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In a brief speech to reporters on Thursday, President Biden said “nothing suggests” the three unidentified flying objects (UFO) shot down over the U.S. over the weekend were connected to China or any other government.
For days, members of Congress and millions of Americans have been anxiously waiting for Biden to address the bizarre events over the weekend in which three different UFOs were shot down over American and Canadian airspace.
“We don’t yet know exactly what these objects are,” Biden said on Thursday. He attributed the increased sightings to recent radar technology enhancements that allow intelligence agencies to pick up more objects than in the past.
Biden ruled out the three objects belonging to a government, saying they may have been privately-owned related to scientific research. While his speech didn’t mention extraterrestrial life, he also didn’t rule that out.
A recent timeline of UFO incidents
On Feb. 10, the U.S. shot down an object over the Alaskan coast that was described as the size of a small car. The next day, the U.S., working with Canada, shot down another flying object over Yukon, Canada. It was described as “smaller in size and cylindrical.” A day later, on Feb. 12, the U.S. shot down a third UFO over Lake Huron, according to a timeline of events by NPR.
“It presented as an octagonal structure with strings hanging off but no discernable payload,” a senior Biden administration official said.
The three incidents came a week after a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon glided across the continental U.S. for days, until it was finally shot down off the South Carolina Coast.
Biden defended his decision to wait to shoot down the Chinese balloon, saying the size of it posed a risk to civilian life on the ground.
“Instead we tracked it closely, analyzed its capabilities, and learned how it operates,” Biden said.
Biden implements new rules
Both Democrats and Republicans have criticized Biden’s responses to the four incidents. Democrats have blasted his lack of transparency ahead of Thursday’s speech, while Republicans have accused him of being weak in the face of U.S. adversaries.
“The president owes the American people an explanation, direct and on camera, of what we know about these ‘objects’ and what steps he’s taking to protect American’s sovereign airspace,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said in a statement, according to the Hill.
Moving forward, Biden said he’s directed his National Security Advisor to implement four changes:
- Establish a better inventory of UFOs above U.S. airspace.
- Implement further measures to improve capacity to detect UFOs.
- Update rules and regulations for launching and maintaining UFOs above U.S. skies.
- Secretary of state will lead an effort to establish international rules around UFOs.
“These steps will lead to safer and more clear skies,” Biden said. “As the events of the previous days have shown, well always act to protect” the security of the american people.”
Biden also said he placed restrictions on six firms that directly support the Chinese government, denying them access to technology. He plans to keep Congress informed, though details of the three UFOs will remain confidential to the American public.
Biden said he hopes to meet with Chinese President Xi Jingping, “but I make no apologies for taking down that balloon.”