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What is Bottlecap Balloon Brigade? Patriotic Illinois hobby club NOT angry after missile shoots down $13 balloon

'I'd rather that they err in shooting down $100 worth of balloon stuff than have something bad go over Canada or the United States,' said the group
A US F-22 shot down the unidentified object using an AIM 9X missile (Twitter/@flightradar24, Getty Images)
A US F-22 shot down the unidentified object using an AIM 9X missile (Twitter/@flightradar24, Getty Images)

YUKON, CANADA: A US F-22 fighter jet recently shot down a controversial unidentified flying object over Canada's Yukon province. On February 12, Canadian President Justin Trudeau gave the order in coordination with US President Joe Biden to shoot the mysterious Chinese 'spy' balloon using an AIM-9X missile worth $400,000.

However, in light of the events, an Illinois amateur balloon club said they believe their $13 weather balloon could be the "unidentified flying" object that was shot down by the $400,000 missile over Canada's Yukon territory. The Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade claimed their balloon was floating over Alaska and stopped transmitting after the missile took it down.


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What is the Bottlecap Balloon Brigade?

The Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade (NIBBB) was formed two years ago by a group of 10 friends. The company's name was taken from the children's movie 'Up'. The organization claims they launched their balloon about four months ago and were tracking it as it floated across Alaska. However, after hearing that a US F-22 was dispatched to shoot down a spy balloon flying over Canadian territory, they lost contact. 

"When I heard that [it was a] silver object with a payload attached to it, that could be one of our balloons," a NIBBB member spoke in anonymity. "Think about it. We know where the balloon was off the coast of Alaska. We know where it was, if all was well," they told POLITICO. The source added, "We know that it didn't wake up that morning. We know they shot something down, and the thing they described as having shot down is not inconsistent with what we're flying out there. So, that's that!"

President Biden spoke of the conundrum and said, "The intelligence community's current assessment is that these three objects were most likely balloons tied to private companies, recreation or research institutions studying weather or conducting other scientific research," reported Daily Mail. John Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman noted that the US government may never be able to find debris from the balloon, but they are satisfied with the decision to shoot it down. "Given the situation we were in, the information available, the recommendation of our military commanders, it was exactly the right thing to do at exactly the right time," Kirby claimed.

'Isn't that a better outcome?'

Further, Kirby said, "Frankly, given the circumstances in light of what happened with the spy balloon, wouldn't that be a better outcome, if it turns out that they were in fact, civilian, or recreational use, or weather balloon and therefore benign, which is what the intelligence community thinks." He added, "Isn't that a better outcome than to have to think about the possibility of greater threats to our national security?" Moreover, the balloon company said they do not blame the pilot or the Pentagon for the aftermath. 

"Unless it has Mickey Mouse ears and F-22 pilots got sharp eyes and can discern that, it's not clear exactly what you're looking at. But the point is that it is not at all a huge reach" to speculate that it could be NIBBB's ballon, a member stated. A patriotic member added, "I'm an American and I don't want anything bad to happen to our country." "If they don't know, I'd rather that they err in shooting down $100 worth of balloon stuff than have something bad go over Canada or the United States."