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Apparently, the lesson the military is learning is that if you look for unidentified aerial phenomena or UAPs, you will find them floating in the US skies government suddenly started detecting mysterious aerial objects.
In the days after the furor over the Chinese balloon led officials to adjust how they monitor US airspace, fighter jets have intercepted and shot objects out of the sky over Alaska, northern Canada, and Lake Huron.
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 government suddenly started detecting mysterious aerial objects.
That said, the White House was willing to rule out that the objects are from out of this world.
The government suddenly started detecting mysterious aerial objects, not aliens. Not threatening
“I don’t think the American people need to worry about aliens with respect to this craft. Period. There’s nothing more to be said on that,” said John Kirby, National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, at a White House briefing Monday.
He also suggested the downed objects posed no immediate threat, were not sending communications signals, showed no signs of “maneuvering or had any propulsion capabilities” and were not manned.
Under scrutiny for President Joe Biden’s lack of public comment, the government is now working to appear engaged. National security adviser Jake Sullivan is set to lead a new “interagency team” to assess the UAPs government suddenly started detecting mysterious aerial objects.
What we know about the three latest objects government suddenly started detecting mysterious aerial objects
CNN’s Natasha Bertrand broke down the descriptions of these latest objects:
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 object downed over Lake Huron on Sunday, first detected over Montana the prior day, was different: an octagonal shape with strings hanging off of it and traveling at 20,000 feet over Michigan’s Upper Peninsula government suddenly started detecting mysterious aerial objects.
The military decided to down the objects because at those altitudes they could pose a threat to civilian aircraft.
The US changed its ‘filtering’ and started seeing objects
Bertrand also described how the military adjusted its protocols and began noticing these additional objects:
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.
The filters were only readjusted and broadened in the past week, the source said, after a high-altitude, suspected Chinese spy balloon transited the US and ignited a debate over the United States’ ability to detect and defend against any potentially threatening objects entering its airspace government suddenly started detecting mysterious aerial objects.
Hundreds of reports of UAPs since 2021
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 government suddenly started detecting mysterious aerial objects.
She noted the director of national intelligence just last month reported to Congress 247 new documented reports of unidentified aerial phenomena since March 2021 and an additional 119 reports from before March 2021. Read the unclassified version government suddenly started detecting mysterious aerial objects.
About half of the total is “characterized as a balloon or balloon-like entities.” Others act more like drones. And a few appear to be nothing more than “airborne debris like plastic bags.”
Here are some key excerpts of what Sanner told King.
It is important for these reports to be taken seriously
SANNER: There were a lot of discussions 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. But to me, these stories really come together, right?
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 spies or other kinds of threats. So it’s important to get these things out there.
We cannot shoot down every UAP. We need to figure out what is actually a threat
SANNER: We don’t have the interest or the capacity to keep scrambling F-22s every time 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 have ignored these kinds of slow-moving threats if that’s what they are
SANNER: These things aren’t that hard to do. This is low-tech technology. And it brings up our vulnerabilities, really. … The defense of the continental United States has been neglected for decades, in terms of this kind of aerial threat, cruise missile threat.
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 on anything coming over the North Pole. But if something comes in south of Alaska, we might not see it.
And then we have this technology gap, in terms of most of our radars being from the 1980s. 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. And so we had to filter it to identify threats that look like things we recognize as threats.
China has accused the US of flying balloons over mainland China. Sanner thinks they’re wrong
SANNER: We’re in a liar, liar, pants on fire moment here. You know, I think that the Chinese are going to make up things in order to cover their own tracks.
But that said, we do spy. And this is another form of spying. So we have to be very careful with how outraged we get in terms of what we do. But I do not believe that we send balloons of this nature over Chinese territory.
Patience is required to identify these objects
It could take some time to figure out what these objects were, according to Andrew McCabe, a CNN senior law enforcement analyst, and former FBI deputy director.
“Some of them are coming down in harder-to-reach places than others,” McCabe told CNN’s Kate Bolduan on Monday. “Then those materials have to be transported back to Virginia, to the FBI laboratory at Quantico government suddenly started detecting mysterious aerial objects.
“Then the right partners, whether they are international partners or researchers here from the United States, have to be assembled to participate in what we call the exploitation of that technology, of the equipment.
“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 quick.”
Just fine with ‘trigger-happy’
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 government suddenly started detecting mysterious aerial objects.
“I would prefer them to be trigger-happy than to be permissive, but we’re going to have to see whether or not this is just the administration trying to change headlines,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” before Sunday’s shoot-down took place government suddenly started detecting mysterious aerial objects.
“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,” added Turner. “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.”