The possibility of extraterrestrial life fascinates almost everyone, and the world is full of people who claim to have some experience about UFOs and their alien passengers. Not all of them are random farmers and rural residents with strange tales of little green men and strange lights in the sky, either. In fact, there’s a surprising number of famous people who just might know a thing or two about alleged alien activity.
10. Winston Churchill
It’s tempting to think that the little green men Winston Churchill might have seen were an unfortunate side effect of his massive alcoholic intake. However, not only was the legendary British Prime Minister’s relationship with alcohol vastly exaggerated, but he actually had to deal with UFOs in his professional capacity at least once.
In 2010, the British Ministry of Defense released a number of UFO-related documents to the National Archive. Most of it involved 1950s intelligence chiefs trying to figure out the whole “unidentified flying object” phenomenon, but one document mentioned a much older meeting. During World War II, Churchill was present in a meeting where they discussed a reported encounter between a strange, disappearing UFO and some Royal Air Force bombers. Churchill was so concerned by the incident that he immediately ordered the story to be kept secret for at least 50 years, to prevent what he described as “mass panic.” He also reportedly said that a future Prime Minister should review the story and decide whether to release it.
To be fair, other sources state that the story is largely based on unverified documents and there is very little hard evidence. It’s up to the reader to decide whether this means that the story is just one of the many dubious UFO stories floating around… or if the British Government is just really, really good at keeping secrets.
9. Hillary Clinton
The 2016 Presidential Race was such a wild ride that few people even remember that at one point, a candidate literally offered to open the famed X-Files to the public. The candidate was Hillary Clinton, and she made the promise during an interview with Jimmy Kimmel.
Of course, she included a few conditions: She wouldn’t reveal any information that presented a threat to national security, but other than that, she’d be prepared to open all UFO-related files. This was a significant departure from the sitting President’s policy, as Barack Obama had always dismissed any such talks with a quick joke.
Since Clinton was otherwise a fairly cautious and moderate candidate, the ease with which she talked about the possibility of extraterrestrial life surprised many. She was also extremely up to date with the subject, and corrected Kimmel that the current government nomenclature isn’t UFO anymore. Instead, they apparently prefer UAP, which stands for “unexplained aerial phenomenon.”
Was it all just a plan to draw more interest, and hopefully votes? Or does Clinton, a former First Lady, really have some information that she would have liked to release, given a Presidential security clearing? This is yet another case where everyone gets to make up their own mind. However, Clinton is on record saying the following about UFOs: “There’s enough stories out there that I don’t think everybody is just sitting in their kitchen making them up.”
8. Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers
If you have any opinion of the early 2010s pop phenomenon the Jonas Brothers, chances are that the word “brave” doesn’t feature in the first few sentences. However, the youngest of the brothers, Nick Jonas, qualified for that description in 2015 when he openly talked about the UFO sighting he experienced during his teens.
When he was 15, Nick was hanging around in his backyard with a friend when they suddenly saw three flying saucers in the sky. At first, he refused to believe his eyes, but his friend said that he saw the same thing. So Nick went online and discovered that just two weeks before, there had been three different sightings that all described the same thing that he had witnessed.
This experience made Nick Jonas a low-key UFO enthusiast who’s always interested in mysterious phenomena. In 2015, he was enthusiastic about the strange blue lights seen over the California sky, and said: “That blue light freaks me out in the best way possible.” Of course, that particular light turned out to be a Trident missile launched by the Navy, so who knows what his original sightings were?
7. Ridley Scott
Ridley Scott, veteran director of several Alien movies, Prometheus, and Blade Runner (among other things), believes that humanity is likely doomed as soon as we actually meet any alien spaceships. According to him, experts estimate that there are up to 200 otherworldy species following a similar evolutionary path as we do, and if they are so advanced that they can travel through space to meet us, they’re also going to be advanced enough to wipe us out easily if they felt like it… which, according to Scott, there’s a very real chance that they might.
It’s unclear just how Scott has acquired this information. Maybe one of his scientific advisors over the years has given him information that is so classified that most people will never hear about it. Or it could be that he’s just a man who has made several successful movies about hostile aliens, doing what he does best and telling a story. Regardless of what Scott himself thinks, some very reputable experts disagree with him: Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer with the extraterrestrial life -seeking SETI Institute, has said that there is absolutely no data that supports Scott’s estimate of up to 200 hostile species.
Then again, Shostak goes on to say that the actual number of humanoid alien lifeforms out there could be around five times higher, so maybe Scott was just breaking the news lightly.
Kesha is another singer who says that she has witnessed a UFO. Unlike Nick Jonas, however, she decided to make the experience a part of her art. The artist doesn’t say exactly when her sighting happened, but she was in the Joshua Tree national park. She also makes a point of stating that she was completely sober at the time. This disclaimer makes sense, because what followed sounds a whole lot like the product of an… inspired state of mind.
She was walking around in the “desert,” when suddenly, she looked up and saw 5-7 UFOs. She was so shocked that she didn’t even think of taking a picture — she just stared, when suddenly, the lights in the sky zoomed away. Then, as she was still trying to get her bearings, they came back in a different formation. At that point, she realized what she was looking at: Alien spaceships.
She fully realizes that what she saw seems hard to believe, and that she has no proof. Even so, she found the experience so defining that it became part of the theme of her next album, Rainbow. One of the album tracks is even named Spaceship.
