Chinese Spy Balloons

You’ve seen the news about Chinese spy balloons:

What to do about them? Well, there’s an awesome story about Soviets harvesting US spy balloon’s radiation hardened films, and using it to take photos of the dark side of the moon:


The U.S. spy balloons launched to overfly the Soviet Union, eastern Europe, and Red China were called Project Genetrix. Between 1956-01-10 and 1956-02-06 a total of 516 balloons and payloads were launched (the skies must have been crowded with them), but only 54 were recovered and, of these just 31 yielded useful photos.

The Soviets must have an ample supply of film from these balloons.

MiG fighter pilots learned that at sunrise the balloons had dipped into shooting range because the balloons floated to a lower altitude. The lifting gas cooled at night and became denser, reducing lift, so the balloons descended to lower altitudes where the air was denser.


The silly media fear-mongering about Chinese spy balloons is merely a distraction from the obvious. If China wants any information about anything in the US, they simply have to call up their man in the White House and get Hunter to deliver the info. That is what they are paying for, after all.

And if Hunter is busy, there is always Plan B – Fang Fang.


How do they know it is from China and not the evil Russia?


Shoot it DOWN, fuggod’s sake!

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…and some lucky Montana rancher (??)


They admitted it today, saying it was not intended to overfly the US. Just a mistake.


Perhaps this “incident” is analogous to one I envisioned in my tongue-in-cheek “Obama’s AmericaFourmilog post on 2008-07-10.

  • Russian ships land a “weather station” on an uninhabited island of the Aleutian chain and continue to resupply its four person scientific staff, engaged in “global warming research”. The U.S. protests, and Russia produces documents supporting a claim the island was not transferred as part of the Alaska Purchase. The U.S. takes the question to the United Nations, where it remains unresolved. The Russian station, landed in the first three months of the Obama administration, remains in place.

Given how secretive & unreliable our government and media are, it is quite within the bounds of possibility that they already tried to shoot down this balloon on the edge of space … and failed! After all, the balloon crossed Alaska, where it could have been shot down without any significant concern about falling on habitation.

More to the point, this is the Biden* MalAdministration which (unfortunately, with the support of Congress) is quite happy to allow – nay, encourage! – illegal immigrants, criminals, drugs, and who knows what else to cross the open southern border. Why should they care about a mere balloon?

Let’s take the optimistic view – suppose the balloon is carrying an ElectroMagnetic Pulse nuclear weapon, with the aim of exploding it over the DC Swamp. No nuclear fallout, but no water, power, or internet for Our Betters. What patriotic American would want to stop that?


Yeah, whatever happened to the EMP furor? The Norks were threatening that weren’t they? I reckon it was just too terrifying to really focus on. I know it is for me: would there be any semblance of civil order if we were suddenly all freezing in the dark, with NO communications? Talk about your “darkling plain/Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight”….


Country boy will survive…


A balloon is a far from ideal platform for an EMP attack. First of all, the balloon goes wherever the wind takes it and the only ability to steer is by adjusting its altitude to catch different wind currents. But adjusting the altitude requires valving lifting gas, which limits the balloon’s life and may lower it so it can be easily shot down as a hazard to air navigation.

Secondly, a weapon on a balloon at an altitude of 25–35 km is a marginal EMP generator because there’s enough atmosphere to damp the effects that produce the pulse and its impact is geographically limited.

Most EMP scenarios envision a weapon detonated in space, say from 100–400 km, where pulse effects will be much stronger (even from a small bomb) and the impact will be on a regional to continental scale. Such a space weapon can be deployed covertly on a polar orbit weather or other satellite and can attack anywhere on Earth a maximum of 24 hours after being commanded to detonate.

In World War II, Japan attacked the U.S. with incendiary balloons. Around 9300 balloons were launched, with no wildfires caused by the attacks reported. Total U.S. casualties were six civilians killed when a group on picnic in Oregon found a balloon on the ground and disturbed the payload causing it to explode.




That’s reassuring!


Hi there, country boy! I’m country too, and I agree a total blackout would be much, much worse in the cities. I have nightmares about those blacked-out cities in Ukraine. My house has 3 fireplaces and is surrounded by woods—I can make light and heat.
But…in the dark, how long would it be before a gang of fleeing urbanites or envious natives, comes to despoil it?
Oh and yeah, we’re armed! But in America, who isn’t?

Rural isolation is great if the catastrophe is pestilence. During the lockdowns, our lifestyle hardly changed at all! There are no fancy restaurants near here, and it didn’t affect the gas stations and supermarkets. One of the little gas station mini-marts had recently begun selling beer and wine, so……not SO different from life BC (before Covid).

But it would be different, far, far worse, if the human, instead of the microbial, population turned feral. Which is what I think would happen if, in an instant, we couldn’t get heat, light, food, gasoline, or information.

Think of the panic and despair loss of communication alone would cause. My daughter was in law school in Boston when the lockdown was decreed. We importuned her to come home and she did. Until then though, we could talk to her every day, know where she was, what her plans were. I remember fantasizing that , if they closed the interstates I would drive up and get her. But imagine trying to find one individual if there were no internet and no phones. If she had had to take refuge in some shelter because her apartment had no heat, she could be just a few blocks away and we would never find her! (We already have “no mail”; I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the postal system doesn’t work any more, most of the time.)

No, it would be like in Byron’s poem “Darkness”. Loss of electric power, for us, would be like the sun burning out.


William Forstchen’s One Second After and its sequels provide a plausible view of the aftermath of a wide-scale EMP attack. As I note in my review, the direct effects of the attack are probably overstated, but the sequelæ as the “golden horde” swarms from the dying cities to plunder the countryside are all too believable. The impotence of national scale disaster recovery efforts are well sketched, with their priorities quickly boiling down to getting the old loot, plunder, and spend game and its funny money foundation up and running as soon as possible, however many “citizens” end up in mass graves. The story follows a semi-rural college town where people retain enough self-sufficiency to provide for themselves if only they can fend off the locusts.


They cannot simultaneously claim that China is an existential threat to the US but then not do anything about this. Are they or aren’t they a threat worthy of feeding the neocon/neolibs their allotment of flesh? Can’t have it both ways.

By they I mean the foreign policy elite in the West particularly in the US.


“And War, which for a moment was no more
Did glut himself again: a meal was bought
With blood, and each sate sullenly apart
Gorging himself in gloom: no love was left…
…and the pang
of famine fed upon all entrails—men
Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh;
The meagre by the meagre were devour’d…”

From “Darkness” , Byron


If Our Betters are really so concerned about China, why have they set up a system where we depend on China for everything from medications to steel to electronics – destroying former US industries and uncounted numbers of US jobs? If they choose to make the US so dependent on China, what is a mere balloon?


I’ve said it before: this confirms my theory that deep in Biden’s White House a diminutive li’l Chinese emissary is ensconced, snug as a bug in a rug, as we say here in the country— and his sole message is: “You will do everything we say, because we have another plague ready to loose upon the world if you defy us in any way.”