The security of civilian flight was “reasonably threatened” by the Saturday shooting, according to the prime minister of Canada.
In the northwest Yukon territory, Canadian investigators are looking for the remains of a mysterious flying object that a US fighter jet shot down.
The object is being searched for and being analyzed by recovery teams, the prime minister Justin Trudeau told reporters on Sunday. However, he stated that it “represented a reasonable threat to the security of civilian flight” without elaborating on what it might be.
“The security of our citizens is our top priority,” he declared, explaining why he had ordered the shooting down of the unknown object.
After a white Chinese airship was spotted over the skies earlier this month, North America has been on high alert for aerial intrusions.
A planned trip to China by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had to be canceled just hours before it was scheduled to leave because of the international incident caused by the 60-meter-high (200-foot) balloon, which Americans have accused Beijing of using to spy on the United States.
China claims the original balloon was a civilian research craft and disputes that it was being used for surveillance. China also denounced the US for shooting the balloon down last Saturday off the coast of South Carolina.
At least two more flying objects were shot down over North America over the weekend as military and intelligence officials refocused on threats from the air.
It might be difficult for Canadian investigators to piece together what was shot down over the Yukon. The territory is an area in Canada’s far northwest that is sparsely populated and borders Alaska. Although the winters can be extremely cold, this time of year is unusually mild, which might make the recovery process easier.
The forecast for Sunday calls for a high in Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon, of minus 2 degrees Celsius (28 degrees Fahrenheit).
US officials closed airspace twice in a 24-hour period before quickly reopening it. The Federal Aviation Administration briefly shut down the airspace over Lake Michigan on Sunday. In order to investigate a radar anomaly in Montana on Saturday, the US military scrambled fighter jets.
Later, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) claimed that the pilots had failed to locate anything that matched the radar hits. “What’s happening?”
US officials believe that the two flying objects, one of which was brought down over sea ice on Friday and the other of which was destroyed over the Yukon on Saturday, were both balloons, according to US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who spoke to US broadcaster ABC.
They do think they are balloons, but they are much smaller than the first one, according to Schumer.
The White House echoed Schumer’s description of them as being “much smaller” by stating that only the most recent objects “did not closely resemble” the Chinese balloon.
Schumer expressed his confidence that US investigators searching the ocean off South Carolina for pieces of the original balloon’s debris and electronic equipment would discover what it was being used for.
We’ll probably be able to piece together this entire surveillance balloon and understand what’s happening, he predicted.
President Joe Biden’s administration may be overcompensating for what, in his opinion, was its prior lack of oversight of US airspace, according to Republican lawmaker Mike Turner, a member of the US House Armed Services Committee.
Turner told CNN on Sunday, “They do seem somewhat trigger-happy. “I would rather they were trigger-happy than permissive,” I said.