A second “high-altitude object” has been shot down by fighter jets just off of the coast of Alaska. It is unknown who owns it.
Speaking to reporters at the White House on Friday, John Kirby, John Kirby the Coordinator for Strategic Communcations with the National Security Council, confirmed that the Department of Defense had been tracking a “high-altitude object” that had been travelling over Alaska airspace in the last 24 hours.
“The object was flying at an altitude of 40,000 feet, and posed a reasonable threat to the safety of civilian flight,” Kirby said. “Out of an abundance of caution, and at the recommendation of the Pentagon,” Biden ordered the object be shot down. Fighter aircraft assigned to US Northern Command took it down, and it landed over frozen US territorial waters, Kirby explained.
This is the second “high-altitude” object that has been seen over US airspace, with a suspected Chinese spy balloon being shot down off the coast of South Carolina last Saturday. The Chinese balloon, which China claimed was simply a weather monitoring device that got blown off course, was around the size of a passenger jet.
The object shot down over Alaska was “much, much smaller” than the previous balloon, Kirby said, noting that it was “roughly the size of a small car,” and had “no significant payload” attached to it either.
Kirby also added that the government was referring to whatever was shot down simply as an “object” because “that’s the best descriptor we have right now… We do not know who owns it, and whether it’s state-owned, or corporate-owned, or privaly owned, we just don’t know.”
Since the object came down over frozen Alaskan waters, the government expects to be able to recover any debris from the wreckage, so that they can learn more about it.
One new report by ABC claims the object was “cylindrical and silverish gray” and “seemed to be floating.”
This has yet to be corroborated by other media outlets.
Previous reports indicated that the Chinese spy balloon was first spotted over Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, before floating over to Montana, and crossing the rest of the continental United States. A journalist asked Kirby whether it was now a “fair takeaway” that the Pentagon regrets not shooting it down as early as they did with this second object.
“I can tell you the president doesn’t regret the way we handled the first balloon,” Kirby replied.
This news and commentary by Jack Hadfield originally appeared on Valiant News.