reportedly shot down an “unidentified object.”

Pico balloons can be purchased easily for $12 to $180.

pico balloon
Example of a pico balloon like the type lost by the Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade.

Oh boy.

Biden may have shot down $12 hobby balloon over Alaska
WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 26: U.S. President Joe Biden arrives to deliver remarks on the economy in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on October 26, 2022 in Washington, DC. Biden outlined his plan to to target and end bank ‘junk fees.’ (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Balloon Panic Leading to Mistakes?

According to Fox News, the group’s projections show that it would be floating over the Yukon Territory on February 11th. That’s the same day that an F-22 shot down an “unidentified object” in the Yukon Territory.

Aviation Week also reported that the “shape, altitudes and payloads of small pico balloons matched the descriptions of all three unidentified objects shot down between Feb. 10 and Feb. 12.”

When justifying the decision to shoot down the objects, Biden claimed that the objects posed a potential risk to civilian planes.

“Make no mistake, if any object presents a threat to the safety and security of the American people I will take it down,” Biden said.

While there’s been no confirmation that these were, in fact, pico balloons, or comment from the hobby group, this certainly seems to be a realistic possibility for what happened.

The administration did admit that the objects shot down were likely “benign,” also pointing to this as a potential explanation.

According to Fox News, the FBI reached out to the hobby club as well, further increasing speculation.

If it was in fact a hobby product costing as little as $12, it would obviously reflect extremely poorly on the administration.

Biden and his team may have felt increased pressure to rush to judgment on floating objects, after being panned for their lethargic response to the Chinese spy balloon.

And their rush to judgment and desire to display strength to the public may have cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Regardless of their motivations, it seems that America may have been kept safe from this terrifying group of people.

The Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade, picture taken October 8th 2022 (Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade)

You can see why the Biden administration may have viewed them as a significant threat to national security and civilian airplanes.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, author, and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, traveling, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter @ianmSC

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