BY Ole Braatelien, The Western JournalFebruary 3, 2023
1 year ago

US Airport Shut Down at Same Time People See Unidentified Object in Sky, Military Jets Reported

The Earth may not have stood still on Wednesday afternoon, but Billings Logan International Airport did.

The Montana airport was shut down for about two hours; this was around the same time people noticed an unidentified object in the sky and reportedly saw military jets in the area, according to KULR.

Sightings of the object were reported in Billings, Reed Point and Hobson.

Aircraft were grounded after federal aviation officials ordered a "ground stop," the Billings Gazette reported.

Salt Lake City Federal Aviation Administration ordered the shutdown, according to Shane Ketterling, director of Aviation at BIL, KULR reported.

The shutdown closed 50 square miles of air space, affecting Billings, Livingston, Bozeman and Helena.

According to Ketterling, two flights to BIL had to divert, but were eventually able to land. Only one flight was delayed from taking off due to the ground stop.

Ketterling allegedly said he could “neither confirm nor deny” whether or not the stop was related to the mysterious object in the sky.

Furthermore, he added that orders such as these usually come from the top of the FAA or military, often without explanation.

The white object was later suspected to be a Chinese spy balloon, according to KFBB.

The U.S. government has been reportedly monitoring the balloon for a few days now.

“The United States government has detected and is tracking a high-altitude surveillance balloon that is over the continental United States right now,” Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told NBC News. “We continue to track and monitor it closely.”

The stratospheric balloon was tracked over the Aleutian Islands, through Canada and into Montana.


Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin initiated a meeting on Wednesday to address the security concern. At the meeting were senior defense and military leaders, including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley.

Another official at the meeting was  Commander Gen. Glen VanHerck of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, as well as other leaders.

Due to the risk of debris for the people below, officials decided against taking the balloon out kinetically.

According to a senior defense official, NORAD deployed F-22 Raptors from Nellis Airforce Base as well as other aircraft, but would not say if the intent was to shoot down the object.

The officials informed President Joe Biden on Wednesday of the threat and the options for dealing with it.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Ole Braatelien, The Western Journal

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