I'd like to begin today by updating youon our efforts to recover the debris of several objectsthat the United States Air Force shot down over the last few days,as well as that of the spy balloon belonging to the People'sRepublic of China. And I'd like to put into some contextfor you how we have worked and are still working to better understand the issue of highaltitude, low speed craft. And let me start with the Chinese program. When President Biden came into office,he directed the U.S.
Intelligence communityto do a broad assessment of Chinese intelligence capabilitiesand assure and to ensure that we were working to detectand to protect against them I think for reasons that you will all understand,we cannot publicly go into many details about how we discover and counteractforeign intelligence collection. Efforts, because much of what we have doneand are doing is, of course, sensitive. But we were able to determine thatChina has a high altitude balloon program for intelligence collection that'sconnected to the People's Liberation Army.
It was operating during the previous administration,but they did not detected we detected it. We tracked it. And we have been carefully studying itto learn as much as we can. We know that these PRC surveillanceballoons have crossed over dozens of countries on multiple continentsaround the world, including some of our closestallies and partners. We assessed that at this time. These balloons have provided limitedadditive capabilities to the PRC's.
Other intelligenceplatforms used over the United States. But in the future, if the PRC continuesto advance this technology, it certainly could become more valuableto them. The president also instructedthe intelligence community to take a broad look at the phenomenonof unidentified aerial objects. Indeed, President Biden conductedthe first ever daily intelligence briefing session devoted to this phenomenonback in June of 2021. He was briefed that this is notjust an issue for the United States but one for the rest of the world.
And as I said, our friends and ourpartners are dealing with this as well. We worked on a bipartisan basisto stand up in office at the Pentagon to study this in partnershipwith the intelligence community, academic institutionsand the private sector. These unidentified aerial phenomenahave been reported for many years without explanationor deep examination by the government. President Biden has changed all that. We are finally trying to understand thembetter.
Now in light of the Chineseballoon program and this recent incursioninto our airspace. The United States and Canadathrough North End have been more closely scrutinizing that airspace, includingenhancing our radar capabilities, which, as the commander of NORTHCOM and NooraGeneral Van Herc said just last night, may at least partially explain the increasein the objects that have been detected. Slow moving objects at high altitudewith a small radar cross-sectionare difficult to detect on radar. Even objectsthe size of the Chinese spy balloon.
Which had a payloadthe size of roughly three school busses, were not picked up by previousadministrations or other countries. We also know that a range of entitiesincluding countries, companies, research and academic organizations operate objectsat these altitudes for purposes that are not nefarious at all,including scientific research that said, because we have not yetbeen able to definitively assess what these most recent objects are,we acted out of an abundance of caution.
To protect the security, our security,our interest and flight safety in Saturday's case. We acted in consultationwith the Canadian government. The president speaking personallywith Prime Minister Trudeau. The spy balloon was, of course, differentbecause we knew precisely where that was. As we have said, we do not assess thatthese most recent objects posed any direct threatto people on the ground, and we are laser focusedon confirming their nature and purpose,.
Including through intensive effortsto collect debris in the remote locations where they have fallen. In each instance, we have followed the same basic course. We assessed whether they posed any kineticthreat to people on the ground. They did not. We assessed whether they were sendingany communications signals. We detected none. We looked to see whether they were maneuveringor had any propulsion capabilities.
We saw no signs of that. And we made sure to determinewhether or not they were manned. They were not. We did, however, assessthat their altitudes were considerably lowerthan the Chinese high altitude balloon and did pose a threatto civilian commercial air traffic. And while we have no specific reasonto suspect that they were conducting surveillance of any kind,we couldn't rule that out. That is why the president,at the recommendation.
Of the secretary of defense,the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the North NORTHCOM, nor any commandergave the order to shoot them down. These missions were completed successfully and safely. Efforts are actively underway right nowat all. Sites to findwhat is left of those objects so that we can better understandand communicate with the American people what they are. I think it's importantto remind the objects in Alaska.
And Canada are in pretty remote terrain, ice and wilderness. All of that making it difficultto find them in winter weather. The object over Lake Huron now lies in what is probably very deep water. So outside of recovery operations,what are we doing? Well, first, we are continuing to monitor. There are no active tracks today. But the professionals at Northwill continue to do their important work.
Secondly,we are consulting with allies and partners on the challengeof identified aerial phenomenon and how we can all work togetherto deal with that challenge. The presidenthas directed the secretary of state, secretary of defense, and the director of National Intelligenceto engage with their relevant counterparts, to share information and to try to gaintheir perspectives as well. Again, this is an issue that affectseverybody around the world.
