After a closed-door briefing this week on all the balloons and unidentified flying objects being shot down in U.S. skies of late, a reporter caught up with Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and asked what he learned.
“I didn’t learn a darn thing,” Lee said.
“Did you get any answers as to what those other objects were,” the reporter asked.
“Not at all,” the senator said.
But Rep. Jeff Jackson (D-NC) was either at a different briefing or paid closer attention. He offered a slew of information about the UFOs and the Chinese balloon shot down off the coast of South Carolina last week.
“We’ve already recovered a lot of the debris from what [the briefer] referred to as ‘the Chinese spy balloon,’ including propulsion equipment. They expect to gain significant intelligence from the recovery,” he said in a post on substack.
The Chinese balloon led the U.S. to take action. “After the incident with the spy balloon, a decision was made to start scrutinizing our air space more closely. Adjustments were made to how we process a lot of the data we collect about what’s flying overhead,” Jackson said.
“[T]he vast majority of the data wasn’t being processed because there was no single system that exists for the purpose of identifying these kinds of objects,” he added.
Jackson also gave some details about the other UFOs, which he referred to as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
“The three UAPs that have been shot down since then were all ‘fundamentally different’ from the spy balloon in that they were much smaller and they were flying much lower, between 20,000 and 30,000 feet. That put them within the altitude band for civilian air traffic, which was a factor in the decision to shoot them down. By contrast, the spy balloon was at an altitude of 60,000,” Jackson wrote.
The lawmaker added that the three UAVs were flying in proximity to a Department of Defense “sensitive location,” noting that was also a factor in shooting them down.
In addition, the UAVs did not have the required signal devices on board. “In the U.S., academic and commercial balloons have to include transponders that let the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] know where they are at all times. These UAPs did not appear to have transponders, and that was also a factor in the decision to shoot them down,” Jackson said.
The congressman also gave details about the size and shapes of the crafts. “Of the three UAPs, one was much larger than the other two. Its size and shape is consistent with a balloon. The other two were roughly the size of ‘an ATV or a four-wheeler,’” he said.
Jackson noted that there’s no evidence at this point that any of the three UAVs were “doing anything nefarious and each of them could turn out to be academic or commercial. We won’t know until they’re recovered.”
In that effort, Jackson laid out exactly where the three UAVs are now.
“One UAV was shot down over Alaska. The debris is believed to be on an ice cap, which is moving, and the temperature is -50 with the wind chill.”
“A second UAV was shot down in Canada in some very tall, snowy mountains. We’re assisting Canadians with trying to locate the debris.”
“A third UAV was shot down near the US/Canada border but is probably on the Canadian side. Another joint effort is underway.”
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.