Washington, Feb 13 (EFE).- The White House said Monday that “there is no indication of aliens or extraterrestrial activity” with regard to the three flying objects shot down in recent days by the US military over the US or Canada.
“There is no indication of aliens or extraterrestrial activity with these recent takedowns,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters at her daily press briefing, adding that she “wanted to make sure that the American people knew that, (that) all of you knew that, and it is important for us to say that from here.”
Her comments come after on Sunday the head of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), Gen. Glen VanHerck, said that “I haven’t ruled out anything” regarding the origin of the downed objects.
The US government on Feb. 4 ordered the military to shoot down a Chinese “spy” balloon just off the South Carolina coast and over the past three days the Air Force has shot down three more flying objects over US or Canadian territory, but for the moment nothing about the origin and nature of the objects has been confirmed.
At the same press conference, White House National Security Advisor John Kirby said that although the origin of the three objects downed on the weekend has not yet been determined, he emphasized that, for now, the government is simply calling them “objects” without linking them to the Chinese surveillance balloon.
According to Kirby, President Joe Biden ordered the objects shot down because they were flying at an altitude where they might interfere with commercial airline flights, although it is not believed that they posed any “direct threat” to the public or to US national security.
The administration is “laser-focused” on confirming the nature and purpose of the objects, he said, and “intensive” efforts to collect debris from the balloons and any equipment being carried by them are under way.
The Biden administration last week accused the Chinese government of having developed, with the implied involvement of its armed forces, a “program” of spy balloons, saying that so far such balloons have overflown more than 40 countries on five continents.
In that regard, Kirby said that Beijing began developing that program during the 2017-2021 Donald Trump administration, but Biden had to get into the White House before the program was detected.
“It was operating during the (Trump) administration, but they did not detect it. We detected it. We tracked it, and we have been carefully studying it to learn as much as we can,” Kirby said.
According to the White House, during the Trump presidency, at least three Chinese balloons overflew the United States, although the ex-president has denied this.
Meanwhile, China alleges that the “spy” balloon that the US downed on Feb. 4 was designed to gather meteorological data and has accused Washington of reacting in an exaggerated manner in shooting down that object.