Objects 2, 3, 4 Shot Down Over North America Last Week by US Navy and NORAD Called 'Not Chinese' by US President Biden

BR Rogers

US National security often requires that the intelligence community withhold details when events involving military action occur in North America so as not to advertise to US non-allies what the US knows and what actions it is taking to protect itself or gather intelligence about its adversaries. This is common in many first-world countries.

In recent days, US President Biden and his administration have come under fire from critics claiming that there needs to be more transparency and that the US public has a right to know what threatens their safety and national security over the airspace of America. Canada has recently become involved in this discussion since one of the objects was downed at the request of Prime Minister Trudeau by NORAD, a military alliance of both US and Canada. Both the countries' jets were present when that object was taken down with a US F-22 fighter jet scrambled by NORAD, when it crossed into the Yukon from Alaskan airspace last week.

US President Joseph Biden spoke on Thursday from the US White House, saying that all 3 objects that were shot down in as many days over last weekend were

...most likely balloons tied to private companies, recreation or research institutions studying weather or conducting other scientific research.” [quote is courtesy of CNN]

The main problem with these objects was their altitude, all 3 of them flying at approximately 20,000 to 40,000 feet altitude, and therefore presenting a hazard to commercial, passenger, and military aircraft. Most air travel is accomplished within those altitude lanes or below. The first object shot down off the South Carolina US shore had been flying at an altitude of 60,000 feet and was confirmed by US intelligence as a Chinese surveillance device, but the others have not been fully retrieved or studied.

On Thursday, Biden reaffirmed that he would direct the US Military to shoot down any object over US airspace that posed a threat to American citizens. Last week China claimed that they were tracking a US surveillance device over the Yellow Sea, but there is no indication yet if this was accurate and it might simply be China's attempt to redirect blame onto the US and away from its own spy program.

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