The famous story comes from scientists at the Los Alamos National Research Centre, 1950. The atomic scientist Enrico Fermi was casually conversing with colleagues when they began theorizing about alien life. Fermi's reasoning for not believing in spacemen, to paraphrase, is that the universe is so vast and expansive that either the intelligent life is incredibly rare or – more likely – nonexistent. This is known as the Fermi paradox, something that Ufologists and groups like the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) have devoted their life to contesting.
One opposing theory, of course, is that the aliens indeed are here – guiding human civilization through phases of evolution, walking among us in disguise. And this theory sometimes comes from our own alien species that we observe with regularity and undying curiosity: Celebrities.
Often, some of the most talented people are the most eccentric. Their beliefs, ranging from Scientology to keeping vials of blood of their betrothed around their necks, often explore the outer-reaches of bizarre. Given that, the idea that a handful of well-known people have reported UFOs shouldn't come as a shock. Actors, musicians, and even politicians have reported strange objects in the sky, moving in ways that any aircraft would be unable to do so.
Here are just 15 well-known people who have claimed to have a Close Encounter of the First Kind.
15 Tom DeLonge - Left Music To Hunt UFOs
The good news is Tom DeLonge has retired from music. The better news is he's done so to devote his life to hunting UFOs. His obsession with alien aircraft is well documented in a Rolling Stone article. He's been outspoken in the past few years about his steadfast belief in extraterrestrials, but initially it started as a hobby. In between gigs while touring with Blink 182, he would spend his time reading about abduction encounters and quantum physics. This culminated in 1999's song "Aliens Exist."
He now believes that aliens have indeed been here all along, guiding us from ape to man, and the only way to save humanity is to adapt a new philosophy that takes this into account. And he isn't just speaking to Ufologists anymore. He's reached out to those actually in power, like Hilary Clinton's former campaign manager John Podesta. He hasn't claimed to have seen one himself, but he serves as a proxy for all those who have.
So don't be afraid to come out, true believers, the lead singer of Blink 182 has your back.
14 Dan Aykroyd - Outspoken Believer
Remember all the complex technobabble that Ray Stantz spits out about the proton packs and ectoplasm in Ghostbusters? It's all pseudo-scientifically accurate. It was important to screenwriter Dan Aykroyd that it be so, as he firmly believes in the paranormal. He also believes very strongly in aliens. He is, in fact, the official technical adviser and MUFON representative in Hollywood.
He published a DVD entitled Dan Aykroyd: Unplugged on UFOs. And boy, is he ever unplugged.
While on the set of the Britney Spears vehicle Crossroads, Aykroyd claims to have seen what’s commonly known in Ufology circles as “men in black” that suddenly vanished without a trace. While he didn’t claim they were extraterrestrials, he does believe they are active in a cover-up.
“I know they’re out there. I know they’ve been here. They have the technology. Lord Hillnorton of the British Defence staff said that 23 different species are coming. But I don’t think they want anything to do with us,” Aykroyd said, explaining that the human race is far too aggressive for an intelligent alien race to desire contact. After 9/11, he says, "We broke our toys in the sand."
13 John Lennon - Saw A UFO While Naked In Bed
There must be some link between abusing women and seeing lights in the sky. John Lennon claimed he spotted a UFO on August 13, 1974. “I was lying naked on my bed, when I had this urge,” he said. “So I went to the window, just dreaming around in my usual poetic frame of mind. … There, as I turned my head, hovering over the next building, no more than 100 feet away was this thing with ordinary electric light bulbs flashing on and off round the bottom, one non-blinking red light on top.”
This, however, was during Lennon's Lost Weekend period. Lennon claims he was completely sober at the time, just lying naked and having urges.
12 Billy Ray Cyrus - Posted "Proof" On Twitter
"Were it not for David Lynch," a completely serious Billy Ray Cyrus said, "Miley never would have been Hannah Montana." Cyrus uttered this, the strangest sentence in the history of the human race, in a Rolling Stone interview in which he was mourning the ways his daughter was publicly behaving. He had a brief, funny cameo in Lynch's Mulholland Dr. and credits the renewed interest in his career with giving his daughter that extra push into super-stardom.
