Another One Bites the Dust: U.S. Military Shoots down Unidentified Flying Object over Great Lakes Region; Object Spotted over Montana

The U.S. military shot down another unidentified flying object Sunday over Lake Huron in Michigan. The Department of Defense (DOD) said President Joe Biden directed an F-16 to fire a 9X missile shortly before 2:42 p.m., flying 20,000 feet over Lake Huron.

The DOD said the altitude and path “raised concerns, including that it could be a hazard to civil aviation.”

“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. There are no indications of any civilians hurt or otherwise affected,” said LTC César Santiago in a statement.

It was the third time in three days and the fourth time since February 4 that an “unidentified object” was downed in North America.

GOP Representative Jack Bergman of Michigan confirmed that the United States military “decommissioned another ‘object’” over Lake Huron.

Another Michigan Representative, Elissa Slotkin, Democrat, tweeted the object was “downed” by National Guard and U.S. Air Force pilots.

“Great work by all who carried out this mission both in the air and back at headquarters. We’re all interested in exactly what this object was and its purpose,” tweeted Slotkin. “As long as these things keep traversing the U.S. and Canada, I’ll continue to ask Congress to get a full briefing based on our exploitation of the wreckage.”

Slotkin continued, “We’ll know more about what this was in the coming days, but for now, be assured that all parties have been laser-focused on it from the moment it traversed our waters.”

[F]or now, be assured that all our parties have been laser-focused on it from the moment it traversed our waters,” she tweeted. 

Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said the Pentagon notified his office “of the actions they took in downing yet another ‘foreign object’ over Lake Huron.”

“Maximum transparency on what they learn about these objects is essential,” said Johnson in a statement. “We need to preemptively take the necessary steps to keep our nation safe. Purchase of replacement Large Power Transformers is a must to protect the nation’s electrical grid.” 

Canadian and U.S. authorities had restricted airspace Sunday over the lake as planes scrambled to identify and intercept the object. 

“NORAD launched Canadian and U.S. aircraft to investigate, and the object was taken down in U.S. airspace by U.S. aircraft,” said Anita Anand, Canadian Minister of National Defence. “We unequivocally support this action.”

The U.S. has shot down four objects over North America in the past week. The first was a Chinese spy balloon off the South Carolina coast on February 4. The second and third are thought to be smaller balloons, which were downed over Alaska and Canada. Sunday’s shot-down object is the fourth. 

Officials with the U.S. are still trying to positively identify the two other objects shot from the sky by F-22 fighter jets and are working to determine if China is responsible as concerns continue to build about what Washington says is China’s large-scale aerial surveillance program. 

Airspace briefly closed Sunday

Sunday, the U.S. briefly closed the airspace over Lake Michigan. An airspace shutdown predicated that shutdown over rural Montana. Sunday, officials confirmed they were no longer tracking any objects over either of those locations. 

“North American Aerospace Defense Command detected the object Sunday morning and maintained visual and radar tracking of it. 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,” said the Department of Defense.

“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. Our team will work to recover the object in an effort to learn more,” said the DOD. 

GOP Senator Steve Daines of Montana slammed the Biden administration for a “lack of communication” regarding the closing of Montana airspace and the recent shoot-downs.”

“The top priority should be the safety and security of the people of the United States, and Keeping the American people informed is a key part of fulfilling that duty,” said Daines in a statement. “President Biden owes Montanans and the country an immediate and full explanation. Without information, the public and media are left to rely on leaks, speculation, and worst of all, disinformation from foreign governments.”