The Pentagon say that a US F-22 fighter jet shot down an unidentified object flying over Alaska on Friday.
The object was first detected and tracked by North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) on 9 February.
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Officials said the object was flying at an altitude that would pose a threat to civilian aircraft, so President Biden gave the order for the US military to take it down.
Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said that a sidewinder missile brought down the UFO which was the size of a small car. In a press briefing he said:
“At the direction of the President of the United States, fighter aircraft assigned to US Northern Command successfully took down a high altitude airborne object off the northern coast of Alaska at 1:45 p.m. Eastern Standard Time today within U.S. sovereign airspace over U.S. territorial water”.
Officials say they don’t know who owns the object
Arab news reports: The Pentagon and the White House declined to give a detailed description of the latest object to be shot down, saying only that it was far smaller than the Chinese balloon.
The Pentagon said it was flying at about 40,000 feet (12,190 meters), posing a risk to civilian air traffic.
“We don’t know who owns this object,” said White House spokesperson John Kirby.
The object was shot down over the far northeastern part of Alaska near the Canadian border where it had been traveling in northeasterly direction. The Pentagon said it was first detected on Feb. 9 using ground radars. Fighter jets were then sent to investigate further.
Ryder said American pilots who flew alongside it determined that no human was aboard. He added it was incapable of maneuvering and did not resemble an airplane. Ryder and other officials would not say whether it could simply be a weather balloon or another type of balloon.
“It wasn’t an aircraft per se,” Ryder told a news briefing.
The F-22 shot down the object at 1:45 p.m. EST.
Asked why Biden’s authorization was necessary, Ryder acknowledged that the US military commander overseeing North American airspace had the authority to shoot down objects that posed a military risk or risk to the American people.
“In this particular case, it was determined that this posed a reasonable threat to air traffic,” Ryder said.
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