Romania has sent jets to deal with a mysterious object detected in its airspace. According to Reuters, the Romanian Air Force sent two MiG 21 LanceR jets to southeast Romania, where the object was believed to be floating at 11,000 meters (36,089 feet).
However when the jets arrived 10 minutes after the initial detection, they found no sign of the object. According to the defense ministry, the planes remained in the area for half an hour, but could not see it nor confirm it was there using radar. The object, when initially seen, looked like a weather balloon, the Romanian Air Force said.
So why all the sudden balloons and mysterious flying objects?
Though it could be that suddenly China has decided to ramp up its spy balloon program that it has used frequently in Taiwan over the last few years, a likely explanation is that various forces are now paying a little more attention to smaller objects caught on radar than usual, following the discovery of the first balloon in the US.
The US has done so, and has perhaps caught a few innocent victims in its haste. Though they maintain that the first balloon was a spy balloon sent by China, a "leading explanation" being investigated by US intelligence is that "these could be balloons that were simply tied to commercial or research entities and therefore benign".
It's possible that other states, perhaps Romania, are doing the same; investigating smaller objects caught on radar more thoroughly than they otherwise would have. China itself also claims to have found such an object.
According to Chinese state-affiliated news outlet Global Times, authorities in East China's Shandong Province reported an unidentified object near the coastal city of Rizhao late last week. The outlet claims that the authorities were preparing to shoot it out of the sky on Sunday, warning fishing vessels in the area to stay safe.