There were objects in North America over the weekend

The Dearth of Unidentified Flying Objects in the Pentagon, as Revealed by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a report about unidentified flying objects last month.

Ronald Moultrie is under secretary of defense for intelligence and security and he said that they have not seen any objects that would lead them to believe that they are from another planet.

Several hundreds of reports of unidentified objects have been received by the office that was inaugurated in July, according to the director of the effort. Those cases are on top of the initial 144 examined in the June 2021 report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The spy balloon from the PRC was of a different nature than the one we were using, she said. “These most recent objects do not pose a kinetic military threat, but their path in proximity to sensitive DoD sites, and the altitude that they were flying could be a hazard to civilian aviation and thus raised concerns.”

When asked if the reports were indicative of something that may pose a threat to national security or a military facility, he said, “Yes.”

Moultrie said that in the absence of being able to resolve what it is, we have to take that seriously.

The Pentagon faced a lot of problems as it started to look more seriously at the issues of UAPs. Kirkpatrick said the stigma associated with reporting sightings has been significantly reduced.

An F-22 Fighter Jet Observation of a High-Scale Object Dropped on Saturday Over Alaska. A Response to the House Intelligence Committee

The deputy director of Navy intelligence said in May to the House Intelligence committee that their database had gone up to 400 reports. The reports have kept coming in.

There is no single answer for all of this. Kirkpatrick asked rhetorically Friday. “There’s going to be lots of different answers and part of my job is to sort out all of those hundreds of cases on which ones go to which things.”

The Pentagon and the White House confirmed on Saturday that Trudeau and Biden authorized the shoot-down of an object over Alaska on Friday.

The object brought down over Alaska was much smaller than the Chinese surveillance balloon downed over territorial waters on Saturday. A small car that was down on Friday has been described by US officials as the same object as the Chinese balloon which was downed last Saturday. The US has not attributed the second flying object to any country or entity.

Two F-22 fighter jets were sent to Alaska and assisted the Alaska Air National Guard in monitoring the object after it had been detected by NORAD.

If it were to be shot down, it posed a risk to people on the ground, as it was at least 200 feet tall, and weighed more than two thousand pounds.

There were two efforts to get closer to the object and evaluate it as it flew. The first engagement by fighter aircraft took place late Thursday night and the second Friday morning. Both engagements yielded “limited” information, Kirby told reporters.

“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 object debris landed “just off the very, very northeastern part of Alaska” near the Canadian border, on the frozen Arctic Ocean, Kirby said. He said that it is easier to recover debris that is on ice.

The Alaska Command of US Northern Command coordinated the operation, assisted by the Alaska Air National Guard, Federal Aviation Administration, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

X-ray Detection of Three Unidentified Objects Over One Day in Alaska and a Half of Canada’s Airspace

The best description we have right now is that of an object. We don’t know who owns it, we just don’t.

The object first came to the attention of the US government “last evening.” Biden was first briefed Thursday night “as soon as the Pentagon had enough information,” Kirby said.

The object was at the mercy of prevailing winds, which made it much less predictable.

As the military took action against the object, the FAA temporarily restricted flights around Deadhorse, Alaska.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner told CNN that the Biden administration does appear “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.”

While the president has stood by how he and his administration handled that balloon, he has faced criticism from Republicans for allowing the suspected spy balloon to float over much of the country before shooting it down.

The US has found spy balloon that are part of a large fleet that is being used to conduct operations around the world. The US has traced the balloons to 40 countries across five continents.

It was difficult for the pilots to get a lot of information due to its size, the ability of the fighter aircraft to fly at a very fast rate, and the fact that it was much smaller.

Trudeau said that an unknown object had been shot down by a US fighter jet over Canadian airspace.

The balloon’s prolonged incursion into U.S. airspace prompted the Pentagon to adjust how it is using radar to look for similar activities, resulting in the U.S. detecting — and shooting down — three unidentified objects over the past weekend over Alaska, Canada’s Yukon territory, and Lake Huron.

There was not a significant concern about damage to people or property if the object was shot down, which was the primary reason the Chinese surveillance balloon was allowed to traverse the continental US last week.

“These objects did not closely resemble and were much smaller than the PRC balloon and we will not definitively characterize them until we can recover the debris, which we are working on,” a National Security Council spokesperson said.

What the US and Canada had to say about the Alaskan shoot down of a shot-down by China’s balloon, according to Ryder

On Friday, the recovery team mapped the debris field and were looking 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.”

