What in the name The X-Files happening in heaven? Since last week, the US government has shot down three unidentified flying objects—also known as UFOs. This comes after the government busted what people are calling a Chinese spy bubble on February 4. Are we now looking at an epidemic of Chinese spy balloons?
No – this is much weirder. US officials cannot say exactly what the items are.
The first UFO was shot down last Thursday while hovering about 40,000 feet over Alaska.
National Security Adviser Coordinator John Kirby He said on friday yes this the “altitude object” was unmanned, had no significant surveillance equipment, and was “much smaller” than the Chinese balloon—”about the size of a small car, as opposed to . . . the size of two or three buses.” But that “represented a reasonable threat to civilian flight safety” Kirby explained “President Biden ordered the military to demolish the facility. And they did.”
At a press conference shortly afterward, Air Force Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said the object “was not an aircraft per se” and that there was no indication it was capable of maneuvering. “At this time, we have no additional details about the facility, including a description of its capabilities, purpose, or origin.”
I really hope this ‘unidentified [flying] object’ was another spy balloon, not a legitimate UFO; the irony of mistaking an alien craft for a weather balloon would be amazing, but not worth starting an interstellar conflict. https://t.co/GDc35n69ii
— Peter Meijer (@RepMeijer) February 10, 2023
Then on Saturday, the US shot down an object over Canadian airspace.
“I ordered the downing of an unidentified object that violated Canadian airspace,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Saturday. “Canadian and American aircraft crashed and an American F-22 successfully engaged the object,” which was spotted over the Yukon. “Canadian forces will now retrieve and analyze the wreckage of the facility,” he said added.
Like the UFO over Alaska, this one was flying at about 40,000 feet, Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand said at a news conference. It was also unmanned.
Also on Saturday, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) temporarily closed the airspace over Montana. “NORAD detected a radar anomaly and sent fighter jets to investigate,” the organization said announced. “Those aircraft did not identify any object that could be associated with the radar hits. NORAD will continue to monitor the situation.”
On Sunday NORAD temporarily close the airspace over Lake Michigan “to ensure the safety of air traffic in the area during NORAD operations.”
Later reports revealed that the closure of Great Lakes airspace included the downing of an unidentified object.
“I was in contact with [the Defense Department] regarding operations throughout the Great Lakes region today,” chirped US Rep. Jack Bergman on Sunday afternoon. “The US military has dismantled another ‘facility’ over Lake Huron.”
The Pentagon said the unidentified object shot down Sunday by an F-16 fighter jet at 2:42 p.m. EST (1942 GMT) over Lake Huron appeared to be traveling near U.S. military locations and posed not only a threat to civilian aviation, but a potential monitoring tool,” reported Phil Stewart of Reuters.
The Pentagon too He said could connect the facility across Lake Huron “radar signal picked up over Montana, flying near sensitive DOD locations.”
Air Force General Glen VanHerckhead of NORAD, He said on Sunday evening that it was not clear how the objects remained in the sky.
Asked if aliens can be ruled out, VanHerck said that he is not ruling anything out yet.
Before we all start to panic, consider this treat from The The Washington Post:
Last week’s incursions have changed the way analysts receive and interpret information from radar and sensors, a US official said on Saturday, partly addressing a key question of why so many objects have appeared recently.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said the sensor equipment absorbs a lot of raw data, and filters are used so that humans and machines can make sense of what has been collected. But that process always carries the risk of missing something important, the official said.
“We’ve basically opened up the filters,” the official added, much like a car buyer unchecks boxes on a website to expand the parameters of what can be searched. That change doesn’t yet fully answer what’s going on, the official cautioned, and whether pulling back to browse more data brings more hits — or whether these latest intrusions are part of a more deliberate move by an unknown country or adversary.
So it’s possible that we suddenly see no more unidentified objects over US airspace; we just pay more attention to them. Whether that’s more or less reassuring, I’m not sure…
This month’s spate of UFO sightings matches a surge in UFO reports since 2021, notes CNN’s Peter Bergen.
According to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s “Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon” report (released last month), Navy and Air Force personnel reported 247 UFO sightings from March 2021 to August 2022—compared to just 144 sightings in the entire 17-year period. period. between 2004 and 2021.
“The report suggests that the increase may be because there is less ‘stigma’ associated with reporting UFO sightings, now that the Pentagon is actively pushing personnel to report any ‘anomalies’ seen in the sky,” Bergen writes. “Indeed, in July the Pentagon created a new entity, the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office, to investigate credible UFO sightings by the US military and intelligence community.”
A good number of reported UFOs were balloons or “balloon-like entities”, while 26 were drones. But there were also 171 objects that could not be easily explained and that “exhibited unusual flight characteristics or performance.”
Lawmakers are still trying to destroy the things that make the Internet great:
Topic: accounts in both red and blue states would reduce online anonymity. https://t.co/8f032BnmfJ
— Walter Olson (@walterolson) February 11, 2023
Amsterdam is becoming less tourist/vice friendly. “Smoking cannabis on the street in Amsterdam’s red light district will soon be illegal,” he reports Guard. And members of the city council are considering a rule that prohibits customers of cannabis cafes from smoking on the terraces as well.
These are just some of the measures the Dutch city and popular tourist destination is implementing or considering to make the city less of a popular tourist spot—and less profitable for bars, restaurants, shops, sex workers, cannabis cafes and other businesses:
Sex workers will also have to close shop at 3am rather than 6am, while bars, cafes and restaurants will have to close at 2am rather than 3am on weekdays and 4am on Fridays and Saturdays, with new customers not entry allowed after 1 am.
Shops in the inner city, which are already prohibited from selling alcohol after 4 p.m. from Thursday to Sunday, will have to remove bottles and cans from their windows or hide them behind screens, and the ban on drinking in public places will be strictly enforced.
• What the Super Bowl commercials tell us about the American economy.
• State Republican lawmakers clash with prosecutors over abortion law enforcement. “Republicans in Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Texas — frustrated by progressive district attorneys who have publicly vowed not to bring charges under the state’s abortion laws — have introduced bills that would allow state officials to either bypass local prosecutors or remove them from office if their implementation in relation to abortion is considered too lenient,” he reports Politically.
• A new bill in California (AB 374) “would allow licensed cannabis retailers in the state to also sell non-intoxicating food and beverages to their adult customers,” as well as host live concerts, reports Baylen Linnekin. “The passage of the bill would meet a growing need — and could result in a welcome proliferation of authentic cannabis cafes and similar businesses.”
• The school board of Madison County, Virginia, was recently banned The Handmaid’s Tale from the shelves of the high school library.
• “South Dakota’s HB 1080 would ban gender-affirming medical care for minors” and “has now passed both houses of the Legislature, receiving only four nay votes in the Senate,” writes Chris Geidner.
• Operation Choke Point 2.0?
• “Don’t force child care workers to get a college degree,” argues Timothy B. Lee (whose hometown, Washington, DC, is doing just that).
• Is it Magical Mike’s Last Dance about the evil of zoning regulations?