It is still not known where the second, third, and fourth flying objects shot down by U.S. military fighter jets originated from or what their purpose is, a White House spokesperson said Monday.
Four unidentified flying objects have been shot down in eight days. The latest object was struck down over Lake Huron on Sunday, and National Security Council spokesman John Kirby explained why so many objects may have been discovered recently.
“In light of the Chinese balloon program and this recent incursion into our airspace, the United States and Canada through N.O.R.A.D. have been more closely scrutinizing that airspace, including enhancing our radar capabilities,” Kirby told reporters at Monday’s White House press briefing.
Kirby also said the last three objects were flying lower than the Chinese spy balloon and were shot down because they posed a “very real threat” to civilian air traffic.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reiterated that point in his own briefing on Monday afternoon.
“They do not present a military threat to anyone on the ground,” Austin told reporters. “They do, however, present a risk to civil aviation and potentially an intelligence collection threat.”
Officials are still searching for debris from the most recent downed objects.
Kirby said Biden has ordered an “interagency team to study the broader policy implications for detection, analysis, and disposition of unidentified aerial objects that pose either safety or security risks.”
The White House also put an end to one theory being floated about the unidentified objects.
“I know there have been questions and concerns about this, but there is no, again, no indication of aliens or extraterrestrial activity with these recent takedowns,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said to reporters on Monday.
Still, some lawmakers are demanding greater transparency from the Biden administration.
“Biden’s inaction and silence create more questions than answers,” Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo. 2nd District) told Cheddar. “He needs to come clean why he was trigger happy this weekend, but let the Chinese fly a surveillance device across the entire country, including my home state of Missouri.”
“There needs to be transparency and reassurance to the American people from the White House, and we have seen nothing from them yet that lends credibility to their actions,” Wagner continued.
Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, told Cheddar: “The American people deserve timely answers about the objects that were shot down over Lake Huron, Alaska, and Canada this weekend.”
“We need to understand the nature of the threat to our national security,” he added.
Senators are scheduled to receive a classified briefing on China Wednesday.
Updated with new approach and a Cheddar News write through.