But Cyrus' life gets weirder still. In 2011, he posted a picture of the sunset along with the following: "O. K. . ..my first U F O sighting. Looks like 5 or 6 disk like shapes hovering. Special moment 4 DAD." His tweet sparked brief national interest, making it the first time anyone paid attention Cyrus' discs since "Achy Breaky Heart."
11 Mick Jagger - Installed "UFO Detector" In Home
There's probably a lot of things Mick Jagger has seen that the majority of the world hasn't. According to the book Alien Rock: The Rock 'n' Roll Extraterrestrial Connection (which doesn't sound insane at all), Jagger has been "very involved in the subject of UFOs for many years." So all those rumours about he and David Bowie were true after all.
Jagger and his then-girlfriend Marianne Faithful were at Glastonbury in 1968 when they saw a "rare, luminous cigar-shaped mothership." Jagger then had a UFO detector installed in his home, which went off whenever levels of electromagnetic activity in the area increased.
10 Muhammad Ali - "Most Comprehensive" UFO Story Of Any Celeb
Apart from Muhammad Ali's incredible boxing record, he was also a significant figure for civil rights and the anti-war movement. Reportedly, he was also an incredibly nice guy. But it does make sense that a man who got punched in the head for a living might see stars, or things in the stars, from time to time.
Ufologist Timothy Green Buckley met with the champ four times to discuss the subject and found his knowledge about flying saucers to be the most comprehensive of any celebrity he'd met. Ali made news by claiming to have seen two saucers over New York City. In total, he claimed to have had 16 separate sightings and believed they were watching him.
9 Victoria Beckham - Thought It Was Just The Moon, But...
There's probably a joke to be made about how Victoria Beckham's fashion line – featuring tight, sleek clothing – would perfectly suit the lanky images associated with the supposed Roswell crash, but I'm in no way qualified to make it. Beckham caught a glimpse of Spacey Spice outside her Beverly Hills home one night. At first, she just thought it was the moon, however the cycle at the time would not have allowed it to be.
L.A. is well-known for alien sightings. It's also an area known for helicopters, but that couldn't possibly have anything to do with Beckham's sighting.
8 Danny Dyer - Revealed His UFO Story On TV
For those of you that aren't English, Danny Dyer might not be a familiar name. But the English hate Danny Dyer. The actor is known for being on the so-English-it-hurts Eastenders and, according to one critic, is the "byword for no-budget, no-quality Brit-trash cinema." Young Americans may know him as the voice of Kent Paul in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. He also once wrote that a bloke could get over his break-up with a woman by cutting her face, for then no one would want her. So the hatred isn't exactly unjustified.
On an episode of Jimmy Carr's 8 out of 10 Cats, Dyer claimed to have seen a UFO. He also hosted a documentary entitled I Believe In UFOs, just in case there was any doubt left.
7 Jimmy Carter - Filed Report With International UFO Bureau
Jimmy Carter, one of the most grassroots presidents in recent history, is known for his charitable work with habitat for humanity and his efforts to eradicate the guinea worm. One evening, in 1969, two years before he became the governor of Georgia, he saw something.
"There were about twenty of us standing outside of a little restaurant, I believe, a high school lunch room, and a kind of green light appeared in the western sky. This was right after sundown. It got brighter and brighter. And then it eventually disappeared. It didn't have any solid substance to it, it was just a very peculiar-looking light. None of us could understand what it was."
The object then got closer to them and stopped, changing colours from red to blue before disappearing. Carter did what any upright politician would. He filed a report with the International UFO Bureau. During his 1976 campaign for president, he promised to release any and all information available on UFOs to the public. After taking office, he reneged, citing national defence concerns.
6 Russell Crowe - Uploaded "Proof" To YouTube
If there are UFOs and the extraterrestrials turn out to be hostile, Russell Crowe is the guy you want on the front lines. However, if they are peaceful, it's best to hold Crowe back. This is the kind of man that could easily spark an intergalactic war because he thought a little green guy was looking at him funny and decked him square in his stupid little Martian gills.
In 2013, Crowe uploaded a video to YouTube that supposedly shows a UFO flying above the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, Australia. The video has since been debunked - apparently it's a light reflected off the sky from a sailboat.
