What Happened When the US Navy Embedded in the South China Sea Abruptly Spunged on April 1, 2001?
In the wake of those actions, the report by America’s intelligence community is worth examining since it may shed some light on what is happening here.
The Chinese balloon went down off the coast of South Carolina after traveling across the US. The officials said it posed little intelligence gathering or military risk.
In late 2016, the Chinese seized an unmanned US Navy underwater vehicle in international waters in the South China Sea, just 50 nautical miles from Subic Bay in the Philippines, and hundreds of miles from China. (Subic Bay was home to the largest US naval base in Asia until disagreements over leasing costs led to a withdrawal in 1992; ironically, US sailors might soon return to the base following Manila’s recent decision to allow a greater, albeit rotational, US military presence in the Philippines as a counter to Chinese aggression.) The incident was widely believed to have been a message to President-elect Donald Trump, just two weeks before his inauguration and several weeks after he angered Beijing by taking a congratulatory call from Taiwan’s president. Beijing returned the craft but did not apologize and accused the US of espionage.
The most memorable and instructive example dates back to the presidency of George W. Bush. On April 1, 2001, two Chinese fighter jets harassed a US Navy EP-3 surveillance plane over international waters near China. One collided with the EP-3 and crashed. The plane’s pilot made an emergency landing in China’s Hainan Island after regaining control of his plane. The 24 US crew members were held for eleven days and at one point they had to be freed.
Had there been a loss of life or damage caused by the downed US craft, Chinese authorities would have been responsible for that. The US Embassy would have been the scene of protests as well as the Chinese Ambassador to the US.
My first reaction to the Chinese balloon when it was identified floating over Montana was probably the same as yours: “Shoot it down, already!” As a senior intelligence official in the 1960s and 70s, I was focused on the facts and provided a clear-headed assessment of the intelligence community. In meetings probably held in the White House Situation Room multiple times over the past week, a senior intelligence official would have joined the US military, level-setting the discussion in this vein. The decision to shoot down the balloon was driven by the risk benefit of a large debris field, which was low in shallow US waters.
Let us come up with a plan to hold China accountable, but also allow for needed dialogue. It will be difficult to avoid military conflict with China if we follow Beijing’s lead, because it will be a race to the bottom.
Peter Bergen is CNN’s national security analyst, New America’s vice president, and a professor at Arizona State University. His own views are expressed in this commentary. View more opinion on CNN.
And it reminded me that when my father, Tom Bergen, was a lieutenant in the US Air Force in the mid-1950s, he worked on a program to help send balloons into Soviet airspace.
His assignment was to Headquarters Air Material Command, which is located near Dayton, Ohio. He was part of the project that deployed balloons that carried cameras over the Soviet Union. Those spy balloons were launched from Turkey.
The program that my dad worked on, which was a secret, took seven decades to be declassified.
The China-France Airborne Surveillance Program. A Report on the F-35 Indirect Attacks on the US Office of National Intelligence
The US’ ability to track the balloons’ whereabouts has also added to the broader understanding of how large China’s balloon surveillance program actually is.
Now the United States and its rivals have these new-fangled gizmos called “spy satellites,” which can take photos! They can put on a full-motion video. They can take thermal imagery that detects individuals moving around at night! They are able to spy on pretty much anything, with a resolution of centimeters, when the skies are clear.
Commercial satellite imagery is cheap and can be used to purchase your own close-up pictures of a Russian battle group in Ukraine. Just ask Maxar Technologies; they have built up a rather profitable business on this model, which was just acquired two months ago for $6 billion by a private equity firm.
But it may help explain, at least in part, an element of a little-noticed report published by the US Office of Director of National Intelligence last month.
A report notes that there may be concerns for flight safety with the continuing incidents of unexplained objects in restricted or sensitive airspace. It added that the sightings could point to “adversary collection activity,” suggesting that UFOs found around sensitive US military installations could be a foreign power spying on them.
