US Suspects Three Unidentified Objects Were 'Benign'

    US Suspects Three Unidentified Objects Were 'Benign'
    Last updated Feb 15, 2023
    Image credit: The Guardian


    • 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.[1]
    • 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.[2]
    • Officials from the US and Canada have not yet located or recovered any wreckage from the three downed objects, but the White House said it has found no evidence linking the three objects to China's or any other country's spy program.[3]
    • The Chinese government has denied that what it calls its weather-monitoring balloon shot down off the coast of South Carolina was being used for espionage, accusing the US of "a trigger-happy overreaction."[3]
    • US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said that the three other objects had not been recovered yet as they were in very difficult terrain, adding that they will eventually get the debris but it's "going to take some time to recover those."[4]
    • US officials have reviewed videos and sensor readings collected by the pilots who observed the objects before their destruction, but their exact nature, where they are from, and their purpose will not be confirmed until authorities have examined the debris. US officials also believe the devices are of Earthly origin.[5]


    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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