Chinese Spy Balloon Flies Over Excelsior Springs…Again?

Orbs in the sky above Excelsior Springs on June 20, 2019
Photo taken by Courtney Cole on June 20, 2019 when there were three “orbs” flying over town.

Early in the week it was widely reported that there was a Chinese spy balloon flying over the Northwest part of the country. By Friday, citizens of Excelsior Springs and The Lawson Review were reporting it flying over the Excelsior Springs area. But is this the first time? It is now being widely reported that there have been spy balloons in the past, with there being three occurrences during the last presidential administration and one other with the current administration. Back in June of 2019, we previously reported that there were three mysterious orbs that appeared in the sky. We wonder now…were those spy balloons, too? You be the judge!

This article was previously reported on

Mysterious Orbs Over Excelsior Springs Area Explained! – June 20, 2023

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No wait it’s…we don’t know!

Around noon today looking north of Excelsior Springs, Missouri, we could see an extremely bright white orb in the sky. It didn’t move for over 6 hours. Then later in the evening, a second orb appeared, not far from the first. Due to cloud coverage, we are unable to tell if they can be seen in the dark.

Multiple news services and local weather forecasters jumped into the discussion after receiving multiple calls. There have been at least three explanations, but we are still waiting for it to be confirmed. Check out the reasons given and some local posts concerning the incident below!

1. Explanation 1 – Weather Balloons

The first explanation that I heard was that they were weather balloons. After seeing the other reports, I don’t think they’re that far off with this being the case. However, when the National Weather Service was contacted, they reported that they didn’t know what they were.


2. Explanation 2 – Google Loon Project

The next explanation that was given was that it was Google with their Loon Project, which helps provide Internet to rural areas. Google, however, said that it wasn’t them. It was instead a private company called Raven Aerostar. More about them later!


Photo Credit: Flicker user: iLighter – CC by 2.0

3. Explanation 3 – DARPA

The third explanation that was given was in reference to DARPA, or Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. “DARPA launched three balloons from Cumberland, Maryland, in a flight test for the Adaptable Lighter Than Air Program,” said Heather Babb, spokeswoman for the Department of Defense. “ALTA will demonstrate capability for wind-borne navigation of a lighter-than-air vehicle over extended ranges.”


4. Explanation 4 – Raven Aerostar

The fourth explanation, and the one that Google gave, is that it is a private company called Raven Aerostar. If you go to their website, you can see that they have done work with the US military in the past. They’ve been launching these balloon systems that make long duration and navigational stratospheric missions. It was later confirmed here that Raven Aerostar is who DARPA is working with on the ALTA project. They are also the ones that Google works with on their Loon Project!


It also doesn’t help those of us with anxiety that at the same time this is happening, there is widespread cellular signals out throughout the region right now. A councilman from Liberty, Missouri reported that an AT&T fiber line was cut on Mill Street downtown from construction. They aren’t the only service down though. Citizens reported Cricket Wireless and Verizon Wireless are down, as well:


It’s also weird that when I check for an outage in my area, AT&T doesn’t report there being any problem:


So all you alien-enthusiasts, such as myself, there’s nothing to fear! It’s not aliens! Just our military experimenting with advanced technology. Doesn’t make me want to find my tin foil hat or anything!!

We thought it would be fun to share some spy balloon memes that have been shared across the interwebs:

We keep the local news free thanks to advertisers and individual contributions!

Thanks to our Founding Sponsors

News for and About Excelsior Springs!

Get the Excelsior Citizen e-newsletter delivered straight to your inbox each week. It’s a collection of the best news and events all focused exclusively on Excelsior Springs. No fluff just local news and information you can trust!

Free Newsletter Signup