The White House said the unidentified object shot down over Alaska and Canada in recent days was not similar to the Chinese “spy” balloon that was shot down near South Carolina a week ago.
A spokesman for its National Security Council said they were “much smaller” but added: “We will not be clear
Characterize them until we can reclaim the pieces we are working on. “
Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said recovery teams were looking for the object that was shot down over Canadian soil to determine its purpose.
On Saturday, a US F-22 stealth fighter jet shot it down on Mr Trudeau’s orders, the second such incident in as many days.
The most recent shootdown occurred in the mountainous and sparsely populated Yukon Territory in the northwest.
“The recovery team is on the scene looking for and analyzing the object,” Mr Trudeau told reporters as he traveled to the area for a previously arranged fundraiser.
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Biden’s response was measured but grounded in reality
“There is still a lot to learn about it. That’s why the analysis of this object will be very important.”
Previously, Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand would not speculate on where the object came from.
She described it as cylindrical but smaller than a Chinese balloon that was shot down off the coast of South Carolina in the United States a week ago.
It was flying at 40,000 feet when it fell about 100 miles from the border at 3:41 p.m. EDT (8:41 p.m. GMT), posing a threat to civilian air traffic, she added.
In the US, the Pentagon said the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) spotted the object off the coast of Alaska on Friday night.
U.S. fighter jets were scrambled from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in the state and joined Canadian CF-18 and CP-140 aircraft after the object entered Canada.
Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said a US F-22 fighter jet shot down the object using an AIM 9X missile “in close coordination between US and Canadian authorities”.
Mr Trudeau said the military would recover and analyze the wreckage, adding that he had spoken to US President Joe Biden and thanked NORAD for “keeping a close eye on North America”.
The White House said Mr Biden and Mr Trudeau would continue to coordinate closely to “secure our airspace,” adding in a statement: “Leaders discussed the importance of recovering the object to determine More details on the source.”
The incident happened a day after the U.S. shot down a plane Unidentified objects flying in its airspace Off the coast of Alaska on the orders of Mr. Biden.
It flew at about 40,000 feet and was about the size of a small car, the White House said.
In an update Saturday night, NORAD said “there are currently no further details regarding the object, including its capabilities, purpose or origin.”
It added that “Arctic weather conditions” including wind chill, snowfall and limited daylight were a “factor” for recovery operations.
The discovery of the object comes days after the US shot down a Chinese balloon believed to be a spy plane.
China keeps Balloon is a scientific research airship that accidentally flies over the United States.
it is shoot down on a fighter plane Off the coast of South Carolina – The US military began collecting debris shortly after.
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The Pentagon said most of the balloon was found or located.
The incident sparked a diplomatic spat between the U.S. and China, with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken delaying Visit China It was supposed to start in a few days.