5. Fran Drescher
Fran Drescher, most famous for her role in the sitcom The Nanny, was not content with just seeing spaceships hovering in the sky. She actually claimed that she was abducted by aliens when she was young, and that they implanted a chip in her hand. What’s more, she says that her ex-husband, producer/writer Peter Marc Jacobson, was also abducted and carries a chip of his own. They apparently have very similar-looking scars in the exact same spot of their hands, though Jacobson was sceptical about the theory and thought Drescher’s scar was from a drill bit or a hot cup of water.
A few days later, Drescher completely changed her tune and said that the whole thing had been a joke that people had believed a little too well. This is certainly a more plausible explanation than aliens branding The Nanny with strange microchips. Then again, in the interest of fanning the flames of a wonderfully strange story: Isn’t that exactly what you’d say if aliens were listening in on you through a microchip in your hand?
4. Ronald Reagan
It’s probably not a massive surprise that the man who proposed the Star Wars program thought that an alien attack was a possible political scenario. However, no one could have imagined what President Ronald Reagan did in 1985, in the middle of the Geneva Summit with the Soviet Union. Reagan took a lakeside walk with his Soviet counterpart, President Mikhail Gorbachev, accompanied by only their personal interpreters.
It wasn’t until 2009 when their discussion was made public in an interview with Reagan’s Secretary of State at the time, George Schultz, and Gorbachev himself. When Schultz remarked that the two Presidents of the Cold War countries came back from that walk, they acted almost like friends. At that point, Gorbachev revealed what the walk had been about: All of a sudden, Reagan had asked him: “What would you do if the United States were suddenly attacked by someone from outer space? Would you help us?” Gorbachev said that they absolutely would. Reagan replied that the US would return the favor, if things were the other way around.
Maybe this was just a clever ploy by Reagan. Maybe he had some actual, worrying information. Or maybe he, a lifelong science fiction fan, only had an overactive imagination.
Still, no matter the reason — just like that, the two leaders had privately agreed to stop the Cold War if aliens started making trouble.
3. Tom DeLonge
Tom DeLonge is the former guitarist of the pop-punk band Blink-182, which doesn’t necessarily sound like the perfect pedigree to become an influencer of any sort, except maybe for earworm tunes and T-shirt sales. Still, that’s precisely what DeLonge is for the UFO research community. Since quitting the band in 2015, he has become a well-connected and influential mouthpiece for alien investigation. He is said to hold sway over many scientists and former government insiders, in no small part thanks to his rock star charisma that is like catnip to the more reserved and gray personalities both professions generally attract.
In 2017, he launched the To The Stars Academy of Arts & Sciences, a collective of researchers and creatives that focuses on the many classic X-Files-style ideas that DeLonge is so fond of. But here’s the thing: As tempting as it is to write DeLonge off as a complete lunatic, there’s a chance that the man knows something about… well, something. Case in point: Just months after To The Stars was founded, one of the foundation’s first employees became a main source for the New York Times article that ended up revealing a decade-long, top secret Pentagon program that investigated UFO activity.
2. Edgar Mitchell
Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell probably wasn’t the most popular guy at NASA get-togethers. Sure, he was the sixth man to walk on the moon, and an instrumental part of restoring the agency’s reputation after Apollo 13 became such a disaster that Tom Hanks would later star in a movie about it. It’s just that the three days Mitchell spent returning to Earth after his Apollo 14 mission did something to him. No one seems to know what, least of all Mitchell: He just says that he started feeling “an overwhelming sense of universal connectedness,” and that the experience was nothing short of an epiphany.
After this experience, Mitchell became a devoted preacher of extraterrestrial life. He has stated on multiple occasions that there is intelligent, benevolent life on other planets, and that we have already been visited by them, including saying that: “I happen to have been privileged enough to be in on the fact that we’ve been visited on this planet and the UFO phenomena is real.”
“It’s been well covered up by all our governments for the last 60 years or so,” he has said. “But slowly it’s leaked out and some of us have been privileged to have been briefed on some of it. I’ve been in military and intelligence circles, who know that beneath the surface of what has been public knowledge, yes – we have been visited.”
NASA has managed to balance the tightrope of their heroic astronaut telling everyone they’re lying to people about the existence of aliens with grace: “Dr Mitchell is a great American, but we do not share his opinions on this issue.”
1. Jimmy Carter
We have already talked about Presidents and presidential hopefuls who have hinted that there might be something beyond our understanding out there. But only Jimmy Carter has actually filed an official report about a UFO sighting. During his presidential campaign, no less.
The year was 1973, and then-Governor Carter was hot on the campaign trail. One evening, while waiting outside for a meeting in Leary, Georgia, he saw what he described as “the darndest thing I’ve ever seen”: an extremely bright object that kept changing colors and was about the size of the moon, hovering above the horizon, then moving toward the Earth and finally disappearing in the distance. The event was witnessed by 10-12 other people. Carter was so impressed by the incident that he not only filed an official report and told a reporter that he’d never again ridicule anyone who claimed they saw a UFO — he actually promised that if he were elected, he’d work to release every piece of information about flying saucers available to the public.
Of course, when he was elected, he immediately backtracked and said that the information couldn’t be released because it would pose a threat to national security.