US Jet Downs Unknown Object Off Alaska Coast.
According to White House officials, a US military fighter jet was ordered by President Joe Biden to shoot down an unidentified object off Alaska’s remote northern coast.
John Kirby, White House National Security Council spokesperson, stated that the object was brought down because it was flying at approximately 40,000 feet (13,000m) and was posing a “reasonable danger” to civilian flight safety. He did not claim that the object was being monitored. Biden said Friday that the object was downed because it flew at 40,000 feet (13,000 meters) and posed a “reasonable threat” to civilian flights.
Private jets and commercial airliners can fly up to 45,000 feet (13,700 meters).
Kirby said the object was about the same size as a small car. It is much smaller than the suspected Chinese spy ball that was shot down by Air Force fighter planes Saturday off South Carolina’s coast.
These twin attacks in close proximity are remarkable. They reflect public pressure on Biden and China to end its surveillance program. The White House made no distinction between the episodes and did not provide any answers to Friday’s mysterious object. Officials could not say whether the latest object contained surveillance equipment, its origin, or what purpose it served.
Friday’s Pentagon statement did not give a more detailed description of the object. It only stated that U.S. pilots flew up to it to verify it wasn’t manned. Officials claimed that the object was smaller than last week’s balloon and that it was not maneuverable. It was also traveling at a lower altitude.
Kirby maintained that Biden believed it was enough of a threat to shoot it out the sky, according to the Pentagon’s advice. This is mainly because it could pose a risk to civilian aircraft.
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Kirby stated, “We’re going to be vigilant about our airspace.” “The president considers his obligation to protect our national security interests paramount.”
After two fighter jets had spotted it, the president was briefed about its presence Thursday evening.
Brig. Pentagon press secretary Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters that an F-22 fighter plane based at Alaska’s Joint Base Elmendorf–Richardson took down the object with an AIM-9X short range air-to-air missile. This type was used nearly a week earlier to bring down the balloon.
The object flew above one of the most remote areas in the country. Alaska’s North Slope is home to few towns. The two closest, Deadhorse (and Kaktovik) communities together have about 300 inhabitants. The largest oil field of its kind in America is Prudhoe Bay, located on Alaska’s North Slope.
US Jet Shoots Down Unknown Object Flying Off Alaska Coast
Officials couldn’t say if the latest object contained any surveillance equipment, where it came from or what purpose it had. https://t.co/69aFslOhyW pic.twitter.com/Xzs8M33haQ
— ARISE NEWS (@ARISEtv) February 11, 2023
Contrary to the spy balloon that was brought down to live feeds by the U.S., and which got residents of the USA looking up at the sky, this object is unlikely to have been seen by many people due to the frigid temperatures of northern Alaska during this time of year. There are very few people who can stay outside for extended periods of time.
The Federal Aviation Administration had already restricted flights within the U.S. airspace of Alaska’s Bullen Point. This is the location of a former U.S. Air Force radar site on the Beaufort Sea, about 130 miles (210 km) from Canada, within the Arctic Circle.
Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Prime Minister, tweeted Friday that he was briefed and that he supported the decision. He stated that “our military and intelligence services will always cooperate together.”
Officials believe they can recover the debris quicker than last week’s huge balloon. Ryder stated that the object was heading northeast at the time it was shot down. Ryder stated that several U.S. military helicopters were deployed to assist in the recovery effort.
The Pentagon stated that recovery is taking place in a mixture of snow and ice on Friday. The response involves units located in Alaska under U.S. Northern Command and the Alaska National Guard.
The unknown object was found in harsh weather conditions with only six and a quarter hours of daylight. Daytime temperatures Friday were about minus 17 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius).
A U.S. official stated that NORAD — North American Aerospace Defense Command — sent F-35s to inspect the object after it was discovered. He also said that the military had questioned U.S. agencies to ensure it didn’t belong to them and was confident it wasn’t a U.S. military asset or government. The official spoke under anonymity because he was not allowed to speak publicly on sensitive national security issues.
It was smaller than the Chinese spy balloon. Therefore, it was easier to bring it down over land. This was done over water.
Friday night was the last day of mystery surrounding the mysterious flying object. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a statement stating that it wasn’t a National Weather Service balloon.
Scott Smullen, spokesperson for NOAA, stated that “they don’t hover.”
This development occurred almost one week after the U.S. downed a suspected Chinese spy plane off the Carolina coast. It had crossed sensitive military sites across North America. China claimed the flyover was an accident that involved a civilian craft, and threatened legal action.
Biden had requested that the balloon be taken down earlier than he issued the order. Biden was told that it would be best to operate the balloon when it was above water. Officials at the military determined that it would be an undue danger to those on the ground if it was brought down from an altitude above 60,000 feet.
According to the Pentagon, the balloon was part of a large surveillance program China has been carrying out for “several decades”. After closely watching the Chinese balloon that was shot down in South Carolina, the U.S. claims that Chinese balloons have flown over many countries on five continents.
China replied that it had the right to “take additional actions” and criticized the U.S. “an obvious overreaction, and a serious violation of international practice.”