Chinese spy balloon made mostly out of classified US documents
They are common building material now.
QUANTICO, Va. — U.S. intelligence analysts examining the wreckage of the Chinese surveillance balloon shot down earlier this year by an Air Force F-22 made an early and surprising discovery: the balloon was stitched together largely with classified documents.
“It’s got a little bit of everything in here,” said Master Chief Petty Officer Brian O’Leary, who helped pull the balloon’s skin from the waters off South Carolina. “Pol-mil assessments, threats of the day, internal training slides. Geez, that's a lot of classified.”
The surveillance balloon was over 200 feet tall, roughly the size of a MAJCOM Class Six. To construct it required thousands of pages of classified documents, or roughly one Mar-A-Lago.
“What is this?” asked Navy Lt. Patricia Harlow, pulling up several sheets of laminated paper from the wreckage. “It looks like a daily intel briefing from…2016? I swear our intel guy briefed the exact same intel last week.”
Despite the surprise makeup of the balloon, some national security observers have said the use of easily acquired American classified documents meant this sort of thing was only a matter of time.
“Supply chains kinks have caused the price of traditional materials to skyrocket for everything except the seemingly endless supply of US top secret documents,” said Special Agent George Peppard, who is coordinating the exploitation of the balloon. “While not as elastic or stretchy as latex and neoprene, U.S. classified documents are far more common and readily available.”
“Well, I guess you can stretch some of it pretty far,” he added, after noticing a page from an Iraq WMD assessment on top of one pile.
Despite insisting that the country’s classified material remains secure, the Biden administration has vowed to lead efforts toward an international U.S. classified documents non-proliferation treaty.
“We’re hearing reports that U.S. classified materials are being smuggled into Russia for use as fuel to keep homes warm during the winter,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. “And while that proves the effectiveness of Western sanctions against Russia are working, we obviously don’t want Russia to know whether Syria’s political stability is forecasted to be Red, Yellow, or Green. That’s something that belongs in a SCIF or at least the President’s garage.”