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Pilots who shot down airborne object said it ‘interfered with sensors’

Pilots who shot down airborne object said it 'interfered with sensors'

Fighter pilots who shot down a mysterious floating object over Alaska have revealed that it ‘interfered with their sensors’ and had ‘no identifiable propulsion system.’

In an interview with host Jim Acosta on Saturday, CNN‘s Natasha Bertrand reported on the startling findings of the F-35 pilots called in to take down an unidentified flying object over Alaska on Friday.

The revelations sent Twitter reeling, with both the terms ‘UFO’ and ‘Another UFO’ trending over the weekend as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reported that a surveillance balloon was shot down over the Yukon.

Another airborne object that was said to be flying over Montana on Saturday, however, has been found to be a ‘false alarm.’

It remains unclear whether a surveillance balloon, like the one found flying over Canada and another that made its way across the US last week, would have the technology to interfere with sensors.

CNN’s Natasha Bertrand revealed over the weekend that F-35 pilots charged with taking down an unidentified flying object over Alaska did not know what it was

Natasha Bertrand remained on CNN throughout the day Saturday to discuss the latest developments as reports came in about a spy balloon being shot down in Canada.

During one conversation with host Jim Acosta, she brought up the fact that another unidentified flying object was shot down over Alaska on Friday by Air Force pilots who ‘were not able to identify what they saw.

‘So when the US first detected this object over Alaska on Thursday, they sent up F-35 jets to find of look at it and see what was going on. And these pilots reported back very conflicting accounts,’ she revealed.

‘Some of them said that this object was actually interfering with the sensors of their aircraft and they couldn’t figure out why, because there was no identifiable kind of surveillance equipment on the object.

‘There was nothing that appeared readily able to interfere with that communication system,’ Bertrand said.

‘And then other pilots were saying that they did not see anything on the object that appeared able to propel it, that it seemed like there was no way that this was actually able to stay in the air.’

She pointed out that the pilots were flying really fast so it is ‘possible that these pilots just didn’t get a good look at it.’

‘But that is part of why the Pentagon has been so reluctant to come out and say more about what this object actually is.’ 

The interview created a frenzy on Twitter, where the term ‘UFO’ started trending on Saturday.

She told Jim Acosta that fighter pilots reported that the object was scrambling their communication and did not appear to have a propulsion system

Following the report, the terms ‘UFO’ and ‘Another UFO’ started trending on Twitter

In one tweet, Caleb Howe, a writer for Mediaite, wrote: ‘Welp. We shot down the aliens. There goes our chance at joining the Federation,’ referring to the United Federation of Planets in Star Trek.

What we know about the Alaska UFO 

The unidentified object flying over Alaska first ‘came inside US territorial waters’ on Thursday, officials have announced. 

Air Force teams then conducted a fly-by that night, and again Friday morning.

They described the object as being ‘about the size of a small car’ that is ‘not similar in size or shape’ to the Chinese surveillance balloon shot down o February 4.

Pilots are also said to have described the aircraft as interfering with their communications with ‘no identifiable propulsion system.’

It was then shot down by an F-22 fighter jet out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, equipped with an AIM 9x missile on Friday.

Recovery teams are now ‘in the process of searching for and identifying debris on the ocean floor,’ US officials said. 

Philip Holloway, a radio host and legal analyst, also joked that ‘UFOs are the #SuperBowlVII halftime show,’ while Barrett Sallee, a CBS Sports host tweeted ‘the only person who can stop the UFOs’ with a GIF of the president from Independence Day.

And television writer Danielle Greenbaum Davis tweeted on Sunday: ‘So we’re still waiting for answers on the whole UFO situation?’

The so-called UFO — which was said to be the size of a small car — was first picked up on United States radar when it was flying over Alaska on Thursday.

Crews then conducted a fly-by that night, and again Friday morning.

National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby revealed on Friday it had been shot down within an hour of an order issued by President Joe Biden. 

The object was taken down by an F-22 using an A9X missile out of Joint Base Elmendorf–Richardson in Anchorage. 

Several officials also said the object shattered into pieces after being struck by the missile, adding to the mystery of what the object truly is. 

A US official revealed the pilots who intercepted the object said it had a cylindrical shape and no observable surveillance equipment attached.

Officials are yet to confirm what the object is or which country it belongs to. It is unclear if it is another Chinese spy balloon similar to the one shot down off the coast of South Carolina earlier this month.  

Authorities have only said it was traveling at an altitude that was potentially harmful for civilian aircrafts, The New York Times reported. 

The Pentagon has now launched a recovery operation to collect the debris from the surface of the frozen waters off Alaska.

The fighter jets were scrambled from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson near Anchorage on Friday morning to intercept the object near Deadhorse Bay (above) on the northeast coast

Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan, a Republican, said in a Friday press release that he ‘appreciated the senior Defense Department officials who briefed me this morning on the sighting of this latest object.

