The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), a combined US-Canada organization that provides shared defense of airspace, recently detected an object flying high over the Yukon. On the orders of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Joe Biden, the object was shot down by a US fighter jet.
Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand held a press conference in Ottawa, revealing that the mysterious object was flying at around 40,000 feet and was shot down approximately 100 miles from the Canada-US border in the central Yukon. A recovery operation is underway, involving the Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
It was later revealed that the Federal Aviation Administration had closed some airspace in Montana to support Defense Department activities. NORAD later said the closure, which lasted a little over an hour, was due to the detection of “a radar anomaly.” F-22 fighter jets have now taken out three objects in the airspace above the US and Canada over the past seven days, raising questions about what is hovering overhead and who sent them.
At least one of the objects shot down was believed to be a spy balloon from China, but the other two have not yet been publicly identified. While Trudeau described the object as “unidentified,” Anand said it appeared to be “a small cylindrical object, smaller than the one that was downed off the coast of North Carolina.” A NORAD spokesperson stated that the military had determined what it was, but wouldn’t reveal the details.
Anand refused to speculate on the origin of the object shot down over Canada, saying, “We are continuing to do the analysis on the object and we will make sure that analysis is thorough. It would not be prudent for me to speculate on the origins of the object at this time.”
The Yukon is the westernmost Canadian territory and among the least populated parts of Canada. Canadian forces will recover the wreckage for study. After the airspace closure over Montana, members of Congress, including Montana Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester, were in touch with defense officials and demanded answers about the invasions of US airspace.
This is the first time NORAD has shot down an object in Canadian airspace. The Defense Minister emphasized the importance of this moment, saying, “The importance of this moment should not be underestimated. We detected this object together and we defeated this object together.”