Canada, US shoot down unidentified ‘cylindrical’ flying object
Toronto, Canada, Feb 11 (EFE).- The North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad) shot down an unidentified “small, cylindrical” object flying over the northwest of Canada on Saturday, the third object to be downed over North America in a week.
Last Saturday, the US destroyed a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of South Carolina, and on Friday an unidentified object the size of a small car was shot down off Alaska.
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau first announced Saturday’s operation in a message on Twitter.
“I ordered the take down of an unidentified object that violated Canadian airspace. @NORADCommand shot down the object over the Yukon. Canadian and U.S. aircraft were scrambled, and a U.S. F-22 successfully fired at the object,” he wrote.
In a press conference, Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand said the “small, cylindrical” object was shot down by combat planes at 3.41 pm Ottawa time (20:41 GMT) over the Yukon, about 160 kilometers from the Alaskan border.
It was flying at about 40,000 feet (12,000 meters) and “posed a reasonable threat to the safety of civilian flight,” Anand said.
Anand did not want to speculate on the origin of the object, but did say that it was “potentially similar … though smaller in size and cylindrical in nature,” to the Chinese balloon that the US shot down on Feb. 4 off the Carolinas coast.
A Pentagon statement said the object was detected over Alaska on Friday and was being tracked by US fighter jets, which were on Saturday joined by Canadian aircraft as it moved into Canadian airspace.
“A US F-22 shot down the object in Canadian territory using an AIM 9X missile following close coordination between US and Canadian authorities,” the Pentagon added.
It was the first time that Norad, which was created in 1958 to defend the airspace of the US and Canada, has shot down an object flying in the area.
“To our knowledge, this is the first instance of NORAD downing an object in Canadian airspace, and the importance of this moment should not be underestimated. We detected this object together and we defeated this together,” Anand said.
The Canadian authorities have begun work to recover the remains of the object. EFE