On Sunday, for the third time in three days, the U.S. military shot down an unidentified flying object that had violated the sovereign airspace of the U.S. or Canada, which followed similar shootdowns of unidentified "objects" spotted over Alaska on Friday and Canada on Saturday.
The Pentagon further revealed on Sunday that the object shot down over Lake Huron near Michigan was most likely the same "radar anomaly" it had first spotted elsewhere on Saturday but had lost track of overnight, the Western Journal reported.
That is not particularly confidence-inspiring in terms of the military's competence and capabilities, nor is it good news for President Joe Biden and his administration, given the still-developing and highly critical aftermath of his handling of the Chinese high-altitude surveillance balloon that was allowed to traverse the continental U.S. before finally being shot down off the coast of South Carolina less than a week earlier.
According to a Defense Department press release Sunday afternoon, an F-16 fighter jet armed with AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles engaged with and shot down "an airborne object flying at approximately 20,000 feet altitude in U.S. airspace over Lake Huron in the State of Michigan" that had been assessed as posing a potential "hazard to civil aviation."
The object had been picked up on radar Sunday morning by the North American Aerospace Defense Command, better known as NORAD, and was constantly tracked up until it was fired upon and brought down into the waters of Lake Huron below.
"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 release added. "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."
Later on Sunday, a press briefing was held at the Pentagon that involved Air Force Gen. Glenn VanHerck, the commander of NORAD and U.S. Northern Command, along with Melissa Dalton, the assistant secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Hemispheric Affairs.
Gen. VanHerck, in providing a summary to reporters of what had just occurred over Lake Huron, described how NORAD had picked up an unidentified radar contact in Canadian airspace on Saturday afternoon that later crossed into U.S. airspace and how fighter jets and support aircraft from West Coast bases were scrambled to investigate that contact and identify it.
Those jets didn't arrive "on station" until it was nearly dark, however, and the general said, "At sunset, we were unable to find the track. Also, our radar operators lost the track on radar. And the FAA was never tracking the radar. Therefore, that's why we called it an anomaly because we weren't able to identify it."
"Several hours later, overnight, we began seeing an intermittent radar contact east of the position in Montana as it approached Wisconsin," VanHerck continued. A "game plan" was developed to further investigate that radar contact, he said and noted that "It's likely, but we have not confirmed that the track that we saw at Wisconsin was likely the same track in Montana."
More fighter jets and support aircraft were scrambled from various bases across the Midwest to intercept the unknown object and it was monitored as it tracked across Michigan's Upper Peninsula until it was finally engaged and shot down over Lake Huron.
As noted, this was the third shootdown of an unidentified flying object in as many days, with the first being over Alaska on Friday and the second over Canada on Saturday, all of which was of course preceded by the days-long track and eventual shootdown of the Chinese spy balloon less than a week earlier.
What, exactly, these mysterious "objects" being shot down are, the Pentagon isn't yet saying, and interestingly enough, Gen. VanHerck told reporters Sunday that he hadn't "ruled out" the possibility that they are extraterrestrial in origin while Assistant Sec. Dalton vowed to eventually release images of the objects to the public in the interest of "transparency."
The Biden administration hasn't been particularly transparent on this or, really, anything else, however, and as pointed out by the Western Journal, this latest incident of an initially dismissed "anomaly" that was later deemed worthy of being shot down is emblematic of the perception that President Biden is weak and incompetent and not entirely capable of leading or defending this nation from any and all potential threats.