The Pentagon has refused to rule out that the recent unidentified objects shot out of the sky could be aliens – after the most recent was gunned down over Lake Huron today.
US Air Force General Glen VanHerck said that intelligence services are exploring all avenues – including that the three most recent objects could be linked to extraterrestrials. The shoot down on Sunday occurred after the object flew near a sensitive US military site in Montana – and had ‘potential surveillance capabilities.’
An F-16 fighter jet shot down the unknown aerial object from around 20,000ft over the Great Lakes at at 2:42pm – after previously destroying two other crafts over Alaska and Canada, and a Chinese balloon over South Carolina.
The senior security exec said that they are still unsure how the three objects are staying aloft, as they currently have unknown propulsion systems. He added: ‘We’re calling them objects, not balloons, for a reason.’
VanHerck said that unlike the Chinese spy balloon, these three were all similar in size and speed when they were gunned out of airspace. One reason for their removal from the sky was because they threatened civilian aviation.
As the Pentagon more closely scrutinizing US airspace, authorities are not ruling out that there may be more shoot downs in coming days.
Speaking about the most recent object shot down on Sunday, a Department of Defense spokesperson said: ‘Based on its flight path and data we can reasonably connect this object to the radar signal picked up over Montana, which flew in proximity to sensitive DOD sites.
‘We did not assess it to be a kinetic military threat to anything on the ground, but assess it was a safety flight hazard and a threat due to its potential surveillance capabilities. Our team will now work to recover the object in an effort to learn more.’
This is the fourth object the US has shot down in eight days.
The object on Sunday was shot down because of the increased ‘abundance of caution.’ It has not yet been identified.
A spokesperson said on Sunday night: ‘We will remain vigilant. The operations in the last week have been successful in taking down the potential threats.’
The Pentagon added: ‘Its path and altitude raised concerns, including that it could be a hazard to civil aviation. The location chosen for this shoot down afforded us the opportunity to avoid impact to people on the ground while improving chances for debris recovery.
‘There are no indications of any civilians hurt or otherwise affected.’
Rep. Jack Bergman, of Michigan, tweeted Sunday afternoon that he had been in contact with his colleagues at the Department of Defense following reports of an unidentified air craft making its way across the Great Lakes.
Around 3.30pm, he revealed: ‘The US military has decommissioned another ‘object’ over Lake Huron.’
The announcement marks the object shot down by the American military over the weekend, after one was shot down over Alaska on Friday and another was shot down in Canada on Saturday.
Meanwhile, GOP Rep. Matt Rosendale has insisted that there is another mysterious flying object in the skies above Montana, where air space was closed Sunday afternoon.
It remains unknown whether these flying objects are more Chinese spy balloons, as the White House refuses to characterize them until the debris is collected.
United States Rep. Elise Slotkin also confirmed that the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena was struck down over Lake Huron.
‘The object has been downed by pilots from the US [Air Force] and National Guard,’ she tweeted. ‘Great work by all who carried out this mission both in the air and back at headquarters.
‘We’re all interested in exactly what this object was and its purpose. she continued. ‘As long as these things keep traversing the US and Canada, I’ll continue to ask for Congress to get a full briefing based on our exploration from the wreckage.
The Democrat had earlier tweeted that ‘our military has an extremely close eye on the object above Lake Huron.
‘We’ll know more about what this was in the coming days, but for now, be assured that all parties have been laser-focused on it from the moment it traversed our waters.’
Only a few hours earlier, the Federal Aviation Administration abruptly closed ‘national defense airspace’ over part of Lake Michigan.
The agency announced that it closed down the area to examine a ‘potential contact’. It was lifted less than an hour later.
GOP Rep. Matt Rosendale revealed on Saturday that he was informed of such a developing incident, though officials at the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) later indicated that was a false alarm.
But according to the Montana conservative’s latest update – the situation may have been more serious than it seemed.
‘I am in constant communication with NORCOM and they have just advised me that they have confidence there IS an object and it WAS NOT an anomaly,’ Rosendale wrote on Twitter.
