Sightings of unidentified aerial phenomena have begun to sweep the nation in a fever reminiscent of the flying saucer wave of the mid-20th century. Just as the United States was in a Cold War with the Soviet Union at the time of the 1947 Roswell incident, America remains locked in another cold conflict against communism with Red China.
Three unidentified flying objects were shot down over Alaska, Canada, and Michigan on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday after an F-22 fighter jet on Feb. 4 downed a Chinese spy balloon that had crossed the entire continental U.S. While Beijing claimed ownership of the first surveillance balloon that crossed into U.S. airspace earlier this month, mystery remains over who’s behind the objects blown out of the sky this weekend.
More confusing has been the U.S. government’s response to the foreign intrusion. It took Pentagon officials days after the first Chinese spy balloon was spotted by the public to finally bring it down — after it flew from Alaska to South Carolina. Also, instead of capturing the equipment intact, the Canadian and American militaries fired missiles to blow up each object.
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby told reporters at a White House press briefing on Monday that “some, not all” of the debris from the Chinese spy balloon destroyed over the Atlantic has been recovered.
According to The New York Times, of the 366 similar unexplained incidents since 2021, 163 were later identified as balloons, a classified report in January found. The American military is certainly capable of popping the balloon and capturing its contents. If the military isn’t, then the Pentagon has far bigger problems than foreign surveillance, considering the United States captured objects in mid-air during the Cold War in the 1950s.
U.S. Strategic Air Command flew reconnaissance missions over the Soviet Union in 1956 with an operation known as the “Genetrix” program. Balloons drifted across the continent with the winter jet stream and were cut free from their balloons once outside Soviet airspace. The gondolas hanging from their parachutes were collected in mid-air by specially equipped planes. The Pentagon is unable to do the same thing today?
Air Force Gen. Glen VanHerck told reporters the Chinese spy balloon that traversed the country may have been equipped with explosives. But considering the government’s secrecy about these objects, caution is warranted, especially when claims are made with uncertainty.
Even if the balloon had been carrying some sort of dynamite, could it still not have been captured by popping the balloon and examining remotely? Can U.S. officials not orchestrate a scaled-up version of what Tokyo police do to capture illegal drones?
Given the few answers government officials have offered about Roswell, it’s unlikely the Pentagon will be entirely forthcoming about the latest wave of UFOs to haunt the skies.