The U.S. shot down a third unidentified aerial object on Sunday, marking the fourth shootdown in North America since a Chinese spy balloon was shot down on Feb. 8.
The U.S. shot down a third unidentified aerial object on Sunday, marking the fourth shootdown in North America since a Chinese spy balloon was shot down on Feb. 8. The Biden administration has not released much information on the incidents, leaving many questions unanswered.
- U.S. jets have now shot down four objects over North America in eight days, an unprecedented series of military strikes over the homeland in peacetime. NORAD and U.S. Northern Command remain on “heightened alert.”
- “U.S. Air Force General Glen VanHerck, who is tasked with safeguarding U.S. airspace, told reporters that the military has not been able to identify what the three most recent objects are, how they stay aloft, or where they are coming from,” according to Reuters. “We’re calling them objects, not balloons, for a reason,” said VanHerck.
- When asked directly whether he had ruled out an extraterrestrial origin for the three mysterious objects, VanHerck merely replied, “I’ll let the intel community and the counterintelligence community figure that out. I haven’t ruled out anything.”
- “There is no indication of aliens or extraterrestrial activity with these recent takedowns,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre at a Monday briefing. She continued, “It was important for us to say that from here, because we’ve been hearing a lot about it.”
- Military officials said the object could have been a “gaseous type of balloon” or “some type of a propulsion system” but the propulsion system was evidently not apparent to the pilots.
- Politico covered the comments from Lt. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich, the commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command, who said high-altitude surveillance balloons have also been spotted in the Middle East.
- The New York Times asked, “What’s going on up there?” The Times reported U.S. and Canadian armed forces are now “hypervigilant” after the latest incidents and have changed their parameters for determining what objects need to be taken out of the sky.
- CNN reported U.S. government leaders are “grasping for explanations” amid the “deepening national security mystery” of the unknown objects. “No one – not the White House, the Pentagon or the government of Canada, whose airspace has also been infringed – seems able to say exactly what is going on with these latest downed crafts.”
- China alleges the U.S. has flown its own surveillance balloons over China “more than 10 times since the start of 2022,” according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. “Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a daily press briefing Monday that U.S. balloons regularly flew through other countries’ airspace without permission.”
- Fox News published a timeline of the four aerial shootdowns over the last eight days. “So far, the Biden administration has only confirmed that one of the objects was Chinese, but officials have confirmed it was tied to a major surveillance program run by China’s military, aimed to collect intelligence from nations that are of strategic interest to Beijing.”
- The Washington Examiner published a writeup of a media briefing from Biden administration officials. “Two top Pentagon officials — Air Force Gen. Glen VanHerck, the commander of NORAD and U.S. Northern Command, and Melissa Dalton, the assistant defense secretary for Homeland Defense and Hemispheric Affairs — spoke to reporters on a call Sunday evening, but the briefing seemed to produce more questions than answers.”
© Dominic Moore, 2023