New details emerged over the weekend about the unidentified object that the U.S. military shot down on Friday several miles off the coast of Alaska.
The new information comes after the U.S. military shot down an object with a “cylindrical shape” that was about the size of a small car, according to U.S. officials. The object did not appear to have any “observable surveillance equipment.”
“We have no further details about the object at this time, including any description of its capabilities, purpose or origin,” said Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder. “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.”
Accounts from pilots of the F-35 fighter jets that were sent to intercept the object varied, according to CNN.
U.S. officials said that the jets observed the object on Thursday night and on Friday morning before shooting it down and were only able to report back “limited” information about what they saw.
Some of the pilots reported that the object “interfered with their sensors” on their planes, the report said.
Others said that they saw no propulsion system on the object and could not explain how it was staying in the air and flying at 40,000 feet.
CNN’s Jake Tapper asked House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner (R-OH) about the reports during an interview Sunday on the network’s “State of the Union” show.
“At this point, they are just reports, so we will have to wait until we get the final information,” Turner said. “But because this thing was shot down, we have an ability to do the forensics, to do the exploitation of it when it’s found. And that will answer a lot of our questions. And, also, getting the data from the various planes, their sensors, what they actually were seeing or not seeing, in addition to what the pilots saw, will be really important.”
Turner said that the biggest development to come from the recent interactions with foreign objects entering U.S. airspace is that it “is time for the United States to take this as a turning point to invest.”
“We need more sophisticated radar systems. We have them. We just don’t have them deployed to protect high over the United States,” he said. “An integrated missile defense system — we have helped invest in Israel having an integrated missile defense system. We don’t have one ourselves.”
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