NORAD shoots down ‘unidentified object’ over Yukon
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has shot down an unidentified object in Canadian airspace, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Saturday.
“I ordered the downing of an unidentified object that violated Canadian airspace. [NORAD] shot down the object over the Yukon. Canadian and US aircraft were confused and a US F-22 successfully fired on the object,” Trudeau said in a statement on Twitter.
“I spoke to President Biden this afternoon. Canadian forces will now recover and analyze the debris from the object,” he said.
Defense Minister Anita Anand said in a news conference the “small, cylindrical object” is about 40,000 feet (about 12.2 kilometers) above the ground and – due to possible risks to civil aviation – was about 100 miles around 3:40 p.m. ET ( about 161 kilometers) from the US border in central Yukon.
A senior government source with direct knowledge of the situation told CBC News that the Canadian government was first alerted to the object Friday night while it was still transiting Alaska.
The source added that the object crossed into the Yukon on Saturday morning and Trudeau ordered it shot down by whichever country it reached first.
“I want to reassure the Yukoners that the safety of the Yukoners has never been compromised,” Ranj Pillai, the territory’s premier, said in a statement. “I also want to commend the Prime Minister for taking decisive action to protect Yukoners and all Canadians.”
While Trudeau described the object as “unidentified,” Maj. Olivier Gallant, a NORAD spokesman, told The Associated Press that the military had determined what it was but would not be releasing any details.
In a statement, the White House said Biden spoke to Trudeau on Saturday about the “unidentified, unmanned object,” and that leaders discussed the significance of its recovery “to determine more details about its purpose or origin.” “.
3 incidents in 1 week
Saturday’s crash marks the third such incident over North American skies in the past week.
Last Saturday, the US military destroyed what was believed to be a Chinese surveillance balloon that had crossed the continent, including the Yukon. China says it was a weather balloon that went off course.
That incident led to Washington imposing sanctions on six Chinese companies allegedly linked to Beijing’s aerospace industry and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken canceling a planned trip to China.
On Friday, the US shot down an object the size of a small car that was flying at an altitude of about 40,000 feet off the coast of Alaska. Officials said they were responding to concerns the object posed a threat to civilian flights, rather than knowing it was gathering information.
Also on Saturday, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) temporarily closed about 50 by 50 nautical miles of airspace around Havre, Montana, near the Canadian border, due to undisclosed activities by the Department of Defense.
The US military later said the closure was prompted by a radar anomaly, but no threatening object was detected.