‘I am waiting now to receive visual confirmation. Our nation’s security is my priority.’
Montana Rep. Matt Rosendale said he was in communication with officials on Sunday about an unidentified object in his state’s airspace
It comes after earlier updates he posted about a sighting of an unknown object on Saturday night
DailyMail.com reached out to NORAD for comment but was directed to the agency’s previous public statements. A subsequent inquiry sent on Rosendale’s latest post was not immediately returned.
The Pentagon said it had nothing further to add other than NORAD’s Saturday night statement.
Montana’s Democratic Sen. Jon Tester said on Sunday that he was in touch with Defense officials regarding the developments from Saturday night, but offered no new updates himself.
‘I’m continuing to receive regular updates from the Pentagon and our intelligence community as we closely monitor American airspace in light of last night’s development. I will keep holding them accountable so the public gets the answers they deserve,’ Tester said.
The moderate senator indicated earlier on CBS News’ Face The Nation that he was still aware of something developing in Montana’s airspace.
‘I think the investigation is still going on as we speak,’ Tester said.
‘The truth is, is that there was an anomaly, and they’ve investigated. I think it got dark last night, so they couldn’t fully check it out. I’m sure, as we speak, it’s being checked out right now.’
He summarized the uncertainty, ‘There may still be something out there. It may be a false alarm.’
If there is indeed an unknown or malign object in Montana’s airspace, Tester guessed ‘it’ll get shot down’ by the military.
It’s not immediately clear what the object is, or where it’s from, but Americans have been on high alert ever since the Chinese spy balloon shot down last weekend led to a host of revelations about Beijing’s vast global surveillance program.
Defense officials said they were able to gain valuable insight into China’s spy balloon program by studying the device as it drifted across the country, while avoiding shooting it down over the continental US and risking injuries for Americans on the ground.
A flight radar shows military aircraft scrambled off the northeast coast of Alaska to search for the debris from the unidentified object. This comes after the US reportedly developed a system in 2022 to detect spy balloons on a radar
The fighter jets were scrambled from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson near Anchorage on Friday morning to intercept the object near Deadhorse Bay (above) on the northeast coast
The sighting on Sunday marks the third unidentified aerial object found flying over American soil in just one weekend.
On Thursday, officials said, a UAP — or unidentified aerial phenomena — was picked up on United States radar when it was crossing over Alaska.
Crews then conducted a fly-by that night, with a second on Friday morning.
National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby revealed on Friday it had been shot down within an hour of an order issued by President Joe Biden.
The object was taken down by an F-22 using an A9X missile out of Joint Base Elmendorf–Richardson in Anchorage.
Several officials also said the object shattered into pieces after being struck by the missile, adding to the mystery of what the object truly is.
A US official revealed the pilots who intercepted the object said it had a cylindrical shape and no observable surveillance equipment attached.
Authorities have only said it was traveling at an altitude that was potentially harmful for civilian aircrafts, The New York Times reported.
The Pentagon has now launched a recovery operation to collect the debris from the surface of the frozen waters off Alaska.
Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, is seen on Tuesday. On Saturday he announced an ‘unidentified object’ had been shot down over the Yukon
The next day, another UAP was spotted flying over Canada.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Saturday that he had requested US and Canadian forces scramble to intercept ‘an unidentified object that violated Canadian airspace’, and a U.S. F-22 shot it down at 3:41pm Eastern Standard Time.
A senior government source explained to CBC News that the object crossed into Canadian territory on Saturday morning. It was described as being smaller than the Chinese spy balloon that made its way across the US earlier this month.
Two F-22s were dispatched from the U.S. from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska; and two F-18s from Cold Lake Air Base in Alberta, Canada to shoot down the object over Canada.
It was shot down with an AIM-9X missile at 3:41pm Eastern Standard Time, and was flying at about 40,000 feet. The missile is described by the manufacturer as ‘the most advanced infrared-tracking, short-range, air-to-air and surface-to-air missile in the world.’
In the aftermath, Trudeau said Canadian teams were now working to recover the debris.
