By now, you’ve probably heard about the ‘Chinese spy balloon’ that was found floating across the central United States earlier this week. But what you haven’t likely heard is why it was there.
Originally published at WND News Center. Used with permission.
A commentary at the Washington Examiner is warning that a Chinese spy balloon being watched as it crosses the United States could be a “dry run” for an EMP attack.
An electromagnetic pulse attack would be triggered by a nuclear explosion at altitude. It would disrupt electronics in a massive region, and earlier warnings have said that it could take down America’s grid, destroy basic functions like banking and deliveries, and ultimately kill millions.
The latest warning is contained in Paul Bedard’s Washington Secrets column.
“High-altitude balloons, such as the one China has floated over mountain state military bases this week, are considered a key ‘delivery platform’ for secret nuclear strikes on America’s electric grid, according to intelligence officials,” he reported.
“Spy balloons, used by Japan to drop bombs during World War II, are now far more sophisticated, can fly at up to 200,000 feet, evade detection, and can carry a small nuclear bomb that, if exploded in the atmosphere, would shut down the grid and wipe out electronics in a many-state-wide area.”
WND has reported on the threat from EMP for years, as the nation has no effective barrier to such attacks. And even small rogue nations or terror groups that could capture a nuke could launch such an attack.
A congressional EMP commission and the military have delivered such warnings over the years, too.
Bedard said a 2015 report for the American Leadership & Policy Foundation included advice from Air Force Maj. David Stuckenberg, a leading EMP expert, about the situation, and the threat to national security from EMPs.
“Using a balloon as a WMD/WME platform could provide adversaries with a pallet of altitudes and payload options with which to maximize offensive effects against the U.S.,” he said at the time. “A high altitude balloon could be designed, created, and launched in a matter of months. There is nothing to prevent several hundred pounds of weapons material from being delivered to altitude.”
Today, in light of the Chinese balloon’s presence, Bedard reported, he said, “China’s recent balloon flyover of the United States is clearly a provocative and aggressive act. It was most likely a type of dry run meant to send a strategic message to the USA. We must not take this for granted.”
He noted during World War II Japan had an effort that targeted North American with balloon bombs.
The report said, “Stuckenberg cited the research of the late Peter Pry, who headed a congressional commission on EMP and reported on the potential of a balloon-launched attack.”
Pry found, “Imagine the consequences of a balloon EMP attack that damages and destroys electronic systems at the speed of light within an EMP field with a radius of hundreds of kilometers. The Eastern Grid generates 75% of U.S. electricity and supports most of the population. Virtually any nuke detonated anywhere over the Eastern Grid will collapse the entire Eastern Grid, not just the area within the EMP field, because of cascading failures that will ripple outward.”
China has claimed its balloon is a weather balloon and is not a threat, and the Pentagon has so far rebuffed demands to shoot it down.