'A lot of garbage floating around.' Rep. Himes explains latest objects flying over US
The government has shot down four objects in U.S. airspace over the last eight days. The Pentagon says that's unprecedented in peacetime, but experts say this doesn't appear to be a danger.
Since American fighter jets shot down a Chinese balloon recently, three other objects have been taken down, including one Sunday over Lake Huron.
"We're usually worried about missiles or airplanes that don't respond. Now, we're looking for balloons, and we're finding them," said Rep. Jim Himes (D - 4th District).
Himes, the ranking member of the Intelligence Committee, says countries have used balloons to spy on each other for decades. He thinks it's been largely experimental by the Chinese.
"There's just a lot of garbage floating around up there. Now, we're seeing it, and when it - at least for this week - when it interferes with civilian aviation or could interfere with civilian aviation, the White House is taking the decision to take those things down," said Himes.
While the government has recovered most of the debris from the Chinese balloon, it has yet to recover all the debris from these latest incidents.
"It's going to be a few days before we get the actual wreckage from these things that were shot down. Again, speculative on my part, but I think they're going to end up just being balloons that were rogue and drifting, and I don't think it's going to be anything more exciting than that," said Himes.
Robert Sanders, a senior lecturer on national security at the University of New Haven, believes it was our right to take down these objects.
"I think we did the right thing by analyzing them to the best of our ability and then when we were no longer able to do that to protect our sovereignty, yes take them down," said Sanders.
Like Himes, Sanders does not believe these objects to be a threat. He believes they're less intrusive than TikTok.
Himes says he wasn't immediately briefed on the two most recent objects that were taken down.