It may never be known what the unidentified flying objects shot down by US warplanes last week were, but the US is beginning to speculate and ignore others. First they insisted this Monday that there was no evidence that they were extraterrestrials – the most absurd thesis, but which a general did not want to rule out, which gives wings to speculation. This Tuesday, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby added that nothing – “for now” – suggests they are Chinese artifacts either, like the balloon shot down the previous week.
Neither aliens nor Chinese. The thesis that prevails is that they were harmless objects, probably balloons or similar gadgets that were launched for commercial or research purposes, as Kirby explained in a telephone press conference this Tuesday. The day before he had already explained that the devices, at least apparently, do not have their own drive mechanisms, but move at the mercy of the wind. That Tuesday, he insisted that there was no evidence that they belonged to other countries’ intelligence agencies.
“The possibility that these are balloons simply associated with commercial or research facilities and are therefore benign is not ruled out. That could very well be a primary explanation here, or it could turn out to be,” Kirby said. There are no certainties either, he admitted.
The National Security Council spokesman has acknowledged that finding the remains of the destroyed objects is a difficult task and it is possible that they will not be recovered. At first it was small objects that were hit by a short-range missile at an altitude of thousands of meters. Also, they have fallen into hard-to-reach areas.
The one shot down on Friday landed over US territorial waters north of Alaska, which was largely frozen in the dead of winter. The one on Saturday in a remote and rugged area of northwestern Canada. The wreckage of the plane shot down on Sunday is believed to have sunk in the depths of Lake Huron. Kirby has confirmed that the fighter that fired at what appeared to be an octagonal object missed its first missile launch.
Subscribe to EL PAÍS to follow all the news and read without limits.
After the appearance of the Chinese balloon equipped with antennas, which Washington attributes to espionage purposes (which China denies), the United States adjusted the parameters of its radars. It’s usually difficult to spot objects moving at high altitude and low speeds, but with those filter changes, several unidentified flying objects have surfaced over the past week. Air forces shot down one over northern Alaskan waters on Friday, another over Canada’s Yukon region on Saturday, and a third over Lake Huron on Sunday.
Both Democrats and Republicans have called for more transparency and information about these incidents. This Tuesday, representatives of the Biden administration went before the Senate to make statements behind closed doors about the recent incidents.
Republicans have criticized United States President Joe Biden for allowing the Chinese balloon to cross the country from end to end without first crashing it, citing the administration’s risks Case of the remains could represent for the US population on land. In addition, Kirby responded Monday from the lectern in the White House press room that the alleged Chinese espionage program was already underway during Donald Trump’s presidency: “It worked during the previous administration, but they didn’t detect it.” We recognize it. We track it. And we studied it carefully to learn as much as possible,” he said.
Follow all international information on Facebook and Twitteror in our weekly newsletter.