US Military Shoots Down Three Objects Over North America
The U.S. military has shot down three unidentified flying objects over North American airspace in the past week. On Saturday, a U.S. fighter jet downed an object over northern Canada with the authorization of President Joe Biden, who ordered the strike after consultation with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. This was the third such incident in three days, following the downing of an object in Alaska on Friday and a Chinese surveillance balloon off the South Carolina coast on February 4.
According to Defense Minister Anita Anand, the downed object was cylindrical in shape and flying at about 40,000 feet. The Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said that the mission was “supported with aerial assets from the Alaska Air National Guard”. The object was shot down near the Canada-U.S. border in central Yukon.
A US official confirmed that the objects the U.S. shot down are both believed to be balloons that were carrying a payload. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told ABC News that the object shot down over Canada was likely another balloon.
On Sunday afternoon, a US official and a congressional source briefed on the situation reported that the US military had shot down an aerial object at a high altitude above Lake Huron. Pilots from both the US Air Force and the National Guard executed the mission to take down the object over Lake Huron, as stated by Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin of Michigan on Sunday.
Deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh noted Sunday “these objects shot down on Friday and Saturday were objects and did not closely resemble the PRC balloon. When we can recover the debris, we will have more for you.” Mike Turner, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told CNN that the Biden administration appears to be “somewhat trigger-happy, although this is certainly preferable to the permissive environment that they showed when the Chinese spy balloon was coming over some of our most sensitive sites.” and this is preferable to the lack of action that was taken when the Chinese spy balloon flew over some of the U.S.'s most sensitive locations.
On Sunday's “Meet the Press” the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), expressed his “real concerns about why the administration is not more forthcoming.” about why the administration is not being more open.
The downing of the objects comes as the U.S. is on high alert to protect its airspace from potential foreign surveillance and espionage.
0. “The U.S. military shot down an unidentified object over Canada's Yukon territory” NPR, 11 Feb. 2023, https://www.npr.org/2023/02/11/1156347424/us-military-shot-down-unidentified-object-canada
1. “What we know about the unidentified object shot down over Alaska” CNN, 11 Feb. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/11/politics/unidentified-object-alaska-military-latest/index.html
2. “High-altitude object shot down over northern Canada, temporarily closing Montana airspace” ABC News, 12 Feb. 2023, https://abcnews.go.com/International/high-altitude-object-tracked-northern-canada-norad/story?id=97058669
3. “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/
4. “U.S. downs unidentified object over Lake Huron, third destroyed since Chinese spy balloon” POLITICO, 13 Feb. 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/02/12/intel-mike-turner-china-balloons-00082451