Third, we will continue to brief membersof Congress and relevant state leadership on what we are doingand what we learn. President has made thisa very top priority We have over the courseof just the last few days and certainly over the course of last week, reached out to inform and brief membersof Congress and relevant state governors of the operations that we were conductingand the recovery operations that are underway. We've also kept Congress briefed generallyon this issue of Chinese surveillance.
Balloons, including classified briefingslast August. And last week, administration officialsprovided classified briefings for all senators and all members ofthe House of Representatives on the PRC. Surveillance balloon. We fully expect and anticipate and support the ability to continue thesebriefings in the days ahead. And fourth, the president, through his national security adviser,has today directed an interagency team.
To study the broader policy implicationsfor detection, analysis and disposition of unidentified aerial objectsthat pose either safety or security risks. Every element of the government will redouble their effortsto understand and mitigate these events. And I'm happy to take some questions John, if the objects don't posea military threat and they don't pose a threatto the ground, why shoot them down? Particularly because the military has.
Is routinely monitoring radar,you know, radar blips. I kind of cover thatin the opening statement. Two real reasons here First, there was a very real potential riskto civilian air traffic. The one shut down on Saturday. I'm sorry, yesterday was about 20,000 feet and the two shut down Friday and Saturday. We're at about 40,000 feet. And as you know, transcontinental airtraffic is roughly around 30,000 feet.
It depends, of course, on weather. And so because we assessedthat they weren't manned and weren't being controlled and therefore leftto atmospheric conditions the real risk to safety of flightwas, was a problem. The second purpose and I talked about thisearlier too was even though we had no indicationsthat any of these three objects were surveilling,we couldn't rule that out. And so there, you know, you want to erron the side of safety here in terms of protecting our national security interestsand the fact that these objects.
Could have and and likely didat some point in their path, transit over you know, potential militarysites of ours or sensitive sites. So, again, out of an abundance of caution,for those two reasons, the president, with the recommendation of his militaryleaders, directed them to be taken downbecause it's so unprecedented. Should the public be hearingfrom the president directly on this? We have been I think, as transparent as we can be. I won't speak for the president's personal.
Speaking schedule, but,I mean, he has been deeply engaged in every one of these decisions. He's been kept informed,including as of this morning, on what's going on with recovery effortsAnd and he's very much staying on top of the issueand and directing his team to make sure we are properly consulting and briefing not just members of Congress,but state leaders as well. And, of course,you know, we're also doing what we can in the public sphere in the early weeksSure.
Excuse me. Thank you, John. What is the president'sstandard going to be going forward about when he ordersan unidentified object shot down? It comes down to one simple formulation, and that's if at the recommendationof his military leaders, he believes that the safetyand security of the United States the safety and security,the American people,.
His prime responsibility warrant,that kind of a decision. So it's possiblewe could see these shutdowns on a regular basislike we saw over the weekend. I don't think it's useful for meto get ahead of where we are right now. The president will always side on preserving and protecting the safetyand security of the American people. You've said we're not flyingany surveillance balloons over China. Are we flyingany other kind of surveillance aircraft routinely over here nowflying surveillance balloons over China?.
I'm not aware of any other aircraftthat were flying over into India, Chinese airspace. And then finally, can you tell usanything more about this octagonal object? How big was it?We're still trying to assess what that was. I'm not going to get into a description. I've seen the press reports aboutwhat would it look like. I think we all need to be humble here in terms of what our abilityis to positively identify stuff.
From fighter aircraft that are goingseveral hundred miles an hour past essentially in terms of relative motion,a stationary object that was not very big. So we don't know what this exactly lookedlike. And again, we're still not sure exactly what the purpose of it wasor who owned it. But we we hope to be able to find out moreonce we can recover the debris from that oneand from the other two as well. Just a few minutes ago, PrimeMinister Trudeau said.
That there is some sort of patternto the objects over the last few days. Is that something you could elaborate on? What sort of pattern the White House see? I'm not familiarwith the prime minister's comments, so I don't know if Iif I should take a swing at that. I would just tell youthat Going back to what I said before, these objects were not being maneuvered. They did not appearto have any self propulsion. So the likely hypothesis is.
That they were being movedby the prevailing winds. And maybe perhaps that's whatthe prime minister's talking about. I don't want to speak for him. But certainly as the prevailing winds,particularly at that altitude, go west to east or across the NorthAmerican airspace, I mean, there was a general common movementin that regard. And you spoke at the topkind of reassessing radar given what happened withwith the initial balloon. Can you give us a sense? Can we expect?.
