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Mystery objects shot down over North America probably ‘benign’, US admits

The White House admitted that three objects taken down by fighter jets in North America over the past week were likely for a “commercial or benign” purpose.

After an alleged Chinese spy ball drifted through its airspace, the US claimed it destroyed the objects in an abundance of caution.

Sidewinder missiles costing hundreds of thousands of dollar each were used to down the expensive objects in Alaska, Canada’s Yukon Territory, and Lake Huron in Michigan. It took three days.

It is still not clear what UFOs were. The remote locations could hinder the search.


Now, the White House has dispelled speculation that they were related to the 4 February high-altitude balloon crash.

John Kirby, national security spokesperson, stated that “the intelligence community is considering as leading explanation that these could be balloons tied to some benign or commercial purpose.”

“We don’t see any evidence that suggests right now that we are part of the PRC [China] spy ball programme.”

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He stated that they were not related to intelligence collection against the United States of America of any type and that no one had claimed the objects.

US officials suggested that the object which was seen flying over Lake Huron Sunday on Sunday may have been there to monitor sensitive military sites.

They also stated that all three objects were different shapes and smaller than the Chinese balloon, as well as flying much lower.

The potential danger to commercial aircraft was the main reason for destroying the objects.

On Tuesday, military commanders confirmed that two missiles were needed to destroy the Lake Huron UFO. The first missed and landed in water.

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Timeline showing where fighter jets have been shot down

Image: US Navy sailors recovered the spy balloon from the South Carolina coast. Pic: Associated Press

General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated that the military had gone “great lengths to ensure there was no danger to the public” before the F-16 jet struck.

He said, “We are very, very careful that these shots are in fact secure.”

“And that’s it from the president: Shoot the thing down, but ensure we minimize collateral damage and preserve the safety of our people.”

These comments were made a day after the US declared key sensor and “significant debris”, from the Chinese balloon, had been found in the ocean off South Carolina.

China denies the balloon was used to spy on its citizens and says it was a weather research instrument that went off course.

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As tensions between superpowers grew this week, both countries were accused of operating high-altitude surveillance satellites.

Beijing claimed that the US had flown 10 times its balloons above Chinese airspace in the past year, a claim it refutes.

Antony Blinken, Secretary of State, was forced to cancel a high-profile visit to China because of the balloon incident.

He is now believed to be looking into meeting his counterpart Wang Yi at a security conference in Munich that starts Friday.


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