Days after a Chinese spy balloon was shot down over the Atlantic Ocean, Pentagon officials are acknowledging the surveillance devices have been seen floating over the United States before.
In former President Donald Trump’s administration, at least three surveillance balloons were detected traversing the country, officials acknowledged in a Sunday press conference. Bloomberg reported the devices were initially categorized by intelligence officials as “unidentified aerial phenomena” before being identified as balloons.
In December, the Department of Defense established the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office to identify “unidentified anomalous phenomena” — in space, in the air, on land, or in the sea — that may threaten national security. The term UAP replaces the traditional “unidentified flying object” or UFO designation, as officials expect to evaluate anomalies “across all domains.”
During his term as president, Trump promised to “take a good, strong look” at whether UFOs existed and, in 2020, the Pentagon released formerly classified footage of unexplained phenomena Trump called a “hell of a video,” CBS News reported.
The 3 Chinese spy balloons spotted during the Trump administration were initially classified as UFOs