This is just embarrassing.
Remember those "unidentified flying objects" the military recently shot down? The government is now admitting that it spent millions of taxpayer dollars getting them out of the sky — even though they were, per the intelligence community's assessment, probably just balloons.
Government officials told the Wall Street Journal that there was a $1.5 million price tag for the four AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles the Pentagon authorized to shoot down the three objects, which President Joe Biden admitted last week may have been easy to identify after all.
"The intelligence community’s current assessment is that these three objects were most likely balloons tied to private companies, recreation, or research institutions studying weather or conducting other scientific research," Biden said of the headline-grabbing unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs).
The WSJ notes that the $1.5 million figure only covers the cost of the missiles themselves, which run about $400,000 apiece, and not the costs for the American and Canadian military and civilian personnel used to investigate the debris from the objects in Alaska, Luke Huron, and Canada's Yukon territory (one of the missiles missed, requiring the use of a fourth.)
The officials who spoke with the newspaper on condition of anonymity said the total price for downing those three not-UFOs will likely be hundreds of thousands of dollars more thanks to those investigative efforts.
That figure notably also excludes the amount of money it cost the American taxpayer to down to the suspected Chinese "spy balloon," which was shot down by an F-22 Raptor fighter jet.
While we obviously don't want there to be random unidentified things floating above America — or Canada, we guess? — these outrageous price tags beg an obvious question: is this what our ever-growing defense budget is used for?
More on actual UFOs: The Pentagon Just Quietly Released a Report About Hundreds of New UFO Sightings