China has done a lot worse. US officials have accused it of benefiting from the work of hackers who stole design data about the F-35 fighter aircraft as China builds its own new generation of fighters – and of sucking up much of the personal information of more than 20 million Americans who were current or former members of the US government when they reportedly got inside the computers of the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in 2015. The F-35 theft report was called “baseless” by China.
China “has overflown these surveillance balloons over more than 40 countries across five continents,” the State Department official said, noting that “the Biden Administration is reaching out to countries directly about the scope of this program and answer any questions.”
Fighter jets have shot out objects in the sky over northern Canada and Alaska, following the furor over the Chinese balloon.
And not all of the balloons sighted around the globe have been exactly the same model as the one shot down off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday, that official and another source familiar with the intelligence said. Rather, there are multiple “variations,” these people said.
The link to the broader surveillance program, which was uncovered before the latest balloon was spotted last week, was first reported by the Washington Post.
The US – using some technical capabilities provided by National Security Agency among other agencies – has already gathered some real-time information on what kinds of signals the balloon was emitting as it traveled, according to one defense official.
If the investigators are able to find a better way for the US to track this kind of balloon in the future, then it will be a success. The commander of US Northern Command, Gen. Glen VanHerck, acknowledged to reporters on Monday that the US had a “domain awareness gap” that had allowed past balloons to cross into US airspace undetected.
China apologized over the downed vessel on Friday in a rare expression of regret.
According to sources briefed on the intelligence, the Chinese explanation for the balloon’s path is not credible and that it was intentional.
The elite team consists of agents, analysts, engineers and scientists, who are also responsible for creating technical-surveillance measures.
OTD personnel, for example, construct surveillance devices used by FBI and intelligence community personnel targeting national security threats — but they also are responsible for managing court-authorized data collection and work to defeat efforts by foreign intelligence agencies to penetrate the US.
But, according to one member of the House Intelligence Committee, “there’s number of reasons why we wouldn’t do that. We want to collect off it, you want to see where it’s going and what it’s doing.
A defense official said the US has procedures – akin to a kind of digital blackout – to protect sensitive locations from overhead surveillance, typically used for satellite overflight.
The Discovery and Recovery of a Suspected Chinese Spy Balloon Over the Atlantic Ocean by a US Airborne F-22 Fighter Jet
The US Navy released photos Tuesday of its recovery effort of a suspected Chinese spy balloon, which US fighter jets shot down over the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday.
On Monday, Gen. Glen VanHerck, commander of US Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), told reporters that the balloon was roughly 200 feet tall and carried a payload weighing more than a couple of thousand pounds.
If you are in danger, take a picture of the debris that will fall out of the sky. That’s really what we’re kind of talking about,” VanHerck said on Monday. Potentially hazardous material, such as materials that are required for a batteries to operate in such an environment, as well as the risk of explosives to destroy and destroy the balloon that could have been present, were all part of the plan.
“[T]his gave us the opportunity to assess what they were actually doing, what kind of capabilities existed on the balloon, what kind of transmission capabilities existed, and I think you’ll see in the future that that time frame was well worth its value to collect over,” VanHerck said.
Ultimately, the object was downed near the Canadian border and northeastern Alaska by a F-22 fighter jet out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, equipped with an AIM-9X – the same aircraft and missile used to take down the surveillance balloon. The military waited to shoot down the object during the day to make it easier for the pilots to spot it. Ryder said the mission was “supported with aerial assets from the Alaska Air National Guard.”
“The Chinese side has repeatedly informed the US side after verification that the airship is for civilian use and entered the US due to force majeure – it was completely an accident,” another statement from the Foreign Ministry said.
If that was true, it would cause a set of concerns regarding the decision-making of China in relation to the US.
The entities that own the balloon were not asked about the equipment on the balloon. Chinese statements have implied that the balloon was not operated by a government entity, but instead was linked to one or more companies. It has not named them.
China is a responsible country, Mao said on Monday. “We have always strictly abided by international law. We handled the situation correctly and did not pose any threats to any countries.
