Cockpit audio shows pilots struggling to ID Lake Huron object

Dramatic cockpit audio confirms that two US Air Force pilots had difficulty tracking the unknown object they shot down over Lake Huron on Sunday — at one point debating between themselves about whether it was a balloon. 

The pilots of the F-16 Falcons from the Wisconsin Air National Guard were scrambled to intercept the object near the Canadian border, but were hampered in identifying it because of the glare of the sun.

“I wouldn’t really call it a balloon … I don’t know what … I can see it outside with my eyes,” one of the pilots says on the recording obtained by the Drive. 

“Looks like something … there’s some kind of object that’s distended in the air. It’s hard to tell, it’s pretty small,” he says, pointing out that the glare in the cockpit is making it difficult to get a good look at his quarry. 

A cockpit recoding captures the dramatic moments when the pilots of two F-16 jets encountered an unknown object over Lake Huron on Sunday.

He then says, “I’ve got a tone,” indicating his missile has obtained a lock on the object, but he can’t still see it through the cockpit.

One of the pilots adds he can’t tell whether “it’s metallic or what. I can see, like, lines coming down below, but I can’t see anything below it,” before confirming the object was “definitely smaller than a car.” 

One of the pilots says if he comes at the object from the north, it’s “kind of black-ish. I’m going to call it like a container. Can’t really tell though what the shape is.” 

Two F-16 fighter jets downed an unknown object over Lake Huron on Sunday.
Two F-16 fighter jets downed an unknown object over Lake Huron on Sunday.

“The size of it, that would be challenging … it’s so slow and so small, I just can’t see it because it’s so close,” one of the pilots says, indicating he was worried about a collision because of his plane’s proximity to the object. 

Then one says: “I’m going to call it a balloon. You can definitely see strings hanging down below but I don’t see anything more … It’s pretty small, I don’t know, about the size of, like a four-wheeler or something.”

One of the Air Force F-16 jets missed its first shot at the object over Lake Huron before a second Sidewinder missile struck the target. 

Efforts are underway to recover debris. 

The aircraft over Lake Huron was the third shot down by US fighter jets in as many days. 

An unknown airborne object was downed off the northeast coast of Alaska on Friday and another object was shot down Saturday over the Yukon Territory in Canada. 

Because the sites are so remote, crews have not determined from where the objects originated.

A week earlier, a US Air Force F-22 shot down a Chinese spy balloon off the South Carolina coast.

That balloon, first detected entering US airspace near Alaska on Jan. 28, traversed much of the country, including over key military installations, before being downed in the Atlantic on Feb. 4. 

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