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To read more about Episode 282, visit the main episode page.

Michael Moore [00:00:00] Mark Twain once said, “It is far easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” 

[ MUSIC: “Up, Up And Away” — The 5th Dimension ]

Michael Moore [00:00:55] This is Rumble with Michael Moore. And today’s episode is entitled “Weapons of Mass Balloonery.”

[ MUSIC: “Up, Up And Away” — The 5th Dimension ]

Michael Moore [00:01:05] It was just supposed to be a quiet Super Bowl Sunday. I decided not to watch the Super Bowl except maybe the halftime show. And that was about it. I was gonna just have a nice day to relax and clean up the apartment here. My apartment in Michigan is about two blocks off of Lake Michigan. And around noon today, there’s this alert that goes off and says all airspace has been shut down up on the northern part of Lake Michigan. And it’s like, “Wow. Doesn’t seem like there’s any bad weather. What’s the deal?” And they didn’t want to say what the deal was. They just said commercial air traffic had been suspended. I think it was right around noon or so. And then sometime between noon and 1:00, all of a sudden, BOOM — BOOM — BOOM! The sound that a jet makes when it breaks the sound barrier if you’ve ever flown in that kind of jet or if you’ve seen Top Gun. Basically it was a series of fighter jets, essentially, breaking the sound barrier. Now, everybody, of course, in the neighborhood and in that part of Michigan on Lake Michigan is like, “What the hell is going on?” You know, these aren’t the same planes that are going to fly over the Super Bowl in Arizona later today, right? No. Because, you know, we can’t start a Super Bowl without fighter jets. 

[00:02:44] In the town I live in, every year they have this National Cherry Festival because they grow a lot of cherries in Northern Michigan. And so they have a it’s a week long thing celebrating the art of the cherry. And I don’t really want to go into it much more than that — there’s parades, there’s a carnival, there’s pie eating contests, cherry pies, etc. And just about every year they bring in the Blue Angels, you know, those fighter jets flying formations and do all these interesting choreography up in the sky. But the great thing they love to do is they break the sound barrier over our little Northern Michigan town. And it is horrifying. It’s not the movies. It’s like, wow, this must be what war sounds like. And the potential nuclear war – is this the warning? Is this the sound? And, you know, thousands of people show up, park their cars, they watch the Blue Angels fly out into Lake Michigan and then back across the town. And when they go across the town, if they have to break the sound barrier at that moment, for numerous years, various windows in people’s homes, storefront windows on the main street there, are just blown out. Just glass everywhere. And, you know, people complain about it, and they say, you know, “do we have to do this here?” But there’s enough people that want to do it and so there you go. 

[00:04:11] Well, it wasn’t the Cherry Festival today — that’s in July. It wasn’t fireworks. It was the middle of the day in the middle of winter. Nobody could find out anything. And then at 1:45, the government announces the airspace is open again and commercial planes can fly across Lake Michigan and fly down to Chicago, you know, fly over to Milwaukee. And then it’s like, wow, okay. And you get on with your Sunday, right? And I would say somewhere around maybe another hour or so later — 2:45, 3:00, maybe a little after three — another alert. And this time, not only is the alert for Lake Huron, which is just down the road, it’s about a, I don’t know, two hour drive. And they’ve shut down the airspace over on Lake Huron here in Northern Michigan.  But it also turned out to be more than that. An F-16 fighter jet shot down for the third day in a row, and the fourth day in the last eight days, an unidentified flying object. They did not say what the object was. They didn’t say what it was doing. News reports differed as to whether it was shot down once it headed in and above over Lake Huron. Some say it was shot down over land in Northern Michigan, near Lake Huron. I wanted to get the discussion going because now it’s gone from being a joke, the Chinese air balloon, which I just thought was every time they said Chinese air balloon was a big laugh in my head. You know, they shot that down Saturday last weekend off Myrtle Beach. And anybody who had an iPhone or any kind of phone with a camera in their pocket got to film it. And we didn’t hear anything more about it. They were trying to gather up the wreckage of the balloon. They still won’t say what they have. They just discovered Saturday what’s called the “payload,” that compartment or whatever that stuff was hanging off the balloon where they were gathering information through it or whatever it was. They’ve now found it on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, just offshore, not that deep, maybe 40 or 50 feet deep. So that got shut down a week ago. Then on Friday, they found another object floating. Now, not flying, floating. They said it didn’t have any steering mechanisms or any propulsion or whatever, so it was just floating. This time, about 40,000 feet in the air. The Chinese air balloon was described as the size of three school busses and it had rudders and it was being maneuvered and controlled, it made turns, etc.. 

