US Fighter Jets Shoot Down Four Objects in Nine Days
US Fighter Jets Shoot Down Four Unidentified Objects in Nine Days
In the past nine days, US fighter jets have shot down four unidentified objects in North American airspace. The latest unidentified object, which was shot down over the Great Lakes region on Sunday afternoon, is the fourth one to be downed since February 4th, when US fighter jets first shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon off the South Carolina coast.
The first unidentified object was shot down on February 4th, when a large Chinese surveillance balloon was taken down by F-22s off the coast of South Carolina. Following the balloon's downing, two more objects were shot down over Alaska and Canada, respectively, on February 5th and 6th. On Sunday, the fourth unidentified object was shot down over Lake Huron.
The object shot down on Sunday was over Lake Huron and was much smaller than the Chinese balloon, according to Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder. The object was about the size of a small car and did not appear to have the same maneuverability as the balloon.
The Chinese balloon was equipped with surveillance technology that could intercept telecommunications, according to a State Department official. The object shot down on Sunday, however, was not assessed to be a military threat to anything on the ground, the official stated.
The US was able to piece together the Chinese balloon, according to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who said the US “got an enormous amount of intelligence information” from surveilling the balloon as it flew over the US. Schumer added that the US would “probably be able to piece together” the entire balloon to learn more.
The US has not been able to recover the debris of the balloon, but military teams working from planes, boats and minisubs are scouring the shallow waters off South Carolina for debris.
The origin and purpose of the Sunday’s object remains unknown, but National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said it was much smaller than the Chinese spy balloon and did not appear to have the same capabilities. Kirby added that the US “do not know who owns it, whether it's state-owned or corporate-owned or privately owned.”
Deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh said Sunday that the objects shot down on Friday and Saturday “did not closely resemble the [People’s Republic of China] balloon.
0. “U.S. Airspace Has Become an Object Shooting Gallery: Updates” New York Magazine, 13 Feb. 2023, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2023/02/what-we-know-about-chinas-alleged-spy-balloons-updates.html
1. “U.S. military shoots down unidentified object over Great Lakes region” CBS News, 13 Feb. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/unidentified-object-shot-down-great-lakes-region-lake-huron-sunday-2023-02-12/
2. “Pentagon Shoots Down Unidentified Flying Object Over Alaska and It’s Still A Mystery” Vanity Fair, 12 Feb. 2023, https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2023/02/pentagon-shoots-down-unidentified-flying-object-over-alaska
3. “A strange weekend of unidentified objects over North America” CNN, 13 Feb. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/13/politics/object-shot-down-lake-huron-what-matters/index.html