The American Embassy’s response to a newspaper report on a high-velocity soaring balloon over Alaska, and the decision of whether to shoot the balloon down
The object brought down over Alaska was smaller than the Chinese balloon. The payload of the Chinese balloon downed last Saturday was described by US officials as approximately the size of three buses, whereas the object taken down on Friday has been described as a small car. The US has not attributed the second flying object to any country or entity.
The report – also known as a “tipper” – was disseminated through classified channels accessible across the US government. Sources say that top defense and intelligence officials were not alarmed by the alert and did not consider it an urgent warning. Sources familiar with the report said that the White House was not made aware of the DIA report, and President Joe Biden was not briefed on it.
Instead of treating it as an immediate threat, the US moved to investigate the object, seeing it as an opportunity to observe and collect intelligence.
During a closed door briefing on Tuesday, Senate staff repeatedly pressed military officials about who knew what – and when. The administration’s decisions after a balloon crossed into Alaskan airspace was the focus of a letter sent by Sen. Roger Wicker, the top Republican on the Senate committee that oversees the military.
On January 28, when the balloon entered US airspace near Alaska, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, sent up fighter jets to make a positive identification, according to defense officials, reflecting a subtle shift in urgency.
The benefits of gathering intel on the balloon as it sailed over US territory outweigh the risks of shooting it down, according to officials.
Biden, according to senior administration officials, was not briefed until three days later, on January 31, when the balloon crossed out of Canada and into the continental United States. At that point, Biden asked the military to present options “immediately” to shoot the balloon down, officials said.
As more information about the administration’s decision-making process on the balloon has continued to trickle out, Congress has taken a keen interest.
Rep. Mitt Romney: The problem with information and technology in the United States is still a problem for Alaska, but why is it different in the continental US?
“There are still a lot of questions to be asked about Alaska,” a Senate Republican aide told CNN. “Alaska is still part of the United States – why is that okay to transit Alaska without telling anyone, but [the continental US] is different?”
The officials said that an image of a pilot and a balloon in the cockpit has gained legendary status in both NORAD and the Pentagon.
The Biden administration has determined that the Chinese balloon was operating with electronic surveillance technology capable of monitoring US communications, according to the official.
Lawmakers were told Thursday that the order to send the balloon was dispatched without Chinese President Xi Jinping’s knowledge, sources familiar with the briefing said.
Only evidence that was on the surface of the ocean has been delivered to FBI analysts so far, one official said, which includes the “canopy itself, the wiring, and then a very small amount of electronics.” The official said analysts have not yet seen the “payload,” which is where you would expect to see the “lion’s share” of electronics.
“We did not assess that it presented a significant collection hazard beyond what already exists in actionable technical means from the Chinese,” said Gen. Glenn VanHerck, the commander of US Northern Command and NORAD, on Monday.
The House briefing Thursday morning was tense, the sources said, with several Republicans railing against the administration, including GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who said that the Pentagon made the president – whom she noted she doesn’t like – look weak by their actions.
The Pentagon told us that it was able to prevent the situation in real-time, and that was correct, according to the Illinois Democrat.
The president, our military and intelligence agencies acted with care, I believe. Their capabilities are impressive. Was everything done correctly? It would be hard to think that is the case with almost anything we do. Romney said Thursday that he came away more confident.
Reply to the Hearing of Jon Tester on Spy Balloon Technology involving the Explosion of Alaska (Alaska) and the State of the Art
At the hearing on Thursday, Jon Tester of Montana told officials that he had not been told how to say that China was not a military threat.
“You guys have to help me understand why this baby wasn’t taken out long before and because I am telling you that that this ain’t the last time. We have seen brief incursions, now we have seen a long incursion, what will happen? said the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee.
Pentagon officials said at the hearing that the Defense Department was not concerned about the balloon gathering intelligence over Alaska as it was not near sensitive sites.
