The pilot for the U.S. fighter jet which took down a still unidentified object floating over Lake Huron this past Sunday stated in his report that he missed taking down the object with its first shot, and there is no sign whatsoever of where the first missile actually went.
The Air Force F-16 jet which ended up taking down the object fired a pair of $472,000 Sidewinder AIM-9X missiles at the target prior to actually taking the object down.
“The first Sidewinder heat-seeking missile missed the target,” explained one defense official to Fox News.
The object was taken down as it flew at an altitude of roughly 20,000 feet inside of airspace controlled by the U.S. near Michigan.
U.S. Officials stated that they believe that this is the object that was first spotted late Saturday evening as it went over Montana that U.S. fighter jets could not actually find at the time.
“Based on its flight path and data we can reasonably connect this object to the radar signal picked up over Montana, which flew in proximity to sensitive DOD sites,” explained the Pentagon in a statement. “We did not assess it to be a kinetic military threat to anything on the ground, but assess it was a safety flight hazard and a threat due to its potential surveillance capabilities.”
The debris from the destroyed object has also not yet been located.
The object which was shot down over Lake Huron came a single day after the Air Force deployed to shoot down an object flying into Canadian airspace and just two days after the Air Force shot down an object over Alaska. Back on the 4th of February, the Air FOrce shot down a spy balloon owned by the Chinese that had crossed the country all the way from Montana to South Carolina.
Glen VanHerck, a U.S. Air Force General who is the commander responsible for watching over the North American airspace, stated that U.S. officials seemed quite confident that the objects taken down were not actually balloons.
“I’m not going to categorize them as balloons. We’re calling them objects for a reason,” stated VanHerck. “I’m not able to categorize how they stay aloft. It could be a gaseous type of balloon inside a structure or it could be some type of a propulsion system. But clearly, they’re — they’re able to stay aloft.”
VanHerck also stated that the U.S. officials considered attempting to make use of the machine guns on the jets to take down the objects so that they could be better preserved after their takedown.
“We assessed taking a gunshot yesterday in that event, as well as today, and the pilots in each situation felt that that was really unachievable because of the size, especially yesterday in the altitude, and also because of the challenge to acquire it visually because it’s so small,” stated VanHerck.
“We have taken extreme caution to ensure that we limit potential collateral damage, so today, we worked closely with the FAA to clear out the airspace,” he stated. “I gave direction specifically to the pilots to use their visual acuity to check for mariners on the ground, airplanes in the air to clear with their radars as well. And when they were comfortable, that we can minimize collateral damage, they selected the best weapon today that was the AIM 9x [missile]. And they took the shot.”