US Shoots Down Car-Sized Unidentified Object Flying Over Alaska

On Friday, a US F-22 fighter jet shot down an unidentified flying object that was flying high over Alaska.

The object was about the size of a small car and was taken down by a Sidewinder missile, according to the Pentagon’s Chief Spokesperson, Brigadier General Patrick Ryder.

The object was first detected by ground radar on Thursday and was flying at a height of around 40,000 feet in a northeasterly direction, which posed a risk to civilian air traffic.

American pilots who flew alongside the object determined that it was unmanned and could not maneuver like an aircraft, but officials declined to say if it was a weather balloon or another type of balloon.

President Joe Biden ordered the shootdown, and the White House declined to provide a detailed description of the object, only saying that it was much smaller than the recent Chinese balloon that was shot down by the US military.

On February 4, another US F-22 fighter jet shot down what the US government called a Chinese surveillance balloon that had flown across the US and portions of Canada.

The Chinese government claimed it was a civilian research vessel. Some lawmakers criticized President Biden for not shooting down the Chinese balloon earlier, but the US military had recommended waiting until it was over the ocean for fear of falling debris causing injuries.

The shootdown of the latest object was determined necessary as it posed a reasonable threat to air traffic. The FAA closed some airspace in northern Alaska to support the Department of Defense activities.

After the object was shot down, some lawmakers praised the President’s swift action. However, during a Senate hearing on Thursday, lawmakers criticized the Pentagon for not shooting down the Chinese balloon earlier, highlighting ongoing concerns in Congress about gaps in the US’ ability to secure its airspace.

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