US F-16 shoots down another unidentified ‘object’ over North America

A pair of general Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon jets of USAF 169th Fighter Wing
Thomas Meneguin / Wikipedia

Another unidentified object was shot down by a United States Air Force (USAF) fighter jet.  

The latest incident took place over Lake Huron, near the US-Canadian border on February 12, 2023. The object was downed by a USAF General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet. 

According to the US officials, the object, described as “octagonal structure” with attached strings, likely fell into the lake in the Canadian territory.  

The shootdown was preceded by temporary flight restrictions over Lake Michigan, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) announced in a statement. The restrictions have since been lifted.  

The object was flying at 20,000 feet, significantly lower than the ones shot down over Canada’s Yukon, Alaska and South Carolina. According to a press release published by the US Department of Defense (DOD), the object’s “path and altitude raised concerns, including that it could be a hazard to civil aviation.”  

The object may have also been connected to the radar signal picked up over the state of Montana on February 11, which, following an investigation, the DOD blamed on an “anomaly”. The object possibly also overflew “sensitive DOD sites”, the release added.  

The official statements do not describe the object as a balloon, wording that the US officials confirmed as deliberate.  

“We’re calling them objects, not balloons, for a reason,” Glen VanHerck, the head of NORAD, is quoted as saying by Reuters.  

According to VanHerck, the military has not yet identified whether the latest objects, including those shot down over Yukon and Alaska, were surveillance balloons.  

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