The unidentified object that the U.S. military shot down over Alaska on Friday reportedly had a “cylindrical shape” and was about the size of a small car.
A U.S. official told Politico that the object did not appear to have any “observable surveillance equipment.”
President Joe Biden was reportedly notified quickly that the object had crossed into U.S. air space late on Thursday night and the decision was made to shoot it down.
Officials have not confirmed if the object was another Chinese spy balloon. The object was reportedly flying around 40,000 feet, making it a threat to civilian aircraft.
“We have no further details about the object at this time, including any description of its capabilities, purpose or origin,” said Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder. “The object was about the size of a small car, so not similar in size or shape to the high-altitude surveillance balloon that was taken down off the coast of South Carolina.”
The news comes after the U.S. military used an F-22 Raptor last week to shoot down a Chinese spy balloon over the Atlantic Ocean using a single air-to-air AIM-9X Sidewinder missile that was fired at an altitude of approximately 58,000 feet. The decision to shoot down the spy balloon came after President Joe Biden allowed it to fly thousands of miles over the continental U.S. last week.
This latest breach of U.S. airspace happened late Thursday night over Alaska, the report said. Because of how quickly events unfolded, officials were not able to confirm to reporters whether the object was from a foreign nation.
Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) said that he was pleased that the Biden administration shot down the object and did not let it travel further into U.S. airspace like it did the Chinese spy balloon.
“As I’ve been doing for the past week, including in a classified briefing with senior Pentagon officials yesterday, I strongly encouraged the NORTHCOM Cmdr this morning to shoot down this latest unidentified intrusion into Alaska air space. I commend them for doing so today.”
This is a developing news story; refresh the page for updates.