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US concludes search for two objects shot down over Alaska and Lake Huron

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — The U.S military has announced that it has concluded its search for flying objects shot down over Deadhorse, Alaska, and Lake Huron.


The first object was shot down on Feb. 10th over Alaska while the second was shot down over Lake Huron on Feb. 12 and no debris was found in either of these cases, according to a joint statement released by NORCOM and NORAD.

“The U.S. military, federal agencies, and Canadian partners concluded systematic searches of each area using a variety of capabilities, including airborne imagery and sensors, surface sensors and inspections, and surface scans, and did not locate debris,” read the statement from NORAD published on social media. “The Secretary of Defense concurred with the recommendations.”

President Joe Biden addressed the U.S. response to the aerial objects in a speech from the White House Thursday after facing calls from lawmakers on Capitol Hill for greater transparency.

Biden said he would “make no apologies for taking down” the Chinese surveillance balloon, calling it a “violation of our sovereignty.”

The other three objects were taken down “out of an abundance of caution,” Biden said, and don’t appear to be spy vehicles from China or any other foreign 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.

Air and maritime safety perimeters have been lifted both in Deadhorse, Alaska, and in Lake Huron following the conclusion of the search for debris, according to NORAD, while federal authorities said their investigation into the balloon shot down off the coast of South Carolina is currently ongoing.

“Recovery operations concluded Feb. 16 off the coast of South Carolina, after U.S. Navy assets assigned to U.S. Northern Command successfully located and retrieved debris from the high-altitude PRC surveillance balloon shot down Feb. 4, 2023,” NORAD said in its latest statement. “Final pieces of debris are being transferred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation Laboratory in Virginia for counterintelligence exploitation, as has occurred with the previous surface and subsurface debris recovered. U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard vessels have departed the area.”

Several agencies are currently conducting a review to study broader policy implications for the U.S. detection and analyzation of unidentified aerial objects, and Biden said the review’s findings will guide how the administration operates going forward.

“But make no mistake, if any object presents a threat to the safety and security of the American people, I will take it down,” Biden said.

ABC News’ Luis Martinez and Davone Morales contributed to this report.

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