"It tracked across the upper peninsula of Michigan. We were cleared to engage the target … and eventually downed the object 15 nautical miles east of the peninsula in Lake Huron. said NORAD Commander General Glen VanHerck. "The fighters were from Madison, Wisconsin, Air National Guard unit."
"We will remain vigilant. We have made enhancements to our radars. The operations this past week have been successful in bringing down these potential threats," said Melissa Dalton, Assistant Secretary Of Defense For Homeland Defense And Hemispheric Affairs.
"I’ve been in contact with DOD regarding operations across the Great Lakes region today. The US military has decommissioned another ‘object’ over Lake Huron. I appreciate the decisive action by our fighter pilots," said Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Michigan).
"The object has been downed by pilots from the US Air Force and National Guard. Great work by all who carried out this mission both in the air and back at headquarters. We’re all interested in exactly what this object was and it’s purpose," said. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Michigan) on Twitter.
Earlier on Sunday, the FAA had announced a "national defense airspace" over part of Lake Michigan. The FAA said it closed down the area to allow the U.S. military to examine a "potential contact" that was soon determined to not be a threat. The FAA last established a national defense airspace over Montana this weekend in reaction to an unidentified flying object.
According to a senior U.S. defense official, the object shot down over Lake Huron was shot down at approximately 20,000 feet, FOX News said. The object was very different from the Chinese spy balloon. It was much smaller, and not maneuverable.
"We cannot rule out that these are weather balloons," a senior US official told FOX News.
The incident on Sunday followed 3 previous "unidentified object" incidents. On Saturday, a U.S. fighter jet shot down an object over Canadian airspace on instructions from NORAD and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. On Friday, an object the "size of a small car" was shot down over Alaska. Another object had been shot down over the East Coast earlier in the week.
In all three recent cases, the United States registered a blip on radar, sent fighter pilots to investigate, and then ordered F-22 fighter pilots to shoot down the object. Pilots were able to give some physical description but no positive identification of the objects, a senior defense official told FOX News.