No action was taken against the balloon because it posed no threat to civilian aircraft or people on the ground, a Defense Department spokesman said.
“Ownership of the balloon is unknown, but there is no indication that it was maneuvering or being controlled by a foreign or adversarial actor,” a Pentagon spokesperson said in the statement. “Although it was flying at an altitude used by civil aviation, it posed no threat to civil aviation over Hawaii.”
It also posed no threat to people on the ground and did not fly over defense infrastructure or government “sensitive” sites, the Pentagon said.
The balloon has left Hawaii’s airspace and is being tracked by the Defense Department and Federal Aviation Administration.
NewsNation correspondent Evan Lambert contributed to this report.