by WorldTribune Staff, February 12, 2023
A fourth object was knocked out of the skies of North America on Sunday afternoon.
A U.S. F-16 fighter jet shot down the flying object over Canadian airspace, a congressman tweeted.
“The U.S. military has decommissioned another ‘object’ over Lake Huron,” Michigan Republican Rep. Jack Bergman wrote.
Unidentified flying objects have long been known as UFOs. If the recent flurry of shootdowns a joke or is it serious?
An independent journalist lampooned the popping of a “f—–g balloon’ by a U.S. F-22 Raptor fighter jet, “one of the most expensive weapons ever built. … and so awesome we banned its export.”
The analysis posted on substack.com by Matt Taibbi framed the events as follows:
“An episode that took place over the weekend speaks directly to our leaders’ new dependence on government-by-panic. A Chinese balloon of unknown etiology drifted into American airspace, and wigs flipped from coast to coast. The episode ended in Kubrickian spoof, with one unsmiling official after another lining up to declare victory over a balloon. And nobody thought it was odd.”
What is government by panic? Taibbi explained.
Say you’re a member of the American political establishment after the 2016 election of Donald Trump. You’re staring at four years as part of a government-in-exile and need a new message to solve your belief problem. What’s your answer?
My hypothesis is such people never bothered to find one. Instead, they declared a state of emergency.
What emergency? Doesn’t matter. Russian interference was a good startup disaster, but you can keep changing them. The important thing is the pattern. One, declare a crisis. Two, spread panic. Three, take emergency measures. If you do this over and over, you end up with permanent crisis, permanent panic, permanent emergency rule. So long as new crises keep evoking unconscious fear and anxiety, the legitimacy of the political establishment is continuously justified.
As for the fourth object shot down over North America since that first suspected Chinese balloon, the Wall Street Journal cited a congressional aide as saying the object was shaped like an octagon and was at an altitude of 20,000 feet, posing a hazard to commercial aircraft.
On Saturday, a U.S. military jet shot down another unidentified airborne object hovering over Canadian airspace on orders from Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
A statement from the U.S. National Security Council said a U.S. F-22 “shot down the object in Canadian territory in close coordination with Canadian authorities.”
Later on Saturday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it had closed airspace near Havre, Montana for a period to support unspecified Pentagon activities. Military tankers were operating in the area, according to flight-tracking services. The FAA later reopened the airspace.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command, or Norad, said in a statement Saturday night that it had detected a radar anomaly and sent jet fighters to the area, but didn’t find any object that related to what had been seen on radar.
The object shot down on Saturday had drifted into U.S. airspace before hovering back over Canadian territory and was destroyed at roughly 3:41 p.m. ET, according to U.S. and Canadian officials.
Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand described the object as cylindrical to reporters Saturday night and said it was shot down at an altitude of about 40,000 feet. She said it appeared to be smaller than the downed Chinese balloon.
Anand said it marked the first time in the history of Norad that jet fighters shot down an object. Norad was a central part of the U.S. and Canadian military’s Cold War deterrence strategy against the former Soviet Union.
The object was first spotted late Friday, according to Norad. Two American F-22 Raptor jet fighters based at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, were scrambled and monitored the object over U.S. airspace first, tracking it “closely and taking time to characterize the nature of the object,” Norad said.
It then went into Canadian airspace on Saturday and was shot down using a Sidewinder short-range air-to-air missile, officials said.
The U.S. military on Friday reported shooting down a small airborne object floating at about 40,000 feet that was feared to pose a danger to regular aviation. Recovery operations for that object are taking place near Deadhorse, Alaska, and include members of the Alaska National Guard, the FBI, and local law-enforcement officials.
The recovery is occurring under severe weather conditions that include wind chill, snow and limited daylight, Norad said Saturday. So far, it isn’t certain what that object, also shot down by an American F-22 Raptor jet fighter, was doing there or who deployed it.
The first object taken down was what U.S. officials described as a large Chinese spy balloon that floated across the U.S. for days until it was destroyed by and American jet fighter off the coast of South Carolina last weekend. Some in the GOP have said the Biden administration should have shot down the balloon earlier, when it flew over the Aleutian Islands or other parts of Alaska.
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