Helena College course aim's to answer questions about extraterrestrial beings Dr. Richard O'Connor and Dr. Joan Bird teach a continuing education course titled "Are UFO's a threat to national security?" at Helena College on Thursday night. "Alien's exist" is something that is generally accepted as an absolute truth by the select few who take the class of Dr. Richard O'Connor and Dr. Joan Bird. The Helena College continuing education course titled "Are UFO's a threat to national security?" is a trip down the rabbit hole of nationwide and Montana specific extraterrestrial activity. The aim is not only to educate those who choose to take the class on the extensive history of this activity, but to also encourage engagement in a topic previously considered taboo. As for the title of the class, O'Connor has an answer for that: "Are UFO's a threat to national security?" he asked. "Should we just ask them?" This question and response acts as a kind of thesis statement for the entire mission of the class. The course is taking place each Thursday night for the four weeks of October. O'Connor dedicated the first 2 1/2 hour class to breaking down the taboo around discussing possibly extraterrestrial activity. "For a long time there was no way you could get a class like this in a college anywhere," O'Connor said. "The fact that we are in an academic setting discussing this show's how far we've come." O'Connor believes that the nationwide discussion is at a tipping point as it becomes less and less taboo to openly discuss UFOs and extraterrestrials. He said the more people talk about it, the more normalized it becomes. O'Connor backs this theory up with articles in major news publications like The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and USA Today. The phenomena has also received major television news coverage from major networks like Fox News, CNN, NBC and more. This all culminated in September 2019 when the United States Navy confirmed that video's released by former Blink 182 singer/guitarist Tom DeLonge were "Unidentified Ariel Phenomena." DeLonge has long been one of the most outspoken about the release of information the U.S. government has on extraterrestrial life. He founded the To The Stars Academy and has contacts with Rob Weiss, a former executive vice president at Lockheed Martin, and two United States Air Force major generals, William McCasland and Michael Carey. DeLonge also sought information about alien technology from John Podesta, former White House chief of staff, during the 2016 presidential election. O'Connor said he spent the past few year's charting the progress in the national conversation. This is typically the first step for those interested in finding out more, which is why it leads the course as the first class. Bird took over for the second class and focused primarily on UFO's and extraterrestrial activity in Montana. This included a deep dive into the history of Montana specific sightings, nuclear missile shutdowns and the correlation between the two. Bird said though there are many sightings all across the state, the Hi-Line is a hot bed of activity. She believes this is largely due to the number of missile silos in that region of the state. Nuclear weapons remained a topic of discussion during the third week as O'Connor dove back into that discussion and the threat of nuclear war. The final week of the class has Bird discussing contact instances in Montana, how it's changed the perspectives and impacted those involved. Bird's fascination with extraterrestrial life began in 1998 when she was asked to investigated crop circles in the area of Flathead Lake. Though those turned out to be human made, she started looking into the phenomenon more. She saw circles in England and the scientific research with them that put their origins in question. She said it provided her glimpses of other realities. "Then I discovered highly credible military witnesses and the secrecy around missile shut downs," Bird said. "I went through the door at that point. I'd have to be too cynical to not believe."