Caitlin Johnstone: UFOs Mean More US Militarism

It’s notable that we’re seeing completely unprecedented downings of objects in North American skies as the U.S. prepares its “great power competition” against China.

U.S. Northern Command Commander Gen. Glen D. VanHerck during a Pentagon press briefing in 2021. (DoD/ Brittany A. Chase)

By Caitlin Johnstone

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U.S. war planes have shot down three unidentified objects in North American airspace in recent days, which is entirely without precedent.

On Sunday an octagon-shaped object was reportedly shot down over Lake Huron near the Canadian border after first being detected some 1,300 miles away over Montana on Saturday night. On Saturday a cylindrical object was reportedly shot down over Canada’s Yukon territory by an American F-22, and on Friday an object “about the size of a small car” was reportedly shot down after being detected over Alaska.

Unlike the Chinese balloon that was shot down earlier this month which the U.S. claims was an instrument of espionage, as of this writing there’s still no solid consensus as to what these more recent three objects were or where they came from.

[Late on Tuesday The New York Times reported that U.S. officials were saying they might be harmless commercial or research instruments.] 

While all three were found at high altitude like the balloon, the Pentagon is refusing to classify them as such, with the head of U.S. Northern Command General Glen VanHerck going as far as to say it hadn’t yet been determined how these objects are even staying aloft.

“I’m not going to categorize them as balloons. We’re calling them objects for a reason,” VanHerck told the press on Sunday. “I’m not able to categorize how they stay aloft. It could be a gaseous type of balloon inside a structure or it could be some type of a propulsion system. But clearly, they’re — they’re able to stay aloft.”

VanHerck also made headlines for saying he couldn’t rule out extraterrestrial origin for the objects.

To further confuse things, China has detected a UFO of its own that it was preparing to shoot down according to a report on Sunday.

Last month Russia reported that it had shot down a UFO as well. A report on Saturday said the air force of Uruguay is investigating strange lights over the sky in the western part of the country.

But of course, it could still be balloons. Moon of Alabama made a pretty good argument the other day that the object shot down over Alaska was likely a failed U.S. weather balloon.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says he was told by the White House that all of these mystery objects are believed by U.S. officials to have been Chinese spy balloons, though the White House swiftly disputed this claim, saying it’s too early to categorize them as such.

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For myself, I remain comfortable not knowing what the hell is going on with any of this right now. I’ve written periodically about how there’s an abundance of reasons to be intensely skeptical of the new UFO narrative that entered the mainstream in 2017 under highly suspicious circumstances, but I’m also uninterested in pretending I know everything about this weird universe we’ve all tumbled into.

I remain open to all possibilities, from mundane balloons, to a sudden increase in interest in aerial objects that have long been common, to U.S. government psyop, to lightbulb-headed visitors from the great unknown.

While I may not know what these UFOs are, I do know what they will be used for.

It is a very safe bet that whatever the U.S. government determines these objects to be, the response to that determination will feature increased militarism and the advancement of pre-existing Pentagon agendas. 

We’re already seeing Florida Congresswoman Anna Paulina Luna using the UFO incidents to argue for sanctions on China and to accuse Beijing of “cyber warfare”, and Republicans are already claiming that the threat of Chinese spy balloons means there can be no cuts to military spending.

In an article titled “Chinese spy balloon has GOP saying no cuts to defense,” The Hill’s Alexander Bolton quotes numerous congressional Republicans arguing that military cuts should be taken off the table in their negotiation over a debt ceiling, and that ideally the spending should be increased.

“The entire civilized world should recognize that communist China is probably the greatest threat we’ve ever faced, more severe than Soviet Russia was because of its economic integration into the West,” says perpetually war-hungry senator Tom Cotton. “We should take every step we can to try to reduce our dependency on China [and] try to build stronger military deterrence against them.”

“I do not think that we should be talking about cutting the defense budget at all right now. If anything, substantial defense increases,” Cotton adds.

For the imperial swamp the answer is always more militarism; it doesn’t matter what the question is. Whether they decide these UFOs are a foreign threat or something unknown or something else entirely, the solution funneled through the U.S. empire’s groupthink apparatus will entail more military spending and more weapons of war.

And again I remain open to all possibilities, but I do find it very interesting that we’re seeing completely unprecedented activity in North American skies which is certain to lead to more U.S. military expansionism at the exact same time the U.S. prepares its “great power competition” against China and the governments aligned with it.

As we’ve discussed previously, the empire has been going to extraordinary lengths to make sure the public plays along with a long-term campaign to secure U.S. unipolar planetary hegemony. However this UFO narrative ends up playing out, we may be certain that it will be used to facilitate this agenda.

Caitlin Johnstone’s work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following her on FacebookTwitterSoundcloudYouTube, or throwing some money into her tip jar on Ko-fiPatreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy her books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff she publishes is to subscribe to the mailing list at her website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything she publishes.  For more info on who she is, where she stands and what she’s trying to do with her platform, click here. All works are co-authored with her American husband Tim Foley.

This article is from and re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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17 comments for “Caitlin Johnstone: UFOs Mean More US Militarism

  1. lester
    February 16, 2023 at 15:07

    Thanks, Ms. Johnstone! Great article. I’m glad that you are cool with uncertainty!