“As Canadian authorities conduct recovery operations to help our countries learn more about the object, the Federal Bureau of Investigation will be working closely with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police,” Ryder said in his Saturday statement.

The Canadian Defence Minister said on Saturday that she discussed the incident with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

The balloon entered the Air Defense Identification Zone over Alaska on January 28 before flying over Canada, according to a Department of Defense official. It then reentered continental US airspace three days later.

The statement said that recovery activities were occurring on sea ice. We don’t have any further information on the object at this time, including its purpose, origin or capabilities.

According to the White House statement, both the US and Canadian leaders approved of the shoot down.

According to a source briefed on intelligence, some pilots claimed that it interfered with their sensors but others said they did not.

Bergen Observations of Unexplained Flying Objects in the U.S. Between March 2021 and August 2022

Peter Bergen is a professor at Arizona State University, a vice president at New America, and a national security analyst for CNN. His views are reflected in this commentary. CNN has more opinion on it.

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 January report found that between March 2021 and August 2022, the number of unexplained flying objects (U.S. objects) was significantly increased, mostly by US Navy and Air Force pilots. That’s almost double the 144 UFO sightings reported in the 17-year period between 2004 to 2021.

The administration official said the government leans on the US intelligence community to assess the objects. The objects that were shot down are being studied, along with observations by US military pilots.

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.”

A US official told CNN’s Haley Britzky there has been caution inside the Biden administration on the pilot descriptions of the unidentified objects shot down over Alaska and Canada due to the circumstances in which the objects were viewed.

The instructions given to the team that worked to take down the object, were mentioned by the Canada’s chief of defense staff.

The objects shot down on Saturday and Friday were not very similar to the PRC balloon, as noted by the deputy Pentagon press secretary. We will have more for you when we can recover the debris.

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.

Observational Constraints on the Nature of High-Energy Objects and Nuclear Explosions over Lake Huron

New speculation and criticism could be premature as officials work to fully understand the sequence of events and more about the objects. CNN’s Natasha Bertrand reported on Sunday that NORAD had recently readjusted the filters it uses to sift data, which had previously concentrated on spotting fast-moving objects below a certain altitude. Early warning filters had previously been set to avoid picking up other objects, including birds and weather balloons, a source briefed on the matter said.

“This isn’t new; we just hadn’t been detecting them in the past,” says Brynn Tannehill, a RAND Corporation senior technical analyst and a former naval aviator. I think that the filters on the US systems used to overlook things that were too slow, high, or small to be considered threats. Now that the parameters on the filters have been adjusted, we’re seeing more of what was already there for the past few years.”

In the latest event, a high-altitude object was shot down on Sunday afternoon by an F-16 over Lake Huron, which lies between Michigan and Ontario. The Pentagon claimed that the object was not a military threat, but a flight hazard. It connected the craft to the radar signal picked up over Montana, the home of US intercontinental missile silos and other sensitive sites.

CNN reported earlier that Rep. Elissa Slotkin of Michigan said she received a call from the Department of Defense saying the US military “has an extremely close eye” on an object above Lake Huron.

Lawmakers are looking for answers. Politicians on both sides of the aisle met the news of further objects being shot down with a range of responses Sunday.

“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. Turner said that we need to invest. “This shows some of the problems and gaps that we have. We need to fill those as soon as possible because we certainly now ascertain there is a threat.”

Turner’s Democratic counterpart on the Intelligence panel, Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he had “real concerns about why the administration is not being more forthcoming with everything that it knows,” before adding, “My guess is that there’s just not a lot of information out there to share.”

Schumer wants Congress to investigate why the US took so long to catch on to the Chinese government using spy balloons.

“I do think (Democratic Sen. Jon) Tester is looking into why it took so long for us, our military, our intelligence, to know about these balloons. That is something I support. Congress should look at that. That’s the question we have to answer,” he said. I think our military and intelligence are doing a great job. I feel great confidence in what they are doing. Why wasn’t anyone aware of this back in the Trump administration?

There’s a national security mystery that is threatening a political storm after the US scrambled fighter jets to shoot down three aerial objects 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.

Jon Tester of Montana, a democrat, said on CBS on Sunday that there had been craziness in the last couple of weeks and a few days.

In fact, NORAD commander Gen. Glen VanHerck said recent objects shot down were likely the first “kinetic action” that NORAD or the US Northern Command had taken against an airborne object over US airspace.

