The US military shot down the fourth unidentified object in a month
What happened now? In what was considered unprecedented in peacetime, the US military shot down a fourth flying object in North American airspace this month. The final target, described as an octagonal structure with strings but no payload, was fired over Lake Huron in Michigan at 2:42 p.m. local time Sunday on the orders of President Biden.
The Pentagon said in a statement that the object was detected on Saturday at an altitude of 20,000 feet above military installations in Montana, which could interfere with commercial air traffic. F-16 fighters shot down the object with an air-to-air missile while it was flying over the Great Lake region.
The incident was the fourth of its kind in eight days. On February 4, a large balloon believed to be used for surveillance was shot down off the coast of South Carolina. China claimed it belonged to the country but insisted the balloon went off course while conducting a weather study, although the Pentagon says the equipment it was carrying could have been used to intercept communications.
The objects shot down in Alaska and the Yukon in Canada were much smaller and did not closely resemble the first balloon. The military has been on high alert and has been looking for UFOs on radar since the first sighting.
In accordance with BBCA Defense Department spokesman said the US contacted Beijing about the first facility after receiving no response for several days.
Air Force Gen. Glen VanHerke, head of NORAD and US Northern Command, said the military has not determined what the last three sites were or how they stayed afloat. He told reporters that for some reason they were called “objects, not balloons.”
Talk of unidentified flying objects led to questions about aliens. When asked if such a scenario had been ruled out, VanHerk said, “I will let the intelligence community and the counterintelligence community sort it out. I didn’t rule anything out.” However, an anonymous Defense Department official told Reuters there was no evidence that the objects were extraterrestrial, and one senior official told ABC News that the three most recent objects were most likely weather balloons rather than observation balloons.
The United States and Canada are currently collecting debris from fallen objects for analysis. Some of the wreckage of the first balloon has already been recovered.
“What happened in the last two weeks or so […] was nothing short of crazy. And the military needs to have a plan to not only identify what’s going on, but identify the dangers,” said John Tester, senior senator from Montana.
The incidents have raised tensions between the US and China to heights not seen since Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan last year. bloomberg writes that China is preparing to shoot down an unidentified object flying over the waters near the port city of Qingdao, about 15 miles east of the Jiangzhuang Naval Base, home to ballistic and nuclear attack submarines and the country’s first aircraft carrier. “China reserves the right to use the necessary means to deal with such situations,” Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Tang Kefei said after the first object was shot down in the United States.