Montana Airspace Temporarily Closed Over the Weekend Due to ‘Radar Anomaly’

A part of Montana airspace was temporarily closed due to a “radar anomaly,” then later reopened, after an unidentified object was shot down over Canada, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said Saturday.

A fighter jet was deployed to investigate the radar situation,  the U.S. military said.

North American air defense (NORAD) “detected a radar anomaly and sent fighter aircraft to investigate. Those aircraft did not identify any object to correlate to the radar hits,” the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command said in a statement.

A part of the airspace over Havre, Montana by the U.S. border with Canada was briefly closed, then shortly after reopened to air traffic. The military said that officials “will continue to monitor the situation.”

The radar development came after a U.S. F-22 fighter jet shot down an unidentified cylindrical object over the Yukon Territory in Canada on Saturday, the third such occurrence this month.

“I ordered the take down of an unidentified object that violated Canadian airspace.
@NORADCommand shot down the object over the Yukon. Canadian and U.S. aircraft were scrambled, and a U.S. F-22 successfully fired at the object,” Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau tweeted Saturday.

Last Saturday, the Biden administration finally shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon off the Carolina coast, after it was permitted to enter American airspace and drift over an intercontinental ballistic missile storage area in Montana. Some Republicans speculated that the spy device might also have transmitted top-secret data back to Beijing.

Air Force General Glen VanHerck, commander of North American air defense, said last week that the military has had blind spots for balloon incursions in the past and is still trying to improve its apprehension capabilities.

“I will tell you that we did not detect those threats and that’s a domain awareness gap that we have to figure out,” General VanHerck said at a Monday media briefing, according to the Wall Street Journal.

On Friday, another “high-altitude airborne object” was removed from the sky off the northern coast of Alaska, U.S. Northern Command said in a statement. Multiple agencies such as Alaska’s command, the Alaska National Guard, and the FBI have been conducting search and recovery activities on sea ice. Those operations have had to be adjusted, however, due to “arctic weather conditions, including wind chill, snow, and limited daylight.”

“We have no further details at this time about the object, including its capabilities, purpose, or origin,” U.S. Northern Command said.

Spokesman John Kirby said Friday that the origin of the object had yet to be determined.