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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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Objects like the Chinese balloon have been flying over US since at least 2017

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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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The spokesman for the National Security Council said the intelligence community is considering a new leading explanation for the three objects shot down over the weekend – they were commercial, research-related or benign. But the objects still haven’t been found and officials don’t yet know what they are.

The Senate had a classified briefing this morning and members said these types of unidentified objects have been flying over the U.S. since at least 2017.

“We don’t know what they are. What’s different about the last two weeks is that we’ve started shooting them down,” Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., told reporters.

Two years ago, an office was created in the Department of Defense to track and identify the objects. In that time, the office has reviewed over 300 aerial phenomena. Over half were balloons, a couple dozen were drones and some were random objects like floating bags or a bird.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., told reporters that a policy needs to be created on how to handle each instance.

“What are we going to do above commercial airspace up until space? What are we going to do if other balloons come above the United States? Is this something that we are going to tolerate or not tolerate,” Sen. Gillibrand said. “Those are fundamental policy decisions that the White House and Congress are going to be making over the next several months.” 

There was bipartisan agreement that the threat level from these objects is low. But to give a definitive answer as to what they are, they need to be recovered and inspected. That’s difficult, because the objects were shot down in remote, northern regions with brutal winter conditions.

“On the one hand the administration is saying we don’t yet know what these last three objects are and we don’t want to characterize them until we recover them, but on the other hand it wasn’t a threat. Both of those things can’t be true,” Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said.

“If you’re confused, you understand the situation perfectly,” Sen. Kennedy said.

To clear up confusion, senators are calling on the Biden administration to be more transparent. In fact, multiple members said between 95% to 99% of what was said in the classified briefing can be made public.

“There is a lot of information presented to us this morning that could be told to the American people without any harm to sources or methods or our national security. And the American people need to know more so they’ll have more confidence in our national security,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said.

Senators also agreed that information is being over classified. Some lawmakers called for President Biden to address the nation about everything he knows.

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The White House now says a leading explanation for the three floating objects shot down over the weekend is that they were commercial or benign. The Senate had a classified briefing this morning and members said these types of unidentified objects have been flying over the US since at least 2017. 

 

Kennedy: “We don’t know what they are. What’s different about the last two weeks is that we’ve started shooting them down.”

 

Two years ago, an office was created in the Department of Defense to track and identify the objects. In that time the office has reviewed over 300 aerial phenomena, over half were balloons, a couple dozen were drones and some were random objects like bags floating in the air or a bird. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says a policy needs to be created on how to handle each instance. 

 

Gillibrand “What are we going to do above commercial airspace up until space? What are we going to do if other balloons come above the United States. Is this something that we are going to tolerate or not tolerate? Those are fundamental policy decisions that the White House and Congress are going to be making over the next several months.” 

 

There was bipartisan agreement that the threat level from these objects is low. But to give a definitive answer as to what they are, they need to be recovered and inspected. That’s difficult, because the objects were shot down in remote, northern regions with brutal winter conditions. 

Cotton: “On the one hand the administration is saying we don’t yet know what these last three objects are and we don’t want to characterize them until we recover them, but on the other hand it wasn’t a threat. Both of those things can’t be true. “


Kennedy: “If you’re confused, you understand the situation perfectly.”

 

To clear up confusion, Senators are calling on the Biden administration to be more transparent. 

 Blumenthal: There is a lot of information presented to us this morning that could be told to the American people without any harm to sources or methods or our national security. And the American people need to know more so they’ll have more confidence in our national security. 

 

Straight Arrow News will keep you up to date on unidentified flying objects with unbiased, straight facts. So stick with us for more coverage.