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Scene above:  Constitution Island, where Revolutionary War forts still exist, as photographed from Trophy Point, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York
 

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I appeared on Silvio Canto Jr's talk show from Dallas.  It's here.

 

 

FEBRUARY 12-13,  2023

BALLOONGATE UPDATE:  Very few answers.  From CNN: 

The unidentified flying object shot down in Canadian airspace on Saturday appeared to be a “small, metallic balloon with a tethered payload below it,” according to a Pentagon memo sent to lawmakers on Monday and obtained by CNN.

The memo offers the first official details of one of the three objects shot down in recent days that was previously described as a “cylindrical object.” The object crossed near “US sensitive sites” before it was shot down, the memo said.

Defense officials also wrote in the memo to lawmakers that the object shot down over Lake Huron, in Michigan on Sunday, “subsequently slowly descended” into the water after impact.

A defense official told CNN late Monday that the Pentagon has not sent an official memo to Capitol Hill but acknowledged they are continuing to brief and send correspondence to relevant committees.

The new details come as lawmakers on Capitol Hill are pressing to gain a better understanding of why the Biden administration shot down three unidentified objects in three days following the take down of the Chinese spy balloon that traversed the US the previous weekend.

Lawmakers and congressional aides told CNN that the consecutive shoot-downs felt on the surface like an overcorrection to the Chinese spy balloon incident, though they cautioned that it was still too early to say definitively.

“What’s happening now is we’re actually looking for these with extra vigilance. We’re looking for them in different ways. We’re starting to see them in different ways,” Colorado Democratic Rep. Jason Crow said on “CNN This Morning” on Monday.

“My speculative guess as why we’re seeing these things happen in quick succession is now we’re really attuned to looking for them, right?” Rep. Jim Himes of Connecticut, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday.

“The truth is that most of our sensors and most of what we were looking for didn’t look like balloons. Now, of course, we’re looking for them. So, I think we’re probably finding more stuff,” Himes added.

The Senate is holding a classified briefing for all senators on the shot down objects on Tuesday, according to a spokesman for Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

COMMENT:  First time in a long time that I'm seeing Democrats interested in national defense.  Of course, that doesn't include AOC and her crowd. 

And I worry that we're missing something.  The last three "objects" that we shot down haven't even been identified.  What if one had aboard a nuclear weapon that could be detonated over the United States?  We'll have to wait for answers, but maybe these last two weeks were the wakeup call that America has needed.

February 13, 2023     Permalink

 

STILL ONE MORE:  An Air Force jet has shot down still one more unidentified object, this time over Lake Huron, within the United States.  From Fox: 

The U.S. military on Sunday shot down another unidentified flying object over Lake Huron in Michigan.

The Defense Department (DOD) said President Joe Biden, shortly before 2:42 p.m., directed an F-16 to fire an AIM-9X missile to shoot down an airborne object flying at around 20,000 feet over Lake Huron.

The DOD said the path and altitude "raised concerns, including that it could be a hazard to civil aviation."

"The location chosen for this shoot down afforded us the opportunity to avoid impact to people on the ground while improving chances for debris recovery. There are no indications of any civilians hurt or otherwise affected," Lt. Col. César Santiago said in a statement.

It was the third time in as many days and the fourth overall since Feb. 4 that an "unidentified object" was shot down in North America.

Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Mich., confirmed that the "U.S. military has decommissioned another ‘object’ over Lake Huron."

Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., tweeted that the object had been "downed" by Air Force and National Guard pilots.

"Great work by all who carried out this mission both in the air and back at headquarters. We're all interested in exactly what this object was and its purpose," Slotkin tweeted. "As long as these things keep traversing the US and Canada, I'll continue to ask Congress to get a full briefing based on our exploitation of the wreckage." 

COMMENT:  All very strange.  Is something being held back from us, or is it really true that we have no idea where these craft came from?  Are we monitoring the skies above China and Russia, with an eye toward detecting these objects sooner? 

Most important, what is the goal of the people, whoever they are, in sending these strange objects over our territory? 

I just have the gut feeling that someone in Washington knows a great deal, but can't reveal it openly.

We await the next confrontation.

