Excerpts from the original article in VICE
Actor Yaphet Kotto was born in 1939. At age 77, his career is winding down. He says that is why this is a more credible time to announce that aliens have abducted him and visited him since childhood. Not when promoting “Alien” in 1979. Not when being up for a huge role on Star Trek. (Wikipedia says: A memo from Paramount indicates that Kotto was among those being considered for Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation, a role which eventually went to Patrick Stewart.) But only when there’s little left to gain or lose, like a deathbed confession, when truths are often revealed because the truth needs to be told.
“There’s no reason for me to make these claims. I never promoted any book or anything like that. I never read anyone talking about the experiences I’ve had. I’ve made 75 movies and I’ve done television shows. I’m known all over the world so this confession wouldn’t advance me, I advance myself through my acting. Other people may do this to try to advance themselves, make it public and then become famous. I’m already famous so what possible purpose would I have to tell these stories except how it relates to the movie Alien? This is the reason why I never talked about it after that movie because of course they’d say, “oooh, he’s trying to promote his movie.” Well I’m not promoting anything now. I’ve written no book and I have no movie that’s about to be released. This is the time to reveal this because no one can connect it to anything that’s a financial gain or form of media exposure. When someone now asks me if I ever experienced anything that’s remotely close to an alien, I’ll say “damn right I did.” It happened at nine years old and continued since then.
So I really don’t care whether anyone thinks I’m delusional. My delusion is over. I’ve taken a position on that.”
“Yaphet Kotto believes in aliens. The statement would be easy enough to take in on its own if not for the fact that Mr. Kotto also believes he’s seen an alien, held an alien, and generally accepts that he’s been abducted by aliens.
…Understand that I felt special and disillusioned by this whole conversation. My initial goal was simple. Speak with Kotto about his infamous death in Ridley Scott’s 1979 masterpiece Alien for a story and submit. But buried at the bottom my email exchange with his talent agent Ryan Goldhar were the words, “he has also asked if you’re open to discussing his UFO experiences in the Philippines.”
“…This was an immensely talented, multi-award winning, Emmy-nominated icon. I can call him that because he paved the way for future African American sci-fi roles in Alien, and he’s been a Bond villain as Kananga in Live and Let Die… [a few weeks ago on this blog, even I referred to this movie about Israel’s commando raid on Entebbe, Uganda, to rescure hostages in 1976 – Kotto played Idi Amin.]
“But despite all that, this showbiz legend wanted to speak about his lifelong association with aliens.
While it would’ve been easy for me to dismiss the request as a strive for attention or simple delusion, the infinite examples of people claiming to have been abducted are out there. Yes, the irony of a legend from Alien talking about real life aliens sat with me, but I listened. Here are bits of that unfiltered, hour-long exchange that made me question whether Yaphet Kotto was telling me an amazing truth or something entirely imaginary….
Yaphet Kotto: Well I don’t normally don’t do interviews as you already know. There have been five or six people who’ve tried to speak to me and I’ve refused. But this was important to me. When my publicist said some journalist was willing to talk about this, it compelled me to come out with it. It has been 50 years of me dealing with these UFOs and aliens.
OK, so when did it officially start for you?
It started when I was about nine or ten years old. I remember being told I couldn’t go outside, so I was looking out at the streets of Bronx New York watching the kids play stickball in a kneeling position. When I turned around, a figure was behind me, it was at least five or six feet tall with an elongated head. It appeared, then jumped to the back of me and disappeared. From that moment on, it was one experience after another which culminated into my sighting in the Philippines and during the filming of Alien.
…So you really never once mentioned your experiences? It would seem like an ample place since the film was largely about an alien.
I never talked to about it man, this is the first time. I’ve only told my wife, my rabbi, and a psychologist. This is the first time I’m talking about it and I don’t know why. I just decided I was going to do it this year. I’ve gotten to a place where I can no longer hold them privately. They aren’t going to go away and I honestly believe these species are close to making themselves known in this century, to this generation. I believe their purpose is to make sure we don’t kill ourselves.”
Read even more at the original article in VICE