- A US fighter jet shot down an airspace-threatening object over Alaska on Friday.
- F-22 pilots who saw the object said it “interfered with their sensors” and did not have a propulsion system.
- Additional objects were shot down over Canada and near the US border on Saturday and Sunday.
A week after shooting down a Chinese spy balloon that was believed to be flying over China, an F-22 jet shot down an unidentified object threatening over Alaska on Friday. Reports provide conflicting details about the object’s function and origins, and U.S. intelligence agencies have released limited information regarding its design or intended purpose.
Recently, unidentified anomalous phenomena have been observed not only over the United States, but also over Canada, Colombia, and Costa Rica.
It’s been a special week for UAP in North America
In addition to the first surveillance balloon sighted across the country since January 31, a second balloon was spotted floating over Latin America on February 4, with two unidentified balloons in Alaska and Canada on Friday and Saturday. Object shot down.
An additional object was shot down over Lake Huron near the U.S.-Canada border on Sunday, prompting a brief closure of airspace around Michigan to “support the activities of the Department of Defense.” wall street journal The third object shot down in three days has an octagonal shape and is reported to be hovering at an altitude of 20,000 feet.
Montana airspace was also temporarily restricted on Saturday after reports of radar anomalies in the area, the North American Aerospace Defense Command said in a statement. twitterbut upon investigation, no additional objects were found.
U.S. officials say China has a global operation of surveillance balloons collecting data at military bases, including the one shot down last week, but the object shot down on Friday was said to have been shot down by Chinese officials. It has not been confirmed to be related to or anyone else.
Here’s what we know about the object shot down over the weekend.
Three UAPs were at altitudes competing with commercial flights
“We can confirm that the Pentagon has tracked a high-altitude object over Alaska over the past 24 hours,” White House National Security Council Press Secretary John Kirby said at a news conference on Friday. “The object was flying at an altitude of 40,000 feet and posed a substantial threat to civilian flight safety.”
The balloon, which was seen hovering over the country last week, was hovering at about 60,000 feet. pentagon — This is well outside the typical cruising altitude of commercial aircraft, which typically operate between 33,000 and 42,000 feet.
Authorities have not confirmed the object’s origin
Kirby said authorities first noticed the item on Thursday night, but even after it was shot down, they were unable to confirm its provenance, stating, “Is it state-owned, corporate-owned, privately-owned, who owns it?” I don’t know. I just don’t know.”
“If it was another Chinese spy balloon, it would indicate that China is either incapable of operating these platforms or could deliberately provoke the United States,” said a former Pentagon official. said Michael P. Mulroy. new york times“At times like this, it’s also important that the United States and China maintain direct communication, especially between the military.”
Officials have confirmed the origin of last week’s Chinese surveillance balloon, two days after it was first sighted. It claims to be a civilian airship used for
Kirby said Friday, “We’re calling it an object because that’s the best explanation we have right now.
China has made no claims about the objects shot down in Canada and Alaska, but officials in eastern Shandong province also sighted an “unidentified flying object” near the Yellow Sea on Sunday, according to the Chinese state. said he planned to shoot down the affiliated tabloid, global times.
during a Sunday interview with ABC NewsSenate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was briefed on the objects shot down on Friday and Saturday and was told they were likely balloons.
“But it’s much smaller than the first one,” Schumer said, reiterating that the object’s altitude could have interfered with commercial airspace, prompting the decision to bring it down immediately. We had a very different rationale, but I think it’s a good one.
Schumer did not confirm whether the object shot down on Friday or Saturday came from China.
There may be evidence of survival in the rubble
Officials are working to recover debris from the object that was shot down on Friday, landing in frozen waters off the Alaskan coast near the Canadian border. CBS news reported that the object was shot down near Prudhoe Bay.
The object that was shot down on Saturday was found in northern Canada’s Yukon Territory. Reuters Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canadian authorities would collect the debris and analyze it.
The Yukon high-altitude object was described by Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand as being cylindrical. Reuters However, other details have not yet been released. It is unknown whether the object shot down off the coast of Alaska was of a similar size or shape.
The wreckage in the Atlantic Ocean after the first balloon was shot down measured “15 football fields by 15 football fields” and was about 50 feet deep, said Glen, commander of NORAD and the U.S. Northern Command. General VanHerck told reporters on Monday. The balloon is estimated to be about 200 feet tall, carry a payload the size of a “jetliner” and weigh several thousand pounds.
Schumer said ABC News On Sunday, it remains unclear what information China was able to glean from the balloon that was shot down on Feb. 4, but it plans to piece together the pieces to identify any information that may have been gleaned.
“So this is a big coup for the US,” Schumer said.
Conflicting reports from pilots
Kirby told reporters before shooting down the object that the pilot of the F-22 fighter that shot it down circled it, indicating that it was unmanned and that it was maneuvering through the air like previous balloons to gain speed. I decided that I lacked the ability to change.
He did not share additional details about the object.
Official government sources have remained silent about the object, but other sources share reports from pilots who tracked it down.
“Several F-22 pilots who tracked down the plane over Alaska yesterday said it ‘interfered with the sensors’ and ‘had no idea why the plane was in the air because it had no propulsion system.’ said “,” according to Public military and intelligence scanners, open source intelligence monitors.
OSIM reports that some pilots experienced no system interference and could not agree with the object’s description.
The Open Source Intelligence Monitor did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
CNN Anonymous sources with knowledge of the briefing shared conflicting observations about the object, including that the pilots could not explain how it interfered with their systems or how it remained airborne. said.
Unconfirmed anomalous phenomena appear outside of the sky
December, Department of Defense Established An All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Agency to identify “unidentified anomalous phenomena” in space, air, land, or sea that could threaten national security. The term UAP replaces the traditional “unidentified flying object” or UFO designation and expects officials to assess anomalies “across all domains.”
It’s unclear if the unknown terrestrial object has been seen recently, but former Navy pilots David Flavor and Alex Dietrich said CBS news Regarding the encounter with an unknown object during pre-deployment training in 2004, in 2021
The pair described flying the aircraft over the ocean and seeing an area of rolling rapids on the surface below. Just above the rapids was a “white Tic Tac-like” object that “has no predictable trajectory.”
“It was unidentified,” Dietrich said. “That’s why it was so unsettling for us, because we didn’t expect it. We couldn’t sort it.”
Footage released by the Pentagon in 2020 also revealed an unknown object spotted by a Navy pilot speeding across the surface of the ocean.
“Hey, this is the fucking king’s drone, buddy.” CBS news We reported one of the pilot’s screams in the video. Another says, “There’s their entire fleet.”
“They’re all headed against the wind,” said the first pilot. “Wind is 120 knots west. Look at that, hey, it’s spinning!”
a 2021 report From the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, “In 18 incidents described in 21 reports, observers reported unusual UAP movement patterns or flight characteristics. remain stationary, move against the wind, steer abruptly, or move at appreciable speeds with no discernible means of propulsion. We have processed the relevant radio frequency (RF) energy.”
of 2022 report Among the 171 uncharacterized incidents, it states, “Some of these uncharacterized UAPs appear to have exhibited unusual flight characteristics or performance capabilities and warrant further analysis.”
Representatives of the Department of Defense and the U.S. Northern Command did not immediately respond to an insider’s request for comment.
Officials admit surveillance balloons have been seen floating in U.S. airspace several times over the past few years, but they weren’t always immediately identified. The device was originally classified as a UFO.
This story has been updated.