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The Other UFOs That Were Shot Down Were Probably Harmless and Not from China

After the Chinese balloon was shot down last week, everyone kind of assumed that the next three objects shot down were also spy balloons from China. Now the National Security Council believes that all three were benign commercial objects and none were from China. It also believes that none were spying on people or facilities. But details are still few and far between.

After the Chinese balloon was shot down, the Pentagon changed some of the parameters in its tracking systems to be more sensitive and pick up objects that might otherwise have been missed. However, that increases the chances of false positives, resulting in harmless commercial objects being shot down. Maybe it is better to err on the side of caution, but it is worth noting that scrambling one or more F-16s and/or F-22s also costs money, and a sidewinder missile clocks in at $400,000. On the Sunday shootdown over Lake Huron, the first missile missed the target and the pilot had to shoot again. The whereabouts of the first missile are unknown and the cost of this caper was north of $800K. Also a potential cost is a lawsuit from the UFO's owner if the object was perfectly legal (e.g., a weather- or environment-monitoring balloon). (V)

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