As the country continues to be consumed by news of objects in the air being shot down by the U.S. military, observers were alarmed by an admission Saturday night from the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) that fighter jets had been unable to locate another that was detected over Montana, as the Daily Wire reports.
Following indications of a “radar anomaly” in the air over The Treasure State, NORAD reported having sent fighter aircraft to probe the situation.
“Those aircraft did not identify any object to correlate to the radar hits,” an official said, adding that the agency would “continue to monitor the situation.”
That communication came on the heels of the Federal Aviation Administration's issuance of a notice to airmen (NOTAM) that same evening indicating that a zone in the northern part of Montana had been designated a “national defense airspace,” and as a result, anyone entering that area was subject to being intercepted.
The story took yet another strange turn on Sunday when fighter jets shot down what was described as an unidentified object over Lake Huron, roughly 15 nautical miles east of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, as Fox News reported.
According to the New York Post, that takedown was thought to have involved the same object that had been tracked over Montana the day before, a fact to which Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder attested in a statement.
Speaking to what is known about the object, 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.”
The nebulous and sometimes conflicting information provided about not just Sunday's incident, but also last week's downing of a suspected Chinese spy balloon near the coast of South Carolina, and the shoot-downs of objects over Alaska on Friday and Canada on Saturday is only adding to the confusion Americans are feeling about what might be going on.
Defense Department officials Melissa Dalton and Gen. Glen VanHerck held a press conference Sunday night in an attempt to provide at least some insight into recent events, with the former suggesting that the increased incidences of objects in the sky stems from higher military scrutiny of American airspace at relevant altitudes initiated in the aftermath of the Chinese balloon event, as Fox News noted.
VanHerck seconded that notion, saying that the military has tweaked its radar settings to track slower-moving items. “With some adjustments, we've been able to get a better categorization of radar tracks now, and that's why I think you're seeing these, plus there's a heightened alert to look for this information.”
Refusing to label all of the aforementioned objects as balloons, VanHerck added, “We're calling them objects for a reason. Certainly, the event off the South Carolina coast for the Chinese spy balloon, that was clearly a balloon. These are objects. I am not able to categorize how they stay aloft. It could be a gaseous type of balloon inside a structure, or it could be some type of a propulsion system.”
Stoking all sorts of rampant speculation and, arguably, conspiracy theories as well, when asked whether he has eliminated the possibility that the objects are the manifestation of aliens, VanHerck replied, “I haven't ruled out anything at this point.”
Blasting the lack of concrete information from the Biden administration or any words at all on the subject from the president himself in the days the Chinese spy balloon was shot down was Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK), who said Monday, according to The Hill, “The president owes the American people an explanation, direct and on camera, of what we know about these 'objects' and what steps he's taking to protect America's sovereign airspace.”
Pointing out that Biden's lengthy delay in addressing the Chinese spy balloon stands in stark contrast to the swift decisions to shoot down three subsequent “objects” despite prior claims that doing so over populated areas posed an unacceptable civilian risk, Cotton rightly demanded that Biden no longer be permitted to “hide behind press secretaries and anonymous sources in a time of crisis,” surely echoing the sentiments of millions of exasperated fellow citizens.