In all four instances, fighters used the short-range infrared Aim-9x missile. The first object was a sizeable high-altitude balloon, while the other three were smaller and at lower altitudes.


On February 4, an F-22 shot down a high-altitude Chinese balloon off the coast of South Carolina. The FBI has the wreckage from the ocean.

Pentagon officials stated "the increased sensitivity of the radars used by Northern Command" was the cause of the three following detections.

On February 10, F-35s encountered a cylindrical and silver-ish gray object near Deadhorse, Alaska. One pilot reported that it interfered with their aircraft sensors, while the other said there were no issues. F-22s later shot the thing down. Locals tweeted Wednesday that US personnel have stopped searching the Sea Ice for the wreckage.

On February 11, F-22s launched from Elmendorf Air Force base in Anchorage, Alaska. They tracked an unidentified unmanned object into Canada and shot it down in the Yukon. It was reportedly a "small metallic balloon."

On February 12, a Minnesota F16 shot down a fourth object over Lake Huron. The thing was the size of "a four-wheeler," octagonal in structure, with strings hanging down and floating at 20,000 feet.

National security council spokesperson John Kirby said in a Feb, 13 press briefing that they believed the Chinese Balloon to be for surveillance and the three objects shot down are long duration balloons. Although no photos have been released. Will it be a repeat of Roswell?

Credits: PA; Author: PA;

It's worth noting that at least one US fighter pilot has died in previous incidents involving UFO shootdowns. In 1948, Captain Thomas F. Mantell, a Kentucky Air National Guard pilot, died pursuing an unidentified flying object. The United States Air Force's Project Blue Book investigation revealed that Mantell may have been chasing a Skyhook balloon and died from hypoxia at a high altitude. However, no Skyhook launches corroborated the time.

Thankfully, there have been no known physical injuries during these recent engagements. However, China expressed dissatisfaction and protested against the US for using force to attack civilian uncrewed airships.

A long history of "spy balloons."

There is likely some surveillance equipment on the first downed "spy balloon." High-altitude spy balloons have a long history, dating back to the late 1800s. Project Skyhook was a government program in the late 40s and the named culprit of Mantell's death. Balloons, long used for collecting meteorological data, now offered the opportunity of collecting highly technical information and photographs.

In 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorized Project Genetrix, a US Air Force program to launch surveillance balloons over China, Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union to gather intelligence and take aerial photographs. The Genetrix balloons reached altitudes of 50,000-100,000 feet, which was beyond the reach of modern fighter planes.

Another similar project, Project MOBY DICK, involved balloons photographing sensitive Soviet sites and landing in the Sea of Japan until a crew flying the C-119 Flying Boxcar or a naval vessel retrieved it. The project caused tensions between the US and Soviet forces when the Soviets discovered the remnants of a US spy camera in February 1956. Sound familiar!?

After the U2 Spy Plane replaced the spy balloons, the US lost tactical knowledge of the high-altitude balloon domain. The recent shootdowns of balloons likely indicate a new awareness by the US of China's parallel technological development and exploration.

Credits: PA; Author: Chris Lehto;

Would the US Government tell us if it was an alien craft?

Likely no. The Roswell incident of 1947, where a "high altitude balloon" object crashed in New Mexico, remains one of the most intriguing events in modern history. Major Marcel, the first military person on the scene, reported that the material he found was unlike anything he had ever seen. He described it as light and unbreakable despite efforts to destroy it with a sledgehammer. "It was like the foil on a pack of cigarettes. Felt like you had nothing in your hands."

However, General Ramey changed the story once the Air Force Command acquired the wreckage and ordered Major Marcel to keep quiet. Major Marcel never changed his story, but he gained no benefits from his statements. Why would Major Marcel lie? And why would General Ramey cover up the truth?

The answer lies in national security. During the age of total war, the military's only priority is to protect the nation from foreign threats. Governments have lied and manipulated information in the name of national security.

Why would they change now?

Public awareness is the biggest reason this time may be different. We each have access to an unbelievable amount of information in almost real-time. I watched the analysis of two other fighter pilot YouTubers throughout the weekend. I saw real-time crash location videos from locals in Prudhoe Bay. Locals from the Great Lakes Region uploaded the radio communications of the Sunday F16 shootdown. The speed and freedom of information today are fantastic. Less than 48 hours after the event, I published two analysis videos on the topic.

Although mainstream media is glossing over the recent shootdowns, the public is ravenous for information on the topic. The public can make a difference by asking their ministers and representatives in government about this topic. When will they release the video tapes from the engagements? When will the US Air Force take UAPs seriously? The public has much more power than they realize.

The information flow of today is the most significant change. If the public fully engages in the topic, this time may be different.

Let us know what you think! We love to hear from you at The Portugal News!

For more info on UAPs, go to my YouTube channel, LEHTO FILES.


Chris Lehto, ex-F-16 pilot, and YouTuber, combines aviation expertise and passion for the unexplained to investigate UAPs. He founded the UAP Society, funding decentralised research into alien existence using NFTs.

Chris Lehto