No debris from aerial objects near Alaska, on Lake Huron found: NORAD
NORTHCOM terminates searches for two further objects shot down, one off Alaska's northern coast on February 10 and the other over Lake Huron on February 12.
The United States has ended its search for debris from an alleged Chinese surveillance balloon it shot down earlier this month, as well as two other objects downed near Alaska and on Lake Huron, the military's Northern Command said Friday.
"Recovery operations concluded February 16 off the coast of South Carolina, after US Navy assets assigned to US Northern Command successfully located and retrieved debris from the high-altitude PRC surveillance balloon," NORTHCOM said in a statement, in reference to the People's Republic of China.
"Final pieces of debris are being transferred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation Laboratory in Virginia for counterintelligence exploitation," it added.
The Chinese balloon crossed much of the United States before being shot down over the Atlantic Ocean on February 4 by a US F-22 Raptor.
Beijing said the equipment was intended for meteorological surveillance but had gone awry, while Washington claimed it was a sophisticated high-altitude eavesdropping vehicle.
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NORTHCOM issued another statement late Friday announcing the termination of searches for two further objects shot down, one off Alaska's northern coast on February 10 and the other over Lake Huron on February 12.
"The US military, federal agencies, and Canadian partners conducted systematic searches of each area using a variety of capabilities, including airborne imagery and sensors, surface sensors and inspections, and subsurface scans, and did not locate debris," the statement said.
President Joe Biden stated this week at a press conference regarding the flying objects that preliminary evidence suggested the Alaska and Lake Huron incidents were unrelated to a larger Chinese spy effort.
This comes shortly after a small, globe-trotting balloon declared "lost in action" by an Illinois-based hobbyist organization on Feb. 15 has been revealed to be likely one of three mystery objects shot down by four heat-seeking missiles launched by US Air Force planes between Feb. 10.
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