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Aviators are being warned about a flying object near American airspace.

The Federal Aviation Administration notified pilots that a large white balloon had been sighted approximately 600 miles east of Hawaii on Sunday, according to The Drive.

Images on social media displayed a purported air traffic warning regarding the craft, according to The Sun.

The alert in the images described the craft’s altitude as between 40,000 and 50,000 feet, although its precise altitude is unknown.

“Advise [air traffic control] if object is seen.”

BREAKING: Large white balloon spotted by several pilots east of Honolulu, Hawaii; alert sent out to all nearby aircraft

— Intel Point Alert (@IntelPointAlert) February 20, 2023

The FAA began notifying pilots of the craft’s presence early Sunday morning, according to The Drive.

The pilots of multiple aircraft have acknowledged receiving the warning in ACARS (Aircraft Communications, Addressing and Reporting System) transmissions.

Another balloon watch in effect. This one is being reported at ~1000km east of Honolulu at 26.39 N 150.21 W. Multiple ACARS messages like the ones below about a large white balloon between FL400-500. N572DZ (Delta flight 837) was informed because they went right by the location.

— IntelWalrus (@IntelWalrus) February 20, 2023

The craft’s origin and national affiliation is unclear.

Unlike the Chinese surveillance balloon that was shot down after crossing the continental United States, there’s no sign that this balloon has entered U.S airspace yet.

However, the craft’s proximity to the western United States could result in its eventual arrival in North America.


Pilots have spotted a large white balloon near Hawaii.

It’s forecasted to enter U.S. airspace within 24 hours.

Via @BrennpunktUA

— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) February 20, 2023

One estimation of the balloon’s trajectory features it breaching U.S airspace in Hawaii.

Putting this potential balloon at 45k feet (avg of the reported height between FL400-500) and running NOAA’s HYSPLIT model shows a very interesting future trajectory over the next 48 hours for an object being steered by the wind. Right over Hawaii.

— IntelWalrus (@IntelWalrus) February 20, 2023

A craft identified as an earlier Chinese surveillance balloon crashed off the coast of Hawaii late last year, according to federal officials cited by Fox News.

A Navy P-8 Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft was traveling in the direction of the balloon before disappearing from a flight tracker, according to The Drive.

However, the report noted that the flight might not have been connected to the balloon.

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“We cannot say with any certainty that it was on a mission to search for the balloon and observe it, but it would match with the direction for doing so,” the report stated

“Still, P-8s often reposition back to the continental United States along these types of routes, so it is just interesting at best at this point,” it concluded.

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