In a press conference held on Sunday, Melissa Dalton, the assistant defense secretary of Homeland Defense, and General Glen VanHerck, the head of U.S. North Command, addressed the increased detection and shoot-downs of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) in North American airspace. The shoot-downs were a result of increased scrutiny and enhancements to the U.S.’ radar systems. The most recent UFO shot down was over Lake Huron, believed to be the same object tracked over Montana and monitored by the government the night before. This was the fourth UFO shot down by U.S. fighter jets in the past eight days, along with ones over Alaska and Canada and a suspected Chinese spy balloon.
Officials could not definitively determine what the objects were, but they acted out of caution to protect U.S. security and interest. The objects were not deemed a kinetic military threat, but their proximity to sensitive defense sites and altitude raised concerns for potential hazards to civilian aviation.
NORAD detected a “radar contact” in Canada, near the U.S. border, on Saturday and scrambled F-15 fighter jets and KC-135 tanker support to investigate. The object crossed into U.S. sovereign space but was later shot down over Lake Huron after officials determined it was not a physical or military threat.
General VanHerck stated that the U.S. has adjusted its radar to track slower objects, which may explain the recent increase in UFO detections. The remains of the objects are being gathered by multiple agencies, including the Coast Guard, to determine their origin. General VanHerck refused to classify the objects as balloons and emphasized that officials are waiting to further assess and analyze the remains before attributing them to any specific country. He also mentioned that, to the best of his recollection, this was the first time in U.S. history that NORAD or U.S. Northern Command has taken kinetic action against an airborne object.