An object of mysterious purpose and origin was shot down as it flew over Alaska, according to the Pentagon, which less than a week ago shot down what they allege to be a spy balloon from China. White House officials confirmed that President Joe Biden gave orders Friday afternoon for U.S. military fighter jets to shoot down the object.
According to White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, the mystery object was flying at an altitude of about 40,000 feet; the object was roughly the size of a small car. Based on its altitude, Kirby said the object posed a reasonable threat to the safety of civilian flights. Today’s incident happened close to the U.S. / Canada border in Alaska.
Today’s incident marks the second time in a week U.S. officials had downed some type of flying object over the United States. Just last Saturday, fighter jets fired a missile into a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina. The military with help from the FBI is examining debris from that incident to better know what it was. China continues to claim it was a weather balloon that had blown off-course.
While the U.S. was swift to announce today’s attack on the object, most details revolving around the object aren’t known. Kirby said it wasn’t yet known who owned it, and he did not say it was a balloon adding that he didn’t know yet where it came from or what its purpose was.
Kirby said fighter pilots visually examining the object and determined it was not manned. The president was briefed on the presence of the object Thursday evening after two fighter jets surveilled it. The object was shot down over frozen land and water which should make recovery of its debris to determine what exactly it was easier.
In addition to the alleged spy balloon incident, it’s been also confirmed this week that mysterious green flashes lighting up the night sky have been coming from a laser-equipped Chinese weather satellite. While China has yet to confirm their satellite is responsible, scientists associated with the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan were able to narrow down the green laser’s origins to the Chinese Daqi-1/AEMS earth observing satellite.