Part of the balloon that was recovered on the surface of the ocean has yet to be delivered, while additional pieces of the balloon that have been sunk have not yet been recovered.
It’s not yet clear where the balloon’s parts were manufactured, the officials said, including whether any of the pieces were made in America. Since analysts have not examined the entire equipment on the balloon, there hasn’t been a determination on whether or not everything the device could do and its specific intent.
Analysts haven’t identified any bomb-making material that would pose a danger to the American public.
There was English writing on parts of the balloon that were found, one of the sources familiar with the congressional briefings said, though they were not high-tech components. The source declined to provide detail on what specific parts of the balloon contained English writing.
United States Observations on a High-Altitude Object Shot Down by a US Spy Balloon and by an F-22 Missile
The official said that based on China’s “messaging and public comments, it’s clear that they have been scrambling to explain why they violated US sovereignty and still have no plausible explanation – and have found themselves on their heels.”
“As we saw with the second balloon over Central and South America that they just acknowledged, they also have no explanation for why they violated the airspace of Central and South American countries,” the official said. “The PRC’s program will only continue to be exposed, making it harder for the PRC to use this program.”
As U.S. Navy crews continue to fish parts of the alleged Chinese spy balloon out of the Atlantic, a senior State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, gave reporters an update on Thursday on some of what has been learned so far.
The main electronics payload, however, has not been recovered yet, one of the FBI officials said, adding that it was “very early” to assess what the intent was and how the device was operating.
“That narrative is probably part of the information and public opinion warfare the U.S. has waged on China,” Mao added. “As to who is the world’s number one country of spying, eavesdropping and surveillance, that is plainly visible to the international community.”
Government is funding improvements as well. In 2018, for example, China launched a project to research materials that can be used to make balloons that can float higher without losing buoyancy.
Shortly after the American national security officials told that the commander-in-chief gave the US military permission to take action, President Joe Biden told CNN that the shoot down of a high-altitude object over Alaska was a success.
On Friday, an unidentified object was shot down by a F-22 from the US, and on February 4 a Chinese balloon was hit by a AIM-9X missile.
The object was tracked over Alaska at an altitude of 40,000 feet over the past 24 hours, Kirby told reporters at the White House briefing. Biden ordered it to be shot down because it posed a “reasonable threat” to the safety of flights, as well as being out of an abundance of caution.
Kirby told reporters that two US fighter aircraft flew by over the course of 48 hours. Both brought back “limited” information about the object.
“We were able to get some fighter aircrafts up and around it before the order to shoot it down, and the pilots assessment was this was not manned,” Kirby added.
The White House, the Pentagon and the government of Canada don’t know what’s going on with these latest downed crafts. This raises questions for top military brass and US spy agencies as well as for the potential safety of civilian aviation. And it creates an information vacuum that Republicans are again using to question President Joe Biden’s leadership.
The Alaska National Guard and units under US Northern Command are all part of the effort to recover the object.
The best description of this object is why we are calling it an object. We don’t know who owns it – whether it’s state-owned or corporate-owned or privately-owned, we just don’t know,” Kirby said.
The object first came to the attention of the US government “last evening.” As soon as the Pentagon had enough information, Biden was briefed.
Xi’s falling out of the Space Mission Deadhorse, Alaska, as a diplomatic probe could have a political Importance
The object “did not appear to be self-maneuvering, and therefore, (was) at the mercy of prevailing winds,” making it “much less predictable,” said Kirby.
The Federal Aviation Administration restricted flights in the area around Deadhorse, Alaska on Friday as the military took action against the object.
While the president has stood by his decision to shoot the balloon, he is being criticized by Republicans for allowing it to fly over a lot of the country.
“Given its size, which was much smaller, and the capabilities on the fighter aircraft themselves, the speed at which they were flying, it was difficult for the pilots to glean a whole lot of information,” he said.
According to CNN, the assessment was communicated to American lawmakers in briefings, which could show a lack of coordination with the US during a time of high tensions between China and the US.
