The U.S. military shot down an unidentified flying object over Michigan Sunday – the third in three days and fourth since downing a Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina Feb. 4.
Sunday’s shoot down occurred hours after airspace had been temporarily closed over Lake Michigan by the Federal Aviation Administration and NORAD. Fighter jets had scrambled to investigate a radar finding there but did not find an object, according to a U.S. official who was not authorized to comment.
U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jets downed the object on Sunday, the official said. F-22 Raptor warplanes shot down the previous objects and the spy balloon.
It wasn’t immediately clear where in Michigan the debris from Sunday’s object had landed, the official said.
U.S. and Canadian troops are seeking to recover debris from the objects downed in Alaska on Friday and Canada on Saturday. It’s not clear what the objects are, officials have said.
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Fighter pilots observe the object and confer with headquarters before taking a shot, said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula, dean of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.
“There is never a ‘shoot-on-sight’ mentality except if there is an ongoing hostile act occurring,” Deptula said. “The intercepting aircraft will relay observed information, that will be digested, evaluated and then a decision made based on the situation.”