The U.S. military has canceled its recovery mission for the objects shot in Alaska and Lake Huron.
“The U.S. military, federal agencies, and Canadian partners conducted a systematic search of each area using a variety of capabilities, including airborne imagery and sensors, surface sensors and inspections, and subsurface scans and did not locate the wreckage.” – Northcom said in a statement.
The US military has completed its recovery operation for a suspected Chinese spy balloon that was shot down off the coast of South Carolina earlier this month, as well as a search for a flying object that was later brought down off the coast of Alaska and over Lake Huron days later. The search was ultimately fruitless.
The recovery effort ended after “US Navy assets assigned to US Northern Command successfully recovered the balloon and recovered the wreckage,” a US Northern Command statement said on Friday.
“The last pieces of debris are being transferred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation Laboratory in Virginia for counterintelligence use, as are earlier surface and subsurface debris recoveries. US Navy and US Coast Guard vessels have left the area. Aviation and maritime security perimeters have been lifted,” the statement added.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin approved the command’s recommendation to end the search.
The Biden administration has repeatedly identified the objects destroyed and been able to identify who launched them, but US officials have been less optimistic about recovering debris from them.
A thorough explanation of the objects shot down by U.S. fighters over three consecutive days as a result of failed search efforts is increasingly unavailable to the public.
Three objects were shot down last week – one over the Yukon in Canadian airspace and two over US airspace.
Joe Biden said Thursday that the three objects shot by the $400,000 Sidewinder were likely weather balloons.
What an embarrassment.
“We still don’t know what these three objects were. But nothing right now indicates that they are related to China’s spy balloon program or that they were surveillance vehicles of any other country,” Biden said.
“The current assessment of the intelligence community is that these three objects were probably balloons tied to private companies,” he said.
It is believed one of the objects shot was a $10 balloon.
The Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade told Politico they believe the balloons were one of the $400,000 missiles fired by the military.
Cost of those balloons: $10-$15
NEW — The Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade told Politico they believe one of the balloons shot down by the military was theirs.
* Cost of those balloons: $10-$15
* Cost to launch the missile: $400,000https://t.co/mcbodTDxjf
— Sam Stein (@samstein) February 17, 2023
But Biden allowed a Chinese spy balloon to fly over the continental United States.
CBS News reported Tuesday night that U.S. intelligence actually saw the spy balloon take off near China’s southern coast and tracked it for about a week before it entered U.S. airspace.
“US intelligence saw the Chinese spy balloon take off near China’s southern coast, meaning the US military had been tracking it for nearly a week before it entered US airspace. Longer than originally known,” CBS News reported.
“What they saw was this balloon heading east from China to Guam and Hawaii, but then it took a sharp north turn—a beeline for Alaska!” CBS reported.