[00:07:14] But here on Friday of this past week, on the 10th of February, this thing that they discovered over Dead Horse, Alaska — is the very top of Alaska on the Arctic Ocean — they said it wasn’t a balloon, but that it was a cylinder-shaped metal cylinder, the color was like a silvery gray, and it was just floating. Not controlled, no energy emission that was propelling it or whatever. It was just floating. And this time not at 60,000 feet, like the Chinese balloon, this was more down in the 40,000 feet category, which is when you fly on a commercial airliner, you usually are flying, especially if you fly across the country, you’re flying up close to 40,000 feet. So they shot it down. They said it was on the shore there of the Arctic Ocean. And because the ocean is frozen this time of year, it was going to be really easy to collect the debris and see what the hell it was. They said they were certain that it wasn’t manned, there were no humans in it, but they would not say it was Chinese. In fact, they were pretty clear it was not a Chinese balloon. And if it’s not a balloon, I guess you don’t blame the Chinese, right? It just sounded weird. But, you know, they’re sending helicopters in there and they’re going to collect all the stuff they shot out of the sky. That was Friday. Then yesterday, Saturday, the Canadians report that another one of these things — now the one on Friday they said was the size of a small car. They couldn’t just say it was a Yugo, right? Then we’d already know then it’s a small car, but it was the size of a small car. So we’ve gone now from the size of three school busses to the size of a small car on Friday. And then on Saturday, they don’t even give us the size. They just say that the debris came down there on the shore of the Arctic Ocean in… I forgot the name of the nearest town there in the Yukon. Anyway, so Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada — by the way, you don’t call the Prime Minister of Canada “the president,” but they did on the news networks. “President Trudeau.” They have a parliamentary system, they don’t have a president. And the news casters said that Lake Huron was north of the United States, north of Michigan, they said. But our part of Lake Huron, the American part of Lake Huron, is all within the state of Michigan. It’s not “north” of Michigan. It goes up to the bottom part of the lower peninsula and then down to where it begins at Port Huron. 

[00:10:02] So anyways, so here we go, we’ve got the Chinese balloon a week ago Saturday, shot down off Myrtle Beach. Then on Friday of this weekend, we have an F-22 shoot down an “object” this time — they won’t call it a balloon because, well, it was in a cylinder shape. So they shot that down off the coast of northern Alaska, Prudhoe Bay. Yesterday, on Saturday, Trudeau said he ordered NORAD to shoot down the object. Again, not a balloon, an “object.” No description of a car, a bus. You know, generally when they don’t describe how big something is, it’s — what do they say in the doctor’s office? “You’ve got a growth the size of a grapefruit.” They always go for the grapefruit — “It’s a small grapefruit.” “It’s the size of a large grapefruit.” So we’ll just call the Canadian one the size of a large grapefruit. Although I can guarantee you there are no grapefruits grown anywhere in Canada, not even southern Canada. And then today, they shut down the airspace in Northern Michigan. First Lake Michigan, then Lake Huron. And then an F-16 fires a missile and shoots down the “object,” which they said the shape of the object was of an octagon, an eight sided “object” that had thick strings attached to it and were kind of waving through the air down off the bottom of the octagon that they shot down. By the way, every time one of these missiles from an F-16 or an F-22 is fired, it’s about anywhere from $380,000 to $400,000 of your taxpayers money for one missile. So they shot that down. Then they’ve sent in the Army or the Navy or whatever, the Coast Guard, to collect it. So three days in a row each day this weekend. 

[00:12:10] And I want to get into this a little deeper and I want you to stay with me. But I’m getting the stink eye here from our producer in the booth — it’s not really a stink eye. It’s more of a “Don’t forget, you have to thank the underwriter who underwrite this podcast ” — who actually give us the money to have a staff and to have an office and to have research. All these things — it’s because of our underwriters. So before I continue, give me a couple seconds here to thank them and to tell them how much I appreciate them supporting my voice. 

