Flying Object Downed Over Canada Was 'Small, Metallic Balloon,' Pentagon Says

The Chinese spy balloon shot down on Feb. 4, 2023 / Reuters
February 14, 2023

The flying object that the U.S. military shot down over northern Canada on Saturday was a "small, metallic balloon," the Pentagon informed lawmakers.

The balloon crossed "U.S. sensitive sites" before a fighter jet shot it down, defense officials wrote in a Monday memo obtained by CNN. It's the first description of the three objects shot down this past weekend by the U.S. military, which downed aircraft over Alaska on Friday and Lake Huron on Sunday.

The development comes more than a week after a Chinese spy balloon was first reported floating over military bases in Montana. The Biden administration let the airship float across the continental United States before shooting it down over the Atlantic Ocean on Feb. 4. Biden faced criticism from Republicans over his slow response.

"President Joe Biden's weakness with China is once again on display," former secretary of state Mike Pompeo wrote in the Washington Free Beacon.

The Pentagon has not yet released information on the appearance and purpose of the other two objects. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Monday that the military had "not recovered any debris" from the three objects.

White House spokesman John Kirby said Monday that the military is not tracking any other flying objects.

Lawmakers, including some Democrats, have criticized the Biden administration for a lack of information about the incidents. Rep. Jim Himes (Conn.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said he has "real concerns about why the administration is not being more forthcoming with everything that it knows."