Explosion Over Billings, Montana? Governor’s Response on Fox
*Story has been updated with new quotes from sheriff and police chief.
Airport tower saw nothing. We have no reports from local law enforcement or other first responders. That's the word I got around 6:40 p.m. Mountain Time as I called Yellowstone City-County Dispatch in Billings, Montana.
A video was posted on Twitter around 5 p.m. Mountain Time Friday night purporting to show an "explosion in the sky" over Billings, Montana. The Twitter user reported hearing a jet before the explosion. This, after a Chinese spy balloon was confirmed to have been hovering over Montana earlier this week.
Let me be clear: I'm not saying the video is real, I'm not saying the video is fake. I'm just saying we need to verify this report. Based off of what I heard from local emergency dispatchers, we do not have verification that this took place. (And since I live in Billings I should add that I didn't hear an explosion, nor did I receive messages from friends saying they heard an explosion.)
Montana Governor Greg Gianforte (R-MT) joined Tucker Carlson on Fox News earlier this hour where he was asked about the Chinese spy balloon. Tucker also asked him about the unverified video that was spotted on social media.
Here's what Governor Gianforte told Tucker Carlson about the spy balloon spotted over Montana earlier in the week.
Gov. Gianforte: Tucker, if it was up to Montanans, this thing would have been taken out of the sky the moment it entered our sovereign airspace, and it clearly had been there for a while. It's not moving that fast.
The Governor was also asked why President Biden didn't shoot the spy balloon down.
Gov. Gianforte: In the briefing I got earlier in the week, they were contemplating taking it out of the sky. For whatever reason, they didn't do that. Now clearly this went to the President's desk. He was given options. For whatever reason he chose not to act. And unfortunately the result of that is that Americans are endangered, and our enemies are emboldened.
What about the video purporting to show an explosion in the sky over Billings, Montana?
Tucker Carlson: Governor, I hate to pull random video off the internet and ask you to respond to it, but this is going around. It appears to be on social media- video of an explosion over your state showing what looks like a smoke trail in to the sky. We can't even guess as to what this is. Do you have any information about this?
Gov. Gianforte: Not at this point. I was notified of it just minutes before we came on the air. We're monitoring the situation. I'm talking to our National Guard to find out if they have additional information. I'm sure I'll be briefed here in the next hour.
We'll keep you posted as we get more information.
Additional update after story was first posted: As of 10 p.m. Friday, Billings Police Chief Rich St. John now tells us that the video is not a hoax, but he is calling it a "mystery" instead. Earlier Friday evening de added, "We have no reports of anything falling from the sky. Fire, PD, or Comm Center. Our PIO has reported same to council."
Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder sent this statement around 9:40 p.m. Friday: "We made contact with the person who posted the video, which we believe to be legitimate. Just what the video shows is difficult to determine. As of this press release, there is no evidence that an aircraft went down or that there was an actual explosion. There have been no other reports from anyone, to law enforcement, who may have observed this incident. We will continue to investigate any additional leads or information."
Here's the video: (KTVQ-TV interviewed the woman who shared the video Friday night)
(Below tweet added after report was initially published)
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