Celebrities seem larger than life. While world famous actors, athletes, writers and musicians are flesh and blood like the rest of us, they take on mythic status, putting us both in awe and envy of their creative endeavors and lifestyle. For many artists, it's important to leave yourself open to outside influences, passions, and other facets that spark the senses, no matter the scrutiny or criticism that comes their way.
So it shouldn't be too surprising how many famous stars believe in life among the stars. When you lead an out-of-this-world existence, it makes it all the more easy to accept the concept of aliens and UFOs. Perhaps by design or by fate, many celebrities have claimed close encounters--from extraterrestrial abductions and beyond (with some believing that they're aliens themselves).
In most cases, those who claim abduction and celestial encounters gain inspiration from their experiences, allowing their bizarre memories to feed their creativity, as you'll learn from the examples below.
We're not here to question these accounts. Sure, some seem like a stretch (and a few have been debunked), but how would we know one way or the other? Without further ado, here are 15 celebrities who believe they were abducted by aliens.
14 Fran Drescher
The former sitcom star of The Nanny has professed to alien encounters, claiming that she and her ex-husband were separately abducted in an interview with The Huffington Post: "Peter and I both saw (aliens) before we knew each other, doing the same thing, driving on the road with our dads — in all seriousness. We were both in junior high. A few years later, we met, and we realized that we had the same experience."
"I think that somehow we were programmed to meet. We both have this scar. It's the exact same scar on the exact same spot. I said to him, that's what the aliens programmed us to think. But really, that's where the chip is." One can only wonder if the actress's brash New Jersey accent frightened the aliens into letting her go.
13 Grant Morrison
Renowned British comic scribe Grant Morrison is known for his reality warped brand of storytelling, but to hear him explain it, his real life is just as otherworldly. In fact, he claims that his Vertigo series The Invisibles was inspired by a real-life alien encounter.
At a 1999 comic convention, he shared these revelations, which happened during a 1994 trip to Kathmandu. Morrison described being besieged by a swarm of aliens in his hotel: "they took me out of my body...And they took me to Alpha Centauri and it was fu****** real...and I said to them: 'What the hell’s going on?' And they said, 'We’ve come to tell you this stuff, so you can put it in your work and explain it to the world'...And they took me to the fifth dimension...outside space and time, and they explained to me what time is all about."
Of course, Morrison also explained that he was doing copious amounts of drugs during this timeframe, so that might have something to do with this outlandish tale.
12 Yaphet Kotto
Well this is ironic: one of the star's of Alien...was (possibly) abducted by an actual alien. Kotto, who played the doomed mechanic Parker in Ridley Scott's sci-fi horror epic, revealed as much in an interview with Vice.
The actor claimed it started in childhood, noticing that the alien creature he met "was at least five or six feet tall with an elongated head...From that moment on, it was one experience after another...Those sightings continued for a good ten to 15 years. I've also had time loss. I have a big loss of time between some of these moments, and I'd often wonder if I was taken." At one point Kotto claimed to have seen a UFO as big as "The Yankee Stadium turned upside down."
Unlike the monster he battled in Alien, Kotto claims these creatures are here "to make sure we don’t kill ourselves...we need to take a serious look at what we’re doing and they’re going to help us do that.”
11 Sammy Hagar
"The Red Rocker" and former Van Halen singer has been quite vocal about his belief in UFOs, even crediting extraterrestrials with helping his career: “I was just lying in bed when I felt something weird going on, like someone was tapping into my brain...I didn’t know how to fu***** explain it. But they were downloading or uploading – that’s the simplest way to put it.”
Hagar claims two aliens were behind the experiment, saying "Oh, I could see them...they were playing with a numerical code but it wasn’t from our numerical system. And then, suddenly, this telepathic connection broke...It scared me nearly to death. It was an experience I couldn’t understand.”
“My ego was telling me: They’ve programmed you to be a rock star! So I used it as a tool to write songs about outer space and the future...songs like "Crack In The World" and "Silver Lights", which is about the second coming of Christ – Jesus coming back in a spaceship.”
10 Olivia Newton John
The Award winning English-Australian singer and actress revealed her claims of an alien encounter in a 2009 interview with The Sun. Newton-John described seeing a UFO when she was just 15 years old: "I have seen one when I was very young. It was unidentified and it was flying," noting that the spacecraft moved at "amazing speeds."
