BREAKING: Biden says latest UFOs were not Chinese surveillance objects, doesn't regret shooting them down

Biden concluded by stating, "I make no apologies for taking down that balloon."

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Hannah Nightingale Washington DC
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On Thursday afternoon, President Biden spoke on the recent slew of aerial objects that have been shot down across North America.

The first object, a Chinese spy balloon, was shot down off the coast of South Carolina on February 4 after being allowed to travel across the United States. Another "high altitude object" was shot down off the coast of Alaska on February 10.

Two more "high altitude airborne objects" were shot down over the weekend of February 11. One being shot down over Canada on February 11, and another being shot down on February 12 over Lake Huron.

Following the shooting down of the Chinese spy balloon, Biden said that the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) "closely scrutinized our airspace" and located the additional three unidentified objects.

These three objects, Biden said, are not thought to be additional Chinese spy balloons or "surveillance vehicles from any other country."

"The intelligence community's current assessment is that these three objects were most likely balloons tied to private companies, recreation or research institutions, studying weather, or conducting other scientific research," he said.

"When I came into office, I instructed our intelligence community to take a look at the phenomenon of unidentified aerial objects. We know that a range of entities including countries, companies, and research organizations operate objects at altitudes for purposes that are not nefarious, including legitimate scientific research," Biden continued.

"I want to be clear, we don't have any evidence that there has been a sudden increase in number of objects in the sky," Biden added, noting that the uptick has been seen in part because of "steps we’ve taken to narrow our radars."

"That's why I've directed my team to come back to me with sharper rules for how we will deal with these unidentified objects moving forward, distinguishing between those that are likely to pose safety and security risks that necessitate action and those that do not.

"But make no mistake. If any object presents a threat to the safety, security, the American people I will take it down," Biden added.

Biden said that these policy changes would be shared with Congress and will be classified, "so we don’t give our roadmap to our enemies to try to evade our defenses."

"Going forward, these parameters will guide what actions we'll take while responding to unmanned and unidentified aerial objects," Biden said.

Biden said that he has directed National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan to "lead a government-wide effort to make sure we are positioned to deal safely and effectively with the objects in our airspace."

Biden said that this would include creating a "better inventory of unmanned airborne objects in space above the United States airspace,’ and make sure that inventory is up to date.

"Second, we will implement further measures to improve our capacity to detect  [unmanned objects] in our airspace. Third, we will update the rules and regulations for launching and maintaining unmanned objects in the skies above the United States of America," Biden said. 

"And fourth, my Secretary of State will lead an effort to help establish common global norms in this largely unregulated space."

Biden said that these steps would lead to safer skies for air travelers, military members, scientists, and people on the ground.

"Since I came to office, we've developed the ability to identify, track and study high-altitude surveillance balloons connected with the Chinese military. When one of these high-altitude surveillance balloons entered our airspace over the continental United States earlier in the month, I gave the order to shoot it down as soon as it would be safe to do so," Biden said.

Biden noted that the military advised against shooting down the spy balloon over land because of its size.

"Instead, we tracked it closely. We analyze his capabilities, and we learn more about how it operates. And because we knew its path, we were able to protect sensitive sites against collection. We waited until it was safely over water, which would not only protect civilians, but also enable us to recover substantial components for further analytics."

"And then we shot it down," Biden continued, stating that it send "a clear message" that "the violation of our sovereignty is unacceptable."

Biden reiterated that the US seeks "competition, not conflict with China."

"We’re not looking for a new Cold War, but I make no apologies, and we will compete, and we will responsibly manage that competition so that it doesn’t veer into conflict."

"This episode underscores the importance of maintaining open lines of communication between our diplomats and our military professionals. Our diplomats will be engaging further and I will remain in communication with President Xi."

Biden concluded by stating, "I make no apologies for taking down that balloon."

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