ATLANTA, Ga. (AP) – WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. officials said an “unidentified object” came down Sunday for the third time in as many days, this time over Lake Huron, after earlier crashes in Alaska and Canada. .
Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., tweeted that “the facility was shot down by US Air Force and National Guard pilots.” An American official confirmed the shooting.
On Sunday, US and Canadian authorities restricted some airspace over the lake as planes scrambled to intercept and try to locate the object.
THIS IS THE NEW SUPPLY NEWS. An earlier AP story follows.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials were trying to determine for sure on Sunday The last two objects were blown out of the sky by F-22 planes within a week unprecedented attacks they carefully work on the United States and Canada China was responsible that worries about what Washington says are Beijing’s a large program to monitor the air.
In the object was shot down over the Yukon on Saturday US officials have described a balloon significantly smaller than the three balloons that hit a school bus on February 4 as it flew off the coast of South Carolina after crossing the country. The object came down on Friday over the far north coast of Alaska was more cylindrical and was described as a type of airship.
Both were believed to have the same payload, either connected or suspended, according to officials who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation. Officials could not say who launched these objects and are trying to find out their origin.
US officials said the two cleaner objects were much smaller in size, had a different appearance and were flying at lower altitudes than a suspected Chinese spy balloon that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean after a US missile attack. They said the Alaskan and Canadian facilities are incompatible with China’s fleet of aerial surveillance balloons, which have targeted more than 40 countries and date back at least to the Trump administration.
This big white ball was first seen over the USA at the end of January and since then the Americans have been stationed in the sky above them. US officials have made it clear that they are constantly monitoring for unidentified radar strikes and that it is not uncommon to close airspace as a precautionary measure to assess them.
The US briefly closed the airspace over Lake Michigan on Sunday; Saturday night, which was done over rural Montana. Officials said on Sunday that they were no longer tracking any objects at those locations.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told ABC’s “This Week” that U.S. officials are working quickly to recover debris from all sites. Using shorthand to describe the objects as balloons, he said U.S. military and intelligence officials were “laser-focused” on gathering and gathering information and then developing a comprehensive analysis.
“The bottom line is, until a few months ago, we didn’t know about these balloons,” Schumer, D-N.Y., said of the spying program the administration has linked to the People’s Liberation Army, China’s military. “It’s wild we didn’t know.”
Eight days ago, F-22s shot down a giant white balloon that had been flying over the United States for several days at an altitude of about 60,000 feet. US officials immediately blamed China, saying the balloon was equipped to detect and collect intelligence signals and could maneuver itself. White House officials said surveillance has improved abilities helped it.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the balloon was a civilian aeronautical aircraft that had gone off course. Beijing said the US had “overreacted” by its downfall.
Then, on Friday, the North American Air Defense Command, a joint US-Canadian organization that provides joint air defense over the two countries, discovered and shot down an object near sparsely populated Deadhorse, Alaska.
That evening, NORAD detected a second object flying at high altitude over Alaska, US officials said. It crossed into Canadian airspace near Yukon, a remote Canadian province, on Saturday and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ordered it to be shot down.
In both of these incidents, the objects were flying at an altitude of about 40,000 feet, posing a potential hazard to civilian aircraft flying at that altitude.
They have three cases increased diplomatic tension between the United States and China, raised questions about the extent of American control over Beijing and sparked days of criticism from Republican lawmakers about the administration’s handling of the matter.
Representative Mike Turner, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the administration was “somewhat happy about the trigger.”
“Although it’s certainly preferable to the permissive environment that they demonstrated when the Chinese spy balloon came over some of the most sensitive sites,” Turner, R-Ohio, told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
After the shooting last weekend, Chinese officials said they reserved the right to “take further measures” and criticized the US for “an obvious reaction and a serious violation of international practice”.
Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, urged the administration to be as close as possible, saying the lack of accurate information has fueled speculation online.
One thing that has been clear from briefings in recent years is that “there’s a lot of debris in the sky,” Himes said.
“The reality is that most of our sensors and most of what we were looking for didn’t look like balloons,” he told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
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