From Zayn Malik to Kendall Jenner, Billy Ray Cyrus to Hillary Clinton, it's no longer strange for rich and famous people to admit they think there could be "something else" out there—in fact, it's kind of trendy.
Image by Gabby Bess
It's 2016. Some people have woken up to feminism. Some people have woken up to veganism. Still others have woken up to the reality that aliens populate both distant and closer-afield planets and make frequent contact with life on Earth.
But it's not just forum crawlers and visitors to alien-themed brothels that believe in extraterrestrials. Nowadays, many celebrities have taken their beliefs about the existence of other life in the galaxy public. Last week, Zayn Malik became the latest in a string of stars to admit he believed in aliens when he told Glamour magazine that one "spoke to him in a dream..." The interviewer responded, simply, "Wow. OK."
When we started this article, we thought it would be easy to pinpoint which celebrities were into aliens and which were not. We were mistaken. It's no longer strange for a millionaire actress to admit she was once abducted—in fact, it's kind of trendy. From Olivia Newton John to Halle Berry to JJ Abrams to Blink-182's Tom Delonge, famous people are down with other life forms. Even Hillary Clinton—likely influenced by her extremely extraterrestrially minded chairman John Podesta—has advocated for the government to open up its archives on what are officially known as "unidentified aerial phenomena" (U.A.P.s); barring security risk, Clinton has pledged to declassify those files "as much as we can," earning her the title of the first "E.T. candidate." While this list is by no means comprehensive of all alien-believing celebrities, it does suggest the true breadth of our public figures' outer-spatial awareness. There are surely more believers hiding in the woodwork.
Celebrity: Nick Jonas
The family boy band member turned smoldering gay icon doesn't just believe aliens are real—he's seen them in person. While on the UK's This Morning show, Jonas told the surprised hosts of a close encounter he had when he was a teenager. "Probably eight years ago, I was in my backyard in LA. I looked up in the sky and there was three flying saucers." Jonas recalled turning to a friend and asking, "Are you seeing this, or am I losing my mind?" His friend was also seeing it. Ever the sleuth, Jonas later went online to confirm his suspicions. "We go online and there were three identical sightings two weeks before," he said.
Celebrity: Jaden Smith
While some have questioned whether Smith himself is an alien, on a trip to the White House, the 18-year-old got the chance to quiz POTUS about the alien existence. "I talked to President Obama about extraterrestrials," Smith toldWonderland magazine. Always demure, President Obama told Smith he "could neither confirm nor deny the existence of aliens," which led the young Smith to conclude that that "means they're real."
How self-important are we to think that we are the only life form? If my relationship with Obama gets any better, I'm going to ask him that.
Celebrity: Katy Perry
"E.T." singer Katy Perry told GQ magazine, "I look up into the stars and imagine: How self-important are we to think that we are the only life form?" She, too, thought the president might have an answer. "I mean, if my relationship with Obama gets any better, I'm going to ask him that question," she continued. "It just hasn't been appropriate yet."
Celebrities: Khloe Kardashian and Kendall Jenner
After seeing spooky lights in the sky last November, Khloe Kardashian tweeted, "Kendall and I are spazzing out!!!!!! #UFO." At the time of publication, Kardashian's tweet had 2.4k retweets and 10k likes. Kendall responded with a tweet that read, "Khloe and I are freaking out right now over this UFO situation," receiving a cool 4,947 retweets and 18,317 favorites. Combining the two half-sisters' internet social capital—and assuming there wasn't any overlap—we can reasonably say 35,000 people were impacted by these claims of alien existence.
After the lights were reported to be routine pre-planned missile test by the US Navy, Kardashian responded with, "What do we expect people to say? Obvi they are going to say it's a meteor shower. I'm such a conspiracy theorist let me enjoy this." Kardashian's belief in aliens doesn't seem to be a passing fad. In an old episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, she hijacks a family camping trip in order to go alien hunting in Area 51.
Celebrity: William Shatner
A collective sigh of Star Trek fandom relief marked William Shatner's pronouncement that "there is no doubt that the universe teems—teems!—with life in all its form." Playing the Captain of the Starship Enterprise on TV is the only qualification necessary to prove the existence of extraterrestrial life.
Celebrity: Demi Lovato
On an episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers, Demi Lovato echoed Katy Perry's philosophical musings. "How self-centered would we be, as humans, to believe that we are the only living things in the universe?" she asked. (Seth Meyers does not agree.)
Celebrity: Billy Ray Cyrus
The man, the myth, the legend, the father of Miley Cyrus who ushered in the mullet revival definitely believes in aliens, too. In 2011, the "Achy Breaky Heart" singer tweeted about his first alien encounter saying "O.K... my first UFO sighting. Looks like 5 or 6 disk like shapes hovering. Special moment 4 DAD." Perhaps Miley felt vindicated then; in a 2014 interview with W magazine, she said he had doubted her when she saw a suspicious flash of light in the sky in the Bahamas. "My dad told me it was a satellite. But the way it zipped off was really weird."
Celebrity: Tom Cruise
When questioned about aliens, Tom Cruise strived to show us humanoids how full of ourselves we truly are. "It might be a little arrogant to think we were the only ones in all the galaxies throughout the universe," Cruise said at the Moscow premiere of Oblivion in 2013. He admitted he had "never met" an alien himself, but when asked if he would like to get to the bottom of this question himself by exploring space, Cruise answered, "Who wouldn't want to do something like that?"
Celebrity: Sigourney Weaver
In 2011, Alien star Sigourney Weaver gave the German magazine TV Spielfilm the old celebrity–alien line: "We are not alone in the universe." But Weaver has a true hunch and clarified her suspicions. "I think there's a department in [the US] government which is exclusively dedicated to quashing reports about aliens. And that's so unfair. It would be nice if we weren't just able to read about it in the tabloids."
Celebrity: Ariana Grande
While speaking to Complex, Ariana Grande—who is also well acquainted with demons—became another celebrity to offer that irrefutable alien logic: "Of course [I believe in aliens]. We'd be so stupid to believe we are the only people here." But Grande's love for aliens goes deep. In the music video for "Break Free," Grande kills aliens with a ray gun and then destroys a giant alien robot with rockets that shoot out of her breasts. Later, she dances with her collaborator Zedd on a spaceship.
Joining a long legacy of women asking people if they are nerds for being into something, Grande tweeted in 2010 "I'm currently looking up alien sightings, haha!! Does it make me an even bigger nerd if I believe in this stuff? :]" In 2015, she tweeted in solidarity with Kardashian and Jenner: "made it back in LA just in time for the alien invasion, tight."