White House addresses shoot-downs (includes video story)

The White House held a press conference after three more unidentified objects were shot down during the weekend following the shootdown of a Chinese surveillance balloon earlier this month.

“Their altitudes were considerably lower than the Chinese high-altitude balloon and did pose a threat to commercial civilian air traffic,” said John Kirby, coordinator for strategic communications for the National Security Council. “While we have no reason to suspect they were conducting surveillance of any kind, we can’t rule that out.”

All of the objects were taken down by U.S. Forces, one on Friday over Alaska, another on Saturday in Canada near the U.S. border, and a third on Sunday near Lake Huron in Michigan. Canada is recovering the wreckage from Saturday shootout and analyzing the wreckage. 

“In light of the Chinese balloon program and this recent incursion into our airspace, the United States and Canada … have been more closely scrutinizing that airspace,” Kirby said, adding that “may at least partially explain the increase in the objects that have been detected.”

Kirby also confirmed that there are no U.S. surveillance objects in China’s airspace, but that China does have a high-altitude pilot program to seek out Chinese intelligence collection. 

During the briefing, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also said there is no indication these objects resulted from extraterrestrial activities. 

Rachel Costa is a student at Florida International University majoring in Digital Journalism and Communications. She was born and raised in Brazil, and enjoys reading and writing. In the future, she hopes to work in the publishing industry.