Senator Schumer says that two downed objects believed to be balloons – KGET 17

WASHINGTON (AP) – The United States believes the unidentified objects shot down by U.S. fighter jets over Canada and Alaska were balloons, although smaller than the Chinese balloon shot down over the Atlantic Ocean last weekend, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday.

Schumer, DN.Y., told ABC’s “This Week” that he was briefed Saturday night by President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, after the incident hours earlier over the Yukon. On Friday, an object the size of a small car was shot down over remote Alaska, according to the White House.

Asked if the two recent objects were balloons, Schumer said: “They believe they are, yes, but much smaller than the first one.”

The government said the first balloon was the size of three school buses. It was shot down on February 4 off the coast of South Carolina after crossing the United States. The Biden administration said it was used for surveillance. China claims it was on a meteorological research mission.

Schumer said teams are collecting debris from the facilities and will work to determine where it came from. Those shot down on Friday and Saturday were smaller and flew at lower altitudes of about 40,000 feet, within the airspace occupied by commercial flights, compared to about 60,000 feet for the former.

“The bottom line is that we didn’t know about these balloons until a few months ago,” Schumer said. “She is wild that we didn’t know. … Now they learn a lot more. And the military and intelligence are focused like a laser on first collecting and accumulating information, and then on comprehensive analysis.

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