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Tipsheet

U.S. Officials Confirm 'Object' Flying Over Canada Was a Chinese Balloon

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

U.S. officials are confirming that the “object” spotted floating over Canada was a “small metallic balloon” carrying a “tethered payload.”

On Saturday, the U.S. shot down the balloon after being ordered by President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 

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Trudeau ordered the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NAADC) to shoot down the balloon, making it land over the territory of Yukon. 

According to a press release from Northern Command, arctic factors such as wind chill, snow, and limited daylight are a factor in recovering the object. 

The Biden White House claimed that it was aware of the balloon’s presence for 24 hours before it was shot down. However, the U.S. and Canada are still claiming that the origins of the balloon are unknown. 

“Out of an abundance of caution and at the recommendation of their militaries, President Biden and Prime Minister Trudeau authorized it to be taken down. President Biden authorized U.S. fighter aircraft assigned to NORAD to conduct the operation, and a US F-22 shot down the object in Canadian territory in close coordination with Canadian authorities,” a readout of a call between Biden and Trudeau moments after the balloon was shot down on Saturday. 

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On Friday, the U.S. shot down another object flying over Alaska at 40,000 feet.

According to White House national security spokesperson John Kirby, the object was flying at a height that posed a “reasonable threat” to civilian flight safety. 

Kirby claimed the object was not self-maneuvering, unlike the Chinese spy balloon shot down last weekend, and was at the “mercy of prevailing winds,” causing it to be less predictable than the Chinese balloon. 

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