Second 'High-Altitude Object' Shot Down Over US Airspace

The object was detected about 40,000 feet above Alaska.

The White House confirmed Friday that a second “high-altitude object” has been shot down over US airspace.

National Security Council coordinator John Kirby made the announcement at a White House press briefing, saying the Department of Defense was tracking the object about 40,000 feet above Alaska for the past 24 hours. It “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, President Biden ordered the military to down the object,” Kirby continued, saying a fighter aircraft carried out the task on Friday afternoon and that the object fell on ice.

The Pentagon is expected to provide more details later on Friday afternoon. Kirby said the US does not know who owns the object nor what its purpose was, but officials hope to recover the debris and investigate its contents.

The object was “much, much smaller” than the Chinese spy balloon US authorities downed last Saturday off the coast of South Carolina, Kirby said, comparing it to “the size of a small car”. The Chinese spy balloon was roughly 200 feet tall.

News of the object comes a day after President Joe Biden’s administration said that China’s military is likely behind a fleet of spy balloons targeting more than 40 countries. The high-tech balloons are capable of collecting communication signals and other sensitive information, the State Department said.

Chinese authorities deny that the unmanned balloon shot down last week was a spy tool and say it was merely a civilian meteorological airship that had blown off course. They have refused to let US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speak with his Chinese counterpart about the incident.


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