It could mean that Xi and his top advisers underestimated the potential gravity of the fallout of the mission and the possibility it could imperil Blinken’s visit, which would have been the first from the most senior US diplomat since 2018 and had been welcomed by Beijing as a path to easing strained ties.
Beijing, in a statement last weekend, appeared to link the device to “companies,” rather than the government or military – though in China the prominence of state-owned enterprises and a robust military-industrial complex blurs the line between the two.
Such a situation, according to Singapore-based analyst Drew Thompson, could have been exacerbated by the level of control wielded by Xi – who cemented his grip on power last fall as he entered a precedent-breaking third term atop the Communist Party.
Lower-level officials who have the capacity to more closely watch such missions might not be given the power to make political judgments about their impact. Power struggles between lower and higher ranking officials could also complicate communication, he said.
There is tension in the Chinese system where lower levels fight for their own autonomy, and upper levels fight for greater control.
Past crises in China have pointed to these tensions, including the outbreaks of both SARS in 2002-2003 and more recently Covid-19, where reporting delays were widely seen as having slowed the response and compounded the problem. Local officials who were used to a system where information flows from the top down, or those who feared repercussions, were blamed.
Balloon launches could also fall into a gap in which operations were not managed or overseen in the same way as space or other aircraft missions, according to Dali Yang, a political scientist at the University of Chicago.
In this case, entities launching balloons may have received “little or no push back from other countries, including the United States” and “increasingly seen such launches as routine based on weather conditions and at modest costs,” Yang said.
“As a result, while the leaders of these programs have also become emboldened over time to test new routes, it was likely that they didn’t get top priority attention from the perspective of political risk,” he said.
Biden officials expressed the belief that both the senior leadership of the People’s Liberation Army and Chinese Communist Party, including Xi, were also unaware of the balloon mission over the US, and that China is still trying to figure out how this happened, a source familiar with the Thursday briefing to Congress told CNN.
Alfred Wu, an associate professor at the NUS Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, said that he wanted 100% control because of his personality. “I don’t think Xi Jinping allows for that kind of autonomy.”
The incident that diverted public attention from a faltering economy may have been comfortable for the leader, but he didn’t take into account the impact of the US domestic response.
The three-body shootdown over Alaska, reported by the US and Canada airspace on Friday (Saturday, May 7): A little bit of apples and oranges
It was the third time a week that US fighter jets have shot down objects in North American airspace, and this time it was over northern Canada.
It is not known what the object is, or where it came from. On Friday it was reported that it was moving north east across Alaska. He was not able to give a physical characterization other than that it was a small car and not the same shape as the Chinese balloon that fell off the coast of South Carolina.
The object did not appear to have any surveillance equipment, according to a US official, which would make it both smaller and likely less sophisticated than the Chinese balloon shot.
Officials have given no indication so far that the object is at all related to the Chinese surveillance balloon downed last weekend, debris of which is still being recovered on the Atlantic Ocean floor.
Ryder said on Friday that recovery teams have “mapped the debris field” and are “in the process of searching for and identifying debris on the ocean floor.”
When asked Friday if lessons learned about China’s balloon assisted in detecting the object shot down over Alaska, Ryder said it was “a little bit of apples and oranges.”
US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau both approved the shoot down on Saturday, according to a statement from the White House.
While Canadian authorities conduct recovery operations, the FBI will be working closely with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The Jump of a Balloon: Investigating a High-Altitude Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon
The intelligence told CNN that some pilots claimed that it interfered with their sensors but other pilots said they didn’t experience that.
January’s UFO report had a striking finding: The number of UFO sightings significantly increased between March 2021 and August 2022, during which time 247 new sightings were reported, mostly by US Navy and Air Force pilots and personnel. That’s almost double the 144 UFO sightings reported in the 17-year period between 2004 to 2021.
Apparently the lesson the military is learning is that if you look for unidentified aerial phenomena, or UAPs, you will find them floating in US skies.
