National Security

REPORT: Downed Unidentified Object Penetrated US Airspace Undetected

(Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Font Size:

UPDATE: This story has been updated to include a statement from U.S. Northern Command.

A senior government official confirmed that the unidentified object shot down Friday entered American airspace before it was detected Thursday night, Fox News reported.

The U.S. military first detected the object over the northern coast of Alaska, according to Fox News. An Air Force F-22 Raptor shot down the object, believed to be smaller than the Chinese spy balloon downed Feb. 4, using an AIM-9X Sidewinder missile Friday. (RELATED: ‘It Just Doesn’t Make Sense’: Trump Defense Secretary Questions Biden Balloon Story)

White House spokesman John Kirby described the object shot down Friday as being about the size of a small car during a briefing at the White House.

“It was much, much smaller than the spy balloon that we took down last Saturday,” Kirby said, noting that the suspected Chinese spy balloon shot down off the coast of South Carolina was about the size of two or three buses. The FBI and U.S. Navy are carrying out recovery operations for the balloon, which China claimed was a civilian meteorological research platform.

The suspected Chinese spy balloon transited across the United States, becoming public knowledge when spotted over Billings, Montana, Feb. 2, and was tracked as it overflew some sensitive sites, including military bases where inter-continental ballistic missiles and B-2 Spirit stealth bombers are located.

“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 frozen water,” Kirby said about the object shot down Friday. “So, a recovery effort will be made.”

“At the direction of the President of the United States, fighter aircraft assigned to U.S. Northern Command successfully took down a high altitude airborne object off the northern coast of Alaska at 1:45 pm Eastern Standard Time Feb. 10 within U.S. sovereign airspace over U.S. territorial water,” a U.S. Northern Command press release provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation read. “Recovery operations continue today near Deadhorse, Alaska. U.S. Northern Command’s Alaska Command and the Alaska National Guard, in close coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and local law enforcement, are conducting search and recovery activities.”

The Department of Defense did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the DCNF.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact