- The Washington Times - Monday, February 13, 2023

The Biden administration announced Monday that it will form an interagency team to address the unusual flying objects in the skies above North America.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said President Biden directed the creation of a team to study “the broader policy implications for detection, analysis and disposition of unidentified aerial objects that pose either safety or security risks.”

“Every element of the government will redouble their efforts to understand and mitigate these events,” Mr. Kirby told reporters at the White House press briefing.

The team will aim to dig deeper into the situation to see what improvements may be needed and how agencies can better address these incidents, Mr. Kirby said.

The U.S. military has shot down four objects over North America this month, most recently a flying object over Lake Huron on Sunday. The incidents started earlier this month, with the U.S. military taking down a suspected Chinese spy balloon.

Mr. Kirby said the administration is still working to learn more about the objects from recovery efforts and debris.

SEE ALSO: White House says no signs that shot-down objects were ‘alien or extraterrestrial’

“Because we have not been able to definitively assess what these most recent objects are, we acted out of an abundance of caution to protect the security — our security — our interests, and flight safety,” Mr. Kirby said.

Earlier Monday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters there were no signs the devices were “alien or extraterrestrial.”

Mr. Kirby said the U.S. has recently enhanced its radar capabilities, offering a limited explanation for why more objects have been discovered in U.S. airspace. The upgrades were made after the suspected Chinese spy balloon was discovered earlier this month, he added.

That balloon provided “limited” intelligence to China, but was part of a larger intelligence-gathering operation, according to the White House.

Mr. Kirby said the balloon program was operating during the Trump administration, but the objects were not detected back then.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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