Americans have always questioned the existence of extraterrestrial unidentified flying objects (UFOs) but were never satisfied. Adding to the Americans’ interest in this mystery, three UFOs were detected from Feb. 9 to Feb. 12, each in Alaska, Yukon and Lake Huron. Since it was shortly after the Chinese balloon incident, in which a balloon from China was found high in North American airspace, the public questioned whether the unknown objects were also related to the Chinese government. President Joe Biden, however, declared that those three objects are most likely not associated with China but with private companies or research organizations.
Previously, the Chinese balloon was shot down as the officials were confident that the balloon originated from China to spy on the Americans. Unlike the case with the Chinese balloon, the last three objects are not clearly understood. One possible explanation for the object found in Alaska is that it could be from amateur balloonists in Illinois. The balloonists club reported that their balloon was last located in Alaska before it went missing, which is in the same area on the same day that the unidentified object was found. However, nothing has been confirmed.
“It could be from outer space, or it could just be spy balloons from other countries or just random things,” freshman Will Hunkapillar said.
After the Chinese balloon incident, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) adapted its radar system to make it more responsive to signals, which led to an increase in the number of objects noticed. That is, more objects are being detected because NORAD is searching for more of them.
“It’s probably ignorable, honestly,” physics teacher Will Perry said. “This probably happens more frequently than we care to think about, but most of our technology doesn’t scan for things that move that slow, so that’s why we don’t notice them normally. Realistically, my guess is that most countries do this all the time.”
Soon after the three UFOs were detected, the U.S. military shot them down. In response to people arguing that the shooting was unnecessary, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby defended the government’s decision, saying that the objects were posing enough danger since it was at low altitudes that could have harmed civilian aircrafts.
“Given the situation we were in, the information available, the recommendation of military commanders, it was exactly the right thing to do at exactly the right time,” Kirby said. “You make decisions based on the best information that you have, and ultimately you have to come down to some core principles when you’re making decisions as commander in chief.”The U.S. military made an effort to find the objects shot down through various technologies, such as airborne imagery, surface sensors and subsurface scans. However, soon after, they announced their end of search as they did not discover any debris.