Should we assume that this is the regular numberof these objects over the United States,that they've always been there and they justhaven't been looked at the same way or is there any reason to expectthat this is this is more than usual that better flying?So two thoughts here. I mean, I think I think we can all get our heads around the fact that that there are sometimes.
Things floating at high altitudesfor various purposes. As I said, scientific research, weather, weather, balloons, all manner of of of innocuous craft can can be aloft at high altitudes. I don't think that that's necessarilyunusual here. It's difficult for for me to say exactlywhat you can expect going forward. One of the reasons that we think we're seeing moreis because we're looking for more.
As you heard, the general van mentionedlast night, they have, um, they have modified the filtersin the gains, as we call it, of the, of the radar capabilities to look more discreetly at high altitude, small radar cross-section and low speed objectsAnd so if you do that and anybody that's operated radar will knowyou can set you can set the parameters. And if you set the parametersin such a way that to look for a certain something, it's more likely thatyou're going to find a certain something.
Okay. Given all you've discussedare the actions the administration taking and what people have learned Chineseby balloon this year in previous years, these unidentified objects that we shootdown, they might have a question when it comes to these higher altitudeas are America's border security. The president takes, as I said earlier, he takes our national securityextremely seriously. He has no higher responsibility than the safetyand security of the American people.
And I don't think you needto look any further, quite frankly, than the decisions he's made injust the last week to ten days to evidencethat feels like he's plugging holes. Like these are vulnerabilitiesthat we are discovering in real time. You're making an assumption therethat I don't know that I don't knowthat the analysis will actually bear out very much. The president gave the order to shootdown the orbit of a Lake Huron yesterday. Where was he?.
What kind of information did he havewhen he gave that order? What was briefed to himand how did he get a speedy outcome? He was here in the White House. He was kept constantly informed by by his national security teamand certainly by the military. He made that decision. I don't couldn't give you the exact timeon the clock, but it was, I believe, mid to late morning. And and then it was executedin the in the afternoon.
The weather continuously in placein case there was a reaction from a foreign governmentin reaction to the shooting that took down one of the one yesterday. The one yesterday. Well, it was shot over. I mean, it was shot over LakeHuron and landed in what we believe to be the Canadian side of the lake. So we were obviously in constant communication and consultationwith our Canadian counterparts. And they are rightly becauseof where we think it splashed down.
I mean, they're sort of in concertwith the U.S. Coast Guard, but they are also involved inin trying to locate the debris right now. But there was good communicationwith our Canadian allies. I, as a foreign government,taking a special interest in that object from yesterday,not reacting in an unusual way. No. Being in the of two questions. One, you mentioned early on that.
This the China balloon might have been giving limitedadditive capabilities. I assume you meaning onto their satellites were built. Can you specify what I mean,what exactly it's getting from a balloon that they're not gettingfrom orbiting satellites? That goes obviously with the caveatthat we haven't fully recovered everything that we have recoveredsome things from the bottom of the of the Atlantic.
And we're analyzing that. But with that caveat,we don't know exactly what this balloon was surveillingor what its capabilities were. So just in general and that is importantcaveat that I'd like you to remember when you are at a loweraltitude than space, you could perhaps get a better fidelity of of of imagery, for instance, of things on the ground.
When you are not movingat the speed of a satellite and therefore, you know, only getting seconds over a seatwhen you can maneuver left, right,Slow down, speed up like this thing could. Then you can loiter. If you can loiter,you can soak in a little bit more. You can spend more timeover a sensitive side of some of the satellitesor in geostationary orbit. I mean, they're just sitting theregathering signals intelligence right on. What is the benefit?.
I mean, is it just to see what kind offidelity we're going to learn more? I'd rather not go into any more detailthan that right now. We're going to learn more. And frankly, I think that's a terrificquestion you should be asking Beijing. And the last one of the you said thatthe before of the other object shot that we're not able to transmitor we're not transmitting signals that they did not have any propulsionthat the China balloon. Did that have any was itemitting signals back? I'm not going to go into more detailabout the the capabilities of that.
We are going to be studying itand analyzing it. There is no question in our mind thatthat system was designed to surveil that. That was an intelligence asset. I'll leave it there. There isn't continuing outreachfrom anywhere in the administration to the kinds of companiesthat produce weather balloons or other craft that would fit these descriptionsthat might be from the commercial.
Or corporate world to say,is this yours or any kind of outreach? Or have you been hearing fromanyone who might say, we have ours there in this area? Is any of that going on now? I don't know of any conversations right now, Kelly, but one of the reasonswhy the president directed Mr. Sullivan to put togetheran interagency effort is to take a long look at thatand try to learn a little bit better about who is up at that altitude doing whatfor completely legitimate purposes.
