A mysterious “high-altitude object” was shot down over the waters around Alaska, according to a statement from the White House on Friday.
President Joe Biden gave the order to shoot it down, according to spokesperson John Kirby, who also claimed it is still unknown where the item came from.
Biden referred to the operation as a “success” in response to reporters’ yelled inquiries about the shootdown on Friday afternoon outside the White House.
It happens just a few days after the United States shot down a Chinese spy balloon last Saturday as a result of a political uproar.
The object, according to Kirby, was about the size of a compact vehicle and was traveling at a height of 40,000 feet.
According to him, Biden authorized the military to shoot down the object out of a sense of caution and at the Pentagon’s advice because it constituted a plausible threat to the security of commercial air travel.
When aircraft were scrambled, the pilots performed visual scans, obtained photos, and indicated there was no indication the object had propulsion, according to Martha Raddatz, ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent.
According to a U.S. official, it was “cylindrical and grayish-silver” in color and appeared to be floating.
The official responded, “If that is ‘balloon-like,’ well — we just don’t have enough at this moment. All I say is that it wasn’t ‘flying’ with any form of propulsion.” when asked if the object was “balloon-like.”
It entered our territorial waters and
He said, “We don’t know who owns this thing. According to Kirby, the U.S. first became aware of the item Thursday night.
He claimed that it didn’t appear to have the ability to maneuver. It was largely subject to the whim of the wind.
Fighter aircraft decided it wasn’t manned after checking to see if it was, he claimed. “Before the order to shoot it down, we were able to get some fighter planes up and around it. And according to the pilots, this was unmanned.”
There was a limit to how much the pilots could discern, he continued, adding that it was difficult for them to gather a lot of information.