  2. LarcoMarco
    February 16, 2023 at 01:36

    From two cupped hands,…round thing,
    releasing it in free, high flight
    as if it were your own. What cannot stay
    in things because unburdened and too light —
    too small as thing, yet thing enough that all
    the far arrays will never let it glide
    suddenly into us, unseen inside —
    has slipped inside of you. Between your fall
    and flight still undecided, you, in rising —
    as if you’d brought that throw aloft with you —
    capture and set it free in realizing
    an arc. Then pausing high up in the blue,
    as if to make a dance of your devising,
    you show the players a sudden new location.
    “The Ball” – Rainer Maira Rilke

  3. February 15, 2023 at 17:33

    These objects will be kept surrounded in a mystique of secrecy and speculation as weapons of mass distraction to instill fear and social instability, thus allowing the crazy war mongers to do as they wish and control the narrative. We are suffering a pandemic propaganda and misinformation to perpetrate chaos as an essential precondition to war and an exercise in psychological warfare.

  4. Razzle Bathbone
    February 15, 2023 at 16:08

    As there is massive decades long credible data documenting MANY UFO’s (not all) as something that are defying physics, as known anywhere on this planet, it was good to see that you didn’t just dismiss the possibility that SOME of these recent worldwide appearances by unidentified craft could be from off Earth. However, that said, there is no doubt that this will be politicized for foreign policy agendas and used to increase pentagon budgets. (For good research on this topic see Richard Dolan’s books on “UFOs and the National Security State”) I wonder if shooting them down is a wise tactic if we are not sure where they come from and who is operating them?

  5. Wade Hathaway
    February 15, 2023 at 14:44

    This generation’s Bay of Tonkin?

    • lester
      February 17, 2023 at 13:38

      Could be … But does anyone remember the Gulf of Tonkin Incident but us old-timers?

  6. JonT
    February 15, 2023 at 13:14

    Makes me wonder what else is being done or covered up whilst we are all being distracted by all this UFO nonsense…

  7. February 15, 2023 at 12:52

    “I’m not going to categorize them as balloons. We’re calling them objects for a reason,” VanHerck told the press on Sunday. “I’m not able to categorize how they stay aloft. It could be a gaseous type of balloon inside a structure or it could be some type of a propulsion system. But clearly, they’re — they’re able to stay aloft.”— General Glen VanHerck

    My God! How stupid can these people be. Anti-gravity exists only in science fiction and any kind of propulsion system would be obvious as hell. Also would require energy which would require fuel and would create exhaust. If it isn’t that, then the only other option is lighter than air — i.e., a balloon.

    It scares the hell out of me that our security is in the hands of complete idiots.

    • February 15, 2023 at 12:58

      PS If they were extraterrestrials, they never would been shot down by our invincible (?) air force.

      • Wade Hathaway
        February 16, 2023 at 13:24

        Where was Space Force?

  8. shmutzoid
    February 15, 2023 at 12:42

    Per US frenzied propaganda, you’d think a sky with only birds was befouled by the spy-balloons from those inscrutable Chinese. never underestimate how the US will leverage anything and everything for propaganda effect. —————– Hundreds of balloons (research, weather) are launched every day around the world. Apparently, shooting down that one balloon from China didn’t have quite the desired effect. It had to be backed up by shooting down three more balloons! ……The idea must be planted in the American mind that US security is under ongoing threat.
    ………. Look for China-bashing propaganda to ramp up.

  9. doris
    February 15, 2023 at 11:43

    The US Government’s behavior reminds me of that Gary Larsen’s “Equine Medicine” cartoon in which the remedy for every malady a horse has is to shoot it. /Users/dorispfalmer/Desktop/Gary Larsen.jpeg

    As you said, Caitlin, these plans are from pre-existing plans. I remember an old US Space Command document from the 90s that had a graphic showing the plan to “negate” any perceived enemy. Full Spectrum Dominance is the goal on all fronts.

    Thanks for your continued work in putting into perspective just how insane the US government is in its quest for total global domination.

    • shmutzoid
      February 15, 2023 at 18:58

      Full Spectrum Dominance, along with the Wolfowitz Doctrine has been the guiding principle of US foreign policy for awhile now. And yet, very few Americans know what that’s all about. Such is the power of the empire’s propaganda and indoctrination ops.
      ——Indeed, the empire will NOT countenance ANY challenge to its dominance in ANY area—–> economic, military, cyber. From the ocean floor to the skies and beyond, the empire shall rule!

      As US global economic and diplomatic influence declines, its bombast escalates, with increased militarism employed to shore up its fading influence. An empire in decline is dangerously unpredictable.

      The only thing China threatens is the ever expanding profits of US capitalism. China has lifted hundreds of millions up from abject poverty while investing smartly with countries around the world in economic agreements borne of trust/cooperation and mutual respect. —————— The US, on the other hand, rather than invest in its productive capacity, invests in weapons/militarism so as to bully its way in trying to maintain world domination. “You’re either with us or against us’ was not just GW Bush beating his chest after 9/11. it was shorthand for the whole of US foreign policy!

  10. Rong Cao
    February 15, 2023 at 11:28

    Alien invasion and Chinese spy balloons essentially produce the same effects on US economy and military-industrial-complex

  11. Randal Marlin
    February 15, 2023 at 10:24

    Could they be weapons of mass distraction, drawing attention away from Hersh, for example?

  12. firstpersoninfinite
    February 15, 2023 at 10:08

    Got to protect the Homeland from the fatherlands and motherlands seeking to impregnate themselves and undo all the dead tissue surrounding our super safe haven. I mean super safe unless you are poor, unhealthy, cancelled, or otherwise not a billionaire. We are the inlaid jewels of a gold-plated Puritanism, consumers in the hands of an angry god.

  13. Valerie
    February 15, 2023 at 05:11

    Puts a whole new slant on that old nursery rhyme:

    I see the balloon
    The balloon sees me.

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