US Ends Search for 2 Airborne Objects Recently Shot Down Over Alaska and Lake Huron

Mimi Nguyen Ly
By Mimi Nguyen Ly
February 18, 2023US News
US Ends Search for 2 Airborne Objects Recently Shot Down Over Alaska and Lake Huron
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin holds a media briefing at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., on Oct. 27, 2022. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

The U.S. Northern Command said Friday it recommended to conclude searches for two unidentified objects that were shot down in U.S. airspace earlier this month.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin concurred with the recommendation, the command said in a statement.

One of the unidentified objects was shot down on Feb. 10 over U.S. waters off the northern coast of Alaska, near Deadhouse. Another was shot down on Feb. 12 over Michigan’s Lake Huron.

The objects are two of the four flying objects separately shot down over North American airspace earlier this month. They are also two of the three objects that remain unidentified.

Search operations for the two objects have “discovered no debris,” according to the command. The searches were conducted by the U.S. military, federal agencies, and Canadian partners. They used “a variety of capabilities, including airborne imagery and sensors, surface sensors and inspections, and subsurface scans,” the command stated.

“Artic conditions and sea ice instability informed decisions to conclude search operations” in Deadhorse, the statement reads.

Meanwhile, according to the statement, multiple days of searches and subsurface scans failed to find any debris from the flying object that was shot down on Lake Huron.

At the same time, Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) separately announced that “a decision was reached to suspend the search due to several factors including deteriorating weather and the low probability of recovery.”

Remaining Debris of Chinese Spy Balloon Sent to FBI

The U.S. Northern Command and RCMP also issued updates on developments regarding the other two flying objects.

Debris from the Chinese spy balloon that was shot down on Feb. 4 has been successfully recovered, the U.S. Northern Command said Friday. It added that final pieces of debris “are being transferred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation Laboratory in Virginia for counterintelligence exploitation.”

Spy balloon
The remnants of a large balloon drift above the Atlantic Ocean, just off the coast of South Carolina, with a fighter jet and its contrail seen below it, on Feb. 4, 2023. (Chad Fish via AP)

The command added that airspace and maritime restrictions around all three recovery operations in U.S. airspace have been lifted.

National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said Friday that “no one has come forward to claim ownership” of the three objects downed in U.S. airspace.

Meanwhile, Canada’s RCMP announced that with regard to the cylindrical object shot over Yukon Territory in Canadian airspace on Feb. 11, “[s]earch and recovery efforts continue … with the assistance of the Canadian Armed Forces.”

“The conditions are extremely challenging with a very large search area, spanning 3,000 square kilometers, and consisting of rugged and mountainous terrain with a high level of snowpack and harsh winter conditions,” the RCMP said of the search.

“This investigation is in its very early stages and will take time. We will share additional information when it becomes available as the recovery efforts and investigation unfold.”

President Joe Biden said on Thursday that with regard to the three still-unidentified downed objects, “nothing right now suggests they were related to China’s spy balloon program or that they were surveillance vehicles from any other country.”

He added, “The intelligence community’s current assessment is that these three objects were most likely balloons tied to private companies, recreation, or research institutions studying weather or conducting other scientific research.”

Biden also said that authorities “don’t have any evidence that there has been a sudden increase in the number of objects in the sky.”

“We’re now just seeing more of them, partially because the steps we’ve taken to increase our radars—to narrow our radars. And we have to keep adapting our approach to dealing with these challenges.”

From The Epoch Times

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