U.S. investigates three flying objects shot down in North American airspace


We Begin this morning with more unidentified objects in the Skies over the United States yeah the Pentagon has confirmed that three objects have been shot down in American airspace since Friday just one week after the military brought down a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon off the coast of South Carolina the latest object was.

Shot down over Lake Huron yesterday it was initially spotted over Montana but made its way across Wisconsin and Michigan the FAA temporarily restricted planes from flying over Lake Michigan until military jets could take it down on Saturday an American F-22 fighter jet brought down an object flying at forty thousand feet over Canada after prime.

Minister Justin Trudeau ordered it shot down and on Friday another F-22 shot down an object off the coast of Alaska White House officials say they that the objects were much smaller than the balloon that was brought down in South Carolina John Kirby the spokesperson for the National Security Council says they do not know a whole lot about these.

Objects we're calling this an object because that's the best description we have right now we do not know who owns it whether it's a whether it's state owned or or corporate owned or privately owned we just don't know a recovery effort will be made um and uh we're hopeful that it'll be.

Successful and then we can learn a little bit more about it we have NBC News White House correspondent Carol Lee and Global Security reporter Dan de Luz joining us to help break all of this down guys there is a lot to keep up with here so Carol let's start with you it seems like the White House and Pentagon are walking.

A fine line here they're publicly acknowledging these objects characterizing the one from this weekend as posing a reasonable threat to the safety of Civilian flights but at the same time it also seems like they're trying to avoid aggressively pointing the finger at someone is that fair to say what's your take on kind of this.

Line if you will the White House seems to be walking I think you have it right Allison it's if they are trying to walk this line and the problem is though that they're then not answering a lot of the questions that are hanging out there that Americans have when they see things being shot out of the sky across the.

Country merely on a daily basis now so they did have a briefing by a senior Pentagon official last night who basically said look we're synchronizing the airspace a lot more carefully than we had been before and so that could account for some of this increase in objects that are that are being discovered and then shot out of the sky.

But they don't know they don't know what these things are that we are told that they are the size of a car as opposed to three buses which is the size of the Chinese uh alleged spy balloon but they don't know exactly what it is and and the Pentagon official said she wasn't rolling anything out even aliens Alison although a defense official leader said.

Like we don't see any evidence of extraterrestrial activity here but this is a problem for the White House and and for the president because Americans have a lot of questions they're piling up and we haven't seen anybody a senior face from the White House step out and up to the president and say hey here's what's going on now and part of that is that.

They don't know enough yet but at the same time the pressure on this White House and the president to come out and just tell people what they do know and what might be going on because people are terrified yeah and Dan you look at recovery operations we know those are still underway and of course the more fragments collected the more we can.

Learn about the objects that is a process that is not complete yet but walk us through what we do know right now uh Carol sort of touched on this but do we even know if all of these objects are balloons like that one that we first heard about you know that's a good question and it's so frustrating there's so few answers.

And I think there they don't have those answers uh I don't think they're hiding so much information at this point I think they're really struggling what we do know is the these last three that were shot down on Friday Saturday and yesterday were much smaller but also he seen last night the head of Northern command in a briefing this was was.

Saying it's possible that they are one one or two of them might be like balloons a balloon like in other words there's not a engine on there they're not moving at the speed of an aircraft or or kind of a powerful drone but again we don't know these could be research uh oriented they could be sent up by universities or private companies we.

Don't know if a foreign adversary is behind us the other thing is they have said this this is interesting they've said they've kind of opened up the aperture and they're looking at more Raw radar data and so as a result they're focusing on objects in the past they just would have basically ignored as clutter or static and so now they're.

Saying it's possible we're seeing more of these objects basically because we're looking for them but then it does make a question are foreign adversaries or others sending more of these up in the air or sending more of them up in the air at an altitude that threatens civilian aircraft we don't have reports that civilian aircraft are colliding.

With these things either so it really is a mystery until we find out more they're difficult to retrieve those objects throughout and very cold place well let's listen to what Alaska Senator Lisa murkowski had to say because this latest object crossed into her State she has had a lot to say about these objects in general let's listen to this Dan and.

Then I have a question for you right after to know that we have yet another unidentified object uh successfully shot down in Alaska making sure that the message is clear that any any Sovereign territory or airspace in this country if there's a threat if there is an incursion there's going to be.

Consequences so clearly we are seeing an uptick in the number of these objects being seen being shot down in the United States but I'm curious Dan do we have any indication as to whether or not we're seeing this uptick because there's a breakdown in intelligence or if it is a result of just the United States being.

More focused and looking for objects like this in its airspace that's the that's the question we don't have an answer to and it may be a combination the Chinese air balloon raised real intelligence but are there Chinese five balloons out there that were not things we should have picked up before these latest most recent object.

It's an open question where they're they're merely kind of harmless innocuous uh items that we don't have to worry much about but the answers are going to come hopefully from this recovery and looking at these uh the devices off South Carolina but also what fell off the coast of Alaska and Canada and Michigan.

And Carol the Biden Administration is facing a lot of bipartisan criticism for what others say is a lack of transparency surrounding these objects Congressman Jim Hines the ranking Democrat on the intelligence committee had this to say on Meet the Press I have real concerns about why the administration is not being more.

Forthcoming with everything that it knows but part of the problem here is that the both of the the second and the third uh objects were shot down in very remote areas so my my guess is that that there's just not a lot of information out there yet to share Carol how much information have they actually gotten on Capitol Hill and what.

Could we see in the future well they out they don't feel like they've gotten enough their Administration has done briefings of various Senators they're more ad hoc they've briefed Senator Chester of Montana for instance Senator murkowski Senator Schumer the majority leader he also said over the weekend that he was.

Briefed by the president's National Security advisor but the demand for answers just is continuing to pile up we also heard over the weekend from the house intelligence chairman saying that the administration was now trigger happy so they're kind of in this position where they're getting criticism from both sides and they're going there's a.

Lot of pressure for them to be more forthcoming with Congress in some form all right Carol and Dan thank you both so much for your time we appreciate it thanks for watching our YouTube channel follow today's top stories and breaking news by downloading the NBC News app

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