US militia downed a ‘excessive-altitude object’ over Alaska, White Dwelling says


Really briefly, can you speak to rumors that there is another Chinese balloon above Alaska or any other parts of the U.S. territory that the U.S. shot down? So I can confirm that the Department of Defense was tracking a high altitude object over Alaska.

Airspace in the last 24 hours. Out the the object was flying at an altitude of 40,000 feet and posed a reasonable threat to the safety of civilian flight 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 in inside our territorial waters. And those waters right now are frozen but inside territorial airspace and over territorial waters.

Fighter aircraft assigned to U.S. Northern Command took down the object within the last hour. And we just go back for a moment. So another aircraft of some sort, airship balloon, something was shot down today.

Who owns it? What were the circumstances? Was the president directly involved in ordering this? And is wreckage being recovered? Well, Kate, so I'm going to try. Remind me if I forget something. Yes. The president.

Absolutely was involved in this decision. He ordered it at the recommendation of Pentagon leaders. He wanted it taken down. And they did that. They did it using fighter aircraft assigned to U.S. Northern Command. The Pentagon will have more to say.

About the details of this later on this afternoon. It's only just within the last hour 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 a whether it's state owned or.

Or corporate owned or privately owned. We just don't know. We don't we don't know. As I said, state owned. We don't know if it's state owned. And we don't understand the full purpose. We don't have any comment. We don't have any information that would confirm.

A stated purpose for this object. We do expect to be able to recover the debris since it fell not only within our territorial space, but on what we what we believe is its frozen water. So it a recovery effort will be made. And we're hopeful that it'll be successful.

And then we can learn a little bit more about it with its appearance, like the Chinese aircraft No, it was it was much, much smaller than the spy balloon that we took down last Saturday. The way it was described to me, it was roughly the size of a small car.

As opposed to a payload that was like two or three busses size. Right. So much, much smaller. And and they're not of the same. Not not no. No significant payload if you will. And lastly, is it.

Now the policy of the United States that if unidentified aircraft are over U.S. territory, that it is likely the president will choose to shoot it down? The president will always act in the best interest of our national security.

And in the safety and security of the American people. Jackie, we're going to take John to the Pentagon or this new object be taken down over Alaska. The president ordered it. President ordered it. So is it a fair take away, then,.

That the Pentagon regrets not taking down the first balloon before it crossed the entire U.S.? Well, I'm not going to speak for the Pentagon and tell you that the president doesn't regret the way that we handled the first balloon and that time.

First of all, apples and oranges here in terms of size. As I said, this was size of a small car and it was over a very sparsely populated area, but also more critically over it was over water, water, space. When we ordered this down, as we did, as.

We did the last one, but it completely different size and the debris field for this, we expect to be much, much smaller than would have been for the other one. That's difference. One difference, too. We knew for a fact that the pretty balloon.

That we shot down last week was, in fact, a surveillance asset and capable of surveillance over sensitive military sites and that it had stealth propulsion and maneuver capabilities. There's no indication that this one did. The other one,.

The first one was able to maneuver and loiter. Slow down. Speed up. It was a very it was very purposeful that flight path with inside the inside the jet stream. That would suggest that maybe. And, you know, over Alaska, too, though. Well, I know the Pentagon's already.

Spoken to this question about whether or not they should have or could have shut it down over Alaska airspace. I would refer you to it was 2 hours and hours of testimony yesterday on that. On the communications, though,.

We still don't know and correct me if I'm wrong, we don't know what intelligence or communications could have been collected or what devices they were targeting, as I understand it. So that being said, how can the president say.

It was not a major breach? We don't know that. What we do know is we knew this basic flight path of this thing, and we were able to take steps at sensitive military sites that we believed would be all along the flight path to.

Significantly curtail any intelligence ability that the Chinese could get get from from the balloon, certainly curtail anything that would be above and beyond what they normally try to collect through other means. Go ahead, Zeke, and get around.

Was this latest object that was shot down within the last hour? Was that detected based upon any information gleaned from the monitoring of the last balloon over the last or last week? In terms of what you learned about that Chinese program, tension.

That informed the decision to shoot down? I think I'd I'd be careful saying that anything specific to to what we've learned from that last platform and you know, we did we were able to collect some information from it while I was in flight.

That was another reason why, uh, we let it traverse over land the way it did. But I, I would be I would not say that information gleaned from our surveillance of that surveillance balloon provided insights that that permitted.

This detection and track and as of this moment. Are you convinced that you shot down? Do you know what you shot down? That it wasn't just a harmless weather balloon that you know, that there was some motivation behind this over U.S. airspace?.

Or is it is it truly. I think we're going to try to learn more. I can tell you it was an object and it was at 40,000 feet. And the the the predominant concern by the president was the safety of flight issue at that altitude. Remember, the one that was shot down.

Last Saturday, it was a 65 plus thousand feet. So no threat to civilian aircraft. This one at 40,000 feet could have posed a threat to civilian aircraft. And it did not appear to have the maneuverable capability that the other one did.

So, you know, virtually at the at the whim of the wind Thank you. So just thank you for beefed up to follow up on what you just said about civilian aircraft. Is that what you meant initially when you said.

There was a reasonable threat to you? Yeah, my exact words were a reasonable, uh, threat to the safety of civilian flight. Okay. And Q Given what you said earlier about intent with regard to the Chinese spy.

The land, does the U.S. give any credence to the Chinese argument that the balloon accidentally veered off course and ended up where it did the which you're talking about the one from last week? Yeah. Say that again.

Or is it the US give any credence to the Chinese argument that this thing accidentally veered off course and ended up where it did, you know, so was it targeting specific places for the targeting military site? What we know.

Is that the flight path executed took it over sensitive military sites. What we also know is that it could maneuver, that it had propulsion capability and storage capability and could slow down speed up and that it it was on a path to transit over sensitive military sites.

Thank you. Thanks. Admiral Kirby, if I'm the latest to object, you said it did not appear to have the maneuverability capabilities that the Chinese spy plane have. Did it have any maneuverability or was it.

Flying on its at this time? All in all, I can tell you that it did not appear to have the ability to, uh, to independently maneuver. Will will attempt recovery and we'll see what we can learn more from. So.

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