Recovery efforts are underway off coast near location where balloon was taken down, US official says


An airborne vehicle similar to the suspected Chinese surveillance balloon seen flying over the United States has been spotted in at least two Latin American countries this week. 

CNN is aware of at least half a dozen eyewitnesses in Latin America who have reported seeing the white balloon, sharing video and images on social media of its flight over Costa Rica and Colombia. CNN is unable to confirm if the images show a Chinese surveillance balloon.

Colombian media are reporting sightings of a balloon flying at about 70,000 feet over the South American country’s airspace, citing the Colombian military.

There have also been reports that there was a balloon seen flying over Costa Rica, which could be the same one as seen in Colombia.

Neither the Colombian government nor Costa Rica have issued any confirmation or official statement so far regarding any sightings. 

On Friday evening, Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said that “we are seeing reports of a balloon transiting Latin America. We now assess it is another Chinese surveillance balloon,” without specifying the balloon’s exact location

Esteban Carranza, a lawyer from Costa Rica, posted a video of the balloon on Twitter Thursday, saying that “the same type of balloon spotted in the US was visible all day in the Costa Rican sky.” 

Carranza told CNN that he filmed the white balloon flying above the Costa Rican capital of San José. CNN geolocated the video to Escazú Village, a shopping mall at San José.

“I have to say, I was pretty excited as I initially thought I was seeing a UFO because the object was big, bright and absolutely still,” he said.

“I looked at the object for around 45 minutes from different locations, completely still, and a few hours later went back out again and it was still there, in the exact same place. Lots of people were looking at it from different parts of the city. Even though not a UFO, it was still very unusual and therefore an exciting experience,” he added. 

The object was also spotted above Colombia near the city of Valledupar, according to video shared with CNN.

Luis Armando Toloza Calvo shot the video on Friday at 12:13 p.m. ET using his cell phone and a telescope.

Initially, a white dot is seen floating in the sky before Calvo directs his cell phone lens to his telescope to get a better view of the object.  


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