On Thursday, President Joe Biden addressed the mystery surrounding the unidentified flying objects (UFOs) shot down by U.S. military last weekend over North American airspace. Biden stated that the intelligence community's current assessment is that the objects were "most likely balloons tied to private companies, recreation or research institutions studying weather or conduct other scientific research." He further went on to say that there's no indication that the number of objects in the sky has increased, and that countries, companies and research organizations each operate objects at high altitudes that are not nefarious.
In response to the incident, Biden has directed his administration to create "sharper rules" for how to deal with unidentified flying objects in the future. He has tasked national security adviser Jake Sullivan to lead efforts to better prepare the U.S. for future unidentified objects, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken to create a set of "common global norms" for unmanned flying objects. The president also stated that if any object presents a threat to the safety and security of the American people, he will take it down.
While the president has defended his decision to shoot down the objects, the U.S. has yet to retrieve debris from the three objects due to the remote conditions in which they were shot down. The matter of who or what was behind the objects remains a mystery, though Biden said he expects to discuss the Chinese spy balloon shot down off the coast of South Carolina with Chinese President Xi Jinping.