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A Fashion Showdown... in Space.

I'm a lot of things, but I am not a stylish person. At any given moment, I’m likely to be wearing cargo pants and a t-shirt. My wardrobe is substantially lacking in a number of areas, for example, I don’t own a pair of sneakers. I wear the same pair of boots every single day. Suffice it to say that I don’t know a lot about fashion.

Well, human fashion anyway. When it comes to the latest style that people report space aliens to be wearing, I’m much more up to date. Aliens aren’t just the naked little gray monsters that you see so frequently in the media; they’ve got a whole spectrum of styles. I suppose you could consider this my first-ever Fashion Critique.

My favorite tale of alien apparel is by far the case of Betty Andreasson. She’s a woman from New England that claimed aliens materialized in her home, put her family into a coma, and took her aboard their spaceship where she met a being called The One. Her drawings of the aliens bring to mind Napoleonic soldiers; blue uniforms with Sam-Browne belts (wide leather belts that go around the waist, but also cross from one shoulder to the opposite hip; commonly seen on policemen or soldiers) and boots. Despite the fact that they wore boots, they floated a few inches off the ground. On the spaceship she later claimed the aliens also wore three-fingered gloves. But where this story really distinguishes itself is that each alien had a patch on his sleeve, resembling some sort of bird. Basically, these guys looked like undecorated Marine Corps officers.

Betty Andreasson's vaguely napoleonic space alien kidnappers phase through a wall.

The most famous story of alien abduction, that of Betty and Barney Hill, also involves peculiarly dressed aliens. Barney Hill reported that all of the space aliens he saw were wearing shiny black uniforms, apparently made of leather. They wore hats made of the same material that had thin brims that could be seen when they turned their heads. The overall impression that Barney got was that the men were, or were at least similar to, Nazi army officers. To me, a tale involving men in tight-fitting black leather uniforms seems vaguely pornographic, but that’s just me.

Barney Hill's tormentor. Note skin-tight black leather Nazi outfit and stylish hat.

Even the aliens that are clearly not humans wear clothing. The Hopkinsville Goblins were diminutive monsters that came out of a spaceship and terrorized a Kentucky farm family as they were trying to eat supper. Originally, they were described as wearing suits “like metal plate” which to me calls to mind images of knights on horseback. Later, the media would only report that the goblins wore silver space suits, and the drawings made by the family only show the critters in the nude. Go figure. In a case involving similar tiny monsters from Canada, it was reported that the figures were dressed in lime green jumpsuits. They were spotted working on the outside of a flying saucer as it hovered above, of all things, a lake.

The appearance of aliens in diving suits is less common in the modern day than it was during the 1970s. I suppose that makes them comparable to Bell Bottoms and foot-long sideburns. This trend, enigmatically, started in Europe, spread to South America and never really caught on in the United States. For instance, in 1992 a couple drove past a tall, thin man that was wearing a black diving helmet. The helmet had a rectangular window through which the startled motorists could see large, almond-shaped eyes that were glowing with a faint green color. The head was much too large, but by the time they’d turned around to get a better look, the space man was gone.

A spaceman wearing a nautical-type diving suit similar to the 1992 case. If I am reading the caption properly, this is a "reproduction of the drawing made after the l'ile Bouchard a Marcilly Sur Vienne case of 30 September 1954, reproduced on the first page of La Nouvelle on the second and third of October, 1954."

I have no information to go with this sketch, other than that it's creepy, yet stylish.

One notable North American case occurs in Budd Hopkin’s book Witnessed: The True Story of the Brooklyn Bridge Abductions. There’s a drawing in it where a young boy draws the aliens that came to kidnap him. They sport stylish 1800s-style diving helmets, large copper affairs with round windows protected by metal bars.

More recently, in 1998 a Canadian woman reported spotting two figures wearing white space suits with big helmets. They seemed to be examining the ground, and an ominous, multi-colored fog was flowing out of the forest behind them. Eventually the creatures left and the fog receded.

Space suits and diving helmets are hardly the height of fashion. A much more stylish encounter occurred in 1996, when a woman was abducted and brought aboard a spaceship. She claims that the aliens looked more or less ‘standard’ except for the fact that they wore translucent robes, through which she could see that their skin was a light orange. I wouldn’t even know where to buy a translucent robe, even if I wanted to. Or what I would use it for.

The creepiest tale of otherworldly hijinks that I have ever heard is by far the tale of a Spanish farmer named Samuel Cosme. Working on his farm one day, he saw what he thought was an animal in a shallow ditch. Deciding to trap, and, I presume, eat the creature, he moved towards it only to find that it was indeed an animal… from outer space! It had yellow skin, short arms, and gigantic, shiny black eyes. The farmer didn’t notice any clothing as he fled towards his home to get his sons. When they emerged, the being was floating over the tomato patch, making a sound resembling a helicopter propeller. Imagine how creepy it would be to see a yellow midget with giant eyes hovering above your tomato patch making helicopter sounds, watching you. Anyway, I included this because, if we can all agree that propellers do not naturally grow on the bodies of space aliens, this implies that the creature was wearing some sort of tiny propeller capable of lifting him into the air.

Many consider this next tale to be UFO related, though I can’t see why. It seems a certain Cpl. Miguel Aguero was alone at his police station, checking the vacant cell blocks when he came across a very short being with glowing, bulging red eyes and a badly deformed, warty face. It was wearing filthy black trousers and a green shirt. Cpl Aguero seems to have fainted when the creature said “I have come for thee on Satan’s behalf,” and as such was unable to give any fashion tips to the departing monster.

Yet another Canadian left his mobile home one night in January 2000 and saw a huge, silent flying saucer hovering outside. Through a window, he could see a normal-looking man who was grinning for some reason. He was wearing, of all things, a pair of overalls.

But the aliens are also big fans of accessories. A witness in Decorah, Idaho in 2000 reported that his home was invaded three times by “fast moving” aliens that smelled terrible and wore “surgical gloves”. They apparently told him that they came from an underwater base somewhere, though they did not explain why the unfortunate witness suffered terrible nosebleeds after each of their visits.

I’ve not recounted this vast range of alien fashions just for the fun of it. There are those in the UFO community that claim that all alien abductions are uniform, that they are all relatively similar. I do not believe that in light of these reports they can reconcile their theory with the reality of the stories told by “reliable witnesses.” In the same vein, I cannot believe that less militant people can produce a reasonable explanation for such a wide variation in clothing styles. These spacemen supposedly live in the same environments (spaceships) and are in the same line of work (abducting humans.) So why the tremendous variation?

If some of these witnesses are not telling the truth, that corrupts the idea of “reliable witnesses” being sufficient proof to believe in space aliens coming to earth in the face of a total lack of physical evidence. If they are all telling the truth, then the Earth is being visited by dozens, if not hundreds of different types of aliens. Does the fact that every possible type of clothing has been reported prove that aliens are anything other than real? Of course not. I do not mean this to be irrefutable proof that this whole phenomenon is fiction. But it certainly raises some important questions. Such a wide range of stories strongly points towards the existence of myth, not fact.

To the UFO community, I humbly ask for an explanation. How should an alien dress? Silver space suits, transparent robes, metal plates, filthy trousers and a shirt, lime green jumpsuits, plain human overalls, surgical gloves, military uniforms, diving suits complete with bulky metal helmets, skin-tight black leather uniforms, or naked as the day they were born?

Be seeing you.