One missile fired at the mysterious flying object hit Lake Huron, officials said.

WASHINGTON. By the end of the week, the American public may learn about the administration’s strategy for unidentified flying objects going forward, but some questions about the three recent U.S. military downings may not be answered for a long time, if at all.

The wreckage of three low-altitude objects shot down by US Air Force air-to-air missiles over the weekend has not yet been found, according to the White House, and one of the missiles that did not reach the target is now at the bottom of Lake Huron. and Pentagon officials on Tuesday.

The lake borders the state of Michigan and Canada. Officials said on Monday they believe the wreckage of the object fell into Canadian waters.

General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Tuesday that “the first shot missed” when two US Air Force F-16 fighter jets were ordered to strafe an object over the lake.

“We do our best to make sure the airspace is clear and the background is clear for maximum missile range effect,” Milley said.

“In this case, the rocket landed harmlessly in the water of Lake Huron, we tracked it all the way. And we have made sure that there is no commercial, civil or recreational traffic in the airspace.”

The US Air Force did not immediately respond to an inquiry about whether the military would return the AIM-9X Sidewinder missile.

“Difficult conditions” for recovery

Three targets, about which officials have provided few details, were shot down Friday, Saturday and Sunday over Alaska sea ice, the Canadian desert and Lake Huron, respectively.

“We’re doing this day in and day out and doing our best to try and find the wreckage and then come up with a plan to recover it,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Tuesday.

“We’re dealing with some pretty tough conditions here,” Kirby said.

The incidents followed the February 4 downing of a suspected Chinese reconnaissance balloon 6 nautical miles off the coast of South Carolina. China claims that a high-altitude balloon flying at an altitude of 60,000 feet collected weather data.

US officials say the 200-foot maneuverable balloon carrying equipment the size of a jetliner was part of a vast Chinese surveillance operation that spanned dozens of countries.

But little was known about the three unmanned objects detected by US and Canadian radar moving with the wind between 20,000 and 40,000 feet, except that the object shot down on Friday near Alaska’s North Slope was about the size of a car. .

“Until now, we have not seen any indication or anything that specifically points to the idea that these three sites were part of the PRC’s spy balloon program or that they were definitely involved in foreign intelligence gathering efforts.” ,” Kirby said, referring to the People’s Republic of China.

The US is considering a scenario where the objects could be privately owned commercial or research instruments, but when asked if anyone had made claims on the objects, Kirby responded in the negative.

Several government agencies are meeting this week to discuss policy and decision making on shooting down unidentified objects after the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, tuned its radar to detect smaller, slower, lower-flying craft. The plan is expected by the end of the week, Kirby said.

Senators informed

US senators who want answers about the facilities received a private briefing Tuesday morning from Pentagon officials.

Idaho Senator Jim Rish, a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, told reporters after the briefing that all three objects were “very, very small” and that at least one of them was carrying a payload. .

The Idaho Republican indicated that the objects were smaller than a car, but did not provide details.

“I guess that’s all I can say about it,” Rish said.

Senator Tom Cotton, who sits on the Senate Armed Services and Intelligence Committees, urged President Joe Biden to address the nation.

“Americans are concerned, they are concerned and interested, and they have a right to know why President Biden led the actions he took last week,” the Arkansas Republican said after a secret briefing.

Senator Chris Koons, a Democrat from Delaware, said he thinks the president should wait for more details before making a speech.

“There’s a lot of anxiety and talk, that’s understandable. If I were to advise the President on this, I would say wait until you have clarity on what is happening and a clear path forward on what we will and should do with respect to both countries’ surveillance programs and problem solving. objects for which we are not entirely sure their origin and purpose,” said Koons, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Kirby claims that the “deliberative process” that Biden undertook to order the downing of the unidentified ships occurred on the advice of the military due to concerns that the objects posed a potential threat to surveillance and a danger to civilian air traffic, which travels at an altitude of about 30 000 ft.

Asked by reporters if the president would make a speech, Kirby said he had “nothing to talk about in regards to the president’s public speaking” and said Biden was in the know.

State News Senior Reporter Jennifer Shutt contributed to this report.

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