She's been obsessed with the concept of aliens and UFOs ever since, claiming that she's not alone: “In England most people now think UFOs are possible. Twenty years ago, how many people would have thought that?”
One wonders if she ever brought up the subject to her Grease co-star John Travolta, who shares an alien obsession as a Scientologist (the foundation of their religion is the belief that aliens populated the Earth millions of years ago). How else to explain the train wreck phenomenon that is Battlefield Earth?
9 Baron Davis
Former New York Knicks guard Baron Davis raised eyebrows among sports fans when he claimed he was abducted by aliens during a 2013 podcast. Davis explained that the abduction occurred during a drive from Las Vegas to Los Angeles: “I see this light and it’s a big a—truck. And I said, oh f---- this is going to be traffic...and the next thing you know there’s a steel thing and these crazy looking people – half human, half ugly-looking mother f-----s."
“They were poking me on the nose, looking at my eyes, they had my hands tied and the next thing you know I was in Montabello dude, burning rubber on the way back to L.A. at 4 o’clock in the morning.”
After getting barraged with queries and jokes on Twitter, Davis eventually recanted the whole story, tweeting "that Alien thing is a joke." Or is it? Davis also mentioned writing a book about his encounter, but nothing has materialized. It remains a mystery.
8 Elvis Presley
"The King" was never shy about sharing his unusual opinions and stories, and this extended to his belief in beings from outer space. The singer claimed that when he was 8 years old, he was telepathically contacted by aliens, who revealed a premonition of the singer wearing a white suit in front a large audience (he was unaware of the meaning until he became a successful celebrity). His family even claimed a strange blue light shone over his home upon his birth.
Presley claimed several other encounters as well, primarily strange lights appearing overhead during nighttime drives (two of these encounters were corroborated by his hairstylist Larry Geller--once on a trip through Nevada, the other during a trek across Graceland).
In many ways, Presley has become an out-of-this-world legend himself, with many claiming that he never died. Elvis sightings are still reported to this day.
7 Dan Aykroyd
While Dan Aykroyd is best known for his comedic performances, he's dead serious about his beliefs in alien life. He's been an advocate for investigating UFOs for years, even providing the narration for the '90s paranormal series Psi Factor (and let's not forget his alien portrayal in Coneheads).
Aykroyd expanded on his beliefs in a 2015 interview on the HuffPost Show: "I have seen four, and I can’t say that they are alien craft and neither can the Air Force. The Air Force has been very interested in this. They don’t deny the existence of the hyper dynamic super aerodynamic craft. They don’t deny.”
He said the UFO's he observed were “definitely aerial constructs of some kind,” including one that was hovering right above him. The actor theorized on why these encounters are being kept from the public, saying “I believe that there are probably many species coming and going and that the Air Force is very interested, but they can’t come out and say, fearing it would provoke a complete breakdown of society.”
6 Robbie Williams
The volatile British pop star and former Boy Band heartthrob has long had a fascination with extraterrestrial life, so much so that he's even thought about ditching his music career to search them out: "Seriously, I want to go out and investigate these things. I'm stopping being a pop star and being a full-time ufologist." (see also Blink 182's Tom DeLonge).
Williams has claimed multiple alien encounters, with his most memorable happening "one night [at a] hotel. I would say twice the size of this room. Which is not good for you at home. It was big. What can I say it was like? It was like two penalty boxes at football and it was just there and it was just above the trees and it looked like a platform of some kind… And then it just floated off. Crazy. But I’ve had quite a few of those."
5 William Shatner
As Star Trek's Captain Kirk, William Shatner's iconic character's mission statement was "to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before." And the Canadian actor has also claimed to have seen alien life in the flesh as well.
In his autobiography, Shatner claimed he saw a UFO in the Mojave Desert in 1969. Or maybe he didn't...he later retracted the statement, and claimed he made the whole thing up (maybe he was just having a flashback to that Gorn fight). However, he's still a firm believer we're not alone in the universe, stating in a 2010 interview that "There is no doubt that there is life out there; the mathematics of it lead you to that absolute conclusion. In my mind, there is no doubt that the universe teems — teems! — with life in all its forms.”
