The US military shot down another unidentified ‘octagonal’ flying object on Sunday afternoon on President Joe Biden’s orders, this time over Lake Huron near the Canadian border.
This is the fourth unidentified object to be shot down over the last week. While a US military jet took down one flying object over northern Canada on Saturday, another unidentified object was shot down in Alaska airspace by a US F-22 on Friday.
Last week, a US F-22 successfully shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon off the coast of South Carolina.
The object was reportedly flying at 20,000 feet over Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and about to go over Lake Huron when it was taken down, CNN quoted a senior administration official. The object had strings hanging off it but no discernible payload and hence could not be confirmed that it had surveillance capabilities.
It was on Saturday night that the object was first detected by the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the US Northern Command over Montana. Though fighter jets were sent to the area, they couldn’t identify any object to “correlate to the radar hits.” This prompted the officials to initially believe it was an anomaly.
However, the object was detected after the military reacquired the radar contact and detected the object flying over Wisconsin and then Michigan. The path of the object and its altitude stoked fears that it could potentially interfere with domestic air traffic as it was travelling at 20,000 feet (6,100 m). Following this, Biden gave the orders to shoot it down, the report added.
Shortly after, Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand too extended her country’s support towards the mission. “Today, a high-altitude object was detected in US airspace over Lake Huron,” Anand said. “NORAD launched Canadian and US aircraft to investigate and the object was taken down in the US airspace by US aircraft.”
“We unequivocally support this action, and we’ll continue to work with the US and NORAD to protect North America,” she added.
However, the US officials gave no suggestion that indicated the flying objects belonged to China. According to Gen. Glen VanHerck, the commander of the US Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command, they have no new information about the physical or mechanical properties of the last three flying objects that were shot down.
“I’m not going to categorize them as balloons. We’re calling them objects for a reason,” VanHerck said. “I’m not able to categorize how they stay aloft. It could be a gaseous type of balloon inside a structure or it could be some type of propulsion system. But clearly, they’re — they’re able to stay aloft,” he added.
VanHerck said the officials do not know the country of origin of the objects, urging the media “not to attribute it to any specific country.”
The search for the debris of the object is on and according to VanHerck, the US military has not recovered the object shot down over Alaska yet. “We’re actively searching for that object right now. I’ve got a Navy P-8, which is surveilling the area, with helicopters as well. Once we locate that object, we’ll put an Arctic security package in there and begin the analysis and recovery, but we don’t have it right now,” VanHerck said.
The remnants of the object shot down over Yukon in Canada on Saturday too have not been recovered yet.