The United States is establishing an inter-agency team to investigate unidentified aerial phenomena following the shooting down of three unknown objects in North American airspace.
President Joe Biden ordered the creation of the team on Feb. 13, according to National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby.
“The president, through his national security advisor, has today directed an inter-agency team to study the broader policy implications for detection, analysis, and disposition of unidentified aerial objects that pose either safety or security risks,” Kirby said at a press conference.
“Every element of the government will redouble their efforts to understand and mitigate these events.”
Kirby noted that the new inter-agency project followed a bipartisan effort to stand up an office in the Pentagon tasked with studying unidentified objects in partnership with the intelligence community, academia, and the private sector.
“The president… instructed the intelligence community to take a broad look at the phenomenon of unidentified aerial objects,” Kirby said. “Indeed, President Biden conducted the first ever daily intelligence briefing session devoted to this phenomenon back in June of 2021.”
“These unidentified aerial phenomena had been reported for many years without explanation or deep examination by the government.”
The establishment of the new inter-agency efforts follows a contentious two weeks in which the United States has shot down one Chinese spy balloon and three unidentified aerial objects.
Kirby said that the discovery of the unknown objects might be owed to recent efforts to more carefully identify and track slow-moving high-altitude objects with radar and other means.
To that end, Kirby said that the Chinese spy balloon which incurred into U.S. airspace this month had been linked to an espionage project tied to the Chinese military.
“When President Biden came into office, he directed the U.S. intelligence community to do a broad assessment of Chinese intelligence capabilities and to ensure that we were working to detect and protect against them,” Kirby said.