‘As I’ve been doing for the past week, including in a classified briefing with senior Pentagon officials yesterday, I strongly encouraged the NORTHCOM Commander this morning to shoot down this latest unidentified intrusion into Alaska air space,’ Sullivan said. 

‘I commend them for doing so today.

‘As I reiterated with senior Defense Department officials yesterday, we need to reestablish deterrence with regard to Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party, which believes they can willfully infiltrate American airspace whenever they want.

‘That has to stop. The best way to do this is through the type of actions that we’ve taken today in Alaska and to publicly reiterate that we will be shooting down any and all unknown aircraft that violate our airspace.

‘We also need to appropriately equip our military in Alaska with the sensors and aircraft needed to detect and, if necessary, destroy everything from slow-moving balloons to hypersonic missiles.

‘Alaska is the frontline of defense for our nation. The past few weeks have made this even more evident.’

Matt Rosendale, a Montana congressman whose district includes Havre, said on Saturday night he had been told the U.S. military was ‘going to track the object until it gets light again’

Havre, home to 10,000 people in northern Montana, is 30 miles south of the Canadian border

Meanwhile, authorities confirmed on Saturday that reports of another unidentified flying object over Montana were a ‘false alarm.’

Matt Rosendale, a Republican representative from the state, first raised public alarm about the UFO, tweeting that he had been briefed by the Department of Defense while he was at a dinner.

He said fighter jets were scrambled and airspace above Havre, a town of 10,000 people, 30 miles south of the Canadian border, was shut at 7:50pm before being reopened about 50 minutes later.

‘I’m at an event, a Lincoln Reagan dinner in Columbus, Montana right now,’ Rosendale told Fox News.

‘And DOD called me as I have been sitting here and started giving me briefings to tell me what was going on.

‘I clarified with them that this is actually the fourth balloon, OK.’

‘The first we shot down over the Atlantic. One was shot down before it entered into Alaska’s airspace. A third was shot down, Trudeau ordered over Canada. So now we’re talking about a fourth incident.’

But NORAD — the North American Aerospace Defense Command — later released a statement saying it was a false alarm, explaining that a ‘radar anomaly’ was seen but jets ‘did not identify any object to correlate to the radar hits.’

‘With the cooperation of the Federal Aviation Administration, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) implemented a temporary flight restriction airspace in central Montana on February 11, 2023, to ensure the safety of air traffic in the area during NORAD operations,’ it said. ‘The restriction has been lifted.

‘NORAD detected a radar anomaly and sent fighter aircraft to investigate. Those aircraft did not identify any object to correlate to the radar hits

‘NORAD will continue to monitor the situation,’ it added. 

Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, is seen on Tuesday. On Saturday he announced an ‘unidentified object’ had been shot down over the Yukon

A third unidentified flying object spotted over Canada has been confirmed to be another spy balloon — like the one seen crossing through the United States earlier this month.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Saturday that he had requested US and Canadian forces scramble to intercept ‘an unidentified object that violated Canadian airspace’, and a U.S. F-22 shot it down at 3:41pm Eastern Standard Time. 

A senior government source explained to CBC News that the object crossed into Canadian territory on Saturday morning. It was described as being smaller than the Chinese spy balloon that made its way across the US earlier this month. 

Two F-22s were dispatched from the U.S. from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska; and two F-18s from Cold Lake Air Base in Alberta, Canada to shoot down the object over Canada.

It was shot down with an AIM-9X missile at 3:41pm Eastern Standard Time, and was flying at about 40,000 feet. The missile is described by the manufacturer as ‘the most advanced infrared-tracking, short-range, air-to-air and surface-to-air missile in the world.’

In the aftermath, Trudeau said Canadian teams were now working to recover the debris. 

‘I ordered the take down of an unidentified object that violated Canadian airspace,’ he tweeted on Saturday.

‘@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.’

Trudeau said that he had been in contact with Biden about the intrusion.

He thanked NORAD – the North American Aerospace Defense Command, based in Colorado Springs, Colorado – for their work with his forces.

‘I spoke with President Biden this afternoon. Canadian Forces will now recover and analyze the wreckage of the object,’ Trudeau said. 

‘Thank you to NORAD for keeping the watch over North America.’ 

Canada’s defense minister, Anita Anand, also praised the joint operation.

She said that she had discussed the incident with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ‘and reaffirmed that we’ll always defend our sovereignty together.’ 

A Chinese ‘spy balloon’ is pictured being shot down last weekend off the coast of South Carolina

The onslaught of flying objects over American airspace comes less than a week after US military fighter jets shot down a Chinese spy balloon off the South Carolina coast.

Biden issued the order but had wanted the balloon downed even earlier, on Wednesday.

He was advised that the best time for the operation would be when it was over water, US officials said.

Military officials determined that bringing it down over land from an altitude of 60,000 feet would pose an undue risk to people on the ground from falling debris.

China responded that it reserved the right to ‘take further actions’ and criticized the US for ‘an obvious overreaction and a serious violation of international practice.’

It has claimed that the flyover was an accident involving a civilian aircraft and threatened repercussions. 

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