The US crashes an “unidentified object” over Lake Huron, the third this week

(NewsNation) – The U.S. military has shut down another “object” over Lake Huron, a Michigan lawmaker said Sunday.

“I appreciate the determined action of our fighter pilots,” Michigan Rep. Jack Bergman said posted on social media. “The American people deserve far more answers than we do.”

Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., tweeted that “the object was shot down by US Air Force and National Guard pilots.” A US official confirmed the shooting.

It is the third unidentified object shot down in as many days.

US and Canadian authorities restricted part of the airspace over the lake earlier Sunday as planes scrambled to intercept the object and try to identify it.

Earlier Sunday, the Federal Aviation Administration issued one NOTAM for Northwest Michigan and declared an area that includes part of Lake Michigan to be “National Defense Airspace”. The FAA did not explain why it stopped civilian use of the airspace. Neither the FAA nor the Pentagon have commented on the restriction.

Earlier this weekend, the agency declared a national defense space over Montana. Montana Rep. Matt Rosendale tweeted that this was not an anomaly.

“I am in constant communication with NORCOM and they have just informed me that they have faith that an object EXISTS and it WAS NOT an anomaly. I’m now waiting for visual confirmation. The security of our nation is my priority,” his tweet read.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the two objects shot down in recent days were balloons, albeit smaller than the suspected Chinese spy balloon shot down last week.

Schumer, DN.Y., told ABC’s This Week that he was briefed Saturday night by Jake Sullivan, President Joe Biden’s national security adviser.

On Saturday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ordered a cylindrical high-altitude object shot down over Canadian airspace. Investigators in the country are now searching for debris from the object shot down by a US fighter jet over the Yukon Territory, Reuters reports.

An object the size of a small car was shot down over remote Alaska on Friday, according to the White House. Both this object and the object launched over Canada appear to be balloons, according to US Senate lawmakers.

When asked if these two most recent objects were balloons, Schumer said, “They think they were, yes, but much smaller than the first.”

The first balloon, launched over the Atlantic on February 3, was able to collect electronic communications. US officials came to this conclusion based on photos of the balloon taken in flight and debris recovered from the ocean.

The suspected spy balloon was believed to be part of a fleet being developed for surveillance, and an intelligence official told reporters balloons had been flown over more than 40 countries.

The Biden administration said the first balloon wasn’t a major breach, noting that information is being collected all the time. Republicans have criticized the president for not launching the balloon sooner, but he has defended his decision to launch the balloon over water to avoid possible deaths.

The balloons are believed to be part of China’s effort to beat the US in “near space.” Although balloons are older technology, they can have some advantages over satellites, including the ability to hover over a target for extended periods of time. They are also more difficult to detect with radar than with other means of surveillance.

Officials said there was a blind spot when it came to Chinese balloons, as information indicated balloons had already transited US airspace during the Trump administration.

The US restricts six Chinese companies believed to be linked to the balloon program. These companies will not be able to access US technology without government approval.

China has claimed the first balloon was a civilian weather balloon and has called the US irresponsible and “hysterical” for shooting down the craft.

The Associated Press contributed to this story. The US crashes an “unidentified object” over Lake Huron, the third this week

Dais Johnston

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