Biden spy balloon speech: What did the President say about UFOs?
Following a series of incidents in which the US military shot down ‘objects’ from the sky, the White House has outlined its response.
President Joe Biden gave a speech from the White House on Thursday to outline his administration’s response to the unidentified objects shot down in recent days. At the start of February a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon was shot down, followed by three unidentified objects last weekend.
The President confirmed that there is no evidence to suggest that the three objects shot down in the past week were connected to China’s spy balloon activity.
“We don’t yet know exactly what these three objects were but nothing right now suggests they were related to China’s spy balloon program or that they were surveillance vehicles from any other country,” Biden said on Thursday, giving his first public remarks on the ‘object’ situation.
“The intelligence community’s current assessment is that these three objects were most likely balloons tied to private companies, recreation or research institutions studying weather or conducting other scientific research.”
What did Biden say about UFOs?
Officials have steered clear of using the term UFO, or even the more often used ‘UAP’ (unidentified aerial phenomena), simply describing them as “objects” in public. Biden continued that trend on Thursday and added that his administration were still working to identify the nature of the objects shot down.
The three most recent incidents are thought to have been benign, and Biden dismissed the suggestion that there may have been “a sudden increase in the number of objects in the sky.”
However he added: “If any object presents a threat to the safety and security of the American people, I will take it down,” and promised to introduce “sharper rules for how we will deal with these unidentified objects moving forward.”
Biden pledges “to compete” with China
This spate of aerial incidents was sparked by the identification of a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon flying over northern parts of the United States and Canada. It came at a time of heightened tensions between the US and China, with the latter currently exerting territorial claims over the democratic nation of Taiwan.
Beijing has claimed that the balloon shot down was a device for civilian surveillance of the Chinese population, insisting that it was blown off course and into US airspace.
However officials in the US have dismissed that suggestion and are currently investigating the debris recovered after it was shot down. The White House has confirmed that investigations have recovered important surveillance technology from the balloon, with Biden saying that the discoveries will “strengthen our capabilities”.
The President ended the press conference with an effort to cool tensions. He told reporters that the US wanted “competition, not conflict, with China.”
“We’re not looking for a new Cold War,” Biden said. “We will compete and will we responsibly manage that competition so that it doesn’t veer into conflict.”
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