I went looking for aliens in Roswell two years ago on a reporting trip to New Mexico. The aliens might not exist, but the conspiracies certainly do.
In 1947, a rancher discovered a field of debris wider than a football field after a July thunderstorm at the height of the U.S. flying-saucer wave. Air Force officials initially said the material was from a flying disc before claiming it was a crashed weather balloon, but many remain skeptical of the government’s explanation given that such balloons don’t leave behind a wide area of destruction.
The military acknowledged the debris was part of a secret atomic project in 1994, but records remain classified. Though President Donald Trump said in 2020 he’s heard “very interesting” things about Roswell, he refused to declassify any documents.
Now, more than 75 years after the incident, more questions are arising over an apparent airborne espionage object 1,000 miles north of Roswell.
On Thursday afternoon, NBC News revealed that a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon is hovering over Billings, Montana. The supposed weapon of espionage had apparently flown from the Alaskan Aleutian Islands and over Canada before making its way to airspace above the U.S. nuclear arsenal. According to NBC News, the balloon was spotted over the state that’s home to 150 warheads on Wednesday, near where the Chinese have been buying up American farmland.
“The U.S. military has been monitoring a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that has been hovering over the northern U.S. for the past few days,” NBC reported. “Military and defense leaders have discussed shooting it out of the sky, according to two U.S. officials and a senior defense official.”
Defense officials told reporters that military leaders refused to shoot the balloon down because a widespread debris field would pose a threat to civilian life in the rural state. According to The Wall Street Journal, President Joe Biden was briefed on the issue on Wednesday.
If the Pentagon knew the surveillance tool was on its way to the nuclear arsenal, however, why didn’t the president have it shot down when it was over Alaska? Was Biden’s Wednesday briefing his first? Why wasn’t he told sooner? Why didn’t officials inform the public when it crossed into U.S. airspace? Did our government maybe not catch the balloon and are now covering for their own negligence? And why didn’t the Canadians shoot it down?
Even more troubling is why the Chinese would have a surveillance balloon over Montana in the first place, considering Beijing’s advanced satellites in low-earth orbit that provide all the bird’s eye images they need. Are they sending a message before Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to the Chinese capital next week? Is espionage through TikTok not enough? We might not have ever known about the balloon had the press not snapped a photo of it.
We don’t know what happened at Roswell, and we probably never will. Was it actually a weather balloon that crashed? Was the object part of a military experiment? Could it have even been from a foreign government? Was it from the Empire — either an alien one from a galaxy far, far away or Red China?
Will Billings be the new Roswell?