‘National Defense Airspace’ Declared over Lake Michigan After U.S. Forces Shoot Down Three Aircraft in One Week

The FAA declared a “National Defense Airspace” over Lake Michigan on Sunday after U.S. forces shot down three aircraft over North America in one week.


The FAA declared a “National Defense Airspace” over Lake Michigan on Sunday after U.S. forces shot down three aircraft over North America in one week before abruptly cancelling the “national defense airspace” hours later.

  • The FAA has not said why civilian air traffic was banned over a part of Lake Michigan. The FAA previously declared a national defense airspace over Montana on Saturday before cancelling it.
  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told ABC’s “This Week” that the U.S. government believes the unidentified aerial objects shot down over Canada and Alaska were balloons, but smaller ones than the Chinese balloon shot down off the coast of South Carolina last weekend.
  • “We’re gonna probably be able to piece together this whole surveillance balloon,” the New York Democrat continued. “And know exactly what’s going on. So that’s a huge coup for the United States.”
  • The U.S. has shot down three aerial objects over North America in the eight days since an F-22 fighter jet took down a Chinese spy balloon in the Atlantic. The second object was approximately the size of a small car and the third object was described as cylindrical.
  • President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau jointly decided to shoot down the unidentified object over Yukon on Saturday afternoon, one day after another F-22 fighter jet took down an unidentified object over northern Alaska.
  • Rep. Mike Turner, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, called on the Biden administration to “stop briefing Congress through our television sets and actually come and sit down and brief us.”


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times interviewed government officials who acknowledged “heightened awareness could lead to false positives,” which may explain Saturday’s airspace closure in Montana.
  • CNN noted a U.S. F-22 fighter jet has been deployed to shoot down each of three aerial intruders using an AIM-9X missile. The object was flying about 40,000 feet over central Yukon about 100 miles from the U.S.-Canada border when it was shot down.
  • The Washington Post compiled a timeline of the shoot-down incidents that “have alarmed U.S. and Canadian lawmakers and ignited debate over the safety of the continent’s skies.” The timeline begins on Jan. 28, when the Chinese spy balloon entered U.S. airspace, although the government did not publicly acknowledge this until Feb. 2.



  • Fox News reported U.S. and Canadian forces had been tracking the unidentified aerial object over Canada for more than 24 hours before President Biden and Prime Minister Trudeau jointly ordered it shot down on Saturday.
  • The temporary Montana airspace closure was due to a “radar anomaly,” North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said in a statement covered by National Review. The airspace over Havre, Montana was closed for a brief period on Saturday shortly after the unidentified cylindrical object was shot down over northern Canada.
  • According to the Wall Street Journal, Saturday’s joint U.S.-Canada mission was the first time jet fighters shot down an aerial object in the history of NORAD. The U.S. pressured Canada into announcing plans in 2022 to spend tens of billions to improve its threat detection capabilities in the Arctic.


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© Dominic Moore, 2023