Vivid News 24: Soon after a US fighter jet on Saturday shot down a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon off the coast of South Carolina, videos showing the exact moment of the incident were released on social media.
The Chinese aircraft flew over North America for several days, escalating tensions between Washington and Beijing, before it was shot down by an F-22 fighter jet, according to Pentagon officials, and crashed into comparatively shallow water only 14 meters deep.
In a video posted by @RealPhotoholic on his Instagram account, casual Photoholic captures the moment an F-22 fighter plane from Langley Air Force Base used a single missile to bring down a Chinese surveillance balloon.
The balloon looked to collapse in a white puff in a witness video shared on social media before its remains fell steeply into the water below. Haley Walsh, a Twitter user, claimed to have “heard and felt the explosion” at the well-known South Carolina vacation destination of Myrtle Beach.
A crowd along the beach boardwalk in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, rejoiced as a missile from the F-22 aircraft struck the balloon. It suddenly lost its air and fell into the water. Immediately upon the missile’s hit, someone was quoted by the news agency AP as stating, “That’s my Air Force right there, buddy.”
When Mosley left a business, she observed four fighters hovering before spotting the balloon, she told the AP. “One of the fighter jets accelerates and approaches it quickly, and suddenly there’s a boom and we know it’s gone,” In response to China’s “unacceptable breach of our sovereignty,” the operation was a “planned and legitimate step,” according to US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
This was the military’s first chance to deal with the balloon “in a manner that would not pose a threat to the safety of Americans,” while yet enabling officials to gather the debris that had fallen into US territorial waters, according to a senior defense official.
President Joe Biden complimented the jet pilots, whom he had earlier on Saturday vowed “to take care” of the balloon. “They were able to destroy it. And I want to thank our pilots who accomplished it “In Maryland, Biden told reporters.