Hazardous materials experts have been deployed in the search for debris from the unidentified flying object (UFO) shot out of the sky over Canada this weekend, according to authorities.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is leading the recovery effort in the sparsely populated Yukon territory, located in northwest Canada, where officials say a U.S. jet fighter brought down a UFO on Saturday as part of a North American Aerospace Defense Command operation. The Canadian Armed Forces are assisting in the endeavor and a number of aircraft, including a CC-130H Hercules and CH-149 Cormorant helicopters, are involved.
Sean McGillis, the acting deputy commissioner of the RCMP’s federal policing program, explained during a briefing on Monday that the mysterious circumstances of the UFO warranted a wide range of expertise.
“We are sending out folks with explosives capability, we’re sending out folks with that chemical, biological, radiological background, only because we don’t know what we’re dealing with,” McGillis said, according to CTV News. “In any situation like this where we’re not sure what we’re dealing with, you always err on the side of being overly cautious and that’s why we’re deploying the specialized expertise that we are.”
Officials say a large area is being explored in a remote area northeast of Dawson City. Maj.-Gen. Paul Prevost, director of staff for the Canadian military’s Strategic Joint Staff, said that an initial assessment put the debris somewhere in a 3,000-square-kilometer area. He noted that experts are trying to narrow it down.
“We are exploring a very large area,” McGillis said. “It is unfortunately very rugged and mountainous terrain. The weather conditions are not great. There’s a very high level of snowpack in the region. So, our efforts are going to be difficult. It will be challenging. It will take us some time.”
McGillis said on Monday officials were not aware of any “specific threat” to the public, but he asked everyone to be “cautious and to allow authorized personnel to respond to the incident,” per Yukon News. “Should you locate any debris, please contact the RCMP directly,” he added.
Officials say U.S. jets shot down two other UFOs in the past week, including one over Lake Huron near the Canadian border on Sunday. RCMP and the Canadian Coast Guard are assisting with the search for debris from that object, which the Pentagon has described as appearing to be octagonal with strings attached. Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand has described the UFO shot down over the Yukon as being “cylindrical.” Yet another UFO was said to have been shot down over the frozen waters around Alaska on Friday.
With these UFOs, and a suspected Chinese spy balloon the U.S. shot down off the coast of South Carolina on February 4, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “Obviously there is some sort of pattern in there.” U.S. Northern Command said crews recovered “significant debris” from the site where the Chinese balloon fell, “including all of the priority sensor and electronics pieces identified as well as large sections of the structure.”
Officials have yet to determine the purpose and origins of the three UFOs, but they have stressed that these objects were shot down because they were flying at such an altitude that they posed a threat to civilian aircraft and were possibly conducting surveillance. The Biden administration has conveyed that the UFOs are not believed to be from outer space.
White House national security spokesman John Kirby said on Tuesday that a “leading explanation” offered by the U.S. intelligence community is that the three downed UFOs “were simply tied to commercial or research entities and therefore benign,” according to The New York Times.