Joe Biden says unidentified aerial objects don’t come from China

Washington: US President Joe Biden has broken his silence on the unidentified flying objects that have been shot down across North America in recent days, saying he still does not know what they are but they do not appear to be part of a Chinese spy balloon program.

He also suggested the three objects taken down over the skies of Alaska, Canada and Lake Huron were likely used for benign purposes, potentially tied to private companies or research institutions.

In the face of mounting pressure from both sides of politics, Biden made a previously unscheduled television address on Thursday (US time) to shed some light about what he knew about the objects and the suspected Chinese spy balloon that sparked their rapid take-down.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the Chinese surveillance balloon and other unidentified objects shot down by the US military in Washington. Credit:AP

The President told Americans that he had acted decisively to take out the Chinese balloon, after which the North American Aerospace Defence Command, or NORAD, adjusted its filters and radar capabilities so it could look more discretely at high-altitude objects.

“I want to be clear: we don’t have any evidence that there has been a sudden increase in number of objects in the sky. We’re now just seeing more of them partially because the steps we’ve taken (to adjust radars),” he said.

“But make no mistake, if any object presents a threat to the safety and security of the American people, I will take it down.”

Concerns about America’s national security erupted earlier this month when a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon was allowed to float across the continent for days, traversing sensitive military sites along the way, before it was finally shot down off the coast of South Carolina.

Three objects were subsequently taken down in as many days: one that was roughly the size of a small car over the coast of Alaska last Friday; a cylindrical shaped object over Canadian skies in central Yukon on Saturday; and an octagon-shaped object over Lake Huron in Michigan near the Canadian border.

Biden said authorities were still in the process of recovering debris, “and we don’t yet know exactly what these three objects are.”

“But nothing right now suggests they were related to China’s spy balloon program, or they were surveillance vehicles from other any other country,” he said.

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