What Do The Latest Air Space Intrusions Tell Us About the United States? The Case for Beijing, the China Balloon, and the State of the Union

It’s possible that in a unique, fast-moving situation, the government may not know much more than it is saying. There is confusion because of the piecemeal emergence of details. The administration has had difficulty controlling a media narrative to its own political detriment when it comes to issues including the Chinese balloon, and the discovery of classified vice presidential documents.

If they aren’t related to China, are the latest strange objects flying over North America related to some other hostile power or group? Are they even connected to one another or are they simply the result of coincidences at a time of heightened awareness and tensions?

The balloon incident quickly became an imposing challenge to smoothing out snarled U.S.-Chinese relations. The news prompted Secretary of State Antony Blinken to call off a high-profile trip to Beijing just hours before he was set to depart.

The political blame game is heating up. On CNN’s “State of the Union,” GOP Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, linked the incursions of US air space to Republican claims that Biden is failing to protect the southern border and complained that senior officials were not briefing Congress enough. He also gave a novel critique of Biden, who had been accused of not acting quickly enough before.

“They do appear 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,” Turner told Jake Tapper.

There is speculation that may be premature. But fierce political debate over the balloon has clearly changed Biden’s tolerance threshold for unknown aerial objects.

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.

What the Observed Shootdowns Have to Tell Us About The Second China-Ballistic Insurrection over Alaska and the Yukon

They’re getting more positives that they didn’t get before. Most of that is going to be airplanes, whatever it may be,” said Kayyem, a former assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security.

We can not answer, is this bigger effort picking up stuff in the sky because it did not pose a threat, or is it part of something organized for the purpose of watching us?

There was more confusion on Sunday. Schumer told ABC’s “This Week” that the balloons that were shot down over Alaska and the Yukon were smaller than the first Chinese incursion, but he also said that he had been briefed by Sullivan.

A Republican congressman from Montana made a link between the Chinese balloon and the new objects on CNN, even though there was no evidence that they were connected.

“It doesn’t give me much safe feelings knowing that these devices are smaller,” he said. I’m very concerned with the amount of data being collected. … I need some answers, and the American people need answers.”

The shootdowns came in steady succession over the weekend, after alarms were raised in early February over an object that the U.S. said was a surveillance balloon deployed by China.

The three objects downed since Friday are referred to as objects. Nobody knows who these things belong to or what they are.

Reason given: The large intruder was part of a “fleet of balloons developed to conduct surveillance operations, which have also violated the sovereignty of other countries,” a senior U.S. defense official told reporters.

“We have adjusted some of those gates to give us better fidelity on seeing smaller objects,” VanHerck said. You can check it out by altitude. And so, with some adjustments, we’ve been able to get a better a categorization of radar tracks now. And that’s why I think you’re seeing these overall.”

“I haven’t ruled out anything,” he said. We are still assessing every threat or potential threat unknown that approaches North America with an attempt to identify it.

Size and Shape of a Missing Airborne Debris Plane or Flying Balloon, a Threat to Airborne Humans, and an Aircraft Jet

About half of the total are “characterized as balloon or balloon-like entities.” Others act more like drones. And a few appear to be nothing more than “airborne debris like plastic bags.”

There is a location and altitude. A 20,000 foot object flew over Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It was shot down over Lake Huron, “about 15 nautical miles east of the Upper Peninsula,” VanHerck said.

Size and shape: “It presented as an octagonal structure with strings hanging off but no discernable payload,” a senior Biden administration official said.

Reason given: “We did not assess it to be a kinetic military threat to anything on the ground,” the North American Aerospace Defense Command said, “but assess it was a safety flight hazard and a threat due to its potential surveillance capabilities.”

Size and shape: Early indications showed “this object is potentially similar” to the one shot down off the South Carolina coast, Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand said, adding that it was “smaller in size and cylindrical.”

The size and shape are important. The balloon was estimated to be up to 200 feet tall. VanHerck said that the plane’s type of size, if it were a jet airliner, could be a regional jet, with a weight more than 2,000 pounds.

The Story of Landing Craft Air Cushions: CNN’s Beth Sanner on a “Fun and Joy” for the American Public

On Thursday morning, a U.S. Navy Landing Craft Air Cushion — basically a high-capacity hovercraft — parked on a beach to retrieve a range of supplies and food for the crew, from fresh produce to Chick-Fil-A and a birthday cake, local paper The news is reported by the Sun News.

There is no indication of aliens or extraterrestrial activity with these recent take-down actions, she said. I wanted to make sure the American people were aware of that. And it was important for us to say that from here because we’ve been hearing a lot about it.”

The government is trying to appear more engaged after being scrutiny for President Joe Biden’s lack of public comment. Jake Sullivan is a national security adviser who is in charge of the new Interagency team.

She said those intercepts had balloon-like features with small metal objects attached, they were flying over 40,000 feet.

The source said the filters were only adjusted in the last week, after a Chinese spy balloon transited the US and caused a debate about whether the US could detect and defend against any potentially threatening objects entering its airspace.

The most informative interview I saw Monday was the one CNN’s John King conducted with former Deputy Director of National Intelligence Beth Sanner, who is now a senior fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

SANNER: There was a lot of discussion when we first started looking at this in 2021, 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?

What do we see and not see in the sky? How do we tell the enemy what it is, and how do we stop talking about it?

Because pilots were discouraged from talking about things that they had been seeing, there was a stigma attached to it and it could be espionage or some other kind of threat. It is very important to get those things out there.

Sanner is related to a man. We don’t have the interest or the capacity to keep scrambling F-22s every time we see an object in the sky. We need to focus and ask how do we identify 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 only focus on anything that comes over the North Pole. But if something comes in south of Alaska, we might not see it.

Most of our radars are from the ’80s, that’s why we have this technology gap. And so, that’s when the filtering – it’s because our processors, literally the ones that are attached to the radars – don’t have the capability to look through that much material. We had to go through it and identify the threats that we recognize as threats.


Is the Chinese Spy Balloon Crisis a Clue to the U.S. Approach to the Airborne Objects?

Sanner: We’re in a liar, liar, pants on fire moment here. I believe that the Chinese will make up things in order to cover their tracks.

Andrew McCabe, senior law enforcement analyst and former FBI deputy director, says that it might take some time to find out what these objects were.

Some are coming down in harder to reach places than others, that’s what she said on Monday. The materials need to be sent back to Virginia to be analyzed by the FBI.

To exploit the technology of the equipment, the right partners have to be assembled, whether they are international partners or researchers here from the United States.

“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.”

There has been criticism that the Biden administration has not communicated more effectively about these incidents, but there is bipartisan support for shooting the objects down.

A defense official told CNN late Monday that the Pentagon has not sent an official memo to Capitol Hill but acknowledged they are continuing to brief and send correspondence to relevant committees.

Lawmakers and Congressional aides told CNN that the Chinese spy balloon incident felt like a correction rather than a full-on assault on it, though they said it was too early to say for sure.

“What’s happening now is we’re actually looking for these with extra vigilance. We are looking for them in different ways. We’re starting to see them in different ways,” Colorado Democratic Rep. Jason Crow said on “CNN This Morning” on Monday.

“The truth is that most of our sensors and most of what we were looking for didn’t look like balloons. We need to find them now, of course. So, I think we’re probably finding more stuff,” Himes added.

Questions about the balloon and other objects that were recently shot down — and the U.S. approach to the airborne objects — prompted a classified intelligence briefing for the entire Senate Tuesday morning. That session will be followed by a closed hearing by the Senate Intelligence Committee, scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET.

The White House on Monday denied that President Joe Biden’s recent swift actions to take down high-altitude objects identified hovering over American airspace were the result of political pressure, following earlier critiques that he waited too long to make the call to shoot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon.

“These were decisions based purely and simply on what was in the best interest of the American people,” National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby said Monday.

White House Efforts to Identify the Objects That Are Not Threatening the American People: Sen. Mitt Romney reassured

CNN has obtained a memo from the White House office of legislative affairs which states that efforts are being made to find what is left of the objects.

“We have no further details about the object at this time, including the full scope of its capabilities, its purpose, or its origin,” the Pentagon memo states.

US Coast Guard ships were deployed to search the site in Lake Huron where the third object was shot down, and the Pentagon memo said no additional information was available about the description of that object.

The first missile that was launched by an F-16 fighter jet at the object near Lake Huron on Sunday did not hit the target, three people briefed on the matter told CNN.

The Pentagon and White House had not previously disclosed that the first missile did not strike the target, but NORTHCOM and NORAD Commander Gen. Glen VanHerck told reporters on Sunday that acquiring and targeting the object was difficult because of its small size.

The AIM-9X Sidewinders were used by the pilots because of their ability to see the heat contrast between an object and the surrounding area. The first missile was unable to hit its target. It is not clear what happened to the missile.

