Cue the Twilight Zone theme.
The Wall Street Journal reported the object shot down over by U.S. planes Lake Huron Sunday afternoon was “shaped like an octagon.” Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI) said in an interview with Fox News a few minutes ago the object shot down by an F-16 that fired an AIM-9 Sidewinder missile was an “octagonal structure” over Lake Huron at about 20,000 feet. Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) implied in a statement the object was the same one tracked over Montana Saturday night (tweet posted further down in article. UPDATE: ABC confirms, and that Biden ordered shootdown, at end of article.)
Octagon via Wikipedia.
“A F-16 fighter jet shot down the object, according to a Congressional aide, who said the object was shaped like an octagon and was at an altitude of 20,000 feet, posing a hazard to commercial aircraft.”
“The object was shaped like an octagon and was at an altitude of 20,000 feet” — WSJhttps://t.co/2B8KaPg7g2
— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) February 12, 2023
Reuters reported Saturday the object shot down over Canada’s Yukon territory was “cylindrical” (excerpt):
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau first announced Saturday’s shootdown over the northern Yukon territory, saying Canadian forces would recover and analyze the wreckage.
Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand declined to speculate about the origin of the object, which she said was cylindrical in shape.
She stopped short of calling it a balloon but said it was smaller than the Chinese balloon shot down off South Carolina’s coast a week ago, though similar in appearance.
Aloft at 40,000 feet (12,200 m), it posed a risk to civilian air traffic and was shot down at 3:41 EST (2041 GMT), she added.
TGP reported the pilots who shot down the object over Alaska Friday said it “interfered with sensors’ and that they saw no identifiable propulsion.
Military jets searched for but could not find an object detected by radar over Montana Saturday evening. Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) appeared to imply the object shot down over Lake Huron was the same object tracked over Montana, posting after the shootdown:
“Protecting Montana and our freedoms is my top priority, and I support the move to shoot down the object that invaded Montana’s airspace last night. I remain in contact with senior defense officials, and I’ll keep demanding answers for the public.”
Protecting Montana and our freedoms is my top priority, and I support the move to shoot down the object that invaded Montana’s airspace last night. I remain in contact with senior defense officials, and I’ll keep demanding answers for the public.
— Senator Jon Tester (@SenatorTester) February 12, 2023
A China spy balloon was shot down a week ago Saturday off the coast of South Carolina.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said the Michigan national Guard “stands ready”, “Our national security and safety is always a top priority. I’ve been in contact with the federal government and our partners who were tracking an object near our airspace. I’m glad to report it has been swiftly, safely, and securely taken down. The @MINationalGuard stands ready.”
Our national security and safety is always a top priority. I’ve been in contact with the federal government and our partners who were tracking an object near our airspace. I’m glad to report it has been swiftly, safely, and securely taken down. The @MINationalGuard stands ready.
— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) February 12, 2023
UPDATE: ABC News excerpt:
The object was shot down by a U.S. military aircraft, according to one of the officials.
A senior administration official said President Joe Biden directed that the object be shot down “out of an abundance of caution and at the recommendation of military leaders.”
This official said the object shot down was detected on radar over Montana on Saturday and was seen again on radar over Wisconsin and Michigan on Sunday.
The object was octagonal in structure, unmanned and traveling at about 20,000 feet, the official said. There is no indication of surveillance capabilities but the administration cannot rule that out.