PICTURE: Space capsule found along Arizona freeway?

Posted at 9:54 AM, Feb 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-06 19:59:59-05

...what is this?

Aliens? Secret government mission?

An ABC15 viewer reached out early Monday morning to say they found a space capsule-like item sitting in a field near eastbound Interstate 10 at milepost 190 just outside of Casa Grande, Arizona.

They said there was a parachute attached to the large silver object. Written on its side were the words "United States" and "Capt. J. Millard" along with an American flag. 

So the question is, what is it? And why was it placed in dirt along the freeway? 

The Arizona Department of Public Safety said they were called out around 7:30 a.m. to reports of an object that appeared to have fallen out of the sky; so, troopers went out to the field to investigate. 

Did they find aliens? No. Did they uncover a secret government operation? Nope. 

They said someone most likely placed the space capsule-like object, which was made out of a cement truck drum, in the field and attached a parachute to it. 

DPS doesn't know who the artist is...but ABC15 tracked down the artist. Jack Millard said his work has been on the property for almost 30 years now, but just this past weekend he decided to move it closer to the freeway, so they did.

And that move prompted, of all people, a NASA scientist to call the object in to officials. The scientist said it looked like a 1960s space capsule. 

The United States Department of Homeland Security looked into it, and then DPS got involved. 

"What I enjoy doing is looking into something that others would consider junk, or plain, ordinary and see something magical or inspirational," Millard said.

The owner of the land, Carmen Auza said when the farm was bought, it was out here.

"I think it is pretty cool, I'm not very artistic so I never would have thought of doing something with that mixer," Auza said. for now, no aliens in Arizona.