White House Spokesman John Kirby announced Friday that the U.S. has downed an unidentified object over Alaska.
Kirby, who is the National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communication, said during a press briefing at the White House that the object, which was much smaller than the spy balloon shot down last week, was about the size of a small car.
The “high-altitude object” was brought down Friday afternoon on the northeast portion of Alaska near the Canadian border over water that is frozen, Kirby said during the briefing. The object was first seen by officials Thursday evening.
Update: 3:13 p.m. EST Feb. 10: The Federal Aviation Administration has issued temporary flight restrictions for national defense over Deadhorse, Alaska.
Original report: The object was shot down at the order of President Joe Biden by a fighter jet, Kirby said, according to The New York Times.
“Out of an abundance of caution and at the recommendation of the Pentagon, President Biden ordered the military to down the object, and they did. And it came inside our territorial waters – and those waters right now are frozen – but inside territorial airspace and over territorial waters. Fighter aircraft assigned to US Northern Command took down the object within last hour,” Kirby said, according to CNN.
Kirby said the object posed a “reasonable threat” to the safety of civilian flights, The Associated Press reported.
Kirby said the latest object was flying about 40,000 feet above the ground, unlike the spy balloon that was flying much higher — 60,000 feet —as it flew over the U.S. last week.
Officials could not say if there was any surveillance equipment on the item shot down on Friday, the Times reported.
They are not sure where the device came from and if it was a military object, commercial or research device.
“We don’t have any information that would confirm a stated purpose for this object. We do expect to be able to recover the debris since it fell not only within our territorial space, but on what we what believe is frozen water. So a recovery effort will be made and we’re hopeful that it will be successful and then we can learn a little bit more about it,” Kirby said, CNN reported.
Check back for more on this developing story.
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