Trudeau says US jet shot down unidentified object over northern Canada


This is quite something to see. A tweet from the Canadian prime minister saying that he ordered this object to be taken down over Canadian skies. What more can you tell us? It also speaks, in fact, to the seriousness of what's happened here and the chain of command.

And I will note that in his tweet, the prime minister also indicated, of course, this is close coordination with the White House and with President Joe Biden. At issue here, Jim, is really what is going on with these objects.

And the threat that they pose. Now, remember that they would have been given some kind of intelligence when Nord had actually spotted this high altitude object, as they're calling it, to give an indication.

That possibly there was a threat. I would assume that if it was over northern Canada, that Canadian forces, the Air Force, would have determined that they could shoot it down without a risk to people on the ground. And more than that, the prime.

Minister is now saying the Canadian Forces will lead the recovery effort again to ascertain exactly what this is. Does it pose a threat? And who it belongs to? Because remember, in the last objects you were just talking to Natasha about that second one, still a mystery.

Obviously, this a mystery as well. What is it? Why does it continue to enter both U.S. and Canadian airspace? And what can Canadian forces and the U.S. now learn from having shot it down and trying to recover the debris? We don't have any more details yet. We have reached out to the Canadian.

Defense Ministry to understand what kind of a recovery operation is underway and how complicated that might be. But given the way the close coordination has been happening between the U.S. and Canada, remember through Nora, they're all.

Looking at the same intelligence in terms of what is it? Does it pose a threat? They now need to determine exactly what to do going forward. At issue, though, Jim, the most important thing is you've lost two objects. Who do they belong to.

And why are they entering both Canadian and American airspace? And according to these tweets from the Canadian prime minister, Paula, Canadian forces will now recover and analyze the wreckage of this object. The prime minister seems to have some degree of confidence that there is wreckage.

That is retrievable, recoverable, at this point and possibly available for analysis once once it's all picked up. That's interesting as well. It is very interesting. And obviously, as I said, first and foremost, they want to make sure.

That assuming that down there was no risk to anyone on the ground. But again, the recovery efforts, what do they entail given? I'd imagine you know, in terms of recovery, what kind of debris field.

Are they looking at? Again, it did not come down as far as we know, in the water that will make things a little bit easier. Again, they recover that second high altitude object and they'll be in close coordination.

With U.S. forces on that Just to remind everyone, it was actually just yesterday, on Friday that Canada's defense minister, Anita Anand, met with Secretary Austin to discuss these issues. And, you know, President Biden is expected to visit Canada in March.

You know, one of the key issues that was already on the agenda, Jim, before these objects started appearing over U.S. and Canadian airspace was Arctic security. Some of it is certainly menacing from the point of view about what Russia has been going on.

Has been had going on in the Arctic region, but obviously also China. And given these kinds of threats, just poking their way into the airspace this whole conversation about Arctic security over both Canada and the United States.

Will take on a very heightened urgency. And again, they are looking for a completely new security architecture here for the Arctic and for the north over both countries. And this will certainly feature. You're absolutely right about that. That's a very good point, Paula.

I remember from my days covering the White House that both administrations I covered were becoming increasingly concerned about what was taking place in the Arctic, in part because of the warming.

That is going on up there, but also because of the potential for things like this. Paula Newton, thank you very much for your time. Please come back to us if you have any new information. We'll take it just as soon as you have it.

We appreciate it very much. Joining us now to discuss this further is CNN transportation analyst Mary Schiavo. Mary is a former inspector general for the Department of Transportation. Mary, we were talking to you last weekend about how weird it was to have a balloon,.

A Chinese spy balloon flying over the United States and being shot down off the coast of South Carolina. And then lo and behold, here we are one week later, we had the incident that took place in Alaska yesterday. And then we don't even know.

A whole lot about what is taking place today. The Canadian prime minister ordering the takedown of an unidentified object over the Yukon. That is very strange. Well, very strange, but I've been working in Alaska.

For two and a half weeks on a different airplane crash case. The the difference in the activity here with military aviation. I'm literally I can see it you know, aviation, an air base from here. There are AWACS planes,.

You know, the airborne early surveillance radar planes from the military base circling around Alaska. I mean, there's a tremendous increase in activity here just on surveillance activities from from, you know, fixed wing aircraft.

And the AWACS and the important thing to note is the United States. And, of course, Canada has every right to take these aircraft down or wherever these objects are. Balloons because we have a series of treaties.

With all nations of the world. And we also have requirements for aircraft to identify themselves, to be identified, particularly at the altitudes at which they're flying. Yes, you can do what's called visual flight.

You don't have to have a transponder on board. But at the altitudes that some of these objects have been, they will interfere with traffic, with commercial air traffic. I mean, some planes can fly at 40,000 50,000 feet. And by not identifying what.

The object is, military aircraft can fly up to you. Even if that's happened to me when I was in flight school, they can fly up to a civilian aircraft and ask you to identify yourself if you're too close to military installations. And Alaska.

Is full of military installations. So I think the heightened surveillance up here, in addition to realizing there is something there that the nations need to find out, they're within their rights to do it now. And you're absolutely right about that in terms of the danger to civilian aircraft,.

Because as we were discussing about what took place in Alaska yesterday, that was the concern that that unidentified object was hovering around 40,000 feet. That puts it at risk. For colliding with civilian aircraft. That makes it a huge.

Aviation security priority. That's right. In the skies up here. We're very busy yesterday, not you know, it's always busy with civilian aircraft in Alaska because that's a way of life. But there was a lot of military presence in the skies yesterday over Anchorage.

And environs. And, you know, are they just picking up more now that everyone's paying attention? Well, really, no, because over the years there have been many sightings of various things. But a lot of times.

The government didn't pay much attention to them. And when I was inspector general, the DOD, obviously the FAA was underresourced and there would be lots of reports. Oh, the FAA is hiding you know, is covering up. Brown identified flying objects.

Now, when we investigated, they always had an earthly origin. But now with heightened attention, I think probably more will be found because that's generally how it works. When you pay attention, you find more. But they always have an origin at least so far here on Earth. Yes.

And let me ask you about what was reported about Alaska in that the object that was taken down yesterday was described as being about the size of a small car. Does that sound like another balloon type aircraft to you or does that sound like a drone? Well, there were some reports on pilots.

The pilots who went up take a look at it themselves, had mixed reports. Some thought balloon and some that it was a drone. And, of course, you know, drones, you know, they look very different nowadays. They don't look like aircraft of years.

Gone by. So I think we'll have to wait on the government to tell that. But without a doubt, the balloon that they got, they now say, was doing communications surveillance. Which one would you know, expect a balloon?.

If you've got a satellite to take pictures, a balloon surveillance would have to be looking for something else. But there's conflicting reports on what it really looks like. But since they have it, they'll know soon.

And I imagine they'll be able to tell us the origin of it. Nation, the national origin of the object pretty soon.

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