“We don’t yet know exactly what these three objects were. But nothing — nothing right now suggests they were related to China’s spy balloon program or that they were surveillance vehicles from other — any other country. The intelligence community’s current assessment is that these three objects were most likely balloons tied to private companies, recreation, or research institutions studying weather or conducting other scientific research.”
-Statement by President Biden at a February 16, 2023 press conference regarding the shooting down of three balloons after the destruction of a Chinese spy balloon. The Guardian later reported that an Illinois amateur ballooning club was contacted by the FBI about its $13 weather balloon that was last seen in Canada’s Yukon territory.