Three More Flying Objects Have Been Shot Down by Military Since the Suspected Chinese Spy Balloon

The takedown of a mystery aerial object near Lake Huron on Sunday marked the third time an unidentified object was shot down over airspace in North America in three days — and the fourth overall this month

The United States military shot down additional unidentified flying objects over North America this weekend, bringing the tally to four aerial objects downed over the U.S. and Canada this month — including the suspected Chinese spy balloon.

On Sunday afternoon, an F-16 aircraft successfully shot down an unidentified airborne object flying at approximately 20,000 feet in the airspace over Lake Huron in Michigan, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) announced in a news release.

Detailing that the "path and altitude" of the object "raised concerns, including that it could be a hazard to civil aviation," the DOD said they were given the go-ahead to remove it from the air through direction from President Joe Biden and based on the recommendations from both Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and military leadership.

"The location chosen for this shoot down afforded us the opportunity to avoid impact to people on the ground while improving chances for debris recovery," the DOD said in its news release. "There are no indications of any civilians hurt or otherwise affected."

Turnip Rock on Lake Huron in Port Austin Michigan. An underwater view shows rocks under the clear surface of the water
Lake Huron, where the fourth unidentified aerial object spotted over North America in February was downed. Getty Images/iStockphoto

The organization added that it "did not assess [the unidentified object] to be a kinetic military threat to anything on the ground," but that it was rather "a safety flight hazard and a threat due to its potential surveillance capabilities."

This picture taken 26 December 2011 shows the Pentagon building in Washington, DC. The Pentagon, which is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense (DOD), is the world's largest office building by floor area, with about 6,500,000 sq ft (600,000 m2), of which 3,700,000 sq ft (340,000 m2) are used as offices. Approximately 23,000 military and civilian employees and about 3,000 non-defense support personnel work in the Pentagon. AFP PHOTO (Photo by STAFF / AFP) (Photo by STAFF/AFP via Getty Images)
STAFF/AFP via Getty

In a statement shared on Twitter Sunday, Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin said the object was removed from its location over Lake Huron by pilots from the U.S. Air Force and the 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 [sic] purpose," she wrote.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer added in her own social media statement she's been in contact with the federal government after the object's takedown.

"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," she tweeted. "The @MINationalGuard stands ready."

RELATED VIDEO: Suspected Chinese Spy Balloon 'the Size of 3 Buses' Is Spotted Flying Over United States

Sunday's event marked the third time an unidentified object was shot down over North American airspace in three days — and the fourth overall this month.

Previously on Saturday, an unidentified object was shot down over Canada, and on Friday, another was shot down in Alaska airspace, CBS News reported.

Prior to those occurrences, a Chinese balloon, which was described by officials as a spy aircraft, was shot down off the coast of South Carolina on Feb. 4.

A defense official said at a media briefing Sunday, per NBC News, that there was "no indication of aliens or extraterrestrial activity with these recent takedowns."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer.

Gen. Glen VanHerck, the commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and the U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), would not rule the option out when he was asked about the objects being connected to extraterrestrials.

"I'll let the intel community and the counterintelligence community figure that out," he said, per the outlet.

Related Articles