Cockpit audio from the F-16 fighter jets that were scrambled to intercept an unidentified object flying over Lake Huron over the weekend reveals that the pilots had difficulty describing what they believed the object was.
The release of the audio recording comes after the object was shot down on Sunday, after an object was shot down over Canada on Saturday, and after an object was shot down on Friday off the coast of Alaska.
“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 from the Wisconsin Air National Guard said in a recording obtained by The Drive. “Looks like something … there’s some kind of object that’s distended in the air. It’s hard to tell, it’s pretty small.”
Another pilot said he could not tell if the object was “metallic or what.”
“I can see, like, lines coming down below, but I can’t see anything below it,” he continued, adding that the object was “definitely smaller than a car.”
Pilots said that it was a “blackish” color that looked like a container.
“The size of it, that would be challenging … it’s so slow and so small, I just can’t see it because it’s so close,” a pilot said.
“I’m going to call it a balloon,” another pilot said. “You can definitely see strings hanging down below but I don’t see anything more. … It’s pretty small, I don’t know, about the size of, like a four-wheeler or something.”
The Air Force F-16 jet that took down the object had to fire two $472,000 Sidewinder AIM-9X missiles at the target because the first missile somehow missed the object.
“The first Sidewinder heat-seeking missile missed the target,” a defense official told Fox News.
The object was shot down while flying at an altitude of approximately 20,000 feet inside U.S. airspace near Michigan.
U.S. officials said that they believe that this is the object that was detected late Saturday night over Montana that U.S. fighter jets could not locate at the time.
“Based on its flight path and data we can reasonably connect this object to the radar signal picked up over Montana, which flew in proximity to sensitive DOD sites,” the Pentagon said in a statement. “We did not assess it to be a kinetic military threat to anything on the ground, but assess it was a safety flight hazard and a threat due to its potential surveillance capabilities.”
Debris from the object has not yet been located.
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