Original story source: https://aviationweek.com/defense-space/aircraft-propulsion/hobby-clubs-missing-balloon-feared-shot-down-usaf
But the circumstantial evidence is at least intriguing. The club’s silver-coated, party-style “pico balloon” reported its last position on Feb. 10 at 38,910 feet off the west coast of Alaska, and a popular forecasting tool — the HYSPLIT model provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (NOAA): Projected the cylindrical object to hover high over the central part of the Yukon Territory on February 11. This is the same day that a Lockheed Martin F-22 shot down an unidentified object of a similar description and altitude in the same general area.
My favorite part:
“I tried to get in touch with our military and the FBI, and I just got through, to try to illustrate to them what a lot of this stuff probably is. And they’re not going to look too smart to shoot them down,” says Ron Meadows, the founder of Scientific Balloon Solutions (SBS), a Silicon Valley company that makes beak balloons for hobbyists, educators and scientists.
We are ready for another tomorrow:
The community is also nervous that their balloons may be knocked down next. Medlin says one of its balloons, call sign W5KUB-112, is projected by HYSPLIT to enter US airspace on February 17. It already circumnavigated the world several times, but its trajectory took the object for the last time over China before it entered Mexico or China. US airspace.