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Tags: documents | teixeira | china | spy balloons

Leaked Docs: Up to 4 More Chinese Spy Balloons

By    |   Saturday, 15 April 2023 01:48 PM EDT

Previously unreported top-secret intelligence documents show that as questions remained about the capability of the Chinese spy balloon that flew across the United States, federal intelligence officials knew there were up to four additional ones soaring over several key military installations.

According to an intelligence document allegedly leaked by Jack Teixeira, a 21-year-old member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, the U.S. government had not identified antennas and sensors that were aboard the balloon that flew across the country more than a week after it was shot down, reports The Washington Post.

Meanwhile, the other documents leaked showed that another balloon had flown over a U.S. carrier strike group in an incident that had not been reported, and a third one crashed in the South Korea Sea, another top-secret document revealed. The launch dates for the balloons were not shown. 

The documents did not contain a date for the balloon that went over the U.S. carrier strike group or specify which balloon was used. 

According to public government information, the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group was in the Western Pacific in January and February. 

A document from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) dated Feb. 15, 10 days after the Air Force shot down the balloon that flew over the United States, contains the most detailed assessments of that balloon, called "Killeen-23," and two balloons from prior years, dubbed "Bulger-21" and "Accardo-21." It was unclear whether Bulger-21 and Accardo-21 were the same balloons that crashed after flying over the carrier strike group. 

The balloons are named after criminals Tony Accardo, James "Whitey" Bulger, and Donald Killeen, a U.S. official speaking under the condition of anonymity told The Post. 

The NGA document revealed that Bulger-21 circled the globe from December 2021 through May 2022, carrying surveillance equipment. Accardo-21 carried a "foil-lined gimbaled" sensor and similar equipment to Bulger-21. 

Meanwhile, intelligence analysts, annotating what appeared to be detailed photographs of Killeen-23 that likely were taken by a U-2 spy plane, assessed that the balloon could generate the power to operate any reconnaissance or surveillance technology. This included a type of radar that could see through clouds and at night, according to one of the documents. 

The Pentagon and Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment about the documents. 

Another document, which relied on intercepted communications, shows that elements of the Chinese government likely were caught by surprise when Killeen-23 entered U.S. airspace in January. 

The document indicated the knowledge about the incursion was probably "heavily stovepiped" in the Chinese military, as it does not have "strong senior" oversight of the surveillance balloon program. Some Chinese government officials believed the Foreign Ministry's response to the crisis was poor, as it allowed the matter to be "sensationalized."

The Post obtained the latest documents from images of classified files posted on the chat service Discord, where the other documents had been posted. The latest tranche of documents has not been previously reported. 

The leaked NGA document also contained an image that was taken by the Bulger-21 balloon, which appeared to connect it with Eagles Men Aviation Science and Technology Group, one of the six Chinese companies that the United States hit with sanctions in February for involvement in the spy balloon program. 

The document also notes that Killeen-23 had a parabolic dish, unidentified sensors, and a possible mast antenna but that the government did not have "imagery collections of the bottom of the Killeen-23 payload to analyze for an optical sensor."

Paul Byrne, an associate professor at Washington University in St. Louis and a specialist in remote sensing, commented that the Chinese balloon could generate a "humongous" amount of power.

It is believed it could generate about 100 times as much power as Google's Loon balloon, which provides internet service, and almost twice what is generated by some SAR orbital satellites, he said. 

Byrne added that balloons can be a "potent way" to conduct surveillance, as their launch is quieter than that of a satellite and they can gain higher-resolution data. 

Congress was notified in February that several other spy balloons had made incursions into U.S. airspace in the past, including near Florida, Texas, Guam and Hawaii.

Sandy Fitzgerald

Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Previously unreported top-secret intelligence documents show that as questions remained about the capability of the Chinese spy balloon that flew across the United States, federal intelligence officials knew there were up to four additional ones.
documents, teixeira, china, spy balloons
Saturday, 15 April 2023 01:48 PM
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