Chilling audio has revealed the moment F-16 fighter jets locked in on a UFO as they prepared to shoot it down over Lake Huron – while the perplexed pilots struggle to define what exactly they are seeing.
The object shot down over Michigan on Sunday was the third mystifying entity to be downed in US airspace in three days.
Despite a Pentagon memo describing the flying object as a ‘small, metallic balloon’, audio of conversation from inside the jets revealed that the pilots went back and forth over how to define the UFO.
‘I wouldn’t really call it a balloon… I don’t know what… I can see it outside with my eyes,’ one of the pilots can be heard saying.
F-16 fighter jets were scrambled Sunday to shoot down a third ‘UFO’ in US airspace
The in-cockpit communication came as the US military scrambled two F-16 fighter jets to take out the UFO as it flew near sensitive Defense Department bases over the Great Lakes.
Military officials later described the object as an ‘octagonal structure’, which was shot out of the sky because it was ‘a safety flight hazard and a threat due to its potential surveillance capabilities.’
But audio recordings, released by The Drive, have shed light on the puzzling nature of the military operation as it erupted over US airspace.
After coming face to face with the object, one of the pilots first notes: ‘I wouldn’t really call it a balloon.’
‘I can see it outside with my eyes,’ he adds, before attempting to grapple with how to describe the flying object in front of him.
‘Looks like something… there’s some kind of object that’s distended… it’s hard to tell, it’s pretty small,’ he says.
The pilots also note they were concerned about colliding with the object as they could only see it close-up, leading to a confused discussion over what the actual shape was – later described by officials as ‘octagonal’.
‘I’m gonna call it like a container,’ says one of the pilots. ‘Can’t really tell though what the shape is.’
‘The size of it, that would be challenging, it’s so slow and so small, I just can’t see it.’
Notably, the baffling UFO was moving at a far slower speed than the fighter jets, making it difficult for the pilots to grasp exactly what they were looking at.
Later in the muffled audio, the pilots can be heard going into more detail over the size and shape of the flying object.
One of the pilots judges the object to be ‘definitely smaller than a car’, while another says it was around the size of a ‘four-wheeler’.
US military officials have also described the entity as having ‘a tethered payload below it’, something that is repeated in the first looks at the object at 20,000 feet.
‘In the targeting pod, I can’t tell if it’s metallic or what, but I can see like lines coming down below it, but I can’t see anything below it,’ says one pilot.
‘You can definitely see strings below.’
While agreeing that the balloon is somewhat-shiny or metallic, the pilots again struggle to note what the color of the object actually is.
One says it looked ‘black-ish’, while the other says ‘it looks dark, but I can get a pretty good sun glint off of it.’
Military officials have since admitted the first shot at the UFO missed its target, but landed safely in Lake Huron, pictured
Fighter jets were scrambled as the object flew over the Great Lakes, with the pilots attempting to get a look at the mystifying entity, later described as a ‘small, metallic balloon’
Timeline of recent UFO sightings over US airspace
Wednesday, February 1: Chinese balloon is spotted above Montana (this is not being referred to as a UFO as it was identified as a balloon)
Saturday, February 4: Chinese balloon is shot down off the coast of South Carolina after having drifted across the country
Thursday, February 9: First UFO is detected off coast of northern Alaska
Friday, February 10: UFO is shot down over Deadhorse, Alaska
Saturday, February 11: Second UFO is shot down over Mayo, Yukon, Canada.
FAA shuts down airspace over Montana citing another possible UFO, but NORAD claims it was a ‘radar anomaly’
Sunday, February 12: Third UFO is detected over the Great Lakes and shot down
Following Sunday’s successful downing of the ‘metallic balloon’ over Lake Huron, it emerged that the mission had cost the military nearly a million dollars, as the pilots’ first shot at the UFO missed.
The jets, which were using Sidewinder AIM-9X missiles costing $400,000 a shot, took two attempts to take the object out of the sky.
The misfire was confirmed Tuesday by the pentagon’s top general Mark Milley, noting the dangers posed by the continual UFO sightings within US airspace.
‘Yes, the first shot missed,’ he said.
The Joint Chiefs Chairman added that the missed Sidewinder missile landed safely in the lake, while the second fired by the F-16 shot the object out of the sky.
The White House has laughed off suggestions that aliens are involved in the UFO sightings, however officials have come under increased pressure to explain recent developments.
U.S. fighter jets have shot down four high-altitude objects this month, leading the White House to announce it is creating a new UFO task force to study the security threat posed by the unidentified objects invading US airspace.
Since the first ‘spy balloon’ was interceded off the coast of South Carolina earlier this month, three more objects have been discovered, which are yet to be officially identified.
Alongside the object shot over Lake Huron on Sunday, the military also fired at unidentified entities over Alaska on Friday and Canada’s Yukon region on Saturday.
Following the third mission on Sunday, officials were quick to tamp down expectations that answers are on the way.
A senior administration official said Tuesday morning that the US and Canada may not be able to recover debris from the three downed objects.
‘If it can’t be recovered, it’s going to be extremely difficult to say with great certainty what these things were,’ they told CNN.
‘I want to be clear, the three objects taken down this weekend are very different from what we were talking about last week. We knew exactly what that was – a PRC surveillance balloon,’ Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Monday.
‘We’re gonna confirm what they are, once we have collected the debris,’ he added.
Senators were given a confidential briefing Tuesday morning over the extraordinary developments of the last few weeks, but the lack of definitive answers over what the US government is dealing with has led several lawmakers and policy officials to urge for more clarity.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) speaks to reporters as he departed a closed-door briefing for Senators regarding the Chinese spy balloon incident at the U.S. Capitol on February 9, 2023
US Senator Marco Rubio and former defense and intelligence official Christopher Mellon criticized the US air force and radar procedures, claiming untold numbers of UFOs may have been operating in US airspace unbeknownst to authorities
Michigan Congressman Jack Bergman took to Twitter to demand ‘far more answers than we have’. He has joined a growing chorus of lawmakers to urge for more clarity
Florida Senator Marco Rubio revealed that UFO sightings have been occurring for years, as he pushed for a ‘destigmatization’ over such reporting.
The Republican tweeted Monday: ‘The last 72 hours revealed to the public what was happening for years, unidentified aircraft routinely operating over restricted US airspace.
‘This is why I pushed to take this seriously and created a permanent UAP (unidentified aerial phenomena – equivalent to UFOs) task force two years ago.’
He was joined by Christopher Mellon – former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence in the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations – who admonished the air force over its lack of clarity about the developments.
‘The USAF *really* has some explaining to do when it comes to UAP,’ he tweeted Monday.
‘People who are surprised at the presence of these objects haven’t been paying attention.
‘One of the reasons why I’ve been calling for changes to our sensor and reporting procedures for years.’
Michigan Congressman Jack Bergman called for answers on the same day the unidentified flying object was shot down in his state.
‘I’ve been in contact with DOD regarding operations across the Great Lakes region today,’ he said on Twitter.
‘The US military has decommissioned another “object” over Lake Huron. I appreciate the decisive action by our fighter pilots.
‘The American people deserve far more answers than we have.’
Ahead of Tuesday morning’s briefing, Senator John Kennedy slammed the lack of information surrounding the objects within US airspace.
‘If you are confused, you understand the situation perfectly,’ he told Fox and Friends.
‘Ten days ago, we were led to believe that our skies are clear, and now all of a sudden we’ve got spy balloons and unidentified objects raining down on us like confetti.
‘The American people deserve to know what is going on.’