US Suspects Three Unidentified Objects Were 'Benign'

Image copyright: The Guardian

The Facts

  • White House officials said on Tuesday that the three unidentified objects shot down by US fighter jets since Friday may turn out to be balloons connected to "benign" commercial or research efforts.

  • Following the Chinese high-altitude balloon incident earlier this month, three mysterious aerial devices were shot down by US fighter jets over Michigan, Alaska, and northern Canada over the past several days.

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

Up until this month, Americans were led to believe that their homeland was safe from any and all threats, both foreign and domestic. Though the only object known to have been for espionage purposes was the first Chinese balloon, the others were necessarily shot down as they were potential flight hazards. The US government must continue to monitor its airspace thoroughly to ensure the safety of its skies.

Establishment-critical narrative

Beginning with vague talk of UFOs in 2017, the US government has been ramping up fear tactics to call for more militarism. Without even providing a clear explanation of what they are, many politicians are already using these incidents to call for sanctions against China and increased military spending. While you can't count on the US government to explain what's floating in the air, you can always count on it to instill fear in the American people to ultimately fund the military-industrial complex.

Cynical narrative

This whole story is an overreaction by the media. Whether you believe the balloon was a spying tool for China or it was just an off-course weather balloon, it certainly didn’t deserve the attention it received. Either the networks decided they needed to gin up ratings with scare tactics, and/or government representatives on both sides were feeding the frenzy to quash a US-China détente on purpose. This topic is taking the oxygen from more important stories.

Nerd narrative

There's a 9% chance there will be active warfare between the US and China before 2027, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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