Last three objects shot down might not be spy balloons: National Security Council
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby addressed growing speculation over the spate of unidentified objects shot down over North America(AFP)

The National Security Council and White House said Tuesday that the past three objects shot down over the United States might not have been spy balloons. According to John Kirby, they appear to be "benign" and possibly linked to research or commercial operations.

The military hasn't been able to recover the wreckage of the last three objects yet, which is why there isn't much information other than they don't believe it was a spy balloon.

"One thing we have to consider, and we believe the intelligence community is considering as an explanation, is that these could be balloons tied to commercial or research entities and therefore totally benign," Kirby said.

"I want to caveat that we haven’t found the debris. We’re still doing the best we can with the observations that were made by the pilots, with the flight profile data that we’ve tried to collect," Kirby added.

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The Alaska object may not be fully recovered based on where it was and how difficult it would be to recover. One Defense Department source told New York Times Pentagon reporter Helene Cooper that the Alaska object shattered when it hit the ground.

The objects are generally being spotted at about 20,000 feet and many commercial research balloons fly at that altitude.

In a briefing to the press on Monday, the White House made it clear that they do not believe there are extraterrestrials invading the Earth.