US Ends Search for Two Objects Shot Down, Finds ‘Significant Amount’ of Debris

The United States has ended its search for two objects it shot down earlier this month in U.S. airspace with no sign of debris from either.[0] The US Northern Command (NORCOM) and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) released a joint statement on Friday, saying airspace and maritime limits around the recovery operations have been lifted.[1]

The conclusion applies to airborne objects shot down by U.S. fighter jets on February 10th near Deadhorse, Alaska, over U.S. waters, and February 12th over Michigan’s Lake Huron.[2] Efforts in Deadhorse were hampered by Arctic conditions and sea ice instability.[2]

On Thursday, President Joe Biden gave a speech from the White House regarding the American response to the unidentified flying objects, after receiving demands from Congress members for a higher level of openness.[3] He downplayed the possibility that the non-balloon objects shot down might also be tied to surveillance efforts.[2]

The US had initially found the remains of an alleged Chinese spy balloon, which was shot down on 4 February off the coast of South Carolina after traveling across the US mainland. That recovery operation ended successfully Thursday, according to NORTHCOM/NORAD, with the US Navy retrieving the debris, which will be transported to an FBI laboratory in Virginia for examination.[0]

John Kirby, a spokesperson for national security, declared on Friday that a “significant amount” of remains had been retrieved, including the “payload structure as well as some of the electronics and the optics”.[4]

The Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade declared on Tuesday that one of its balloons has gone missing. It was last seen at 12:48 a.m. on Saturday above an uninhabited island off of the coast of Alaska.[5] However, John Kirby said that the White House was aware of NIBBB's claim but couldn't confirm its accuracy.[5]

On February 7th, the United States gathered together sensors and other material from the purported Chinese monitoring balloon that had been taken out of the sky on the 4th of February. This comes after the US had initially recovered the remains of the balloon and ended its search for the two objects. Although US officials are uncertain of what these two and a third object that the military shot down on February 11 are, they believe that these aerial objects are most likely not foreign entities.[5]

0. “U.S. ends search for 2 unidentified objects shot down over Alaska, Great Lakes” Sand Hills Express, 18 Feb. 2023,

1. “US Ends Search for 2 Airborne Objects Recently Shot Down Over Alaska and Lake Huron” The Epoch Times, 18 Feb. 2023,

2. “U.S. ends its search for remnants of aerial objects shot down over Alaskan airspace and Lake Huron” Yahoo! Voices, 18 Feb. 2023,

3. “US concludes search for 2 objects shot down over Alaska and Lake Huron” ABC News, 18 Feb. 2023,

4. “US and Canada abandon search for three flying objects shot down” Yahoo News Canada, 18 Feb. 2023,

5. “Military calls off recovery efforts for two of three downed airborne objects” Washington Examiner, 18 Feb. 2023,