The US military recovered electronic components and sensors from a Chinese spy balloon that was shot down over the coast of South Carolina on February 4. It is reported by the Financial Times with reference to the military command.
With the help of the found sensors, the United States intends to prove that the balloon was engaged in reconnaissance, and was not a civilian vessel conducting meteorological research, as China claims.
According to the White House, there is no evidence that the other three objects that were shot down earlier were also engaged in intelligence, but the possibility of espionage is not ruled out.
In early February, a Chinese reconnaissance balloon was shot down over the United States, which hung in the sky for several days. The PRC protested and stated that the balloon was meteorological. Initially, the Pentagon claimed that they would not shoot down the balloon, since China already has information thanks to satellites, and an unsuccessful fall of the object could harm residential areas. Later, a similar balloon was seen over Latin America, and Beijing admitted that it belongs to the PRC. The State Department told the NYT that the Chinese balloon was equipped with electronic intelligence equipment, such balloons flew over more than 40 countries. On February 12, the US military shot down a fourth unidentified object off the coast of Alaska near the Canadian border, but it was different from the Chinese balloons. The object had the shape of an octagon and flew at an altitude of 6 km, presenting a danger to civilian aircraft. General Glen van Hoerck did not rule out an extraterrestrial origin of the object, intelligence finds out the details.