Republican and Democratic lawmakers are demanding President Joe Biden provide “maximum transparency” on what the president and his administration discover about the now four unidentified flying objects that have been downed over Canada and the United States in recent days.
On Sunday, the military of the U.S. shot down an additional unidentified flying object over Michigan’s Lake Huron. It was the third time in three days and the fourth time since February 4 that an “unidentified object” was shot down in North America.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) issued a statement Sunday confirming that the fourth object was downed by an F-16 at 2:43 p.m. “at the direction of President Biden, and based on the recommendations of Secretary Austin and military leadership.”
According to NORAD, the object flew at 20,000 feet over Lake Huron.
The unknown object was shot down because it could pose a “hazard” to “civil aviation,” continued the statement, and there were “no indications” of civilians that were impacted. NORAD confirmed a team is working to retrieve the object in “an effort to learn more.”
However, neither NORAD nor the Pentagon has released further information on whether the object that was brought down Sunday was related to Chinese surveillance activities that led to the downing of a substantial floating balloon last week off the coast of South Carolina or other two floating objects shot down over Canada and Alaska.
A U.S. senior official said the unidentified “objects” that were shot down over Alaska and Canada are both believed to be balloons carrying a payload.
Officials demand transparency from the Biden administration
Montana Republican Senator Steve Daines said the lack of transparency from President Biden’s administration following the shooting down of a fourth object is “unacceptable.”
“The lack of communication from the Biden administration regarding the closing of Montana airspace last night and the recent shoot-downs that took place over Alaska and Canada is unacceptable,” said Daines in a statement.
“The top priority of the administration 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,” continued Daines. “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.”
“I appreciate DoD’s notification to my office of the actions they took in downing yet another ‘foreign object’ over Lake Huron,” said GOP Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.
“Maximum transparency on what they learn about these objects is essential,” continued Johnson. “We need to preemptively take the necessary steps to keep our nation safe. Purchase of replacement Large Power Transformers is necessary to protect the nation’s electrical grid.”
Another Representative from Michigan, Lisa McClain, said more answers are warranted.
“I have been keeping a close eye on the military’s actions over the Great Lakes today. Our state, and the entire country, deserve answers to what happened, and I will ensure we get them.”
GOP Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee said the American people “deserve transparency and accountability from the Biden administration.”
“We need to know about the numerous invasions of U.S. airspace,” Blackburn continued.
Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio said the most recent unidentified object activity has been “happening for years.”
“The last 72 hours revealed to the public what has been happening for years, unidentified aircraft routinely operating over restricted U.S. airspace,” tweeted Rubio.
Sunday, the U.S. briefly shut down the airspace over Lake Michigan. Saturday, the airspace was also closed over rural Montana.
Officials in the United States said the two most recent objects were much smaller in size and different in appearance and flew significantly lower than the suspected Chinese spy balloon that was shot down over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of South Carolina.
The officials said the Canada and Alaska objects were inconsistent with the slew of Chinese surveillance balloons targeting over 40 countries, stretching back at least to the previous administration.