U.S. Shoots Down Unknown “Object” Flying Off Coast of Alaska

February 10, 2023

We’re going to remain vigilant about our airspace.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby on Friday, after confirming the United States shot down an unknown “object” off the Alaskan coast.

Why It Matters: An F-22 U.S. military fighter jet shot down an unknown object off the northern coast of Alaska at 1:45 p.m. ET on Friday at the direction of President Biden. The object was flying at about 40,000 feet, and “posed a reasonable threat to the safety of civilian flight,” according to the Pentagon press secretary Air Force Brigadier Gen. Pat Ryder. The object was first discovered on Thursday, and was about the size of a small car.” Kirby said the U.S. was able to get pilots around the object before they shot it down, and that the “pilots’ assessment was that this [object] was not manned.” Many details remain unknown, such as where the object came from, what it was, and whose it was. Kirby noted the object did not seem to be maneuverable, and was “virtually at the whim of the wind.”

Big Picture: Ryder said Friday that U.S. Northern Command is in the process of recovering the object, which fell over icy water. “We’re going to recover what we can from this, and more to follow.”

Timing: The downing of this object comes less than a week after the U.S. shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon off the South Carolina coast.

Air Force Shoots ‘High-Altitude Object’ off Alaskan Coast (U.S. Department of Defense)

US jet shoots down unknown object flying off Alaska coast (The Associated Press)

Pentagon Press Secretary Holds Briefing

White House Daily Briefing

by Jenna Lee,