Pentagon releases photo of US pilot’s close-up selfie with Chinese spy balloon

US Department of Defense

The Pentagon released a photo taken by a United States Air Force pilot flying above a suspected Chinese spy balloon in early February 2023.

The selfie, taken from the cockpit of a U-2 spy plane, shows the shadow of the aircraft on the white balloon. The pilot’s helmet is also included in the photograph.

Image: US Department of Defense 

The photograph was released on February 22, 2023, over two weeks after a US F-22 fighter jet shot down the balloon which had been hovering over the United States for a number of days.

The photo was captured on February 3, 2023, the day before the balloon was shot down.

The balloon was detected flying over the United States on January 28, 2023. After entering US airspace, the airship traversed to Canada before coming back to the US.

After the US successfully shot down the balloon, the Japanese and Taiwanese governments announced that they, too, will shoot down foreign balloons or any suspected unidentified object found to be intruding into the respective country’s airspaces. 

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