Earlier this month, as I watched Nathan Fielder’s Asher draw blood by gripping a fistful of nails, I had a thought that some might categorize as intrusive but that I instead welcomed with open arms: Are aliens watching The Curse too?
At this point in the UAP (a.k.a./f.k.a. UFOs) discourse, which has bagged undeniable leaps and bounds over the past few years, this is not an entirely improbable question.
Neither are the inquiries that careened into my brain immediately after, including but not limited to: Did the aliens watch Succession? What are their thoughts on For All the Dogs? Are they as enamored with Keith Lee’s TikTok restaurant reviews as everyone else? Did they celebrate the release of a quite good new album from the classic lineup of seminal pop-punk band blink-182, whose returning founding member is at least partially responsible for the current state of the larger UAP issue? Do they laugh at our memes?
But perhaps the biggest question is, are they reading this?
To be clear, these kinds of questions have persisted for some time now thanks to a shifting national approach to how we talk about UAPs. Along the way, of course, the U.S. government has U.S. governmented, meaning we’ve had our share of mockery and denials. But we’ve also seen the issue take center stage at congressional hearings, most notably one involving a whistleblower.
Still, there’s plenty to which the general public remains decidedly not privy. Chris Mellon, who previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence across two White House administrations, reiterated this facet of the continued push for disclosure mere days before this piece was published.
“There is no doubt in my mind that critical information on this important subject is still being withheld from Congress and the public,” he said in a December update to his frequently informative account on Twitter, a site I still refuse to refer to as X.
In that spirit, let’s open our minds even wider by taking a look back at some of the biggest UAP stories of 2023.
Hundreds of new sightings in report to Congress
In January, the Director of National Intelligence shared a classified version of the Annual Report on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena with Congress. Included in the report were hundreds of new sightings that were not previously disclosed to the general public. The unclassified version, meanwhile, revealed 247 new reports, as well as “another 119 that were either since discovered or reported after the preliminary assessment’s time period.”
Pentagon shares footage
Several months later, new-to-the-public video started making the rounds following an update from the Pentagon regarding its work toward better tracking UAP sightings.
While speaking at the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities in April, Dr. Sean M. Kirkpatrick—who was then leading the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO)—said that roughly half of the 650 cases his team looked into were "especially interesting and anomalous.”
To the Stars co-founder says "non-human intelligences are here and have been for millennia"
Over the summer, I asked Jim Semivan, one of Tom DeLonge's To the Stars co-founders, about UAP whistleblower David Grusch. At the time, Grusch had yet to speak under oath (more on that below) but had already received extensive media attention over allegations of the U.S. having previously retrieved "intact and partially intact craft of non-human origin.”
Semivan, who also previously served as a Senior Operations Officer for the CIA, pointed to the likely "implications" of such a claim if proven to be true.
"Once a president or a government admits this fact, then endless questions will be asked," Semivan said back in June, per Alternative Press. "Who are they? Where are they from? What do they want? When did they arrive? Are they more powerful than us? Should we fear them? And as important, how should the government and the world writ large respond? Does the government have the answers to any of these questions and if not, how will the public react to our lack of knowledge?"
While To the Stars is not affiliated with Grusch, Semivan also pointed to the company's long-held stance that "UAPs and non-human intelligences are here and have been for millennia."
Whistleblower speaks of “non-human” beings under oath
By July, Grusch, an Air Force officer and ex-intelligence official, was among three men who testified and answered questions at a House Oversight subcommittee’s Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena: Implications on National Security, Public Safety, and Government Transparency hearing.
Notably, the topic of "non-human" biologics was broached during the hearing, with Grusch stating the "non-human" determination was made by "people with direct knowledge on the program that I talked to that are currently still on the program."
According to Grusch's comments, delivered under oath, such biologics have been recovered from alleged crash locations in the past.
Tom DeLonge mentioned during congressional hearing
At the same hearing, DeLonge's To the Stars received a noteworthy shoutout from David Fravor, a retired Navy commander who credited the company with having “removed the stigma of the UFO topic which led to us being here today.”
Fittingly, DeLonge responded by sharing a timely “Tom was right” design.
"The UFO hearings today made history," he told fans at the time, noting that "so many were involved" with pulling this off. "I am so proud of the three witnesses today that blew the lid off the UFO secrecy that has been intact for decades."
Aaron Rodgers says he saw one
“Up in the clouds, we saw this tremendously large object moving in the sky," Rodgers said in September. "It was like a scene out of Independence Day when the ships are coming into the atmosphere and creating this explosion-type fire in the sky."
Previously debunked ufologist called out after “huge step backwards for this issue”
Also in September, hastily penned headlines would have had you believing that legitimate alien bodies were on display during a hearing before Mexico's Congress. However, as former Navy pilot Ryan Graves later said after also taking part in the same hearing, what transpired was instead "a huge step backwards for this issue."
As was pointed out at the time, the claims about the bodies shown at the hearing came from Jaime Maussan, whose latest work was dubbed "a hoax and a fraud" on social media.
Still, images from the widely criticized hearing went viral, later inspiring the creation of a cake.
Cardi B has her doubts
“I really don’t believe that aliens are real, because it’s like, okay, so if aliens are real, and they’re smarter than us, right? … Why they just haven’t invaded us?” Cardi B asked when the topic of aliens came up during her Hot Ones appearance in September. “Aliens, if they smart, they know how humans are. Humans are despicable. They want to take over everything; they just want to have power over everything.”
Elaborating further, Cardi highlighted “the art of war” as reason enough for a presumably advanced group of aliens to attempt a takeover of Earth.
Earl Sweatshirt says he's "seen stuff"
On the inaugural episode of Complex’s That’s Deep, Earl cautioned against jumping to conclusions in a conversation with host Yedoye Travis.
“I feel like, that’s because the world is on fire,” he said when asked about the recent series of UAP-focused news stories. “There’s so much shit happening.”
However, Earl himself has “seen stuff” that would fall under this category.
“It was like a huge thing in Los Angeles,” he said of his own experience. “It wasn’t just us.”
More generally, Earl argued it’s “not that big of a deal” to say that aliens are out there somewhere, especially considering we humans are all simply existing on “a floating fucking thing” in space.
“The government has more of a reason to be scared of aliens than I do,” Earl added.
Yeat says he saw one too
Speaking with Cassidy George for 032c magazine in November, Yeat revealed that he once had an encounter with aliens when he was younger. Though he declined to give certain specifics, stating the aliens may not want him to discuss it, the Afterlyfe artist did say that he remembers “everything on the night it transpired.”
These alleged aliens, per Yeat, were human-like but “really tall.”
Prolific writer rounds up a few UAP and UAP-adjacent news stories for an end-of-year feature for Complex in hopes of impressing aliens and endearing himself to them
Please, aliens—don’t go on Joe Rogan’s show whenever you decide to embark on your introductory PR tour. I’m here. Talk to me instead. Tell me everything you didn’t like about this article, or if you’re feeling generous everything you did, starting with how it ends.