I think we we all recognize we need to probably havea better side picture on that. And that's why the president wantsthis interagency effort to take a look. And what kind of intelligence might behappening in terms of the diplomacy that's going on or whatever? If these are state owned objects, I'm not sure I understandwhat you mean. Is there is there a networkof conversations that might be happening where someone might be able to say,based on this act,.
The octagonal description, that, hey,that sounds like the so-and-so? I mean, is there some conversations that are happening that might be ableto give us some descriptions? I mean, the shortanswer to your question is yes. And I talked about thatin my opening statement. The president also directedSecretary Blinken, Secretary Austin Director Haines, to have these kinds of conversationswith our allies and partners around the world to share with themwhat we're learning, but also to see get.
Get their perspectives. We are quick to say it's ours,but it was for commercial purposes. Yeah. Again, we're going to have those kindsof conversations with our other allies and partners to seewhat kind of experiences they have had with what we can learn from from them,what perhaps they can learn from us. And are we still with object orcan we call them balloon's still object? And just to follow up on Kellyand I won't mess that up today on the corporate angle.
Is there any expectation that this is going to affect the executiveorder on surveilling the U.S. companies and what they're doing in China? I mean, they're I know of no change there. Exactly. Okay. And then is there any justyou said a moment ago that there's no knowledge of a U.S. balloon or other craft overChinese territory, just being cognizant of the fact.
That China has a different definitionof what their territory is than the United States? Is there any U.S. surveillance aircraft over Taiwan,right over the South China Sea that that would would fit into that? There is no U.S. surveillanceaircraft over Chinese in Chinese airspace. Even Chinese claimed airspace,you know, U.S. surveillance aircraft in Chinese airspace.
And then just finally,is there any new formal approach that's being developedas far as how you're going to deal with these things on a systematic basisgoing forward? Is there? Well, again, again, that's what that'sexactly what the the president wants Mr. Sullivan to run is a process, an interagency process to helpus, as I said in my opening statement, getting around the policyimplications here and whether and whetheror not there needs to be any.
Policy changes going forward. It's a picture no precedent for U.S. players taking down objects over U.S. territory, as far as I'm aware of. My question is, you talked about the tweakin the radar systems. Yes, there have been a tweak. The threshold for the Pentagonthat was presented to the president, president signing off on military actionrelated to anything over our airspace.
I'm not sure I'm following whichin the wake of the Chinese spy plane. Yeah, the radars were tweaked,which is why you think we're seeing some of these things. Right. Has the decision about or has thresholds for the use of fighters to take downobjects also between has it been lowered? Has it been changed? We've never seen thisbefore all of a sudden. No, actually, I'm sorry. I didn't understand it at first. No, I mean and you heard General Vantalk about this last night,.
And he's using established protocols to engage the craft and in the airaircraft in the air that can be legitimately brought down. And as he said last night,the best way to do that, certainly in a timely and efficient,effective way, was through fighter aircraft and through the Sidewinderair to air missiles. And they looked atand he talked about this, they looked at other options to tryto bring them down to include gunfire.
But that would have presented a greaterrisk to the pilots themselves. So this was the safest,most effective way to do that. Now, where we go from here,I think we just don't know right now in terms of whether there needs to bea threshold changes as you put out. I think it's importantto just take a step back here. And what the president didwas all these actions with the safety and securityof American people foremost in his mind. And there werethere were very good reasons to do it. The military then,.
Once given an order, determinedhow they're going to execute that order and General BanHurt decided that the best way to do this was with Sidewinder missilesand fighter aircraft. Sure. Before. This isn't reactive to the Chinese fighteralone in the sense of there was political pressure. And so we are going to act quicklyto take down any objects over our airspacebecause of the pressure that came from this was this wasthese were decisions based.
Purely and simply on what was in the best interestsof the American people in general.
3 thoughts on “White Home presents latest dinky print on mysterious objects shot down by US navy”
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All a bunch of bullshit coming out of his mouth!!!
I will no longer relate that folks defend this idiot. All you enact is shoot the explicit examine balloon down. Now not wait unless the political stress will get insane then reach to a name to shoot every part down that it is seemingly you’ll presumably be ready to to rep a assertion. These are no longer actions of someone that is sane. This dude is senile and it is miles like grandma marge getting stung by a bee and spending three days smashing every part from flies to cue pointers sitting around in her assisted living facility.Nonetheless but again a a part of the American other folks believed covid was as soon as a thing. They’ll obviously relate all of this [email protected]