Shaun Ryder’s guide to UFOs

Close encounters of the melon-twisting kind, with the Happy Mondays frontman

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You better believe Shaun Ryder has seen some strange things in his time. But not all of them were chemically induced.

In new series Shaun Ryder on UFOs, the Happy Mondays and Black Grape frontman explores – you guessed it – unexplained flying objects, and attempts to, er, explain them.

It’s a subject that he has a personal interest in – Ryder reports several close encounters of his own, dating back to his childhood.

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For the series, Ryder travels from his native Manchester as far as the US and Chile to meet fellow UFO witnesses and find out if the truth really is out there.

Here, he tells Esquire about flying saucers (and we dig what he’s gotta say).


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My first experience was when I was a boy. I saw hundreds of crafts going across the sky – and they weren’t the Old Trafford floodlights, either. Then a year later I saw a craft that was doing the typical zigzag motion and then flying off at tens of thousands of miles an hour. I was 15 years old – that was before the party days!

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I read tons on the subject. I believe that there have been sightings from a long time ago, ever since man was first on Earth. But the first recorded sighting I believe was 1884.


The common thing that people usually say is that they see a blob in the sky, and this very fast zigzag movement that hovers and shoots off at 10,000mph. I recently talked to a pilot who said the UFO he saw didn’t look real, that it looked like a cartoon. The guy is spot on. He said some of them look like they are made out of plastic.


The most likely explanation for UFO sightings is that they are UFOs!


We are not alone. Where there is water there is life. Years ago, we weren’t taught that in school. When I was a kid we thought there was nothing on Mars at all but now we know there is water there. We’re certainly not alone in the universe and we have been visited and have been for thousands of years. They were probably here before us!


If people don’t believe it they must have a brain that is a bag of cement. In the series we met a variety of people and yes some are loners, the sort of people that are not taken seriously, but we looked at different cases, including the family in Yorkshire – they were very ordinary, believable people. We took people at face value. Although I did try to avoid the abductees.


You can spot a UFO from anywhere. We have lots of reports from the Midlands, Yorkshire and the Moor areas. But all over the place – Japan, the US – all around the world. With the speed these things travel at it can take 10 minutes to get from Brazil to Manchester Arndale Centre.


My tip is just look up in the sky. For example from your back garden. A clear sky or going deep in the woods helps. Yeah, you may have to play the waiting game, but that’s what it’s all about.


Shaun Ryder on UFOs starts 10 November on History.


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MORE INTERVIEW:

Karl Pilkington 
Bobby Gillespie 
Steve Coogan 
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