The heightened awareness of potential airborne threats has led to the Department of Defense (DOD) being on “heightened alert” and lowering the threshold on warning filters to capture signals from lower altitude, lower speed objects. This has allowed NORAD to have better domain awareness and adjust how it tracks and detects foreign airborne objects. This has been due to an August intelligence report describing a significant uptick in unidentified aerial phenomena sightings.
2/ As long as these things keep traversing the US and Canada, I’ll continue to ask for Congress to get a full briefing based on our exploitation of the wreckage.
— Rep. Elissa Slotkin (@RepSlotkin) February 12, 2023
On Sunday afternoon, the Federal Aviation Administration closed and reopened airspace over Lake Michigan as defense officials recaptured the radar signal. This was due to the object traveling at an altitude of 20,000 feet, significantly lower than the objects downed over Alaska and Canada the past two days, and could therefore pose a threat to commercial air traffic.
At the order of President Joe Biden, a U.S. F-16 fighter jet shot down the object over Lake Huron, near Michigan, at 2:42 p.m. Sunday, Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said in a statement. The object was octagonal and did not appear to carry a payload, a congressional aide told The Wall Street Journal.
NORAD leader Gen. Glen VanHerck noted that shooting it down over Lake Huron minimized the chance of harm to civilians. Ryder also noted that based on its flight path and data they can reasonably connect this object to the radar signal picked up over Montana, which flew in proximity to sensitive Department of Defense sites.
Homeland defense assistant secretary Melissa Dalton said that DOD has not been able to assess the origin or function of the last three objects downed over U.S. and Canadian airspace. On Saturday evening, DOD imposed a temporary flight restriction over Montana to investigate a possible fourth object flying over Montana but could not make a positive identification.
The heightened awareness of potential airborne threats has led to an increase in objects identified by NORAD as it adjusts its filters and tracking methods. This has allowed for the U.S. F-16 fighter jet to shoot down the object over Lake Huron, near Michigan, at 2:42 p.m. Sunday in order to minimize the chance of harm to civilians. Despite not being able to assess the origin or function of the last three objects downed over U.S. and Canadian airspace, DOD is continuing its efforts to investigate any potential threats in order to protect civilians from harm.
The preceding article is a summary of an article that originally appeared on The Daily Caller