US Northern Command said Friday it has recommended ending the search for debris from two downed objects in US airspace this month.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin endorsed the recommendation, the command said in a statement. The end of recovery efforts could mean the country will never know what exactly the objects were, how they were propelled, and where they came from.

The conclusion applies to airborne objects shot down by US warplanes on February 10 near Deadhorse, Alaska, and on February 12 over Lake Huron, off the coast of Michigan.

«The US military, federal agencies and Canadian partners conducted systematic searches of each area using a variety of capabilities, including aerial sensors and imaging, surface sensors and inspections, and underground scans, and located no debris,» it said. the command.

Efforts at Deadhorse were hampered by extreme cold and unstable sea ice, he said.

The recommendation does not cover the February 4 shooting down of what the United States has described as a Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina.

Military officials said recovery efforts in the Atlantic, which ended Thursday, were successful and the recovered items were taken to an FBI laboratory «for counterintelligence exploitation,» according to the statement on Friday.

Air and sea space limits around the three recovery operations have been lifted, the command said.

Another incident involving the shooting down of a mid-air object took place in Canadian airspace on February 11 and falls under the jurisdiction of Canadian authorities.

The Biden administration announced Monday that it was forming an interagency group to address the recent cluster and future unidentified objects.

President Joe Biden delivered comments on the objects Thursday, downplaying the possibility that downed objects other than balloons could also be linked to surveillance efforts.

“We still don’t know exactly what these three objects were, but nothing at this time suggests they were related to China’s spy balloon program, or that they were surveillance vehicles from another country,” Biden said in public statements.

This is a developing history. Please check for updates.

kurt chirbas contributed.