5 Ke$ha - Wrote A Song Called "Aliens Invading"
Ke-dollar sign-ha is full of surprises. Apart from her terrible, terrible music – something she herself writes off as a goof – she's proven to be the opposite of her drunken party-girl persona. She reportedly sneaks into college classes and listens to lectures just for fun. And, given her recent brushes with alleged (legal distinction only, because it totally happened) sexual abuse at the hands of the human monstrosity that is Dr. Luke, she's become something of a tragic figure.
Nevertheless, she's in the celebrity UFO club – not to mention even stranger beliefs like spectrophilia. It took years for her to share her experience, despite even releasing a song called "Aliens Invading," but she finally did in 2014, claiming that she had seen one and it confirmed what she had long known.
4 Elvis Presley - Fascinated By Paranormal Phenomena
Elvis Presley was almost a twin. His brother died after living for only 35 minutes, stillborn. It was an event that haunted him throughout his life. As a result, Graceland was loaded with Elvis' surprising collection of books about the occult, extraterrestrials, and specifically paranormal phenomena. He was fascinated by the subject. Colonel Tom Parker, his manager, was embarrassed by the topic and wanted the books burned. Elvis refused.
At age 8, The King claims, two aliens from the future communicated to him telepathically. They showed him an image of a man in a white jumpsuit singing to a crowd, though he couldn't understand at the time.
As an adult, he claimed to have spotted UFOs twice, once in L.A. and once outside Graceland. For his efforts and curiosity, he will forever grace the pages of tabloids.
3 Robbie Williams - Visited By Aliens Three Times
Robbie Williams never reached the level of fame on this side of the pond as he did in the U.K., but for a brief time he was a superstar. During an interview with singer Joss Stone, he revealed that he had been visited by aliens three times – and not just their ships, but the actual creatures.
He claimed to have had sightings since he was a kid. But his strangest encounter, he claims, occurred when he was an adult. "I'd just written a song called 'Arizona,' and it's all about alien contact and I was playing that. I stood on the balcony and there was this big ball of gold light that turned up - we thought it was Venus or Mars or something. Then the song stops playing and it disappears. But then we put 'Arizona' on again and the ball turned back up. It happened four times."
What followed was an hour long light show. The singer even had the forethought to predict readers would chalk up his sightings to his well-documented mental health issues. He appears in a Jon Ronson documentary attending a UFO convention in Nevada.
2 Fife Symington - Sighting Witnessed By Thousands
The Phoenix Lights is one of the most well-documented UFO sightings in modern history. For three hours in 1997, a strange, slow moving, fire in the sky made its way from Phoenix, Arizona to Tucson before suddenly disappearing. The lights were reported by thousands of witnesses (though this writer lived in Tucson at the time and saw nothing). There are still plenty of YouTube videos available documenting the case.
One witness was the then-Governor of Arizona, Fife Symington. Though at the time he didn't call them UFOs, he later would refer to them as "otherworldly." Symington resigned during his second term after being convicted on seven counts of bank fraud. The verdict was overturned and, before he could be retried, he was pardoned by President Bill Clinton – who he had once saved from drowning off Hyannis Port in the 70s.
1 Ronald Reagan - Had Plans In Place For Alien Attacks
Between Carter and Ronald Reagan, it's easier to take the former's word. After all, Carter comes across as a simple, honest farmer with only humanitarian interests at heart. Reagan practically sold weapons to Iran because someone waved something shiny at him. The man could have been distracted by a laser pointer.
Nevertheless, Ronald Reagan was a believer. On Steve Allen's radio show (when Reagan was then-governor of California), the host reported an unconfirmed story that Reagan and wife Nancy had claimed to have seen a flying saucer while driving down the highway. No one paid much attention until Reagan was in the Oval Office, and his pet obsession with UFOs became public knowledge. He started peppering speeches with asides about the alien threat. All the while, Nancy was consulting astrologers. Later, Mikhail Gorbachev confirmed that, during a meeting in Geneva, the President said that if the earth was attacked by extraterrestrials, the U.S. and the Soviet Union would join forces to repel them.
And if there's any concern that Gorbachev had made it up to embarrass the U.S., Reagan made it further clear when he talked about the "alien threat" while addressing the General Assembly of the United Nations.
The leader of the free world, ladies and gentlemen.