Looking back at Japanese balloon bomb campaign of WWII

Published: Feb. 4, 2023 at 7:57 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - A high-attitude Chinese balloon traversed the United States this week, and history, in a way, is repeating itself.

Researcher Michael Unsworth says the first time this happened was in 1945, and they were sent by Japan during World War II.

“The two in North Dakota, they were found by people and the authorities collected them and sent them on to Washington, D.C.,” said Unsworth.

Unsworth says Japan wanted to start fires and explosions with the 9,300 balloons carrying bombs that were sent across the Pacific.

He says of them, about 285 were discovered during the war, and there were only several explosions — the worst being in Oregon.

Unsworth says the recent balloon sighting is a reminder of the past, but we don’t know what exactly is moving it.

“When you have something that’s pretty much at the mercy of the wind, it’s really hard. And until we bring one of those down and take a look at it, it’s just speculation,” said Unsworth.

Montana Senator Steve Daines believes the Chinese balloon is a massive security concern.

The Japanese balloon bomb campaign in North Dakota
The Japanese balloon bomb campaign in North Dakota(KFYR)