If aliens exist, it's not clear yet whether they favor clothing or a freer look. Several accounts of alien sightings describe unclothed visitors, and movies certainly tend toward depicting aliens as either gross monsters or morphed, "advanced" human forms. The forms these fictional aliens take depend on their role: Friendly aliens tend to look more like human children (think "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" or "ET") and unfriendly ones take on arthropod forms (as in "Predator" or "Men in Black) [sources: Hadhazy, Andersen].
It just so happens that most modern alien sightings also describe naked aliens that usually are small, gray and have big eyes, much like the kinder types from movies. According to two separate accounts of alien sightings, it seems that alien invaders may sometimes appear naked. On April 19, 1897, a letter from W. H. Hopkins was printed in the "St. Louis Post-Dispatch." Hopkins wrote that he had encountered a beautiful, naked woman being protected by a naked man, standing outside a spaceship near Springfield, Mo. Neither spoke English, but when asked where they were from, Hopkins said they pointed up toward the sky and said something that sounded like "Mars." More than 50 years later, on March 28, 1950, a man named Samuel Eaton reported meeting naked Venusians of varying ages in a forest near Mineral, Wash. They were friendly yet childlike and spoke in "uneducated" English.
In a book called "Communion: A True Story," Whitley Strieber described abduction by "visitors," which he refused to call an alien abduction. He said the visitors came to his remote cabin at night in December 1985 and took him out into the woods to conduct medical experiments on him. Strieber has written several books on abductions and founded a support group for abductees [source: UFO Casebook]. Strieber's descriptions of aliens varied, as have those of many who claim sightings. Some reptilian aliens have been described wearing hooded clothing, and many reports of aliens describe them in military uniforms. Often, however, friendly alien reports stick with the naked, child-like descriptions.
Whether the similarity between movie depictions of friendly aliens is based on reality -- Steven Spielberg reportedly studied reports of sightings in researching the "Close Encounters" film -- or on movie portrayals is a mystery. Until there is a proven, documented case of an alien -- naked or dressed up in an Armani suit -- we won't know what aliens pack for their long space journeys to Earth.
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