The U.S. military has released a close-up photo of the Chinese spy balloon taken over the Midwest by a U-2 surveillance plane.
The photo was shot by the Air Force spy plane passing by the balloon on Feb. 3 at an altitude of 60,000 feet, ABC News noted. In the photo one of the helmeted pilots is seen in the foreground looking out at the giant balloon — making the image a sort of a selfie.
A shadow of the plane is seen against the white balloon. Below the balloon is equipment that included reconnaissance sensors, antennae and solar power panels, according to ABC News.
The network news said U-2 spy planes normally carry one pilot. But this particular U-2 aircraft was a two-seater trainer and the photo was taken by the second pilot.
The photo is the closest look yet at the balloon. Officials estimated the balloon to be about 200 feet tall and weigh thousands of pounds, the New York Post reported.
The balloon was shot down in waters off South Carolina the day after the photo was taken.
(Department of Defense via AP)
Jeffrey Rodack ✉
Jeffrey Rodack, who has nearly a half century in news as a senior editor and city editor for national and local publications, has covered politics for Newsmax for nearly seven years.
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