The US shot down on Sunday another UFO which was first detected above military sites in Montana in the fourth military operation of its kind this month.
President Joe Biden ordered it to be downed near Lake Huron, close to the Canadian border. The object could have interfered with commercial air traffic as it was traveling at 20,000ft (6,100m), a Pentagon statement said.
The object, which was not deemed a military threat, has been described by defense officials as an unmanned “octagonal structure” with strings attached to it. It was downed by a missile fired from an F-16 fighter jet at 14:42 local time (19:42 GMT).
The incident raises further questions about the spate of high-altitude objects that have been shot down over North America this month.
A suspected Chinese spy balloon was downed off the coast of South Carolina on 4 February after hovering for days over the continental US. Officials said it originated in China and had been used to monitor sensitive sites.
Since that first incident, American fighter jets have shot down three further high-altitude objects in as many days.
President Biden ordered an object to be shot down over northern Alaska on Friday, and on Saturday a similar object was shot down over the Yukon in north-western Canada.
Officials have not publicly identified the origin or purpose of these objects. Both the US and Canada are still working to recover the remnants, but the search in Alaska has been hampered by Arctic conditions.
US does not know the country of origin of the UFO
“These objects did not closely resemble, and were much smaller than, the [4 February] balloon and we will not definitively characterize them until we can recover the debris,” a White House National Security spokesperson said.
The US military does not have new information on the country of origin or the physical or mechanical properties of the three objects downed over North America in the past three days, Gen. Glen VanHerck, the commander of the US Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command, told reporters Sunday.
“I’m not going to categorize them as balloons. We’re calling them objects for a reason,” VanHerck said when asked about the physical characteristics of the objects.
“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,” he added.
VanHerck stressed that officials do not know the country of origin of the objects downed in recent days, distinguishing it from the suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that the US military shot down off the coast of South Carolina last week.
“I would be hesitant and urge you not to attribute it to any specific country. We don’t know,” VanHerck said.