Close-Up Video of F-22 Strike on Chinese Balloon Shows What Happened to the Surveillance Device

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As thousands of spectators squinted into the sky Saturday, an F-22 needed only one shot with a missile to down a Chinese spy balloon that had infuriated the American public for days as it wandered from Montana over the American heartland to the South Carolina coast.

“I did not anticipate waking up to be in a ‘Top Gun’ movie today,” Ashlyn Preaux of  Forestbrook, South Carolina said, according to The Associated Press.

“When it deflated it was pretty close to instantaneous. One second it’s there like a tiny moon and the next second it’s gone,” Bill Swanson of Myrtle Beach said.

With the Federal Aviation Administration having closed off a section of the South Carolina coast to air traffic, the balloon’s end had been in sight early Saturday afternoon. Among the cameras catching the dramatic end to the balloon’s troubling presence was one high-definition view posted on Twitter.

The spectacle brought some criticism from Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune.

“Lots of you noticed some unplanned fireworks over Myrtle Beach today. While this was done in a manner that ensured the safety of our citizens, I do have concerns about how the federal government can allow a foreign adversary to fly uninterrupted from Montana to our doorstep,” she wrote on Facebook.

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