The US military on Sunday shot down an unidentified flying object above Lake Huron, near the border with Canada.
“The object has been downed by pilots from the US Air Force and National Guard,” said Representative Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, which lies south of the lake.
It is the third unidentified object to be shot down by American fighter jets in as many days.
This follows a week-long Chinese balloon spying saga that has intensified the hunt for violations of airspace above North America.
Downed UFOs ‘much smaller’ than Chinese balloon — White House
Earlier on Sunday, a White House spokesperson said the flying objects which the US shot down over Alaska and Canada in the last few days were much smaller than the Chinese balloon which was downed a week ago.
On Saturday, US fighter jets shot down an object flying over Yukon near the US border with Canada, after shooting down another flying object a day before near Deadhorse, Alaska.
“These objects did not closely resemble and were much smaller than the PRC balloon and we will not definitively characterize them until we can recover the debris, which we are working on,” the Reuters news agency quoted the spokesperson as saying.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said one of the objects had violated Canadian airspace. He added in a tweet late on Saturday that Canadian forces will recover and analyze the wreckage.
Tension over what the US sees as attempted spying peaked after a massive Chinese balloon was sighted above the US in late January. China insisted the balloon was a “civilian airship used for research,” while the US described it as a “spy balloon” and shot it down.
What do we know about the flying objects?
The Canadian Prime Minister said the unidentified object was brought down by a US F-22, as per his orders.
“Canadian Forces will now recover and analyze the wreckage of the object,” Trudeau said, adding that he was in touch with US President Joe Biden.
Earlier on Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told the ABC broadcaster that the shot down objects were balloons, though smaller than the Chinese “spy balloon.”
Schumer said he had been briefed the night before by Biden’s national security advisor, Jake Sullivan. He added that the two objects also flew at a lower altitude of about 40,000 feet (around 12,200 meters).
The surveillance balloon had flown at about 60,000 feet.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said on Sunday they had temporarily restricted flights over the Lake Michigan area.
The restriction was carried out to “ensure the safety of air traffic in the area during NORAD operations,” it said, without giving details on the nature of the operations.
The measure has since been lifted.
The sight of the Chinese balloon drifting over the US prompted to a political uproar in Washington, bringing into focus the challenges China posed to the US and its allies.
rmt/dj (AP, dpa, Reuters)