It’s October and Halloween is around the corner. It’s time for ghosts, goblins and aliens.
Boulder City has an interesting history with UFOs, including our very own resident alien, Paul, who resides for photo opportunities outside The Flying Saucer (Area 52) store at 441 Nevada Way. The Flying Saucer (Area 52) sells a mixture of alien merchandise and souvenirs, including Dan Aykroyd’s line of Crystal Head vodka. Many people don’t know that Aykroyd’s family members are active ghost hunters, psychic mediums and claim to have been in contact with aliens.
Aykroyd describes himself on his Twitter bio line as a “comedian, actor, screenwriter, musician, UFOlogist and purveyor of fine spirits.” His father, Samuel Cuthbert Peter Hugh Aykroyd, was a civil engineer and worked as a policy adviser to the Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. His father also played an influential role in the script-writing process for the movie “Ghostbusters,” which is based on the family’s real life experiences.
Dan Aykroyd has said, in various interviews, that he is able to contact the dead through vivid dreams, including visits with his former friend and “Saturday Night Live” alum John Belushi.
Aykroyd, who is a member of the Mutual UFO Network, believes not only in ghosts but that aliens walk among us. Some call them “pod people” while others refer to them as “body snatchers.” Regardless of what they’re called, there is a strong belief that aliens not only exist, but — in some cases — even look like us.
Former NBC “Today Show” anchor Katie Couric reported in 2001 that 7 percent of Americans believe the moon landing was staged and yet 75 percent of the general population believes in aliens. Of course, these numbers don’t reflect today’s social media climate, where questioning, even trolling, NASA on Instagram is common for weather enthusiasts and UFOlogists.
Aykroyd has publicly shared more than one alien/UFO experience with the media. A memorable mention references the time he woke up in the middle of the night and wrote a note to his wife that read “they’re here.” He then walked outside in a dreamlike state. At first, his wife thought he was sleepwalking, until the rest of the neighborhood witnessed a large pink floating light in the sky. One might say the sighting was mass hysteria, others could say it was rampant cocaine use during the ’80s, but the truth about the pink object is out there — somewhere.
If you think Aykroyd is using alien and paranormal folklore to sell his vodka at places like Boulder City’s own The Flying Saucer (Area 52), or to pitch movie scripts like “Ghostbusters” and “Coneheads,” think again. Many other celebrities claim to have had alien encounters.
In 1968, Mick Jagger spotted a UFO over his house. He then spent time and money wiring his home with an alien detector. Jackie Gleason claimed his best pal, former President Richard Nixon, not only confirmed the existence of alien life, but showed him dead alien bodies. Friends of Gleason said the sight of the alleged deceased aliens led him to drink heavily.
Muhammad Ali told reporters he saw a UFO in Central Park in New York. Sammy Hagar (Van Halen) wrote about his encounters with aliens in his 2011 memoir. And my own artistic hero, David Bowie, claimed to have been in contact with aliens since early childhood. These beings influenced Bowie’s art and music for the rest of his life. Bowie even played an alien in the 1976 British film “The Man Who Fell to Earth.”
Like Aykroyd, Bowie had an interest in UFOs and the occult. Ironically, Bowie had induced heterochromia and Aykroyd was born with it. The pair both claimed to have their careers heavily influenced by aliens, working as successful actors and musicians. They both starred in the movie “Into the Night,” too. Bowie even performed his own demonic exorcism, but that story — and its tie to Boulder City — will have to wait until my next column.
If you’re interested in learning more about the many reported UFO sightings in this country, make sure to check out UFO-Hunters.com, NUForc.org and Alienexperts.com. Each website lists strange sightings not only across the country, but also over Boulder City.
Tanya Vece is an entertainment and music writer who resides and volunteers in Boulder City. You can follow her adventures on Instagram @hollywoodwriter.