A Chinese spy balloon in the US is the latest in a long history of governments spying on each other from the sky. Aerial surveillance dates back to the French Revolution to UFO rumors to the Cuban Missile Crisis.It’s gone from hot air balloons to CIA gadgets to sophisticated live-streaming drones.
Last month, the US government shot down a Chinese spy balloon floating near a South Carolina beach.The Pentagon said it was there gathering intelligence. China said it was doing civilian research.
Regardless, it was nothing new.Governments have been spying on each other for hundreds of years. They’ve used all sorts of techniques, from the German army using pigeon-carrying cameras to the US releasing hundreds of balloons in the hope they would float across the entirety of Russia and get to Japan.
Source: From pigeon-mounted cameras to dragonfly drones, here’s how aerial surveillance has evolved to spy on people over the past 200 years