Biden to Establish Interagency Group to Look Into UFOs in US Airspace
WASHINGTON — The White House announced Monday that President Joe Biden is establishing an interagency group to look into unidentified objects in U.S. airspace.
The formation of the inquiry team was announced by White House National Security Spokesman John Kirby, who briefed reporters for nearly an hour Monday afternoon.
It comes after three unidentified objects were shot down by U.S. military personnel over the weekend.
“The president, through his national security adviser, has today directed an interagency team to study the broader policy implications for detection, analysis and disposition of unidentified aerial objects that pose either safety or security risks,” Kirby said in his opening remarks.
Kirby said that the team will include “every element” of the government and stressed its formation was intended to “redouble” the United States’ efforts to understand and, hopefully, prevent incidents with what he described as “high-altitude, low-speed craft.”
Kirby said when Biden came into office, he directed the U.S. intelligence community to do a broad assessment of Chinese intelligence capabilities “to ensure we were working to detect and protect against them.”
Though he refrained from going into details about the initial inquiry — “since much of what we have done … is of course sensitive” — he said it did reveal that China has a high-altitude balloon program for intelligence collection that is connected to the People’s Liberation Army.
“It was operating during the previous 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, adding that these People’s Republic of China surveillance balloons “have crossed over dozens of countries on multiple continents around the world, including some of our closest allies and partners.”
The national security spokesman then went on to reveal that in addition to the investigation into Chinese intelligence activities, Biden also instructed the intelligence community to take a broad look at the phenomenon of unidentified aerial objects.
“Indeed, President Biden conducted the first ever daily intelligence briefing session devoted to this phenomenon, back in June of 2021,” he said.
“These unidentified aerial phenomena had been reported for many years, without explanation or deep examination by the government,” he continued. “President Biden has changed all that. We’re finally trying to understand them better.”
As a result of these combined activities, the United States has been more closely scrutinizing its own airspace and that of Canada than ever before, going so far as to significantly “enhance” the nation’s radar capabilities.
“Slow-moving objects at high altitude with a small radar cross section are difficult to detect on radar. Even objects the size of a Chinese spy balloon, which had a payload the size of roughly three school buses, were not picked up by previous administrations or other countries,” Kirby said.
“We also know that a range of entities including countries, companies, research and academic organizations operate objects at these altitudes for purposes that are not nefarious at all, including scientific research.
“That said, because we have not yet been able to definitively assess what these most recent objects are, we acted out of an abundance of caution to protect our security, our interest and flight safety.”
Kirby said the United States still does not know who owns the three objects shot down this weekend.
“Right now, we are laser focused on confirming their nature and purpose, including through intensive efforts to collect debris in the remote locations where they have fallen,” he said.
The White House today also sought to beat back assertions that the UFOs being shot down are alien or other-worldly in origin.
“I just want to make sure we address this from the White House. I know there have been questions and concerns about this, but there is no, again, no indication of aliens or extraterrestrial activity with these recent takedowns,” Jean-Pierre told reporters before she handed the podium over to Kirby for today’s briefing. “Wanted to make sure that the American people knew that, all of you knew that, and it is important for us to say that from here.”
Her remarks came a day after Air Force Gen. Glen VanHerck, who heads U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command, was asked if authorities have ruled out extraterrestrials.
“I haven’t ruled anything out at this point,” he told reporters during a briefing Sunday. “We continue to assess.”