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Happy Mondays star Shaun Ryder says aliens have been helping mankind for countless years – and that doom-mongers like Stephen Hawking who say meeting extraterrestrials could be fatal to us are “ridiculous”.

In 1978, at the age of just 15, the future Madchester hero had an experience that changed his life.

“I started working as a messenger boy at the Post Office,” he told the Daily Star, explaining that he’d “passed the Official Secrets Act and all that b******s “ to get his first job, and he was on his way to work at around 7am.

“I’m walking to the bus stop,” he says, adding that there was a local grammar school boy on the same road at around the same time: “We just look up – I don’t know why we looked up – and we saw this thing zig-zagging across the sky

“It was a ball of light, I can’t say how big it was, could have been as big as a Jaguar car for all I know

“So this thing goes up, it zig zags again, falls down and then goes back up , stays there for a minute and then it f***ed off.”

Despite being, by his own admission, not the most academic of kids when he was at school, Shaun has dedicated himself to researching the question of what people are really looking at when they see UFOs.

And after years of study he has come up with some thought-provoking conclusions.

The Black Grape star is convinced that aliens are not only visiting us regularly today, but that they have been visiting throughout history – and we may even have been genetically engineered by these visitors from beyond the stars.

Shaun has seen more than his fair share of strange lights in the sky, and while he acknowledges that he has a reputation as one of the music world’s most incorrigible caners, he insists that he was stone cold sober when he saw that first UFO, and he’d never tried anything more mind-altering than some “weak hash” when he had that life-changing experience.

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And the UFOs, whatever they are, seem to be as interested in Shaun as he is in them.

He’s had multiple UFO experiences, including one that took place while he was working on a documentary series about the phenomenon for the History Channel.

"It was 2013,” he recalls, "and I woke up one morning – again – at about seven o’clock, and looked out of my bedroom window."

It was then that he first saw the “twenty foot” object hovering over the apple tree at the bottom of his garden – and thought that the production crew on his show Shaun Ryder on UFOs has rigged up some sort of stunt to wind him up.

“It looked like it was made out of an Airfix kit,” he says. “It was wobbly, it almost looked like it was suspended from strings.”

But there were clues that this wasn’t just a prankster’s drone: “There was no noise,” he said, “but you could… feel something…” describing it as a “pinging energy” that he could somehow sense.

Whatever the object was began to slowly move away, creating a mysterious cloud around itself as it did so.

Shaun says he’s surprised that the pace of technological development has slowed, posting out that the computing power in an iPhone is vastly greater than the primitive computers on board the pioneering NASA spacecraft that went to the Moon, and wonders if there are advanced new technologies somewhere that are being hidden from ordinary people.

For example, he says “those Tic Tac things” spotted by fighter pilots operating from USS Nimitz in 2018 in a video that later went viral.

“I don’t think they’re alien,” he says. “if [an iPhone] can get us to the f***ing Moon," he says, what kind of tech do governments have under wraps?

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With humans still relying on fossil fuels and designs of cars and planes that haven’t changed meaningfully in decades, Shaun says, “It doesn’t take a genius to work out that we’re being blagged.”

Advanced technology is being kept hidden, Shaun thinks, in the interests of certain people wanting to maintain “money, power, and control”.

It may all sound like a conspiracy theory, he says “but why are we still running on technology that essentially dates back to the 1900s?"

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"We could be so much more advanced in so many areas," he says, "but we look like f***ing dickheads, which we’re really not.”

“What I’ve seen, says Shaun, “not when I’m on drugs, not when I’m hallucinating, things I saw in 1978, and things I’ve seen since tell me we should be beyond all this…”.

Referring to the likes of Luis Elizondo, he says there have been too many UFO whistleblowers from within the Pentagon and other institutions who have risked their careers to reveal the truth about other worldly visitors.

Shaun believes that, since at least the 1940s, humans have been drip-fed technology developed by beings from distant planets… and that these aliens could even have influenced our evolution in the first place.

He says that while he was recording his documentary series he met several physicists who would be quite open about UFOs off the record, but were much more cautious once the camera started rolling.

He met dozens of people who have had close encounters with aliens, including Travis Walton, perhaps the most celebrated alien abductee of all: “Travis Walton – as far as I’m concerned – told what he told, was being truthful… did lie detector tests and everything… and his story didn’t change.”

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But Shaun's overall belief is that contact with aliens can be a positive experience.

Asked how he’d feel if he were to be “abducted” by extraterrestrials he says “It can affect people in all different ways, depending on your attitude… for example, all your hair and eyebrows could fall out” [referring to his own alopecia which caused total hair loss a few years back].

And warnings from experts such as Stephen Hawking about the dangers of contact with extraterrestrials are “ridiculous”, says Shaun.

“When Hawking said it would be like Columbus meeting the Native Americans in 1492… we didn’t have the knowledge and advancement that we have in 2021,” Shaun explains, pointing out that a race with starships would be even more advanced.

“Back then the world was all about war and capturing people and making them slaves and working for your industry and let's get everything going. We’re just not there any more.”

So learning the truth about alien contact would be a good thing?

“Deffo,” says Shaun.

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