First Nations in Yukon looking for information on unidentified object

The unidentified aerial object was shot down roughly between the Yukon communities of Dawson City and Mayo.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s been in touch with First Nations in Yukon regarding the recent downing of an unidentified aerial object that was shot down in the territory over the weekend.

Speaking with reporters on Monday while in Whitehorse for a previous engagement, he said First Nations leaders near the object’s crash site “are rightly concerned about the impact on their citizens.”

“This is a very serious situation,” he said.

In recent days four unknown objects travelling in North American airspace have been shot down by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

The object in Yukon is the third to be shot down. It was first detected over Alaskan airspace on Friday evening and tracked as it entered the Yukon.

On Saturday, U.S. forces shot the object down as it was considered a threat to both U.S. and Canadian security because of its low altitude.

Trudeau said the object’s crash site is believed to be somewhere in an area between the Yukon communities of Mayo and Dawson City, roughly 400 km north of Whitehorse. Those communities are home to Na-Cho Nyäk Dun and Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin First Nations.

unidentified object
Trudeau speaking in Whitehorse on Monday. Photo: Sara Connors/APTN.

Valerie Williams, director of communications and policy for the Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin, said northern Chiefs are meeting about the incident and plan to put out a press release.

Trudeau said efforts to recover the object are currently ongoing and will be led by the Canadian Armed Forces as it’s not yet clear if the object poses any immediate danger. Yukon RCMP is also assisting with its recovery.

Military aircraft in Whitehorse have since been deployed to the suspected crash site in order to retrieve the wreckage.

Trudeau said First Nations leaders recognized the decision to take down the object in an area that he described as “fairly unpopulated or sparsely populated territory.”

“We are, deploying all measures possible to keep Canadians safe,” he said.

But the Prime Minister stopped short of identifying the object.

“Our focus right now is on recovering it, obviously, there is much analysis going on at the highest levels of NORAD in both Canada and the United States as we understand more, as we facilitate the location of the object and to understand better and be able to answer the questions Canadians have any have,” he said.

He also noted there appeared to be a pattern between the four downed objects, “The fact that we are seeing this in a significant degree over the past week is a cause for interest and close attention, which is exactly what we’re doing.”

On Feb. 4, U.S. forces took down what it said is a Chinese surveillance balloon. China has claimed otherwise, asserting the object was a weather balloon that flew off course.

On Friday, a second aerial object was destroyed close to Deadhorse, Alaska.

Following the third aerial incident in Yukon, on Sunday a fourth object was brought down near Lake Huron between the Ontario and Michigan border.

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