NORAD Tracks ‘Hobbyist’ Balloon Over Utah


The Department of Defense said the balloon that was being tracked and intercepted over Utah on Friday was identified as a hobbyist balloon, according to a new report from CBS News. The balloon has since left U.S. airspace and is over the Atlantic if it’s still airborne.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), responsible for air defense over the United States and Canada, began tracking the balloon Friday as it crossed over the Western United States. NORAD said the balloon had been at an altitude of 43,000 and 45,000 feet. Fighters were then deployed to investigate where it was determined not to be a threat. It was described by the fighter pilots as a mylar balloon with a small box suspended from it and was “unmaneuverable.”

In a statement, officials said, “NORAD will continue to track and monitor the balloon. The FAA also determined the balloon posed no hazard to flight safety. NORAD remains in close coordination with the FAA to ensure flight safety.”

NORAD has not disclosed any other information on the balloon including its origin. It tracked eastward toward the Midwest after being intercepted.

Amelia Walsh
Amelia Walsh is a private pilot who enjoys flying her family’s Columbia 350. She is based in Colorado and loves all things outdoors including skiing, hiking, and camping.


  1. “Okay move along, move along people, there’s nothing to see here! Cows turn themselves inside out all the time.” – Officer Barbrady

  2. “Daddy, when I grow up I want to be a balloon hobbyist! I want the gov’t to scramble really expensive jets to intercept it and follow it for a while! Oh, and have the really expensive equipment and people, who are supposed to track bad people from bad countries trying to hurt us, tied up chasing my balloons!”

    And if you believe that story they are feeding us then I’ll bet they have some beachfront property there in Utah to sell you too!