[00:12:46] And that underwriter for today’s Rumble episode is Rocket Money. Now over 80% of people have subscriptions that they’ve forgotten about. And between all the various streaming services that you join because you want to watch one show, or you sign up for a “free trial” and then you forget about it and all of a sudden now you’re paying for another subscription. We all do it. I been one of those 80%, trust me. And that’s where Rocket Money comes in. Rocket Money, formerly known as TrueBill, is a personal finance app that finds and cancels your unwanted subscriptions and it monitors your spending and it helps you lower your bills all in one place. Simply find the subscription you don’t want and press “cancel.” That’s it. And Rocket Money will cancel it for you. No more long hold times with customer service reps on the phone or tedious emailing back and forth. Rocket Money makes canceling subscriptions as easy as a click of a button. Over 3 million people have used Rocket Money, saving the average person up to $720 a year. So stop throwing your good money away, cancel unwanted subscriptions and manage your expenses the easy way by going to That’s 

[00:14:16] Okay, Now back to what we’re going to do. Is there an alien invasion taking place? Or did just some guy in the Chinese military hit the wrong button? Or what? Can I just point out, by the way, that NORAD — this is the North American Air Defense system that’s in some form been established about 75 years ago, 1947, ’48. And then the Canadians officially joined in in the ’50s. Not that they needed to. It was called North America and, of course, you know, if the word America’s in it, you know, we own it, right? I mean, we know this — we don’t like to brag about it too much, but, you know, NORAD is our thing. And so even though Prime Minister Trudeau ordered the object the size of a large grapefruit to be shot down, he had to get permission from Biden. And it was an American jet, not a Canadian jet. And I can just tell you from my knowledge of the Canadian — how do you do air quotes on a podcast? — a Canadian “Air Force.” When I made Canadian Bacon up in Canada, my film, I needed to get some cooperation, some help from the Canadian Defense Department to use one or two of their helicopters and maybe one of their war planes. And they kind of laughed me out of the office, basically. You know, “With all due respect, Mike, this is Canada. Yes, we do have a defense system. I mean, we can show you what we got here just outside of Toronto.” And I did. I went out there to the base — “base,” by the way, more air quotes — to see what their fighter jets and their helicopters look like — the big attack helicopters. They didn’t have anything like that. It really looked at like toy, miniature toy, things that were probably used by another movie shot in Canada like 30 years ago. So basically we ended up not using them and we had to get some American, you know, killer machines to shoot those scenes and got permission from the Canadians to fly them over Niagara Falls. 

[00:16:33] Anyways, so — but here’s the thing. They’ve been saying since, well, almost ten days ago now, that they’ve been collecting the debris in the Atlantic Ocean. Have you seen anything? No. In the fishing boat, they did pull up the white balloon, the rubbery, whatever it was the balloon’s made out of. They had that. But none of the parts. None of the stuff. We don’t know anything that’s going on about anything. They said today that they were briefing members of Congress. Well, I wrote to or spoke to three members of Congress, Senate congresspeople that I know, and they said, “We don’t know anything. We only know what you see on TV. We know the same thing. You know, basically.” I’m like, wow. You know, one of them had called a friend in the Pentagon and got a little bit more information. But basically… You know, they had our congressman from Northern Michigan on the news this afternoon — he didn’t know anything. This guy was like out to lunch. First of all, he couldn’t operate, you know, his earpods and microphone and they had to get rid of him after a minute or two — retired General Jack Bergman. You know, he says, “it’s not very deep there in the Great Lakes. Lake Huron, you know. Well,” he says, “Lake Superior is deep.” He goes into this whole thing, “That one’s deep, but these other…” Listen. Superior, Michigan, Lake Huron — these are all glacier lakes. Certainly, Lake Michigan, the one I live a couple of blocks off of is 300 feet deep on average. That’s pretty deep for a lake. Like I said, in the ocean where the balloon went down, that’s about 47 to 50 feet deep. Lake Michigan, middle of the lake, you have to take a small submarine to get down there. Divers don’t really do that. 

