The unidentified object reportedly shot down by the US military over Alaska on Friday had a “cylindrical form” and was roughly the size of a compact car.
The description makes it appear to be significantly different from the massive Chinese Balloon that the U.S. recently shot down over the U.S. east coast.
President Joe Biden was apparently swiftly informed that the object had entered US airspace late Thursday night, and the decision was then made to shoot it down.
Officials have yet to ascertain whether or not the item was another Chinese surveillance balloon.
The item was said to be flying at 40,000 feet, posing a hazard to commercial aircraft.
“We have no further details about the object at this time, including any description of its capabilities, purpose or origin. The object was about the size of a small car, so not similar in size or shape to the high-altitude surveillance balloon that was taken down off the coast of South Carolina.” Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said.
The announcement comes after the US military deployed an F-22 Raptor to shoot down a Chinese surveillance balloon over the Atlantic Ocean last week.
According to the report, the latest violation of US airspace occurred late Thursday night above Alaska. Because of the speed with which events happened, officials were unable to clarify to reporters whether the item was from another country.