The website TheDrive obtained fascinating audio recordings of the in-cockpit communications from the two F-16 fighter jets involved in shooting down the unidentified object over Lake Huron.
The object was “decommissioned” by two 148th Fighter Wing “Bulldogs” F-16CMs. The fighters launched from Madison, Wisconsin. The Pentagon said the object’s “path and altitude raised concerns, including that it could be a hazard to civil aviation.
“The location chosen for this shootdown afforded us the opportunity to avoid impact to people on the ground while improving chances for debris recovery.
“We did not assess it to be a kinetic military threat to anything on the ground, but assess it was a safety flight hazard and a threat due to its potential surveillance capabilities.
I’ve been in contact with DOD regarding operations across the Great Lakes region today.
The US military has decommissioned another “object” over Lake Huron.
I appreciate the decisive action by our fighter pilots.
The American people deserve far more answers than we have.
— Rep. Jack Bergman (@RepJackBergman) February 12, 2023
“Our team will now work to recover the object in an effort to learn more.”
The pilots say in the recording you can hear below:
“I wouldn’t really call it a balloon … I don’t know what … I can see it outside with my eyes.
“Looks like something … there’s some kind of object that’s distended… it’s hard to tell, it’s pretty small.”
“I’m gonna call it a balloon.
“The size of it, that would be challenging, it’s so slow and so small, I just can’t see it.
“Definitely smaller than a car.
“In the targeting pod, I can’t tell if it’s metallic or what, but I can see like lines coming down below it, but I can’t see anything below it.
“You can definitely see strings below but don’t see anything hanging below.
“Looking outside it’s like a black-ish, I’m gonna call it like a container, can’t really tell though what the shape is.
“It looks dark, but I can get a pretty good sun glint off of it,” a pilot said.