US Military Recovery Of Unidentified Object Downed Over Alaska Faces Severe Conditions
Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times,
The U.S. recovery effort of an object that was shot down over Alaska last week faces severe weather conditions, according to weather forecasts.
The object was shot down on Feb. 10 by an F-22 fighter jet near Deadhorse, Alaska, located near the Canadian border, the U.S. Northern Command said.
“Recovery operations continue today near Deadhorse, Alaska,” U.S. Northern Command said in a statement to news outlets Saturday.
“We have no further details at this time about the object, including its capabilities, purpose, or origin.”
Sea conditions on Feb. 10 “permitted dive and underwater unmanned vehicle (UUV) activities and the retrieval of additional debris from the sea floor,” Northern Command told Reuters. “The public may see U.S. Navy vessels moving to and from the site as they conduct offload and resupply activities.”
As of Sunday morning, temperatures in Deadhorse were -22 degrees Fahrenheit with 15 mph winds, bringing temperatures down even further. Deadhorse is located near Prudhoe Bay, which is part of the Arctic Ocean within the Arctic Circle.
By Sunday night, temperatures are expected to hit -34 degrees with 5–10 mph winds.
The unidentified object was approximately the size of a car and had no ability to maneuver, said National Security Council spokesman John Kirby in a Friday news conference. Kirby noted that the object was smaller than the Chinese surveillance balloon that was shot down a week earlier near South Carolina.
The Pentagon has said a significant amount of the balloon had already been recovered or located, suggesting American officials may soon have more information about any Chinese espionage capabilities aboard.
The Pentagon said NORAD initially detected the object over Alaska on Friday.
U.S. fighter jets from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, monitored the object as it crossed over into Canadian airspace, where Canadian CF-18 and CP-140 aircraft joined the formation, officials said.
“A U.S. F-22 shot down the object in Canadian territory, using an AIM 9X missile following close co-ordination between U.S. and Canadian authorities,” Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder also said in a statement.
Meanwhile, U.S. fighter jets shot down another object over the Yukon Territory, Canada, located adjacent to Alaska, on Saturday. Few details were provided about that object, too.
Few Details So Far
During the news conference, Kirby said he could not offer many details about the object—including whether it was a balloon or not.
“I’m not going to speak for the Pentagon. I can tell you the President doesn’t regret the way that we handled the first balloon,” Kirby said.
“First of all, apples and oranges here in terms of size. As I said, this was the size of a small car and it was over very sparsely populated area. But, more critically, it was over water when we ordered this down, as we did the last one,” he continued.
Kirby added that the expected the debris field for the object appears to be “much much smaller” than the Chinese surveillance balloon. The balloon traversed much of the United States, while officials later said it traveled near several U.S. military bases.
The Alaska balloon “entered into U.S. airspace on February 9th, we sent up aircraft to assess what it was, the decision was made it posed a reasonable threat to civilian air traffic, the president gave the order to take it down, and we took it down,” Ryder also said alongside Kirby.
The balloon was traveling to the northeast before it was taken down, Ryder said.