There was a plan. And it was a plan to shoot down the China spy balloon over the Beartooth Mountains.

That's the latest from the Billings Gazette's Larry Mayer who joined us on Friday's Montana Talks statewide radio show. The Gazette released their latest report citing anonymous sources inside the Department of Defense Thursday after President Biden gave his first public remarks following the eventual shootdown of the spy balloon off the East Coast.

Larry Mayer: What I've been told is that they were unsuccessful. Because the plan was to shoot it down with guns, just perforate the balloon is minor of fashion as possible, and let the thing come down into the Beartooth mountains where they could retrieve it. If they had been successful, we wouldn't even be talking about this right now.

Mayer says of all the crazy stories he has covered in his 45 years at The Billings Gazette, this is definitely the craziest.

He's done several interviews since breaking the spy balloon story. Our radio stations here in Montana also had a story by Michael Foth about the object in the skies over Billings on the first day it was spotted as well.

Larry said he did an interview with a very popular radio show in Australia, and they asked him which actor he'd want to play him in a movie. Tom Cruise, he told them. Not just because of the high flying jets tied in with the spy balloon story, but because of an angry voicemail Larry got from Cruise back when he was in Montana filming the movie "Far and Away."

Here's the full audio of our chat with Larry Mayer on Friday's Montana Talks with Aaron Flint. The audio is in the 9 a.m. hour from Friday, February 17th.


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