Several unidentified flying objects have been shot down by the U.S. military in recent days, and so far there’s no explanation for them.
At least one high-ranking official won’t rule out the possibility that they could be extraterrestrial in origin.
“I’ll let the intel community and the counterintelligence community figure that out,” Gen. Glen VanHerck, commander of NORAD, told reporters on Sunday when asked about the possibility of aliens. “I haven’t ruled out anything at this point.”
A suspected Chinese spy balloon transfixed the nation when it was spotted over Montana in January and ultimately shot down when it reached the Atlantic earlier this month.
Since then, at least three more objects have been blown out of the skies. One was initially described as a balloon, but VanHerck hedged when asked if these additional objects were also balloons.
“I’m not gonna categorize them as balloons. We’re calling them ‘objects’ for a reason,” he said. “Certainly the event off the South Carolina coast for the Chinese spy balloon, that was clearly a balloon. These were objects.”
He also said he’s not certain how the objects are even flying.
“It could be a gaseous type of balloon inside a structure, or it could be some type of a propulsion system,” he said.
One of the objects, shot down on Friday over Alaska, was described as “cylindrical and silverish gray” and with “no identifiable propulsion system.” Another, shot down along the U.S.-Canadian border, was described as a “small, cylindrical object.” The third, shot down on Sunday over Lake Huron, was described by officials as “an octagonal structure” with strings.
“We’re going to remain vigilant about our airspace.” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Friday. “We’re going to remain vigilant about the skies over the United States.”
It’s not year clear if the objects being shot down are related to the growing number of sightings of what the Pentagon now calls “unidentified aerial phenomena,” which is their preferred term for UFOs.
Last year, an American Airlines pilot reported a “long cylindrical object” in the skies over New Mexico, and several by U.S. Navy pilots have described and attempted to track small fast-moving objects, including some “without discernible means of propulsion.”