Golfers in the Myrtle Beach area had their rounds interrupted around 2:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon by the spectacle of suspected international espionage.
A U.S. military fighter jet shot down a Chinese balloon just off the coast of Myrtle Beach, creating a seldom-seen spectacle in the sky and loud boom that shook buildings as a missile struck the balloon.
China has claimed it was a civilian weather balloon that was blown off course, while the U.S. government has contended it was a purposeful surveillance balloon.
Either way, golfers on the Myrtle Beach area’s more than 80 courses were treated to the show, as the jet sped up toward the target in clear skies and fired a missile.
The balloon was first spotted over Montana, and U.S. officials waited as it drifted east over the country until it was over the Atlantic Ocean so its debris would not be a threat to residents on the ground.
Crews attempted to reach any debris as it dropped from the sky, but local officials have warned beachgoers to not touch any debris that may wash ashore because it will be part of a federal investigation.
Anyone seeing debris is asked to call authorities at 843-248-1520.
Video provided by: Carl Michael of Myrtle Beach