The U.S. Department of Defense recently released a photograph taken by a pilot of a U-2 spy plane showing a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon flying over the continental U.S. While the image provided unprecedented details of the balloon, the release of the photo has left many wondering about the images showing the three unidentified objects shot down over Alaska, northern Canada, and Lake Huron over the weekend of February 10.
Although the Pentagon has not officially confirmed the presence of images of the incidents, it is not planning on releasing them to the public. A spokesperson for the office of the secretary of defense stated that there are currently no other aerial images available.
The three objects shot down are suspected to have been benign amateur hobbyist or research balloons rather than state-sponsored espionage. However, the “unidentified” status of the objects has fueled public speculation that these could be something more than just wayward hobby balloons.
Social media users have speculated that the shoot downs were part of a cover-up operation to conceal the truth about the US’ involvement in the Nord Stream pipeline sabotage. Others have claimed that the objects were alien spacecraft. The lack of debris recovery and images has also been interpreted as part of an attempt by the government to conceal its UFO activities.
It’s believed that the Pentagon obtained some of the captured images and video of the objects before they were shot down. However, it’s not clear if they were able to identify the objects using the jet’s targeting pods.
To investigate the object spotted near Alaska, a couple of F-35 aircraft were launched. These aircraft were equipped with the EOTS, which was designed to provide high-definition and electro-optical images. Unfortunately, the system was not able to capture images of the object. Two F-16C airplanes from Wisconsin’s 148th Fighter Wing were able to shoot down the object. They were equipped with the Sniper ATP, which is a sophisticated targeting pod.
According to the audio recordings of the cockpit conversations of the fighter planes, which were captured by amateur radio users, it’s almost certain that video of the object was taken during the shoot down. However, these descriptions do not provide enough evidence to identify the object.
An aura of mystery will remain over the incident until the Pentagon decides to release the captured images. Although the objects were likely benign, the lack of transparency by the Pentagon has led to various conspiracy theories and speculation.
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