FAA Closes Airspace Over Lake Michigan; US Military Shoots Down Unidentified Object

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has reported that airspace over Lake Michigan was briefly closed in order to support Department of Defense activities.[0] This closure was reported by the FAA in a statement to Fox News Digital and the airspace has since been reopened. The closure comes after the US military shot down a fourth high-altitude unidentified object over Lake Huron on Sunday afternoon, with the first object being shot down off the coast of Alaska on Friday, the second object being shot down over Yukon in Canada on Saturday and the third object being a large balloon which has been claimed by China and shot down off the coast of South Carolina.

The senior administration official said that President Joe Biden directed that the object be shot down “out of an abundance of caution and at the recommendation of military leaders.”[0] The object was octagonal in structure, unmanned and traveling at about 20,000 feet, and though there is no indication of surveillance capabilities, the administration cannot rule it out.[1]

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) issued a statement saying it “implemented a temporary flight restriction airspace over Lake Michigan” around noon Eastern time.[2] NORAD had also issued a statement on Saturday saying that it “detected a radar anomaly and sent fighter aircraft to investigate.”[3] The aircraft, however, could not find anything that connected to the radar detections.[4]

Gretchen Whitmer, the Governor of Michigan, has stated on Twitter that she is in communication with the federal government and other allies to monitor the object.[2] Flights out of Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport reportedly weren’t affected by the airspace closure.[5]

The American people deserve far more answers than we have, said Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.), who tweeted that he was “in constant communication with NORCOM and they have just advised me that they have confidence there IS an object and it WAS NOT an anomaly.”

The FAA wrote in an initial Sunday announcement that pilots who do not adhere to the procedure may be intercepted, detained and interviewed by law enforcement or security personnel and may face deadly force in the air.[5]

The news of this mission comes after several different aircraft and “objects” were spotted over the U.S. and Canada recently.[6] On the 4th of February, a Chinese-run surveillance balloon was brought down in the vicinity of South Carolina, after it traversed a large part of the United States.[7]

0. “FAA temporarily closes airspace over Lake Michigan for Department of Defense activities” WISN Milwaukee, 12 Feb. 2023, https://www.wisn.com/article/faa-temporarily-closes-airspace-over-lake-michigan-for-department-of-defense-activities/42845603

1. “Military shoots down ‘high-altitude object' over Lake Huron, U.S. officials say” WXYZ 7 Action News Detroit, 12 Feb. 2023, https://www.wxyz.com/news/faa-temporarily-closes-some-airspace-over-lake-michigan-for-dod-airspace-back-open

2. “US military shoots down fourth flying object over North American airspace” The Guardian US, 12 Feb. 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/feb/12/us-military-shoots-down-fourth-flying-object-over-north-american-airspace

3. “FAA abruptly cancels ‘national defense airspace' over Lake Michigan after reporting ‘potential contact'” Yahoo Life, 12 Feb. 2023, https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/faa-abruptly-cancels-national-defense-180749675.html

4. “Senate Democrat says it’s possible ‘anomaly’ still flying over Montana airspace but could be ‘false alarm’” The Hill, 12 Feb. 2023, https://thehill.com/policy/defense/3854768-senate-democrat-says-its-possible-anomaly-still-flying-over-montana-airspace-but-could-be-false-alarm/

5. “FAA briefly shuts down airspace over part of Lake Michigan as tensions high over Chinese spy balloon scandal” New York Post , 12 Feb. 2023, https://nypost.com/2023/02/12/faa-briefly-shuts-down-airspace-over-part-of-lake-michigan-tensions-high-over-chinese-spy-balloon-scandal/

6. “Flying ‘Octagon’ Shot Down Near U.S.-Canada Border On Sunday” Forbes, 12 Feb. 2023, https://www.forbes.com/sites/mattnovak/2023/02/12/yet-another-flying-object-shot-down-near-us-canada-border-on-sunday

7. “US military shoots down high-altitude object over Lake Huron on Sunday” WTOP, 12 Feb. 2023, https://wtop.com/national/2023/02/us-military-shoots-down-high-altitude-object-over-lake-huron-on-sunday/