[00:18:31] Anyway, so, we don’t know anything. Our members of Congress aren’t being told anything. And you can tell, by the way, I swear to God, I watched the nightly news here just a few minutes ago to see if they’re even going to mention this. And they did. They mentioned the Lake Huron shoot down. But by minute 4 of the 6:30, you know, nightly national news on the networks, they were already passed it on to George Santos and other serious matters. I thought, Wow. It’s almost like the networks have agreed to just be quiet for a while here. Let them figure out what they want us to know. And right away, when you feel like you’re being treated like a child — you, the citizen, you the voter — it’s like, “Okay, what is it that you don’t want to tell me? Why are you keeping this from us?” You’ve had almost three days now to get the stuff that landed on frozen ice off the coast of Alaska there. You don’t have anything? They won’t even admit to now, even having looked for it or found anything or whatever. Nothing from Saturday’s shoot down over Canada and nothing from today’s over Lake Huron. 

[00:19:52] I just want to point something out to you. This is the first time in the history of NORAD, it’s the first time in the history of this country, that a fighter jet has had to shoot down something over the United States of America. And in this case, not like last week’s, where they waited for it to go out to the Atlantic Ocean. They shot this down over Northern Michigan. They shot Friday’s down over Alaska. This has never happened before. If you just stop and think about that. Wow. In 75 years? First of all, lucky us, right, that unlike other countries, countries that are suffering through this right now, we’ve never had to listen to a sonic boom of a fighter jet on its way to shoot down something that may or may not have somebody in it. That may or may not be a threat, a danger. It’s the first time. And today, for the first time, to be right in the continental 48 here. Don’t you want to know what’s going on? I mean, I’m not making jokes anymore about the the balloon. And they, at least from what I can gather from the people I spoke to, they’re not saying this is the Chinese government. Even last week’s… The Chinese Balloon, you have to really wonder what was going on there, because Biden and Xi, the premier, the president there in China — well, don’t write me and say they don’t have a president either — they were getting along and they were looking forward. They’d met a few months ago and our secretary of state was going to meet him this week before this whole thing blew up, no pun intended. And then that all went south. It didn’t happen. Now, the Chinese are mad that we’ve shot down something of theirs. They’ve never shot down any of our spy style. Trust me, we have spy stuff. You know, they had to go through the embarrassment that maybe they did need a balloon because their satellites are, you know, not the best. Can’t see as well. They don’t have 24/7 coverage the way we do up in space. Some of those satellites probably have to wait a full hour to do the circumference of the planet. You know, and as one of the Pentagon officials said, we were not trigger happy about this. We didn’t want to just fire on it because we don’t want to be fired on off the coast of China or when we fly over China. It made sense. We don’t need to do anything to trigger any more war or destruction amongst the peoples of this planet. So I was happy that Biden took his time. And once they determined that it wasn’t a threat, you know, they waited until it went off the coast. 

[00:22:57] But they’ve been wanting to tell us less and less each day this week, and this weekend — they are now in permanent dark mode. And listen, I’ve you know, I’ve been a filmmaker, a journalist for long enough time here to tell you that something else is going on here. And part of it is, let’s tell the people as little as possible. And sometimes the reason that that’s their position is they’re afraid that we’re going to panic. Are we going to panic? Are you going to panic? I’m not panicking. I don’t want to. We’re adults. And we have a right to know what’s going on. And then when you tell us the truth and it sounds like we should panic, we’re still not going to panic because we’re going to use our smarts and figure out whatever this is. And there’s one thing that really has kind of surprised me that there is a term that they keep using now this entire weekend with these last three things they’ve shot down. And that term is “Unidentified Flying Object” or UFO. And they’ve been telling us for another 70, 80 years that these UFOs are not real. It’s usually a weather balloon or the lights off some other thing that’s up there flying around or it’s a drone. But in the last few years, you’ve probably noticed that they’ve been wanting to ease us into it. So they’ve been releasing more and more information about UFOs that they really don’t know what they are. And they finally have admitted that and they’ve promised to release further information so that we, the people, can understand that, you know, we’re probably not alone in this universe. 

