Just days after shooting down a Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina, the U.S. military has shot down a “high-altitude object” flying over Alaskan airspace that the Department of Defense was tracking for the last 24 hours.

At a White House briefing, National Security Council official John Kirby confirmed that the object was taken down by a fighter aircraft on Friday afternoon around 2:30 pm ET. He said that it was shot down by a missile from a fighter plane “off the very very northeastern part of Alaska, near the Alaska-Canada border.”

“The object was flying at an altitude of 40,000 feet and posed a reasonable threat to the safety of civilian flight,” said Kirby. “Out of an abundance of caution, and at the recommendation of the Pentagon, President Biden ordered the military to down the object and they did and it came inside our territorial waters and those waters right now are frozen.”

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby at a press briefing at the White House

It was supposedly due to the “frozen waters” that the White House did not shoot down the Chinese balloon when it had entered Alaskan airspace because they wanted to be able to recover the balloon for examination. It seems that this was not a concern this time.

Likely, it would have been a PR nightmare for the Biden administration if they let another foreign aircraft cross the entire country and gather intel on our military and nuclear weapons facilities.

Kirby stated that, at this time, the U.S. does not know who the object belongs to, adding, “We’re calling this an object because that’s the best description we have right now. We do not know who owns it, whether it’s state-owned or corporate-owned or privately-owned. We just don’t know.”

The official described the object as “roughly the size of a small car,” and added that it was “much, much smaller” than the Chinese spy balloon.

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