Friday, March 31, 2023

Did a Chinese Spy Balloon Fly Over Coronado?

By Andre Bulber – Flickr: Coronado Naval Base – leaving San Diego CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

After the recent news that a suspected CCP (Chinese Communist Party) spy balloon was shot down in American airspace, revelations from the Pentagon were reported that an undetected spy balloon had possibly flown near a Coronado Naval base in recent years. Pentagon officials have yet to give a clear or definitive answer on when or where another balloon may have been detected.

Officials have suspected that these spy balloons might have the technical capabilities to conduct signal intelligence operations but nothing has been officially confirmed.

“It is a bit unsettling to think that a foreign adversary could get so close to our borders and our airspace going undetected,” stated Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey upon hearing the information for the first time during his six year tenure in office. “It kind of makes sense not just because of Naval Base Coronado but also the presence of the Naval Special Warfare units that are based here.”

Air Force Brigadier General Pat Ryder recently stated at a news briefing that China had conducted four balloon spy operations over “sensitive sites” in the US air space within recent years. He declined to identify the sites but said they would be of Chinese interest. It was later spoken by ABC reporter Martha Raddatz that the suspected spy balloons had targeted Hawaii, Coronado, and Norfolk, Virginia (Norfolk being home to the largest Naval base in the US).

A Pentagon spokesperson has not disclosed any further information and said that the government would not go beyond the statements that were previously made by Brigadier General Ryder.

Although there has not been sufficient evidence to define this as a national threat or not, it is still important to mention the importance of San Diego based Naval bases. San Diego is currently home to approximately over 50 warships. It also includes two aircraft carriers and the Zumwalt, which is one of the newest and most advanced Naval destroyers to date.

“I’ve definitely paid attention a little more to the sky,” said a local Coronado resident as he stood near the entrance of the Coronado Naval base. “I’ve been looking up especially over here. I’m always looking around and seeing what’s going on.”


Brandon Mariano
Brandon Mariano
Brandon was born in Carrollton, Texas but moved to Southern California at the age of four. After high school, Brandon enlisted in the Marine Corps where he attended recruit training at Marine Corps Recruiting Depot San Diego and was stationed at Camp Pendleton. During his four year enlistment, Brandon worked as Inventory Management Specialist, an Armory custodian, and a Martial Arts instructor.After being discharged, he went straight back into school at Irvine Valley College while also working as a Legal Assistant at Veterans Legal Institute in Santa Ana. Brandon transferred to UC San Diego in 2020 and graduated in 2022 where he majored in Political Science with a focus in International Relations. While at UCSD Brandon worked as a Peer Navigator at the Student Veterans Resource Center and as contributing news writer for the UCSD Guardian. In his free time Brandon likes to read, write, play guitar, go skateboarding, and explore the beautiful city of San Diego.Have a story for The Coronado Times to cover? Send news tips or story ideas to: [email protected]