Illustration photo – NORAD commander Gen. Glen VanHerck (left), US lawmakers and intelligence officials head to the Capitol for a closed-door briefing on a Chinese observation balloon over US territory, February 9, 2023.
Washington – It is not clear how at least three unidentified flying objects that the US Air Force shot down in the past three days are staying in the air. General Glen VanHerck, who heads the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) and Northern Command, told reporters on Sunday, according to Reuters. The general added that he does not call the objects balloons for a reason. At the same time, he did not explicitly rule out that it could be aliens from outer space.
The US Air Force has shot down at least three unidentified flying objects over North America in recent days, citing national security. More than a week ago, the Americans shot down a Chinese balloon off the coast of South Carolina, which Washington called a spy balloon. But there's nothing yet to suggest a connection to the last three cases.
“I can't categorize how it's staying in the air. It could be a gas-filled balloon inside the structure or it could be some kind of propulsion system,” VanHerck said. .
Asked if he was ruling out aliens from space, VanHerck said, “I'll let the intelligence and counterintelligence communities look into that. I'm not ruling anything out.” The general added that the Air Force continues to evaluate and identify any threat or potential threat.
Regarding the latest object shot down Sunday over Lake Huron near the U.S.-Canada border, VanHerck said experts assessed it did not represent a physical object. threat, but it is still an unknown object that probably fell into Canadian waters after being shot down. VanHerck believes this is his command's first ever action against a flying object.
Regarding the balloon shot down on February 4, Melissa Dalton of the Defense Department said the US had already discussed it with Beijing. At the same time, China refused requests for dialogue for several days. Regarding the latest downing of objects, the Pentagon noted that there is no indication of aliens from space “or extraterrestrial activity”. According to Dalton, the determination of objects to shoot down is done on a case-by-case basis.
The Pentagon representative also confirmed that the Chinese spy balloon was different from other objects. According to her, since the discovery of the Chinese balloon, the Pentagon has been examining radar data more thoroughly.