Another white balloon allegedly flying in an area between Hawaii and California.
The “balloon” saga continues: on Feb. 19, 2023, a large white balloon was reported over the Pacific ocean, roughly 600 miles to the northeast of Honolulu. The white balloon was reported to be at an altitude between FL400 and 500 (50,000 feet), in international airspace between Hawaii and California.
The presence of the object was announced by Oakland Oceanic ATC in an ACARS (Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System) message that asked all flights to report to the Air Traffic Control Center if the balloon was seen. The ACARS is an automated VHF communication system used by commercial planes to transmit and receive messages from ground facilities (airline, maintenance department, aircraft or system manufacturer, ATC etc).
Another balloon watch in effect. This one is being reported at ~1000km east of Honolulu at 26.39 N 150.21 W. Multiple ACARS messages like the ones below about a large white balloon between FL400-500. N572DZ (Delta flight 837) was informed because they went right by the location. https://t.co/YbNrFOyDcN pic.twitter.com/Hsc7Fwi8Q9
— IntelWalrus (@IntelWalrus) February 20, 2023
No additional detail is known at the time of writing but the U.S. Indo Pacific Command said they are investigating the reports.
I can’t say it’s related, but a BUPERS SDC Dallas Boeing P-8 “SHINR02” launched from Honolulu around 0230 Zulu and went “Due Regard” flying in the direction of the reported balloon 🤔🤷🏻♂️ H/T @nameyousir and @Stalsomething for the heads up. Audio https://t.co/A4HpPcWVyn… https://t.co/a9cYKZws0o pic.twitter.com/hl0hIHdtqx
— Thenewarea51 (@thenewarea51) February 20, 2023
The latest reported sighting of a balloon comes as sightings of balloon-shaped objects have multiplied across the world.
The first one was the famous Chinese high altitude balloon, suspected to carry SIGINT equipment, that flew over central U.S. before being shot down off South Carolina on February 4, 2023, by an F-22 Raptor. While the incident is still being investigated, it’s worth of note that the U.S. military has recently said that before being blown off course by prevailing winds, the Chinese balloon had a trajectory that would have taken it over Guam and Hawaii, more or less where the one on Feb. 19 was allegedly spotted.
Three additional unidentified objects, later confirmed to have been much smaller commercial or research balloons, were also spotted and shot down over Alaska, Canada e Lake Huron last week. Other balloons were also reported over Romania and shot down over Ukraine.
On Feb. 14, the Japanese MOD said that based on further analysis, it strongly presumed balloon-shaped flying objects spotted over Japan in November 2019, June 2020 and September 2021, were unmanned reconnaissance balloons flown by China.