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Unidentified objects downed over Alaska and Canada ‘much smaller’ than Chinese ‘spy’ balloon, White House says | World News


The White House said the unidentified objects shot down in Alaska and Canada in recent days did not resemble the Chinese “spy” balloon that was shot down near South Carolina a week ago.

A spokesman for the National Security Council said they were “much smaller” but added: “We won’t be definitive
describe them until we can recover the fragments that we are studying.”

Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said rescue teams were searching for the downed object in his country to find out its purpose.

A US F-22 stealth fighter jet brought it down on Trudeau’s orders on Saturday in the second incident of its kind in as many days.

The latest shootdown occurred in the mountainous and sparsely populated Yukon territory in the northwest.

“Recovery teams are on the scene, looking for and analyzing this object,” Trudeau told reporters as he arrived in the area for a previously scheduled fundraising event.

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“There’s still a lot to know about it. That’s why analyzing this audience will be so important.”

Previously, Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand would not speculate on where the object came from.

She described it as cylindrical but said it was smaller than the Chinese balloon that was shot down off the coast of South Carolina, USA a week ago.

It was flying at 40,000 ft and endangering civilian air traffic when it landed about 100 miles from the border at 3:41 p.m. EST (8:41 p.m. GMT), 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.

US fighters were dispatched from the state Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and were joined by Canadian CF-18 and CP-140 aircraft after the object entered Canada.

Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said the US F-22 shot down the object with an AIM 9X missile “after close coordination between the US and Canadian authorities”.

Trudeau said the military would recover and analyze the wreckage, adding that he had spoken to US President Joe Biden and thanked NORAD for “monitoring North America”.

The White House said Mr Biden and Mr Trudeau will continue to work closely to “defend our airspace”, adding in a statement: “The leaders discussed the importance of recovery of the object to determine more details of its purpose or origin.”

The incident happened a day after the US shot down a foreign object flying in its airspace off the coast of Alaska at the behest of Mr. Biden.

The White House said it was flying at about 40,000 feet and was about the size of a small car.

In an update Saturday night, NORAD said it “has no further details at this time about the object, including its capabilities, purpose or origin”.

It added that “Arctic weather conditions” including cold winds, snow and limited daylight were a “factor” in the recovery operation.

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The moment the ‘spy hot air balloon’ was shot down on February 6

Image:
Pictures of Chinese hot air balloon debris collection activities published by the US Navy

That object was discovered just days after the US shot down a Chinese hot air balloon believed to be a spy plane.

China maintains The hot air balloon is a scientific research airship that accidentally flew over the US.

that is shoot down by fighter plane off the coast of South Carolina – with the US military beginning to collect the debris soon after.

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The Pentagon says most of the balloons have been recovered or located.

The incident sparked a diplomatic spat between China and the United States, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken postponing a meeting. visit China scheduled to start just a few days later.

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