High-Altitude Object Over Alaska Shot Down By F-22 Jet; CH-47 Helicopters Deployed In Recovery Op

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Feb 10, 2023 - 08:47 PM

Update(1608ET): Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder gave few additional details in a briefing shortly after it was revealed the US military shot down an unidentified object flying over Alaska Thursday night. When questioned about the possibility of second Chinese balloon, Ryder said the US has yet to reach out to China over the latest object.

The White House has also said that ownership has not been established. Ryder additionally repeated that the aircraft had been seen as a hazard to civilian aviation, and that it was shot down by an F-22 jet with a sidewinder missile. According to more from the Pentagon press briefing: 

  • The Pentagon cannot say if the object shot down over Alaska was a balloon, it is sure that there were no people on board: Kirby
  • Pentagon says object shot down over Alaska "wasn't an aircraft per say"
  • U.S. Military used F-22 aircraft to take down object over Alaska on Friday, using a sidewinder missile: Pentagon
  • Ryder says U.S. Army CH-47 helicopters have launched to recover debris from the downed ‘object’ in NE Alaska in the frozen waters near the U.S.-Canadian border.

So it seems, the world could soon find out what this object actually was. However, recovery could take time given the difficult weather elements in Northeast Alaska.

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A US official has said Friday that the US military engaged and shot down an unidentified object flying first observed over Alaska on Thursday night, upon the order given by President Biden.

It's unconfirmed whether the unidentified object was a balloon, "but it was traveling at an altitude that made it a potential threat to civilian aircraft," according to The New York Times, which first reported it Friday afternoon.

US Air Force file image

The president gave the shootdown order "out of an abundance of caution," the unnamed US official said, coming on the heels of the dramatic Chinese 'spy' balloon shootdown off the American east coast last Saturday.

The scant details given to the Times didn't reveal any information that might point to the nature of the flying object, or if it was possibly a weather or spy balloon (China still insists last week's balloon was purely for weather research purposes, and that it blew off course).

A separate official quoted in the new report commenting on the second object to breach US airspace in a week called it a "fast-moving" situation, and that it's still developing - thus more details are expected to soon trickle out.

"It is not clear if the object was from an adversarial power, or a commercial or research operation that has gone astray, the official said," NYT reports.

Officials called the airspace breach relatively short, and could not readily identify what it was. It's also unclear whether a recovery team is able to access the down object, or whether it took place over water or land.

In a briefing administration spokesman John Kirby said the Pentagon had been tracking the object before deeming it a "reasonable threat" to the safety of civilian aviation, as it was traveling at 40,000 feet:

Meanwhile, on Friday the US announced it will go after Chinese firms deemed connected with the manufacture of the alleged spy balloon shot down last weekend...