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Hemispheric Affairs, Melissa Dalton told reporters on Sunday they were taken down out of an “abundance of caution.”
Dalton said that high-altitude objects can be used by a range of companies, countries, and research organizations for “purposes that are not nefarious, including legitimate research.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told ABC News that he was briefed on the object by White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan and that the object shot down over Canada was likely another balloon – as was the high-altitude object downed over Alaska on Friday.
Canada’s chief of defense staff, Gen. Wayne Eyre, also made mention of a “balloon” when describing instructions given to the team that worked to take down the object.
The objects shot down on Friday and Saturday were not indistinguishable from the PRC balloon, according to the deputy Pentagon press secretary. When we can recover the debris, we will have more for you.”
The findings have allowed the US to develop a consistent technical method for the first time, which they have used to track the balloons in near-real time across the globe, the sources said.
The NORAD Detection of a High-Altitude Object Observed by an F-16 above Lake Huron
One reason why additional “objects” have been detected by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) in recent days could be because the command recently readjusted its filters to better spot slow-moving targets operating above a certain altitude, a source briefed on the matter told CNN.
Since the People’s Republic of China balloon that we took down last Saturday, we have been more closely scrutinizing our airspace at these altitudes, including enhancing our Radar, which might explain the increase in objects we detected over the past week.
The latest event occurred on Sunday afternoon, when a high- altitude object was shot down by an F-16 over Lake Huron, which lies between Michigan and Ontario. The Pentagon said it wasn’t a military threat but a flight hazard. But it did connect the craft to a radar signal picked up earlier over Montana, the home to US intercontinental missile silos and other sensitive sites.
“Just got a call from @DeptofDefense — our military has an extremely close eye on the object above Lake Huron,” Slotkin said in a tweet on Sunday. “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.”
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill want answers. Politicians on both sides of the aisle met the news of further objects being shot down with a range of responses Sunday.
The Biden administration does appear to be somewhat trigger-happy, although this is certainly preferable to the permissive environment that they showed when the Chinese spy balloon was coming over some of our most sensitive sites.
“What I think this shows, which is probably more important to our policy discussion here, is that we really have to declare that we’re going to defend our airspace. And then we need to invest,” the Ohio Republican said. Some of the problems and gaps are shown in this. We have to fill those as soon as possible, because we know there is a threat.
Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes, Turner’s Democratic counterpart on the Intelligence panel, said he had “real concerns about why the administration is not being more forthcoming with everything that it knows.”
Schumer said Congress needs to investigate why it took the US so long to catch on to the Chinese government using spy balloons.
A deepening national security mystery is threatening a political storm after US fighter jets scrambled three days in a row to shoot down a trio of unidentified aerial objects high over the North American continent.
The intrigue is also unfolding against a tense global situation, with already difficult relations with rising superpower China becoming ever more hostile and with the US leading the West in an effective proxy war against Russia in Ukraine.
“What’s gone on in the last two weeks or so, 10 days, has been nothing short of craziness,” Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana said Sunday on “Face the Nation” on CBS, hours before an airborne object was shot down over Lake Huron.
According to NORAD commander Gen. Glen VanHerck, recent objects shot down were most likely the first instance of a NORAD or US Northern Command taking on an airborne object over US airspace.
The events of the last few days do spark serious national security questions that are far beyond the narrow political battle in Washington and only can be assessed once more details are understood.
Finally, what is the political impact of this string of incidents. Biden was criticized by Republicans for saying the possibility of injury to civilians or damage to buildings on the ground for waiting so long to shoot down the Chinese balloon. He forcibly warned China in his subsequent State of the Union address that he would defend US sovereignty. Since then, his aides have styled his response to subsequent incidents as those of a decisive commander in chief. This shows that the White House understands the political risk when Americans perceive he is not doing everything to protect the homeland.
Premature speculation may be the case. Biden had changed his tolerance threshold for unknown aerial objects as a result of the political debate.
Biden, who didn’t address the new intrusions at a black-tie event with state governors on Saturday, has yet to speak to Americans in person about the trio of incidents over the weekend.
