The Defense Department (DOD) on Sunday attributed the rise in UFO detections and shoot-downs to heightened oversight of American airspace and the development of its radar systems.
After a U.S. fighter jet shot down a “unidentified item” over Lake Huron on Sunday afternoon, Gen. Glen VanHerck, commander of U.S. North Command, and Assistant Defense Secretary for Homeland Defense Melissa Dalton convened a press conference.
On March 1, 2022, in Washington, DC, United States Air Force General Glen VanHerck, who is in charge of both the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the United States Northern Command, attends a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.
On March 1, 2022, in Washington, DC, United States Air Force General Glen VanHerck, who is in charge of both the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the United States Northern Command, attends a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee. Getty Images/Win McNamee
The item was the fourth one shot out of the sky by American fighter jets in eight days, following ones over Alaska and Canada and a suspected Chinese spy balloon. It was thought to be the same object traced over Montana and watched by the government the previous night.
Dalton added, “We have been more actively inspecting our area at these altitudes in light of the People’s Republic of China balloon that we took down last Saturday, including upgrading our radar, which may at least partially explain the rise of objects that we’ve observed over the past week.
According to Trudeau, Canadian recovery teams are looking for a third flying object that was shot down over North American airspace.
She said that because it was unable to “definitively evaluate” what these things were, authorities “acted with extreme caution to safeguard [U.S.] security and interests.”
“These most recent items did not constitute a kinetic military danger, but their course, proximity to important DOD sites, and the altitude that they were flying might be hazardous to civil aviation and thus prompted concerns,” Dalton said.
Authorities in the United States have made it apparent that they are continuously on the lookout for mysterious radar blips, and that it is common practice to close airspace while investigating them. However, given that administration officials said the targets posed little threat to national security and that the downings were just done out of prudence, doubts were being raised about whether the unusually forceful response was justified.
Moon in the late evening over Lake Huron in Michigan.
Moon in the late evening over Lake Huron in Michigan. from Getty Images
Around 4:45 PM ET on Saturday, according to Gen. VanHerck, NORAD discovered a “radar contact” in Canada, some 70 miles north of the American border.
NORAD dispatched F-15 fighters from Portland, Oregon, and KC-135 tanker assistance from Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, to investigate the item after it became evident that it was an unidentified object.
China claims to be shooting down a “unidentified object” in its airspace.
Around 6 p.m. EST, the object entered American territory; however, as the evening wore on, authorities lost track of it, according to VanHerck. A few hours later, when it approached Wisconsin, NORAD discovered a “intermittent radar contact” in Montana.
VanHerck stated that it was “probable,” but added that “we have not confirmed” that the track seen in Wisconsin and Montana was the same.
(Washington, DC) – FBI Special Agents working for the Evidence Response Team sort through items found in the High Altitude Balloon that was found off the coast of South Carolina. The substance was prepared before being delivered to the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia. FBI Special Agents working with the Evidence Response Team in Washington, D.C. sort through items found in the High Altitude Balloon that was found off the coast of South Carolina. The substance was prepared before being delivered to the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia. – FBI Image (FBI)
The item was watched as it moved across Michigan’s Great Lakes region. The item was shot down by authorities over Lake Huron, some 15 nautical miles east of the Upper Peninsula, after NORAD determined that there was no immediate threat to life or property.
To gather the object’s fragments and ascertain its origin, operations are being carried out with the assistance of numerous agencies, including the Coast Guard.
According to VanHerck, the US modified its radar to be able to track slower moving objects. He explained that after making some changes, “we’ve been able to obtain a better classification of radar tracks now,” which is why he believed you were seeing these in addition to a raised alert to search for this information.
VenHerck objected to the recent shot-down items being labeled as balloons.
“There’s a reason why we refer to them as objects. Undoubtedly, the incident involving the Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina—which was obviously a balloon— “said he. “They are things. I am unable to classify how they maintain their altitude. It might take the form of a propulsion system or a gaseous balloon within a building. But it’s obvious they can stay up there.”
On Saturday, February 4, a fighter jet and its contrail can be seen below a big balloon that is drifting above the Atlantic Ocean near off the coast of South Carolina.
On Saturday, February 4, a fighter jet and its contrail can be seen below a big balloon that is drifting above the Atlantic Ocean near off the coast of South Carolina. By Chad Fish for AP
He advised journalists to refrain from assigning the items to any particular nation while officials were still waiting to get their hands on the remains so they could further evaluate and examine what they were.
To the best of his knowledge, NORAD or the U.S. Northern Command “has conducted kinetic action against an airborne item” for the first time in American history, according to VanHerck.
VanHerck responded, “I haven’t ruled out anything at this moment,” when asked by a reporter if he had ruled out aliens.
This report was made possible by the Associated Press.