US intelligence agencies now believe that the mysterious craft really was blown off course, Mark Milley told ABC News
A so-called Chinese “spy balloon” shot down off the east coast of the US in February did not actually collect any intelligence, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told CBS News on Sunday. Beijing insisted from the outset that the balloon was not a surveillance craft.
“The intelligence community, their assessment – and it’s a high-confidence assessment – [is] that there was no intelligence collection by that balloon,”Milley told the American broadcaster.
The balloon in question appeared in the sky over Alaska in January, before drifting south and crossing the US. Its high-altitude flight ultimately ended when it was shot down off the coast of South Carolina in early February. Throughout its journey and for months afterwards, US officials claimed that the balloon was sent across the US to gather intelligence for Beijing.