Home » Unidentified object shot down over Lake Huron — third in as many days

Unidentified object shot down over Lake Huron — third in as many days

by Ghassan

By Caitlin Doornbos and Bruce Golding

(MAINNEWS) – US fighter jets shot down an unidentified object over Lake Huron on Sunday, marking the third time such action was taken in as many days and coming on the heels of last week’s Chinese spy balloon saga.

An unidentified object was shot down over Lake Huron by US fighter jets on February 12, 2023. Getty Images

Sunday’s takedown is believed to have involved an octagonal object that was tracked by radar over Montana on Saturday, when it “flew in proximity to sensitive [Department of Defense] sites,” Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said in a statement.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command located the object Sunday morning and tracked it visually and with radar until an F-16 fighter fired an AIM9x missile to blow it out of the sky about 20,000 feet over Lake Huron at 2:42 p.m., Ryder said.

“We did not assess it to be a kinetic military threat to anything on the ground, but assess it was a safety flight hazard and a threat due to its potential surveillance capabilities,” Ryder said.

Ryder said it was shot down over water “to avoid impact to people on the ground while improving chances for debris recovery.

“There are no indications of any civilians hurt or otherwise affected,” the rep added.

The object looked octagonal in shape and had strings hanging off it but carried no perceptible payload, an anonymous US official told Reuters.

Air Force officials said the latest three objects in US airspace are different from the now-infamous Chinese spy balloon.

“We’re calling them objects, not balloons for a reason,” Air Force General Glen VanHerck told reporters Sunday evening.

He said the most recent objects were “very, very small” and moved at slow speeds.

The military believes the object likely fell into Canadian waters and will attempt to retrieve it to learn more about what it exactly is, said VanHerck, who is the head of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and Northern Command.

US and Canadian authorities restricted airspace over the lake earlier in the day as military jets scrambled to intercept and identify the object, The Associate Press said, citing US officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

US Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Mich.), a former Marine lieutenant general, tweeted earlier that “he’d been in contact” with the Defense Department “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,” he said. “The American people deserve far more answers than we have.”

US Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), a former CIA analyst and Pentagon official, also tweeted that “the object has been downed by pilots from the U.S. Air Force and National Guard.

“We’re all interested in exactly what this object was and it’s [sic] purpose,” she added.

Rep. Elissa Slotkin confirmed the object getting shot down on Twitter and said she is interested in its “purpose.”
Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images

The incident followed the US takedowns of two other unidentified objects over Alaska and Canada on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

Those incidents came after an alleged “maneuverable” Chinese spy balloon floated across the US before being blown out of the sky off the coast of South Carolina on Feb. 4.

Authorities blamed the uptick in flying objects on NORAD’s effort to increase its surveillance.

NORAD enhanced their radar detection efforts following the initial Chinese spy balloon, resulting in the recent increase in object detection, Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Hemispheric Affairs Melissa Dalton told reporters.

Earlier Sunday, the North American Aerospace Defense Command said it had separately “implemented a temporary flight restriction airspace over Lake Michigan” around noon Eastern time.

The move — made “with the cooperation of the Federal Aviation Administration” — was intended “to ensure the safety of air traffic in the area during NORAD operations,” the joint US-Canada defense organization said.

NORAD didn’t elaborate at the time, but on Saturday, it blamed a radar anomaly for reports that an object had been spotted in Montana’s airspace.

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Military fighters that investigated “did not identify any object to correlate to the radar hits,” NORAD said Saturday.

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