(WASHINGTON) — Amid all the mystery about the unidentified objects flying over the United States and Canada, White House officials made a point of saying Monday there is no evidence to suggest aliens are involved.
The U.S. military shot down three unidentified objects on Friday and over the weekend, in addition to the suspected Chinese spy balloon shot down last week, but has said little more about what they were.
As officials and lawmakers continue to raise questions, with few answers available so far, speculation has started to swirl about extraterrestrial involvement, along with not a few jokes.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tried to laugh off the possibility of alien activity at the top of Monday’s briefing.
“I just wanted to make sure we address this from the White House. I know there have been questions and concerns about this,” she said. “There is no, again, no indication of aliens or extra-terrestrial activity with these recent takedowns. Again, there is no indication of aliens or terrestrial activity with these recent takedowns.”
While her announcement sparked laughter among reporters — Jean-Pierre said she felt the need to reassure Americans.
“I wanted to make sure that the American people knew that all of you knew that — and it was important for us to say that from here because we’ve been hearing a lot about it,” she added. “I loved E.T. the movie, but I’m just gonna leave it there.”
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, taking the podium next, also said with a smile, “Thanks for clearing that up, makes my job easy.”
Their clarification comes after the Air Force general overseeing North American airspace didn’t shoot down the idea in a Sunday briefing with reporters, when asked about the potential for extraterrestrial origins.
“I’ll let the intel community and the counterintelligence community figure that out. I haven’t ruled out anything,” said Gen. Glen VanHerck, head of U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and Northern Command.
Later in Monday’s White House briefing, another reporter asked Kirby about VanHerck’s comment, clarifying the source of the speculation.
“I don’t think the American people need to worry about aliens with respect to these crafts. Period,” Kirby said. “I don’t think there’s any more that needs to be said.”
ABC News’ Luis Martinez contributed to this report.
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