‘I ordered the take down of an unidentified object that violated Canadian airspace,’ he tweeted on Saturday.
‘@NORADCommand shot down the object over the Yukon. Canadian and U.S. aircraft were scrambled, and a U.S. F-22 successfully fired at the object.’
Trudeau said that he had been in contact with Biden about the intrusion.
He thanked NORAD – the North American Aerospace Defense Command, based in Colorado Springs, Colorado – for their work with his forces.
‘I spoke with President Biden this afternoon. Canadian Forces will now recover and analyze the wreckage of the object,’ Trudeau said.
‘Thank you to NORAD for keeping the watch over North America.’
Canada’s defense minister, Anita Anand, also praised the joint operation.
She said that she had discussed the incident with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ‘and reaffirmed that we’ll always defend our sovereignty together.’
The origins of these aircrafts remains unclear, with the Biden administration contradicting Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s assertation that they balloons.
Officials have said they would not definitively characterize these aircrafts as ‘balloons’ until the debris is recovered.
A spokesperson for the National Security Council has also said that the latest objects did not closely resemble a suspected Chinese spy balloon that was shot down off the coast of South Carolina last weekend.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer received a briefing on the two recently downed objects on Saturday night
Schumer said the objects were ‘much smaller’ than the balloon downed earlier this month, which was confirmed by US Defense officials to be a spying device from Beijing.
He did not say where those objects originated or whether he learned of their purpose, nor did he give any indication they were related to China’s surveillance program.
Republicans had heaped criticism on the Biden administration for only shooting it down after it traversed several US states at a low enough altitude to be seen by the naked eye – unnerving millions of Americans. .
By contrast, the objects shot down over Alaska on Friday and Canada on Saturday were taken down in remote wilderness shortly after detection.
But on Sunday, Schumer defended the Pentagon’s response to the initial balloon and praised how the latest two incidents were handled.
‘Both of those, one over Canada, one over Alaska were at 40,000 feet. Immediately it was determined that that’s a danger to commercial aircraft which also fly at 40,000 feet,’ Schumer said.
‘The first balloon, there was a much different rationale which I think was the appropriate rationale. We got enormous intelligence information from surveilling the balloon as it went over the United States.’
The New York Democrat did not say whether the latter two also came from China or if they were used for surveillance.
Since then the Pentagon has revealed it detected one other balloon in US airspace under the Biden administration, as well as three across Donald Trump’s White House term – something the Republican administration’s officials have denied.
Defense officials believe they are part of a massive surveillance effort spanning 40 different countries – but one that the US did not detect until President Biden took office.
‘It is wild that we didn’t know,’ Schumer conceded during his television interview.
CNN’s Natasha Bertrand revealed over the weekend that F-35 pilots charged with taking down an unidentified flying object over Alaska did not know what it was
Fighter pilots who shot down the object over Alaska have revealed that it ‘interfered with their sensors’ and had ‘no identifiable propulsion system.’
In an interview with host Jim Acosta on Saturday, CNN‘s Natasha Bertrand reported on the findings of the F-35 pilots called in to take down an unidentified flying object over Alaska on Friday.
She brought up the fact that another unidentified flying object was shot down over Alaska on Friday by Air Force pilots who ‘were not able to identify what they saw.
‘So when the US first detected this object over Alaska on Thursday, they sent up F-35 jets to find of look at it and see what was going on. And these pilots reported back very conflicting accounts,’ she revealed.
‘Some of them said that this object was actually interfering with the sensors of their aircraft and they couldn’t figure out why, because there was no identifiable kind of surveillance equipment on the object.
‘There was nothing that appeared readily able to interfere with that communication system,’ Bertrand said.
‘And then other pilots were saying that they did not see anything on the object that appeared able to propel it, that it seemed like there was no way that this was actually able to stay in the air.’
She pointed out that the pilots were flying really fast so it is ‘possible that these pilots just didn’t get a good look at it.’
‘But that is part of why the Pentagon has been so reluctant to come out and say more about what this object actually is.’
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk