American planes shot down four flying objects in 8 days

American planes shot down four flying objects in 8 days. 

Biden ordered an airborne object dropped over Lake Huron on Sunday.

White House says three unidentified objects dropped since Friday do not appear to threaten Earth.

The U.S. military dropped an unidentified object over Lake Huron on Sunday, the third occurrence in three days and the fourth in just over a week.

President Biden ordered the UFO, which a U.S. official described as octagonal, with "suspended strings" and no discernible payload, to be dropped.

The Pentagon said the object was flying at a low altitude of about 20,000 feet when it was shot down by an F-16 fighter jet with a Sidewinder missile near the US-Canada border.

Here's everything we know about the latest series of air defense activities in the skies over the country.

How did we get here

In late January, a suspected Chinese spy balloon appeared over the United States at 60,000 feet near Alaska and circled the nation for several days before Biden ordered an F-22 Raptor to shoot it down off the coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in February. 4, and Navy divers began recovering the balloon from a debris field extending seven nautical miles. Debris recovered from the balloon was taken to the FBI's laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, for analysis.

U.S. national security officials said the balloon likely carried explosives and hazardous materials, which factored into Biden's decision to delay shooting it down.

Five days later, on February 9, an unidentified object was seen flying off the remote northern coast of Alaska. Biden ordered it dropped the next day. According to White House spokesman John Kirby, the thing—about the size of a small car—was shot down because it was flying at about 40,000 feet and posed a credible threat to the safety of civilian flights, not because there was any knowledge that it was involved. In surveillance. Biden called dropping the thing a "success."

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Saturday that a U.S. fighter jet had shot down an unidentified object flying high over the Yukon.

U.S. officials said the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, a joint U.S.-Canada organization that provides a common airspace defense over the two countries, detected the object flying high Friday night over Alaska and had crossed into Canada. Saturday. Canadian and American planes operating as part of NORAD were scrambled, and Trudeau said he spoke with Biden, who also ordered dropping the object — roughly the size of three school buses.

On Sunday, Biden ordered the UFO to be dropped over Lake Huron. The object was first detected in the skies over Montana.

In a bulletin, the Department of Homeland Security said that an FBI chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives team is heading to the wreck site.

What the officials say

In a briefing with reporters Sunday, Gen. Glenn Vanherk, head of NORAD and U.S. Northern Command, said the latest gunfire was caused by modifications made to radar, allowing defense systems to track slower objects, along with a "heightened alert." The suspected Chinese spy balloon appeared over U.S. airspace in late January.

"With a few tweaks," VanHerck said, "we've been able to get a better classification of the radar tracks now. That's why I think you see these [shootings], plus there's a keen alert to look for that information."

He explained that the objects dropped over the weekend differed from the suspected Chinese spy balloon.

"We call them things, not balloons," he said, "for a reason."

Van Herc was also asked if he could rule out the possibility of them being extraterrestrial.

"I haven't ruled anything out at this point," said VanHerk.

What congressmen say?

On ABC's "This Week," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said U.S. officials are "laser-focused" on gathering and compiling information about downed objects.

But Schumer also said the suspected Chinese spy balloon exposed U.S. intelligence weaknesses.

"Bottom line, until a few months ago, we didn't know about these things.

Schumer said of the spyware. "It's wild that we didn't know it."

Meanwhile, many Republicans have criticized Biden for not ordering the suspected Chinese spy balloon shot down sooner.

But now, some Republicans wonder if the Biden administration acted too hastily in ordering things to drop over the weekend.

"They seem fairly happy with the trigger," Rep. Mike Turner, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday. "This is certainly better than the permissive environment they displayed when the Chinese spy balloon passed over some of our most sensitive sites.

"I'd rather they be trigger-happy than indulgent," Turner added. "But we'll have to see whether or not this is just an administration trying to shake up the headlines."

What does China say?

On Monday, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson claimed that the United States had sent at least ten unauthorized balloons into Chinese airspace since last year.

At a press conference, the spokesperson, Wang Wenbin, said that it is common for U.S. high-altitude balloons to fly into the airspace of other countries.

Asked whether the targets shot down by the U.S. military were of Chinese origin, Wang said: "The United States should first think of itself and change its course rather than slander, slander or incite confrontation."

The United States immediately dismissed Wang's assertion as "the latest example of China's scramble for damage control."

White House spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said in a statement.

At a White House briefing on Monday, press secretary Karen Jean-Pierre said there was "no indication of aliens or extraterrestrial activity."

The National Security Council's coordinator for strategic communications, John Kirby, said U.S. officials are still working out things and that the president has "made this a very high priority."

Kirby said he could not rule out that the objects had surveillance capabilities but stressed that they should be shot down because they posed a real threat to air traffic.

"We will learn from these three events. We will continue to study what happened," Kirby added. "But the bottom line for President Biden is, you have to do the right thing for the American people, for our safety and security."

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