Yet another mysterious flying object was been shot down by US fighter aircraft on 12 February – the third such unidentified aerial phenomenon (UAP) and fourth craft in total to be downed over North America in the past week.
The latest incident took place near the maritime border between the USA and Canada on Lake Huron, which separates the state of Michigan and the province of Ontario. The response was coordinated by the two countries joint military headquarters – North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
Canadian defence minister Anita Anand on 12 February confirmed the object’s destruction by US fighter aircraft.
“A high-altitude object was detected in US airspace over Lake Huron,” Anand tweets. “NORAD launched Canadian and US aircraft to investigate and the object was taken down in US airspace by US aircraft,” she adds, noting that Ottawa supports the action.
US Congressman Jack Bergman, who represents a portion of Michigan’s Lake Huron coast, confirms the action by the US Department of Defense (DoD).
“I’ve been in contact with DoD regarding operations across the Great Lakes region today,” Bergman tweets. “The US military has decommissioned another ‘object’ over Lake Huron.”
Bergman, speaking on Fox News, claims the object was ‘octagonal’ and was shot down by Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters at around 20,000ft with a Raytheon AIM-9 Sidewinder missile.
The Pentagon confirms all of the details, except the reported octagonal shape.
“[The object’s] path and altitude raised concerns, including that it could be a hazard to civil aviation”, the DoD says. “The location chosen for this shoot down afforded us the opportunity to avoid impact to people on the ground while improving chances for debris recovery.”
If accurate, that would mark the lowest altitude of the recent military actions involving UAP.
The first shoot down took place on 4 February, in which an alleged Chinese surveillance balloon was destroyed around 65,000ft. A second, unknown object was shot down off the coast of northern Alaska on February at roughly 40,000ft.
A third object was downed in Canadian airspace over the Yukon Territory on 11 February, at the order of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. US Air Force Lockheed F-22 stealth fighters conducted all three of the previous interdictions.
There has been no consistency between the events when it comes to the size and shape of the various objects. The DoD says the Chinese balloon carried a payload the size of regional commercial jet, while the object destroyed over Alaska was the size of a small car.
The Pentagon notes NORAD first detected the 12 February object over Montana early that morning local time “and maintained visual and radar tracking”.
“Based on its flight path and data we can reasonably connect this object to the radar signal picked up over Montana, which flew in proximity to sensitive DoD sites”, the DoD says. “We did not assess it to be a kinetic military threat to anything on the ground, but assess it was a safety flight hazard and a threat due to its potential surveillance capabilities.”
The Chinese surveillance balloon also transited Montana, which is home to USAF bases housing ballistic missile silos. The DoD gives no indication if it considers the two events connected.
NORAD says only that it “implemented a temporary flight restriction” over Lake Huron, in conjunction with civil aviation authorities.
USAF aircraft were seen in the area on flight tracking service FlightRadar24, including a Boeing KC-135 tanker.