John Kirby, a national security spokesperson for the White House, said the Defense Department was tracking a “high-altitude object” over Alaska at 40,000 feet that posed “a reasonable threat to the safety of civilian flight.
Fighter aircraft assigned US Northern Command successfully took down a high altitude object over Alaska at 1:45PM EST Feb 10th over US sovereign airspace. On Feb 9, the object had been detected by ground radar.
White House officials drew major differences between the episode with the Chinese balloon. Kirby said it wasn’t yet known who owned the object, and he did not say that it was a balloon. Officials also couldn’t say if there was any surveillance equipment on it. He also didn’t know yet where it came from or what its purpose was.
Kirby said fight pilots visually examining the object ascertained that it was not manned.
The object landed inside U.S. territorial waters, which currently are frozen. He said it’s not known what the object is, what it was doing, or whether it was state-owned or privately owned. Kirby said the debris is expected to be recovered.
US Northern Command was in charge
U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) was established Oct. 1, 2002 to provide command and control of Department of Defense homeland defense efforts and to coordinate defense support of civil authorities. We defend America’s homeland — protecting our people, national power, and freedom of action.