spy balloons

Biden Says Unidentified Objects U.S. Shot Down Were Not Spy Balloons

President Biden shot first and answered questions later. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Biden acknowledged in a public address on Wednesday that the three unidentified objects the U.S. shot down last weekend were neither spy balloons nor linked to China’s high-altitude surveillance program but “most likely balloons tied to private companies, recreation, or research institutions, studying weather or conducting other scientific research.” The president, who had been largely silent about the dramatic and mysterious incidents, confirmed that after the alleged Chinese spy balloon traversed the skies over the continental U.S. earlier this month, the military expanded the parameters for how it detected slow-moving objects in U.S. airspace — and these three objects popped up on the radar as a result.

Biden said he ordered the objects shot down on the recommendation of the military and did not regret doing so. He added that he had ordered a review of U.S. airspace surveillance and that new parameters would be developed for how to detect and respond to similar objects. He emphasized that there’s no evidence “there has been a sudden increase in the number of objects in the sky.”

Earlier in the week, U.S. officials acknowledged privately that the objects shot down over the weekend may have simply been airborne clutter. The Biden administration has also repeatedly insisted that the UFOs were not alien spacecraft.

Biden Says Three Objects U.S. Shot Down Weren’t Spy Balloons