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“They are getting lots of positives that they did not get before. Kayyem, who was an assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, said that most of that will be airplanes.
We can no longer answer if it is a bigger affair picking up stuff around the skies that doesn’t pose any threat, or if it is part of a bigger effort to collect intel on us.
There was a lot of confusion on Sunday. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, said on ABC’s “This Week” that the two objects shot down over Alaska and the Yukon were balloons but smaller than the original Chinese intruder, after saying he had earlier been briefed by Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser.
Republican Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana appeared to make a direct link Sunday on “CNN Newsroom” between the Chinese balloon and the latest objects, even if there is no confirmation so far that they are connected.
“It doesn’t give me much safe feelings knowing that these devices are smaller,” he said. The cumulative data is concerning to me. … I need some answers, and the American people need answers.”
That term – “objects” – is deliberately vague with regard to the three objects downed since Friday. Nobody currently knows what these things are or who they belong to.
“I don’t think the American people need to worry about aliens with respect to these craft. Period. There is no more to say about it, according to John Kirby, National Security Council coordination for strategic communications.
The downed objects did not have any communications signals or the ability to maneuver, and were not manned.
The Us Mysteries Among Objects in Sky What Matters: Jake Sullivan, the UAPs, and a Chinese spy balloon
The government is under a lot of scrutiny for the lack of public comment by President Joe Biden. Jake Sullivan is a national security adviser and is going to lead a new assessment of the UAPs.
Those intercepted over Alaska and northern Canada, she said, had balloon-like features with small cylindrical metal objects attached, and they were flying at around 40,000 feet.
The source said the filters were adjusted in the last week, after a suspected Chinese spy balloon transited the US, sparking a debate about the ability of the U.S. to detect and defend against potentially threatening objects entering its airspace.
The rest of the total is described as balloon or balloon-like entities. Others act in a similar way to drones. A few of them appear to be debris from plastic bags.
SANNER: When we first began looking at this, there were a lot of people saying that these were aliens. And I think that since then, people have kind of pulled back and said, you know, most of these things probably can be explained. These stories come together, right?
How do we determine what threats are in the sky? It’s important to recognize what you see, but don’t pretend that you see it
Because the things that pilots have been seeing – and many times were discouraged from talking about, there was a stigma with that – they could very well be spy or other kinds of threats. It is crucial to get these things out there.
SANNER: We do not have the ability to keep scrambling F-22s whenever we see an object in the sky. So now we’ve got to really focus and say, “How do we identify things that are actual threats?”
We’ve invested in ballistic missile defense, but not in this. And so, that might be a secret to all of us, but it’s not to the US military, and the Biden administration actually put money into the budget this year to start looking at this.
But we have a big gap. We have a gap geographically – we’re really only focused toward anything coming over the North Pole. We will not see it if it comes in south of Alaska.
Most of the radars we have are from the 1980s, in terms of technology. Our processors, the ones that are attached to the radars, do not have the ability to look through that much material. And so we had to filter it to identify threats that look like things we recognize as threats.
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SANNER: We are on fire here, we are in a lie. I believe that the Chinese will make up things to make themselves look better.
Andrew McCabe, a CNN law enforcement analyst and former FBI deputy director, says it could take a while to figure out what these objects were.
“Some of them are coming down in harder to reach places than others,” McCabe told CNN’s Kate Bolduan on Monday. The materials have to be transferred to the FBI lab in Virginia.
International partners and researchers in the US have to be part of the process of exploitation of the technology.
“All of that takes time. I have no doubt that we will understand the full scope of what these things are, and what they are capable of, but it might not be quickly.”
While there has been plenty of criticism of the Biden administration for not communicating about these incidents more effectively, there is bipartisan support for shooting the objects down.
The House Intelligence Committee Chairman, who is from Ohio, told CNN that he would like them to be ‘trigger-happy’ but wondered if this was just the administration trying to change headlines.