The U.S. Navy reported late Monday that sensors from the first suspected Chinese surveillance balloon shot down over the United States had been found in the Atlantic Ocean along with other “substantial debris.”
After the White House said there was “no” proof of any “alien or extraterrestrial activity” surrounding the recent “takedowns” of unidentified flying objects, the disclosure was made mere hours later.
President Joe Biden ultimately ordered the high-altitude Chinese balloon to be shot down off the coast of South Carolina after it spent a week slowly traversing American and Canadian borders. Beijing disputes that the balloon was a government surveillance ship.
“Crews have been able to recover considerable debris from the site, which includes all of the priority sensor and electronics items identified as well as big chunks of the structure,” the U.S. military’s northern command stated in a statement.
Three further unidentified objects were shot down above North American airspace after the balloon was brought down on February 4.
The items that the United States claims were used to snoop on secret military locations are being investigated by the FBI.
According to CBS, among the things discovered are about 30 to 40 feet of the balloon’s antenna.
U.S. authorities said the high-altitude balloon was Chinese-made and was used for spying, while China insists it was just a weather-monitoring blimp recording the world’s wind patterns.
All of the objects that have been shot down thus far, according to White House spokesman John Kirby, did not represent “any direct threat to individuals on the ground,” but rather were destroyed “to safeguard our security, our interests, and flight safety.”
According to authorities, the balloon that was shot down above South Carolina was the size of three buses.
Officials characterized the second item over Alaska as being the size of a “small vehicle,” and the third object over the Yukon as being “cylindrical.”
The fourth item that was recovered from the sky over Michigan was described as “octagonal” and “stringy.”
Later, according to a Pentagon letter, the downed aircraft above Yukon resembled a “small, metallic balloon with a tethered cargo below it.”
In the report, defense officials also noted that after impact, the object that was shot down in Michigan “subsequently gently sank” into the ocean.
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