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Suspicious object reported over Montana was false alarm, military says

NORAD intercepts Russian bombers in the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone on June 10, 2020. (NORAD/Released)

Days after the U.S. blasted a Chinese spy balloon out of the sky, an unknown object prompted the military to close airspace over northern Montana on Saturday, but it proved to be a false alarm, officials said.

“NORAD detected a radar anomaly and sent fighter aircraft to investigate,” the North American Aerospace Defense Command said in a statement. “Those aircraft did not identify any object to correlate to the radar hits.”

The airspace closure above the city of Havre and surrounding areas, which lasted about 45 minutes, had people jumpy after an earlier Saturday NORAD mission to shoot down a mysterious flying object over Canadian skies.

Rep. Matt Rosendale, whose Congressional district includes the airspace in question, said he’d been speaking with military leaders about an object.

“I am in direct contact with NORCOM and monitoring the latest issue over Havre and the northern border,” he wrote on Twitter. “Airspace is closed due to an object that could interfere with commercial air traffic — the DOD will resume efforts to observe and ground the object in the morning.”

NORAD said it would “continue to monitor the situation.”

Early last week, a Chinese spy balloon was spotted over Montana. The balloon was allowed to drift across the U.S. before F-22 fighter jets sent it to a watery demise about 10 miles off the coast of South Carolina.

On Friday, the military shot down a smaller, car-sized object above the icy waters of northern Alaska.


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