[00:24:52] And, you know, I’ve always hoped that, you know, if there was intelligent life on other planets, other solar systems or whatever, and if they somehow found us and once they did a few flyovers and once they did their own spying on us, they would realize that we weren’t worth the trouble. They would just like, “what a bunch of dumb f**ks down there. We don’t want to spend any time on this,” “Don’t we want to destroy them? They’re so stupid.” “Nah.” “Why?” “Just let them be their stupid selves. We have other galaxies to explore.” That’s how I feel — that we’ve always been safe from aliens. Because if there are any, and if they really spent just a few weeks studying us — whoa, not worth the bother. And if any of them are listening to me right now, if you’ve picked up the signal, trust me, not worth the bother. Yes, there’s lots of things we have to fix amongst ourselves. We’ll fix them. We don’t need any help. I know we must seem like cavemen to you. That let us be our caveman selves. We will figure this out. Have a nice ride off to the planet K-12 of whatever universe you’re going to. 

[00:26:16] But, okay, all kidding aside here. “Unidentified Flying Objects.” What if these are actual UFOs? What if they’ve already — They’ve gone, they’ve seen the debris, there’s nobody flying it. It’s not being flown, at least as far as they can see by anybody else. It’s been at all different altitudes. This one over Lake Huron today was only 20,000 feet up in the air. That’s what a small plane flies, 20,000 feet — it’s nothing. What it is something from someplace else? I mean, I don’t want a scare anybody, I’m not scared. But I’m just saying that — well, first of all, we have a right to know it. We have to promise that we’re not going to panic. And then we’re going to figure it out because we’re not as dumb as those aliens that were on their way to K-12 thought we were. We’ll figure this out. But to keep us in the dark — that’s not right. And it’s been too long since the balloon went down. And now it’s too long — it’s too long if a day passes and you don’t tell us what that was that you shot down for the first time ever in the history of the United States Air Force of shooting something down over and inside the United States. Even just a little example — this last night, Saturday night, something happened in Montana. And then the Pentagon said, oh, it was — they called it a “radar anomaly.” Just it was some kind of glitch. Pay no attention to it. Then they had the congressman on from Montana this afternoon saying, “I want to tell everybody watching this, you know, how we were told this was just some glitch, some anomaly over Montana last night? It was another UFO. It was another “object,” not a balloon. And he said more than likely, that’s the thing that ended up in Michigan today, and that’s what was shot down. And they won’t even give us a size now. It’s not a “small grapefruit,” a “large grapefruit,” a “small car,” a “large car,” “three school busses,” “ten semi-trucks” — or maybe it’s the head of Alfredo Garcia. They’re not going to tell us tomorrow or the next day or the next day unless enough of us keep bugging them and say, “you got to tell us what’s going on here.”. 

[00:28:48] Yeah, I’m recording this as it’s leading up to the Super Bowl. Nobody is going to be paying any attention to this. Nobody’s checking their phones for the alerts. So in summation here — and remember, if you’re listening to this on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, whatever, we may know a lot more than what we know now. But I didn’t want to wait. I want to just put this out there and I want to issue a demand on the part of us, the citizens, that, number one, tell us what’s going on. Tell us the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Don’t treat us like infants. And then tell us what you’re going to do. If it’s something we need to worry about, if it’s something you need to protect us from, what’s the plan? We have a right to know that. It’s our lives too. 

[00:29:38] And media, you know, look, you have your Pentagon correspondents. You have sources. Your people already know. Your news agencies already know a lot more than we know. And you’ve been asked by the Pentagon not to tell us. Either because they want to control the information or they don’t want us to panic or any of that. Stop it. You know, we know that we’re not living in the E.T. movie. I don’t know many people that believe that there is no other what we would call “life” outside of the planet Earth in this vast, vast array of solar systems and galaxies in this universe. How many believe that we are it? Yeah, right? No, no. And that someday the day would come, and instead of being afraid, maybe there’s a way to embrace it. Instead of, “Let’s just shoot that thing down. How come Joe Biden didn’t shoot that thing down?” Hmm. Yeah. Thank you, Joe Biden, for not shooting that thing down right away, for at least pausing to figure out what’s going on. Yes. You have to protect this country. You have to protect its people. But once your people were able to scan and assess the situation with the balloon, they knew that nobody here was in danger. But now there’s all this other stuff that may or may not be connected to this at all. And if this is from another planet — and by the way, aliens, if you are listening to me from some other planet or you’re in some invisible aircraft right now hovering over Earth, don’t you know it’s Super Bowl Sunday? I mean, have some friggin respect. This is like our national religious holiday here. It’s like Christmas and New Year combined with, you know, parts of the gender reveal party. Mostly the snacks thrown in. I don’t know why you why you chose today here on Sunday to do this over my state. And if you’ve been listening long enough to me, you know it’s me. I’m, you know, I’m going to be your friend here. You know, we’re not going to have war. No one’s going to die. I’m going to be your go-between. And you start flying things around the state of Michigan in the Great Lakes. What did I do to deserve this? 

