BILLINGS — After three unidentified objects were spotted over the U.S. over the weekend, including one in Montana near Havre, two MSU Billings physics professors are weighing in on what they might be.
And while they can't say for sure what they are, they know what the objects aren't: aliens.
“People’s fears, people’s conspiracy theories, they’re going to spread with the speed that’s completely unprecedented 20 years ago,” said Dr. Steven Wiles, MSU-Billings assistant professor, on Monday.
Wiles and Dr. Stuart Snyder of MSU-B have been studying astronomy since they were both kids. They’re used to discussing objects unknown.
“As long as it’s not carrying a nuclear warhead, let’s not get too bent out of shape about it,” Snyder said.
But answers, or a lack of them from the federal government, aren’t helping.
“There is no, again, no indication of aliens or extraterrestrial activity with these recent takedowns,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
Jean-Pierre addressed the question that so many have been asking in a White House briefing Monday.
Her statement follows this quote from the commander in charge of North American Aerospace Defense Command.
“I’ll let the intel community and the counter-intelligence community figure that out. I haven’t ruled out anything,” said General Glen VanHerck on Sunday.
VanHerck did say an object spotted near Havre this weekend and later shot down over Lake Huron in Michigan was shaped like an octagon, not a balloon like the one spotted over Montana a week ago.
“That was clearly a balloon. These are objects. I’m not able to categorize how they stay aloft,” VanHerck said.
Back at MSU-Billings, professors Wiles and Snyder aren’t actually sure what the objects are, but they theorize that they’re nothing new.
“I imagine there’s quite a lot floating around and only now that the military has started to really pay attention have we started to see, wow there’s quite a few of these things. And we don’t know where they’re coming from,” Wiles said.
But they agree that the possibility of those objects being aliens is impossible.
“To think that they’re aliens visiting us from another planet. It’s ridiculous, frankly, it’s flat-out ridiculous,” said Snyder.
But with few answers from the federal government, the conspiracy theories and speculation will likely continue.