In an interview with VICE, actor Yaphet Kotto said that he believes aliens really exist.

Kotto, known for his television work and for film roles such as Dr. Kananga in Live and Let Die and Chief Engineer Parker in Alien, says that aliens are not just fictional monsters depicted in sci-fi thrillers, but are in fact real.

"I've never talked to anyone about it, man, this is the first time," said Kotto. "I've only told my wife, my rabbi and a psychologist. This is the first time I'm talking about it."

With a lengthy list of acting credits, Kotto did what was considered foreign for black actors during his heyday: he played nuanced, non-stereotypical roles in big budget sci-fi and action films. Besides the Bond film and Alien, Kotto has also starred in The Running Man and Midnight Run.

Photo: MGM

"It gave me an opportunity no other African American actor had been given, and it opened doors for other black men to be in adventure space movies. Up until that time, they weren't in the business unless they were in churches or singing amen," Kotto said about his turn in Alien.

Kotto interviews have become a rarity in recent years, but he said that he was motivated to sit with VICE once he heard they wanted to know more about his extraterrestrial encounters.

"It started when I was about nine or ten years old," Kotto said, "I remember being told I couldn't go outside, so I would look out at the streets of my neighborhood in the Bronx, watching the kids play stickball. 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."

Some of those experiences include seeing odd lights near his home. And the actor says that from what he could tell, the strange sightings followed him.

"Every time I moved into a house, above it at some point, there would be a circle of what looked like smoke. I'd wonder where it came from because it sure as hell didn't look like clouds. Those sightings continued for a good 10 to 15 years. I've also had time loss. I have a big loss of time between some of these moments, and I'd often wonder if I was taken."

But things really took a turn for the odd once the actor got to the Philippines.

"It was one evening in my office in the Philippines. I heard my wife and the waiters calling me to come outside in very anxious voices. So I went out and when I got there, I saw the same huge circle of smoke over the house. When I asked them what they saw, they said they saw a UFO as big as the Yankee Stadium turned upside down."

He continued, "They were freaking out. Two or three nights later, I saw it. The thing blotted out the entire sky. The moon and everything, it was huge. I just remember saying, 'Jesus Christ.' I mean I got so nervous, man, because you don't see something like that without being vulnerable to becoming psychologically blown away. You get scared to put it quite frankly. That messed me up for a good three or four days."

Kotto knows that aliens are something that must be seen to be believed. He waved off suggestions that his sightings have their root in a mental health illness. "I have an IQ of 196. You might as well say that the hundreds of other people — including Canada's previous defense minister — who came to the same conclusions about alien life have mental health issues too."

And he tried to head off those who think he merely wants publicity, saying, "I'm already famous," and adding that he has no new projects to promote.

Though he knows most people won't believe him, Kotto feels that he will soon be vindicated, and that the beings he has seen will reveal themselves to the rest of humanity before too long.

He says this will happen because humans are destroying the planet, and that "we need to take a serious look at what we're doing and [the aliens are] going to help us do that."