. Verification: 8ea7dd8e8067cf6e

An F-22 fighter pilot used a $400,000 AIM-9 Sidewinder missile to bring down the suspected Chinese "spy balloon" that soared over the United States this week and captivated the nation's attention. The incident occurred when the balloon was flying above the United States.

Pentagon stenographer Jennifer Griffin sent the following information to reporters: "NEW: top defense official tells me an F22 fighter aircraft fired a single shot at the Chinese surveillance balloon when it was in U.S. air space over the Atlantic Ocean." "The F22s took off from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, which is located in the United States. According to a senior military officer from the United States, a single air-to-air missile (an A9X missile) launched from an F22 at 58,000 feet took down a China surveillance balloon. When the shot was fired, the balloon was between 60 and 65,000 feet in the air."

Because the missile seems to have scored a direct hit on the bottom portion of the balloon, which contained all of the electronics, we will never know if it was merely a weather balloon as China claimed or the highest-tech espionage balloon in history of the world.

Now that the balloon has successfully exited our airspace, the citizens of the United States may finally relax, knowing that they are no longer in danger. Although it's true that China has satellites in orbit that may possibly see pennies on the ground in American cities (and the United States has the same eavesdropping on China), this balloon was not like those satellites or those satellites at all.

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