[00:32:19] What I really want to do, though, before we sign off is remind all of you, though, to remember that it is a critical mission of those in charge to keep the population frightened. To have us in a low grade, constant state of fear. That the “other” is coming. That’s how they get all that money for Homeland Security, for so-called “defense.” That “it could happen at any time.” And you can’t think straight when you actually start to believe that — that’s why we’ve got to be careful about what we’re talking about here. But I think it’s always worthy to have a discussion and to throw out things on the table that may sound ludicrous. And yet, and yes, you could bring Ludacris and he could contribute to this conversation — I’m just saying that we don’t want to stifle thinking or possibilities or brainstorming. Not now. Because they’re not telling us what this is. They know a lot more. They’re afraid to tell us. We can’t figure out why. And, of course, they’ve lied to us forever. If you’re of my age, you know, that’s how we got into the Vietnam War. By them telling the president of the United States, Lyndon Johnson, a lie — that we were attacked by the North Vietnamese in the Gulf of Tonkin in August of 1964. And boom. He calls for war the next day or two in Congress, and only two U.S. senators voted against invading Vietnam. Two. So they want us in this state of fear — that the “other” is coming. The “other” is flying above us in a balloon. “No, no, not a balloon, Mike. They’re in their caravans from Honduras — the caravans are on their way! They’re coming to take your job! Build that wall! Build that wall! Seize that raft! Shoot down that balloon — I mean, “object”! I mean, a small car. No, no, I mean a grapefruit. No, no, wait. Not a grapefruit — it’s a honeydew melon. No, no — it’s a super spud Idaho potato. No, wait. No, no, no, no. It’s Chinese! It’s my Chinese food order from last Thursday that never arrived! Damn you, Xi! I knew it was you all along. And you too, Buddha. Confucius. Crouching Tiger and you too, Hidden Dragon — all of you! Oh, yeah. Don’t think I’m not thinking about you moo goo gai pan. Shoot it down! Kill it. Kill it. No wait! Forget the cannoli, save the hoisin sauce! Ooo ooo also, those little tiny ears of corn. How do they do that? Genius. Ha — I’ll bet they don’t have those on planet K-12 aliens who are still listening to this podcast trying to look up hoisen sauce and moo goo gai pan. Get the hell out of here. We’ll take care of this.” [laughing] This is so stupid. 

[00:35:56] No, but seriously, let’s assume it’s not little creatures from another solar system. But that doesn’t mean that should be off the table either. I think we should consider everything right now. That’s my point. Nothing off the table. Everything is a possibility. And we do it with rational heads. And we don’t call each other crazy. We trust the government and we don’t trust the government. We can operate with both thoughts. But to ignore this or just to joke about it, I don’t know, that doesn’t seem like the safest thing to do. We have a right to know, so tell us. Let us in. And if it’s just more balloons, then we can play more balloon songs. We can tell more balloon jokes. We can go back to getting rid of George Santos. That’s all I wanted to say to you as this was unfolding here today on Sunday, February 12th. So have a good week and please, no gender reveal balloon launch parties this week. Please, my friends, there’s no need for that. No need. Your child will explain their gender to you in due time. So not a thing to have a party about before the child gets to have a say in all this. 

[00:37:44] And I’m hoping for the best and encouraging caution and smarts — and transparency. 

[ MUSIC: “Wild Signals” — John Williams (From the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind) ]

Michael Moore [00:38:01] I’d like to thank my producer and editor Angela Vargos and all of you who participate in this podcast. Thanks, everybody. I hope you had a good weekend and I hope this will be a good week for all of us. This is Michael Moore and this is Rumble.

[ MUSIC: “Wild Signals” — John Williams (From the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind) ]