The White House is aware that there is a chance the objects could have come from a hostile state and that they want to assure the public that it is not true. On Tuesday, a top White House official suggested they were likely harmless.

After hearing that the objects did not pose a threat to the American people, senators emerged from a classified briefing on the objects reassured.

“There are a lot of these things that are up in the air from time to time, some commercial, some government and maybe there’s some things we don’t know,” said Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, adding he wasn’t worried “in the slightest” that the objects themselves pose a threat to the American people.

U.S. Mission to the South Pole: Debris recovery efforts have been hampered by the recently downed Airborne Objects

“Crews have been able to recover significant debris from the site, including all of the priority sensor and electronics pieces identified as well as large sections of the structure,” U.S. Northern Command said.

So far, those efforts have been hampered by what he described as “pretty tough conditions,” exacerbated by the geographic challenges on Lake Huron, in the Yukon wilderness and on sea ice north of Alaska.

“Pretty tough weather conditions, let alone just geographically, just tough time of year,” Kirby said, noting that the Chinese spy balloon debris recovery off the coast of South Carolina earlier this month was also hampered by high seas in the Atlantic Ocean due to the time of year.

Kirby said that the government was using expertise and information from the Federal Aviation Administration and the intelligence community to find out about the mysterious airborne devices.

The search area in Whitehorse was large and dense, according to the Prime Minister. Other Canadian officials were candid Monday about the difficult task of recovering debris from high-altitude objects shot down over Canada and the US.

“We are working very hard to locate them, but there’s no guarantee that we will. Sean McGillis, a spokesman, said that in terms of the recovery efforts, the terrain in theyukon is rather difficult at the moment and the same could be said of the conditions in Lake Huron.

The White House press secretary made a statement that was as definitive as any other: The US military had not shot down aliens from outer space.

Officials have been particularly sensitive to the inherently mysterious nature of the airborne objects, and how ripe the recent series of events was for conspiracy theories.

“Everyone wants answers that no one has at the moment,” one official said, conceding there was a risk with the void of information that conspiracies could sprout.

A determination was made that even in the absence of much concrete information that could be shared with the public about the three recently downed objects, it would be prudent to publicly rule out – as quickly as possible – the possibility of extraterrestrial activity, sources said.

Administration officials say their goal is to give as much information as possible about the objects, but they have noted the situation isn’t ideal for communication.

Biden himself has expressed a desire to be as transparent as possible about the devices with both Congress and the American public, according to officials, but the president has acknowledged that without a full picture of what the objects were, his ability to communicate on them is limited.

One lawmaker who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee had told CNN on Monday that it would be prudent for Biden to directly address the public, particularly given that the situation was ripe for conspiracy theories.

The Unidentified Aircraft Anomalous Phenomena: Not All Balloons are Ballons: The US Defense Response to China’s 2018 February 4 Shootdown

The US government tracked many unexplained flying objects, including a number of balloons, before the balloon mania began. The US Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released a January report, for example, tracking incidents involving UFOs, which the US government calls Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena or UAPs. Between March 5, 2021, and August 30, 2022, the All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office had 247 reports of UAPs. In a wider pool of 366 UAP reports that also includes newly discovered incidents that occurred before 2021, ODNI said that 163 were balloons “or balloon-like entities,” 26 were “Unmanned Aircraft Systems,” or drones, and six were “attributed to clutter.” So, not all UFOs are balloons, and not all unidentified balloons are spy balloons.

The US military says crews using salvaged equipment have retrieved important elements of the Chinese balloon shot down 10 days ago.

The recovery operation included the use of a crane to bring up pieces of the airship, estimated to be over 200 feet tall.

The payload’s size has been categorized by Gen. Glen VanHerck, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command or NORAD, as “a jet airliner type of size, maybe a regional jet,” weighing more than 2,000 pounds.

News of the balloon touching off an alert in the US and beyond. When the Pentagon said last week that a similar high-altitude balloon had been identified over Latin America, China responded by saying it was another research balloon that was badly off-course, deeming it “an unexpected, isolated incident caused by force majeure,” meaning events beyond the country’s control.

The U.S. has dismissed that explanation emphatically — most notably by blowing the balloon out of the sky on Feb. 4, after it had soared over much of the continental U.S.

Even before that shootdown, analysts urged the Biden administration not to allow the craft to return to China — both to limit the data it might convey, and to allow the U.S. to gain its own insights by recovering the equipment.

Kirby stated that the National Security Council would give new guidance by the end of the week on how the U.S will handle unidentified aerial objects objects.

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