Have you ever had a ‘close encounter’ or seen a UFO?

A few weeks ago, former New York Knicks basketball player Baron Davis declared on a radio show that he had recently been abducted by aliens. The Villager blasted off to Washington Square Park to try to find some intelligent life-forms to inquire if they believe in life in outer space, and have seen or come into contact with any of it.

UFO Ronni Rossi

Ronnie Rossi, 73
Retired; Bronx

Have you ever seen a UFO or had any alien encounters?
No.

Do you believe aliens exist?
Very possible. I mean, why not? Anything is possible. We only have technology to see certain distances, so who knows what’s out there?

Do you think, if there is life out there, that it would be friendly or have evil intentions?
They’re probably a lot more evolved than we are. We could use something from them; they don’t want nothing from us. I think that they’re probably looking up, down or wherever they’re from and going, ‘My God, look what they’re doing, they’re still killing people.’ If aliens, or whoever it is shows up and they were way more advanced than we are, they’re probably laughing at us. It’s like looking at things that were from 300 years ago, like archaic stuff compared to what it is today.

So you think that they would think we were uncivilized?
Absolutely. As far as the way the world is and the way people treat each other. Hopefully, they do it differently. They might be more violent, who knows? But I doubt it.

UFO Pooja

Pooja, 29
Physical therapist;  Queens, originally from India

Have you ever seen a UFO or had any alien encounters?
No.

Do you believe aliens exist, and have visited us?
Yeah. I’ve seen a few documentaries on television stating that supernatural things have been spotted, but there are no scientific explanations to that. They’ve discovered that because of the climate and the soil on Mars, there could be a possibility of life, so there could be a life on some other planet, too.

Do you think, if there is life out there, that they would be friendly or have evil intentions?
It depends on the other life, how they think, what they do. You cannot say that they would destroy us or something. It’s really how they’ve developed in terms of thinking — if they have similar kind of attributes or functioning.
Jorge Luis Paniagua Valle, 27 

 

N.Y.U. employee;
ORIGINALLY from Los Angeles

Have you ever seen a UFO or had any alien encounters?
No, never. Not in my years.

Do you believe aliens exist?
In all likelihood, based on the number of planets that could probably sustain life, based on how old the universe is — it’s likely that some advanced alien civilization has come across Earth. I can’t say whether or not we’ve encountered them publicly, but in terms of the grandness of the universe there’s probably some chance that there’s been some encounter.

Do you think, if there is life out there, that it would be friendly or have evil intentions?
So, evil, like morality, is probably subjective. I mean, I imagine an alien race that is nomadic because their planet may no longer be able sustain life and they’re looking for a place to colonize. We might see that as evil, aggressive; but they may see it as their last hope. If they came down and provided us with advanced technology, then we’d probably see them as benevolent.

If they wanted to collaborate with the human race, they would only do it if we could offer any sort of benefit to them, like technology, or resources. But if it’s an advanced alien civilization, like they were able to harness energy from stars and the solar system itself, they probably wouldn’t need very much from us. Right now, we might not have very much to offer them in terms of technology.

What alien movie do you think is most realistic?
Probably “2001: A Space Odessey.” It’s a sci-fi masterpiece. Also “Contact,” with Jodie Foster. It’s a little more realistic.

UFO Angela Zambelli

Angela Zambelli, 64
Retired; Manhattan

Have you ever seen a UFO or had any alien encounters?
Not that I’m aware of.

Do you believe aliens exist?
I believe in the possibility, let me put it that way. Not having seen one, I can’t say for sure, of course, but I don’t exclude the possibility that they could exist because I think there’s a lot that we don’t know yet, despite all the advances in science and technology. Particularly in regards to outer space and the depths of the ocean, there’s still a lot to be discovered. So therefore, I say, Why not? It would have to be proven to me that they don’t exist, or that they can’t exist.

Do you think, if there is life out there, that it would be friendly or have evil intentions?
I think it could go either way. I mean, I don’t lose sleep over it because they could be friendly and curious about us, just as much as it could be the opposite where they want to invade and take over. You know, movies usually portray them as creatures to be feared, but I think they could be benign and friendly and just want to know more about this planet and us.

UFO Mark Obradovic

Mark Obradovic, 24
Architect; FROM Paris

Have you ever seen a UFO or had any alien encounters?
No.

Do you believe aliens exist?
No. I haven’t had enough scientific evidence or proof of them, so I am not opposed to the idea of it being a possibility, of there being life away from Earth. But I’m a more of a scientific kind of person, so once there’s more concrete evidence, I could believe that. But with the Mars Rover finding water — I do believe it’s possible for there to be life form outside Earth. Not in the way that movies portray aliens, like having a certain appearance.

Do you think, if there is life out there, that it would be friendly or have evil intentions?
I think that for us, if there was another alien race on another planet, and if I were to reverse the roles, we would look at them as something to be conquered or taken advantage of, so I assume that the same could be said of them.

So you think that if we discovered alien life we would want to exploit it?
Yes. I think that we would want to study it, capture it, if it was small creatures. Whatever it was, I think that we would treat it as something below human.

—  Interviews and photos by Clarissa-Jan Lim

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