WASHINGTON — White House spokesman John Kirby said Friday that the Department of Defense shot down a “high altitude object” that was in Alaska’s airspace in the last 24 hours.
Kirby said 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 Joe Biden ordered the military to down the object, Kirby said.
Kirby said U.S. officials still don’t know much about the object, including where it’s from.
“What we know is that the flight path it executed took it over sensitive military sites. What we also know is that it could maneuver, that it had propulsion capability and steerage capability and could slow down speed up and that it, it was on a path to transit over sensitive military sites,” Kirby told reporters.
“I want to stress again, we don’t know what entity owns this object,” Kirby said. “There’s no indication that it’s from a nation or an institution or an individual. We just don’t know. We don’t know who owns this object.”
One reason it was shot down, Kirby said, was because “at its altitude, (it) represented a potential threat to the safety of flying customers. You know civil air traffic.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: US shoots down second ‘high altitude object’ following spy balloon row