On flying objects, U.S. general not ruling out aliens

STORY: After President Joe Biden authorised the U.S. military to shoot down a series of unidentified airborne objects over the weekend, the U.S. Air Force general overseeing North American airspace said on Sunday, he’s not ruling out aliens - or any other explanation - yet.

During a briefing call with reporters, General Glen VanHerck was asked whether he had ruled out an extraterrestrial origin for the three flying objects.

“I'll let the intel community and the counterintelligence community figure that out. I haven't ruled out anything at this point. We continue to assess every threat or potential threat unknown that approaches North America with the attempt to identify it."

VanHerck's comments came after a U.S. F-16 fighter jet shot down an octagonal-shaped object earlier on Sunday over Lake Huron on the U.S.-Canada border.

And Saturday, Canada authorised the U.S. Air Force to shoot down a cylindrical object flying over northwest Canada, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who said on Sunday authorities were still looking to retrieve it.

And on Friday, the Pentagon said U.S. forces had downed an unmanned, high-altitude object about the size of a small car, off the northern coast of Alaska.

These objects are coming amid heightened tensions over North American airspace, a week after a U.S. warplane took down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina.

Though China insists it was a civilian research vessel.

But on the Sunday call, VanHerck said the military was unable to immediately determine how the three recent objects were kept aloft, or where they were coming from.

Saying, "We're calling them objects, not balloons, for a reason.”

Still, while the flying objects remain unidentified, another U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the military had seen no evidence suggesting any of the objects in question were of extraterrestrial origin.