Of Balloons, UFOs and The Times We Live In | Destabilization on Blog#42

Our attention was drawn to the skies a week ago when a sizeable Chinese spying balloon was seen in our skies and then shot down a week later.

As our media is wont to overdo, the non-stop news cycle was full of smart and not so smart analysis about spying, the times we live in, and the balance and imbalance of power between the West and Asia. Mixed into the conversation, depending on right-left media politics, we were either treated to a lot of denigration of our president, or a lot of praise.

Ok. These topics are relevant enough.

But Thursday saw the apparition of another airborne object and neither the White House nor the media called it “balloon.” It was seen and shot down over the icy waters off of Alaska. The U.S. Air Force shot it down. No description of the object was provided either by the military or the White House, even when asked. Seeing an Air Force General at a press conference, unable to describe an event he was sent to inform the public about was very odd. He was asked repeatedly to describe what Thursday’s object looked like. His answer? This only happened a couple of hours ago and he hasn’t seen it. Weren’t the pilots debriefed and the general apprised? Apparently not. In an uncharacteristic departure from a high standard, the general went in front of the cameras ahead of a briefing.

When another object was spotted over Canada on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in coordination with President Biden, ordered it shot down. Since the U.S. is responsible for the aerial defense of northern American skies, U.S. war planes ended up being first in position to shoot. Canadian armed forces are in charge of locating and gathering the object’s fallen remains.

Presumably, there should exist the same kind of grainy UFO footage that was released to the New York Times from UFO sightings by Navy pilots.

If footage exists from these two current encounters, none was released by U.S. authorities since Thursday. What we do know is what sources have told some media outlets:

The kind of talk in the CNN segment above begat all kinds of misinformation threads on that great cesspool in the ether that Twitter now is:

I remind you, anyone can purchase a Blue Checkmark on Twitter…

Then, later in the day, something happened in Montana.

Now… CNN did not deviate from its usual Saturday evening programming to break any kind of news. Their national security reporter, Natasha Bertrand, tweeted these:

Should the White House, Pentagon, or some other government  agency have called a press conference? Even to say there is nothing to report? I think so!

Meanwhile, a once serious journalist makes light…

Now, a bit on the usage of the acronym UFO…

While Dr. Tyson is absolutely correct, why is our government using terms it knows will generate anxiety in an already anxious post-COVID and during the worst Russo-American relations since the Cold War? Why deepen the mystery by using vague language?

If the criticism of the Biden administration’s handling of the Chinese balloon incident was deserved last week, do they deserve criticism this week?

I would say yes. Immediately shooting down the intruder may well be the correct course of action. Not giving the public as full an explanation of what happened, replete with description of the object, even as it is still unknown what it was and where it came from, is just as deficient as allowing a large balloon to make its way across the nation over most of a week.

One can very easily theorize that some foreign actor is sending up flying objects with the intention of further destabilizing an already unsettled American public. Who would benefit from such a thing? For China, an assertion of power is welcome now that Russia is otherwise occupied and very clearly not the superpower we always thought it was. For Russia, if they’re the senders, this could be a way to reassert themselves as the other superpower, in spite of our collective overvaluation of their military might. Then, there is always North Korea whose attention-seeking ruler may not be deriving the attention he always seems to crave and may be resorting to sending UFOs up in the North American air.

This is all conjecture, of course. My point here is, gee, wouldn’t it be nice if I didn’t need to come up with possible scenarios because the White House, Pentagon, and State Department already filled enough blanks? With an already jittery population, better, fuller communications with the public are a must, if anything, to maintain a modicum of trust.

All this and there isn’t even one allusion to space aliens. Just sayin’…

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