Biden administration officials revealed during a press conference that the United States shot down an airborne object off the coast of Alaska.
— Faytuks News Δ (@Faytuks) February 10, 2023
Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder and National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby made the announcement on Friday.
According to Ryder, at President Joe Biden’s direction a “fighter aircraft … successfully took down a high altitude airborne object off the northern coast of Alaska at 1:45 p.m. Eastern Standard Time today within U.S. sovereign airspace over U.S. territorial water.”
The Pentagon press secretary went on to add that the object had been at an altitude of 40,000 feet and had “posed a reasonable threat to the safety of civilian flight.”
Ryder described the object as the size a “small car.”
Meanwhile, Kirby noted that the waters where the object was shot down are frozen.
This news comes after a Chinese surveillance balloon was spotted above Montana by the public, days after the U.S. government had detected it but refused to inform the American people. The balloon entered through the Alaskan Aleutian Islands, traveling through Canada before entering the U.S. through northern Idaho. It was finally shot down after it traveled across the U.S., with the military downing the balloon off the Carolina coast.
So just to be transparent…
It took us a week to shoot down a Chinese spy balloon, but we were able to take down a UFO that was going from 80,000 feet to 5 feet above the water in a matter of seconds like it was nothing…
— Matt Couch (@RealMattCouch) February 11, 2023
In a statement on February 4, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin described the situation.
“The balloon, which was being used by the PRC in an attempt to surveil strategic sites in the continental United States, was brought down above U.S. territorial waters,” the statement read. “On Wednesday, President Biden gave his authorization to take down the surveillance balloon as soon as the mission could be accomplished without undue risk to American lives under the balloon’s path. After careful analysis, U.S. military commanders had determined downing the balloon while over land posed an undue risk to people across a wide area due to the size and altitude of the balloon and its surveillance payload. In accordance with the President’s direction, the Department of Defense developed options to take down the balloon safely over our territorial waters, while closely monitoring its path and intelligence collection activities.”