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4 Jun, 2023 15:19

‘Suspicious balloon’ found near NATO-Russia border – media

The small inflatable, which reportedly had inscriptions in Cyrillic, was found near a military base
‘Suspicious balloon’ found near NATO-Russia border – media

A small balloon was found in a corn field in northeastern Poland early on Saturday, several local media outlets have reported. Police attended the scene and the inflatable was eventually seized by the military for examination, according to the reports.

The balloon was found just kilometers from a major Polish military facility, where a training ground is located. “The services are in the process of checking this object,” the spokesman for the Operational Command of the Armed Forces, Lieutenant Colonel Jacek Goryszewski, told journalists. He added that no comment would be made regarding the origin of the balloon until investigations have concluded.

According to Goryszewski, the object is “most likely… a weather balloon.” He also said military air defense radars had not registered any Polish airspace violations on the day the balloon was found. Some Polish media speculated that the balloon may have had other purposes.

A farmer, who was the first to spot the balloon in the field, told the Polish media that it had a polystyrene box and an antenna attached to a foil dome. Inscriptions in Cyrillic were also visible on the balloon, according to the farmer.

According to Poland’s WP broadcaster, an unidentified object allegedly entered Polish airspace from Belarus. The Polish Defense Ministry said on May 13 that the object could have been a “surveillance balloon,” adding that radars had lost it somewhere near the city of Rypin in central Poland.

The Armed Forces Operational Command then launched a search operation in the area that lasted for three weeks but yielded no results. The Polish government security center issued an alert for nearby regions, urging people to be on the lookout for “an… object resembling a balloon.” “If you find it, do not pick it up, notify the nearest police station,” the alert said. However, there have been no reports of that object being found.