February 13, 2023       Permalink

 

-13

 

FEBRUARY 10-11,  2023

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE: 

CRISIS AT HARVARD:  From College Fix:   Harvard University students need more sleep, and the school should promote and facilitate their rest with special furniture designed for naps, a Harvard Crimson editorial editor, stated in a recent op-ed.  “Our collective lack of sleep shows readily across campus,” human evolutionary biology major Alessandro Hammond wrote for the student newspaper. “People nap in chairs, or even on the library floor, to catch much-needed shuteye before they return to the grind.”  Lack of sleep is associated with many unfortunate known effects, Hammond said, including increased student athlete injury, decreased attention, impaired cognitive development, and increased risk-taking.  Harvard has responded to the need with a required sleep habits survey and a general education class on sleep, Gen Ed 1038, but that’s not enough, Hammond wrote.  Harvard must supply its students with specialized furniture enabling “people to sleep comfortably in any place” for short periods of time, he wrote.  We believe this calls for a national fundraising campaign, maybe even a telethon.  Our hearts go out to the children of Harvard, whose suffering must be great, compared to, say, the children of Ukraine.

February 11, 2023       Permalink

 

AND ANOTHER ONE:  I'm almost hoping that the strange objects appearing over North America and shot down by military aircraft are from outer space.  It would make the story more interesting.   From Fox:

The Pentagon issued a statement Saturday revealing details about how an unidentified object was shot down by the U.S. military over Canada on Saturday.

Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said in a statement that President Biden authorized NORAD to work with the Canadian government to shoot down a "high-altitude airborne object" on Saturday after a call with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

According to the Pentagon, NORAD detected the object over Alaska late Friday evening and monitored the object over U.S. airspace with the assistance of the Alaska Air National Guard and was "tracking it closely and taking time to characterize the nature of the object. 

"Monitoring continued today as the object crossed into Canadian airspace, with Canadian CF-18 and CP-140 aircraft joining the formation to further assess the object," the statement said. .

A U.S. F-22 Raptor was used to shoot down the object in Canadian airspace using an AIM 9X missile, according to the statement. 

"As Canadian authorities conduct recovery operations to help our countries learn more about the object, the Federal Bureau of Investigation will be working closely with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police," the Pentagon said.

The White House released a readout of the call between Biden and Trudeau shortly after the Pentagon's statement that said the president "has been continually briefed by his national security team since the object was detected."

"Out of an abundance of caution and at the recommendation of their militaries, President Biden and Prime Minister Trudeau authorized it to be taken down," the readout said.

"President Biden authorized US fighter aircraft assigned to NORAD to conduct the operation and a US F-22 shot down the object in Canadian territory in close coordination with Canadian authorities."

COMMENT:  The most chilling thing is that we still don't know the origin of these objects.  A best guess would have to include Russia, which, as Sarah Palin once pointed out, can be seen from Alaska.  The downed objects will be studied, and I hope our government gives us an honest report on what is found.

February 11, 2023     Permalink

 

CHINA IS UNHAPPY.  WILL THIS RUIN YOUR DAY?  From Fox:

China has accused the United States of lying to the world after the House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution condemning Beijing's statements about a surveillance spy balloon hovering across North America.

"China is strongly dissatisfied with this and firmly opposes it," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said during a daily briefing Friday, accusing the U.S. lawmakers of "hyping up" the balloon for "purely political manipulation."

The stern statement came the day after Republicans and Democrats united in a 419-0 vote to condemn Beijing for a "brazen violation" of U.S. sovereignty and efforts to "deceive the international community through false claims about its intelligence collection campaigns."

House Republicans also criticized the Biden administration for not acting sooner to shoot down the aircraft as it hovered from Montana to South Carolina, though defense officials said they disabled its surveillance capabilities.

After the balloon was detected and photos were widely shared online, the Chinese government claimed the object was a civilian weather balloon that had blown off course.

Beijing failed to provide any additional information, including the balloon’s self-steering capabilities or its modern signal surveillance techniques that were "capable of conducting signals intelligence collection" with multiple antennas and other equipment designed to upload sensitive information and solar panels to power them, U.S. officials said.

The U.S. also said the balloon was tied to a major surveillance program run by China’s military, which includes the use of similar aircraft in more than 40 countries under the direction of the People’s Liberation Army. Similar balloons have sailed over five continents, according to the U.S.

COMMENT:   China is testing us, seeing how far we'll really go in confronting the Chinese military.  Most China followers I've read believe China thinks we're a fading nation.  We have to prove that we aren't if our ability to deter warfare is to be maintained...and warfare is distinctly possibly if China makes a move against Taiwan.

There is nothing new on the "object" shot down over Alaska by the U.S. Air Force Friday.  Odd, though, that an object the size of a car flying at 40,000 feet was detected only by our Defense Department.  All modern airliners flying at that altitude have radar, and many airliners fly over Alaska.  Did none of them detect the object?  And what about the many ground radars in Alaska, a state that depends heavily on aircraft to carry on each day.  No detection?  Hmm.

February 11, 2023       Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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