US military shoots down another ‘object’ above Lake Huron

Comes after Norad destroyed objects over Alaska, Canada, South Carolina

John Bowden
Washington DC
Sunday 12 February 2023 22:27 GMT
Montana Democrat calls balloon incidents 'nothing short of craziness'

Another object flying over US airspace has been shot down.

The unidentified object was “decommissioned” by the US military, two members of Congress from Michigan said on Sunday.

Rep Jack Bergman tweeted Sunday afternoon that US officials had informed him of the destruction of the object over Lake Huron.

“I’ve been in contact with DOD regarding operations across the Great Lakes region today. The US military has decommissioned another “object” over Lake Huron. I appreciate the decisive action by our fighter pilots,” wrote the congresman.

He added: “The American people deserve far more answers than we have.”

Elissa Slotkin, another House member from Michigan, released a statement as well: “The object has been downed by pilots from the US Air Force and National Guard. Great work by all who carried out this mission both in the air and back at headquarters. We’re all interested in exactly what this object was and its purpose.”

“As long as these things keep traversing the US and Canada, I’ll continue to ask for Congress to get a full briefing based on our exploitation of the wreckage.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that the recently downed object was shaped like an octagon and flying at 20,000 feet.

Earlier on Sunday the FAA announced the closure of airspace above Lake Michigan, which was swiftly reopened minutes later.

The Michigan lawmakers’ updates comes after Jon Tester, Democratic senator from Montana, first announced an object’s sighting on Twitter Saturday evening. At the time, the object had been spotted over Montana’s airspace. Officials later said a radar anomoly was to blame for the closure of airspace in the area.

Sunday’s incident is the latest in a line of similar military actions taken after a Chinese surveillance balloon was identified by the US military flying over the continental United States. Two more objects were shot down in the following days, one off the coast of Alaska and another over the Yukon.

“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 spokesperson for the National Security Council said on Sunday. The object “presented as an octagonal structure with strings hanging off but no discernible payload,” US officials added.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Sunday that the objects shot down on Friday and Saturday were believed to have been balloons, citing a briefing from National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. However, the White House added that it’s too early to characterise the objects.

The situation has caused a rapid deterioration of the already shaky relations between Washington and Beijing. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has postponed a meeting with his Chinese counterparts amid the conflict, while China’s foreign ministry has walked a tightrope and denounced the actions of the US military while refusing to acknowledge the nature of the downed craft.

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