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Here's where the Pentagon-released 'selfie' with the Chinese balloon was snapped


Bellflower, Mo., ready for your close-up? This week, the Pentagon released what amounted to a selfie of the pilot of a U-2 spy plane keeping an eye on the balloon the U.S. says was a Chinese spy craft. But other than 70,000 feet in the air, where was the photo snapped?

NPR senior editor and correspondent Geoff Brumfiel went over the photos, Google Maps and Pentagon reports. He identified the Mississippi River, then a Y-shaped channel leading into the river next to a dam he could determine was Lock 24, then a bend in U.S. Highway 61, a water reservoir and, finally, the roof of an agricultural supply business just outside of town - a town Geoff Brumfiel determined was Bellflower, population 325 and around since 1887, even before BJ Leiderman began to write our theme music. In a post on npr.org, Geoff says we still don't know what the balloon was doing in American skies. Until we do, I would like to ask, hey, Geoff Brumfiel, can you help me find my keys?

(SOUNDBITE OF RY COODER SONG, "JESUS AND WOODY") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.