Photo Credit: US Department of Defense

Carter Carling, Staff Writer

On Feb. 4th, a Chinese spy balloon was shot down just off the coast of South Carolina. On Feb. 10th, a UFO was shot down off the coast of Alaska. On Feb. 11th, a UFO is shot down over Canada. Feb. 12th, a UFO is shot down over Montana. What is going on?

This all started when a Chinese spy balloon drifted into US airspace on January 28th. According to the Pentagon, this is not the first time a Chinese spy balloon has been in US airspace. The balloon was shot down off the coast of South Carolina once it was deemed safe by military officials. When the wreckage was recovered, it was revealed this balloon had solar panels to power propulsion, cameras, and surveillance technology.

Later on Feb. 10th, a US fighter jet shot down a UFO near Alaska. Officials said they could not immediately confirm whether the object was a balloon or not, but they made it clear it was a threat to civilian aircraft due to the altitude it was flying at. Brigadier General Ryder, had this to say during a press conference, “Civilian aircraft operate, you know, at a variety of ranges, up to 40 to 45,000 feet. So again, there was a reasonable concern that this could present a threat to or a potential hazard to civilian air traffic.”

The next day, Feb. 11th, a UFO was shot down by a US fighter jet over Canada. The object was first detected over Alaska, and NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) continued tracking it into Canadian airspace where it was shot down by a US F-22 fighter aircraft.

Photo Credit: US Department of Defense

The day after that, Feb. 12th, the US shot down a UFO over Lake Huron. “Yesterday evening, approximately 1645 or 4:45 Eastern Time on 11 Feb., NORAD detected a radar contact in Canadian airspace approximately 70 or so miles north of the United States border,” General Vanherck said in a press conference. He continued, “At 1800 Eastern, or 6 P.M. Eastern, the radar track crossed into the United States sovereign airspace. At 7:04 Eastern Time, the F-15s with their tanker support were on station to investigate. We continue to investigate. What’s important to point out, this is near dark within a half-hour 45 minutes of dark. We continue to investigate to identify, locate the object we were unsuccessful,” he went on to say, “It tracked across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We were cleared to engage the target in Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan over land and, ultimately, down the object at this point about 15 nautical miles east of the Upper Peninsula in Lake Huron. What we saw was in object that began drifting, potentially most likely landed in Canadian waters in Lake Huron.”

What’s with all these UFOs recently? General Vanherck said, “radars essentially filter out information based on speed. So you can set various gates. We call them velocity gates that allow us to filter out low-speed clutter. So if you have radars on all the time that we’re looking at anything from zero speed up to, say, 100, you would see a lot more information.

We have adjusted some of those gates to give us better fidelity on seeing smaller objects. You can also filter out by altitude. And so, with some adjustments, we’ve been able to get a better categorization of radar tracks now. And that’s why I think you’re seeing these overall. Plus, there’s a heightened alert to look for this information.” This is a very good explanation, though not everyone is convinced. This is a quote from a Pentagon press conference on Feb. 12th in which Helene Cooper asks a question: “Q: Hi, thanks, Pat, and thanks for doing this. This is for General VanHerck. Because you still haven’t been able to tell us what these things are that we are shooting out of the sky, that raises the question, have you ruled out aliens or extraterrestrials? And if so, why? Because that is what everyone is asking us right now.”

GEN. VANHERCK: Thanks for the question, Helena. I’ll let the intel community and the counterintelligence community figure that out. I haven’t ruled out anything. At this point, we continue to assess every threat or potential threats unknown that approaches North America with an attempt to identify it.”

With the military officially not ruling aliens out and claiming to not be able to recover any of the wreckage, some people are rightfully skeptical. And their lack of transparency certainly isn’t helping. “I think there is a huge lack of communication with how they are going about it. I’ve heard so many things like ‘they are weather balloons’ or ‘Chinese spy balloons,’” Mikenzie McIntyre, a Bingham student, said. She continued, “Because there is that lack of communication, no one knows what is true or not. I think it’s fine to be shooting it down, that’s whatever, but it’s the fact that no one knows what it is and what is flying above them and possibly landing in their living space.”

Four objects have been shot down over US and Canadian airspace. Military officials are not ruling anything out, even aliens. The F-22 Raptor now has two air-to-air kills, the Chinese spy balloon, and one UFO. Where do these mysterious objects come from? As of right now, we have no idea.

For more information on this topic, refer to the press conferences below:

February 10th Press Conference:

February 12th Press Conference: