On Friday, February 10, the White House declared that President Joe Biden had instructed the military to fire down a “high-altitude object” that had been seen hovering above Alaska earlier in the day.
In the previous 24 hours, “The Department of Defense was tracking a high-altitude object above Alaska airspace,” When questioned by media about allegations of a further alleged Chinese spy balloon, John Kirby, the coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council, gave the following statement.
According to Kirby, the high-altitude item was flying at a height of 40,000 feet and posed a plausible threat to the security of commercial air travel.
He said, “President Biden instructed the military to drop the object, and they did so out of an abundance of caution and at the Pentagon’s recommendation. And it entered our exclusive economic zone? and those waters are currently frozen? but over territorial waters and within territorial airspace. Within the previous hour, fighter jets from US Northern Command destroyed the object.
US fighter jets have already shot down an object flying over American airspace twice in less than a week. The Biden administration had already come under fire for how it handled a rumored Chinese surveillance balloon that had flown across the country the week prior to being shot down in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the Carolinas on Saturday.
The latest item, according to Kirby, was shot down by US Northern Command fighter aircraft on ice-covered Arctic Ocean water close to the Canadian border.
Kirby described the approximate area as being just off the very, very northeastern corner of Alaska, close to the Canadian border.
The US administration first learned about the object last night. Before it was eventually shot down, Kirby told reporters that the US believed the object to be unmanned.
Before the order to shoot it down, we were able to get some fighter aircraft up and around it, and the pilots’ judgement was that it was not manned, Kirby said.
According to Kirby, the US is not using the term “balloon” to describe the object and has not yet assigned it to China or any other organization.
Since it is the greatest description we currently have, we are referring to this as an object. Whose ownership is unknown to us? We simply don’t know whether it is state-owned, corporate-owned, or privately held, Kirby added.
We don’t have any information that would support the object’s declared purpose, he continued. Since the debris fell on what we think to be frozen water in addition to being within our territorial zone, we do anticipate being able to recover it. In order to recuperate, there will be an effort, and we are hopeful that it will be successful so that we may get some knowledge.
The object, which Kirby compared to the size of a compact car, was noticeably smaller than the Chinese spy balloon that was allegedly being observed. US officials estimated that the balloon that was brought down last Saturday was about the size of three buses.
According to Kirby, Biden “was involved in this decision and authorized it on the advice of Pentagon officers.