4 John Lennon
The iconic Beatle had long professed a belief that we aren't along in the universe, and it proved to be an influence on his music. According to his friend Uri Geller, the late singer claimed that in the early '70s, he was whisked away from his New York City apartment building by four aliens with “big bug eyes and little bug mouths.”
When Geller pressed on Lennon to expand about the encounter, Lennon reportedly said “They did something. But I don’t know what it was. I tried to throw them out, but, when I took a step towards them, they kind of pushed me back. I mean, they didn’t touch me. It was like they just willed me. Pushed me with willpower and telepathy.”
Lennon then claimed he'd found an egg-like object the creatures left behind, and asked Geller to keep it, noting “It’s too weird for me. If it’s my ticket to another planet, I don’t want to go there.”
3 Muhammad Ali
Legendary boxer Muhammad Ali was an avid UFO enthusiast who professed to several extraterrestrial encounters. His biggest boast was seeing a large glowing orb above NYC's Central Park (although his manager, who was with him at the time, claimed there was no such occurrence).
Nevertheless, Ali was resolute in his belief, stating that on that evening he "happened to look up just before dawn, as I often do while running, and there hovering above us was this brilliant light hanging as if by an invisible thread...moments later a similar object passed in front of us.”
Ali's claims were immortalized in Greene Beckley's book Amazing Flying Saucer Experiences of Celebrities, Rock Stars and the Rich and Famous, including this passage: "Many times, in the early morning hours, if you look up in the sky you can see them playing tag between the stars, really high up. I’ve had a good number of sightings myself." The late boxer also faced off with a fictional alien, Superman, in the beloved DC comics one-shot Superman Vs. Muhammad Ali.
2 Anne Heche
Anne Heche's tales go beyond any mere alien abduction: the actress revealed that she was an extraterrestrial in her 2001 autobiography ”Call Me Crazy.” In the book, Heche claimed she was called "Celestia, the reincarnation of God.” The performer expanded upon her identity, saying "In my mind, I became Jesus," and traveled to Earth from the fourth dimension.
Heche said she was sent to make the world a better place, and even had her own language to speak to God (example: ”Oh, Quiness, Nakka dune notta. Ik all notra daska don" meant ”Oh my God. I cannot do this. It’s too scary for me now” ).
In the end, Heche's otherworldly identity was borne from tragic circumstances, a battle with mental illness and repressed memories of sexual abuse she suffered as a child, and she was able to re-embrace reality after engaging in therapy.
1 Shirley McClaine
Shirley McClaine is one of the most outspoken celebrities in regards to New Age beliefs and the paranormal, claiming to have been reincarnated several times over, with one of her past lives residing in Atlantis (where she observed space creatures transforming the mystical realm into the Canary Islands).
She's claimed numerous close encounters over the years, including witnessing the infamous 1952 Washington D.C. UFO Incident, and sightings at her New Mexico ranch (one time occurring over her hot tub). In addition, the actress asserted that aliens convinced Ronald Reagan to give up acting for politics.
Despite being mocked for her statements, McClaine refuses to apologize, demanding the U.S. government release their findings on UFOs: "Argentina, China and France have done it...Why can’t we?", telling doubters: ‘My stuff is not really that far out. Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. It’s where all the fruit is.’
1. David Bowie
For a man who posed as an alien for the concept album Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars, wrote songs like "Space Oddity" and "Starman", and played an extraterrestrial in The Man Who Fell To Earth, it should come as little surprise that David Bowie was a fervent believer in UFO's and alien lifeforms.
In the essay The Laughing Gnostic — David Bowie and the Occult, writer Peter Koenig recounted Bowie's claim that he saw a “strange object hovering above a field,” which Bowie deduced was a portal into a dimension far “beyond our own.” Bowie's ex-wife Angela backed up his obsession, noting "David believed very strongly that aliens were active above our planet."
He also recounted in a humorous 1974 interview with talk-show host Dick Cavett that he preferred flying in saucers instead of planes. The performer also noted in a 1975 interview that "I made sightings six, seven times a night for about a year when I was in the observatory. We had regular cruises that came over."
"Life on Mars", indeed.
That concludes our list of 15 celebrities who had alien encounters? Do you believe any of their tales? Who would you add to the list? Tell us in the comments!