FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show The Downed Chinese Spy Balloon?

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Twitter purports to show a suspected Chinese spy balloon that flew over the U.S. after it had been shot down.

Verdict: False

The claim is false. The video, which was uploaded to YouTube in July 2017, shows a satellite crash in Brazil.

Fact Check:

A suspected Chinese spy balloon that was shot down over the U.S. after flying over the mainland for several days was originally headed toward Hawaii but was blown off course, Reuters reported. Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Chinese State Counselor Wang Yi that such an incident “must never happen again,” according to ABC News.

In the Twitter video, a group of men can be seen staring at a downed object, which appears to have a white parachute attached to it along with equipment. “First video of the downed Chinese Spy Balloon!!,” the video purports.

The claim is false. The video has not been included in any credible news reports about the suspected Chinese spy balloon. Likewise, the video neither appears on the Department of Defense’s (DOD) website nor its verified social media accounts.

The video, titled “Satellite crashes in Brazil,” was uploaded to YouTube in July 2017. A video matching the YouTube video’s title was also posted to Instagram in 2021. (RELATED: Does This Video Show The U.S. Chasing A Canadian UFO?)

Although the original video was uploaded to YouTube in July 2017, the satellite landed in May 2017, according to Metabunk.org. The balloons were part of Google’s “Project Loon,” which sought to provide 4G-LTE internet service to multiple areas. They were discovered in various locations, including Los Angeles in 2015, Chile in 2016, and Brazil in 2017, according to the organization.

Misleading videos of the alleged Chinese spy balloon have circulated on social media since January 2023. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim suggesting Republican Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert made an inaccurate claim about the balloon.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter


FACT CHECK: Did Barack Obama Sign A Law That Allows The Media To 'Purposely Lie To The American People'?
FACT CHECK: Did George Carlin Author This Essay About 'The Paradox Of Our Time'?
FACT CHECK: No, This Is Not A Real Will From Michelle Obama's Mother
FACT CHECK: Did The United Nations Say ‘Children Must Have Sexual Partners’?