by Susan Katz Keating
The “domain awareness gap” that caused American air defenses to miss the original Chinese spy balloon may have been an automated filtering program that now has been shut off, resulting in a flurry of “UFO” discoveries, security sources said.
“We’re not filtering out slow moving objects as per usual,” one U.S.-based security source told Soldier of Fortune. The filtering allowed defense monitors to watch for fast moving objects such as missiles or bomber jets, while ignoring mundane slower moving objects that don’t pose a threat, the source explained.
The latest airborne intruder to come into focus was an object over Lake Huron along the U.S.-Canada border, according to Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin.
“The object has been downed by pilots from the US Air Force and National Guard,” Slotkin tweeted on Sunday afternoon. “Great work by all who carried out this mission both in the air and back at headquarters.”
Other recent sightings of foreign objects have included balloons over Alaska and Canada, and an unidentified object reported over Montana. The Federal Aviation Administration on Sunday briefly imposed a “national defense airspace” restriction over part of Lake Michigan, during which time an object was shot down.
American forces have shot down four objects over North America, starting on Feb. 4 with a Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina.
The U.S. did not take out the first Chinese spy balloon as it approached Alaska because it showed no “hostile intent,” said Gen. Glen VanHerck, the Air Force general overseeing North American air space. He noted that his organization did not detect previous balloons because of “a domain awareness gap.”
The gap since has been closed, security forces said.
“Now we’re paying attention to things we previously ignored,” a security source said. “That’s why you’re seeing all these UFOs pop up around the country.”
Among them, the object in Michigan.