HELENA — The suspected "Chinese spy balloon" that appeared over Montana skies two weeks ago garnered headlines around the world. With a second incident this past week, I wanted to know what answers Montanans wanted regarding the objects.
On February 1, some Montanans noticed an object hovering above Billings. The United States government said it was a high-altitude surveillance balloon that belonged to China. It would spend several more days over the U.S. before being shot down over the Atlantic Ocean.
"It would be nice to know the truth and have the government be a little bit more transparent, ally their fears. And to relax a little bit more," said Helena resident, John Podolindky.
Less than a week later, objects were shot down near Alaska, over the Canadian Yukon, and over Lake Huron.
The last object is the same one believed to have been detected over Northern Montana on Saturday night.
People I spoke with expressed concerns, especially with Montana being home to a significant number of nuclear missiles.
"I don't think they should have got that far in especially being in Montana. We all know what Montana's about with nuclear weapons. Um, I think they were trying to see what we got and see just what (Joe) Biden would do about it," said pedestrian Rick Burton.
People I spoke with also questioned the sudden increase in activity.
"I think it's interesting we're seeing more of them. First, we saw one and now there have been three. And I can't imagine that our government didn't know about them coming into our airspace." said Podolindky.
Others also questioned the response, saying they want the U.S. to weigh its options before responding immediately to some of these objects.
All want to make sure Montana and the U.S. airspace are protected.