Queens, New York | December 2, 1979 – Among famous believers is the late boxing legend, Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay). He is believed to have had several experiences. Among his TV show appearances where he spoke about his encounters with UFOs, there are also newspaper clippings describing one of his encounters, where his trainer Angelo Dundee was a witness as well. Clay and a sports writer covering the boxer as he did his early-morning roadwork in Central Park sighted a bright light larger than a star light due east of Manhattan. Later Clay, the reporter and trainers watched another point of light streaking due north until it was obscured by trees. Clay said he often sees UFOs when he does early-morning roadwork.
“They’re up there all the time, and the government is keeping it a secret.”
In another interview, he described his encounter with a UFO as he drove down a highway in New Jersey. He spotted a glowing object in the sky and he was able to identify it as a “scout ship”. As soon as he could, he pulled over and drew what he could remember of the ship on a paper he had handy. He described it as a slim-shaped craft with three glowing lights under it.
UFO historian Timothy Green Beckley elaborates: Towering well above six feet, I had first met the most famous prizefighter of all one morning around 5:00 AM as he sprinted along the trail that leads into Manhattan’s Central Park around 80th Street. His long-time friend and trainer, Angelo Dundee, warned me that Ali wanted to talk and jog at the same time, as he was getting into shape to fight then-arch rival Oscar Bonavena. I looked at my own less-than-perfect physique, wondering whether I could keep up with Ali’s pace, even for a short distance. As luck had it, Ali didn’t plan on doing any heavy sprinting. After introducing myself and giving Ali a brief rundown on what I wanted this opportunity to speak to him about, we began to trot and chat simultaneously – fortunately at a speed that, though taxing, I could maintain. The “knockout” king had been working out in the park on previous mornings and had made the news by claiming to have seen not one, but two UFOs moving over New York City. Both in the park and later in his home, Ali would tell the same story to all those willing to listen.
“I happened to look up just before dawn, as I often do while running, and there hovering above us was this brilliant light hanging as if by an invisible thread. At first I thought it was a beacon projected from a helicopter,” Ali explained, “but moments later a similar object passed in front of us.” The second UFO had a glowing red trail behind it. I brought it to the attention of my trainer, who was standing nearby. We watched them come from behind the skyline and move slowly across the sky for at least 15 minutes. The best I can describe the sighting is to say they were just round and big.” Ali says he later found out there were other UFO sightings made that same night, “including a report from a pilot about to land at Newark Airport.”
A number of reporters traveling with the Champ jumped on the story and it was picked up by the wire services, though Ali was concerned that these reports made it sound as if the subject were to be treated as a joke. He wanted to let me know right from the starting bell that he was quite serious about what he had seen. “This is no joke. All my friends here saw it.” Ali added that this was by no means his only encounter with a UFO. “Actually, I’ve seen them many times before. I’ve had 16 sightings total to date,” he said as he headed toward his limousine. I was prepared to bid him goodbye, but he waved me over and said he wouldn’t mind talking further.
“I have a few more stories you’ll definitely find of interest. Why not come over to the hotel and we’ll discuss these things some more. You know those objects we discussed in the park? I’ve mentioned this to no one before, but they’ve been watching me for some time now!”
“When?” “Where?” “Why?” We all queried at the same moment.
“Many times, in the early morning hours, if you look up in the sky you can see them playing tag between the stars, really high up. I’ve had a good number of sightings myself. The closest one happened when a cigar-shaped ship hovered briefly over a car I was a passenger in one night driving north on the New Jersey Turnpike. What a sight that was. We could see the shadow made by the UFO as it passed over the pavement of the road in the light of the full moon.”
“Hey, here are my UFO men. What did you bring with you?” he smiled. I explained that we had brought along some motion picture film of flying saucers taken in West Virginia.
“We’ll plug in the projector and let’s see what they look like.” There was never any question in his mind about their being real or not; he’s a stone cold believer. At Ali’s request, we ran the film three times while he pointed out the physical characteristics on these video saucers that were similar or identical to the ones he observed in real life. When we completed the screening, Ali asked if we could have copies made for him.
“I’d like to show them at my college lectures. UFOs tie in with what my teacher, Elijah Muhammad, says.” To back up his point, he produced a copy of a book, “Message To The Black Man In America.” Thumbing through the clothbound volume, he stopped about midway. Under the heading, “Battle in the Sky is Near,” Ali read us the following passages: “The vision of Ezekiel’s wheel in the sky is true if carefully understood. There is a similar wheel in the sky today which very well answers the description of Ezekiel’s vision. The similar Ezekiel’s wheel is a masterpiece of mechanics. Maybe I should not say the wheel is similar to Ezekiel’s vision, but that Ezekiel’s vision has become a reality.
“The present wheel-shaped plane known as the Mother of Planes is one-half mile by a half mile and is the largest mechanical manmade object in the sky. It is a small human planet made for the purpose of destroying the present world of the enemies of Allah. The cost to build such a plane is staggering! The finest brains were used to build it. It is capable of staying in outer space six to twelve months at a time without coming into the Earth’s gravity. It carries fifteen hundred bombing planes with the deadliest explosives – the type used in bringing up mountains on the Earth. The very same method is to be used in the destruction of the world. “The small circular-made planes called flying saucers, which are so much talked of being seen, could be from this Mother Plane.” After closing the book, Ali concluded our discussion of UFOs and indicated to the dozen or so persons seated around that it was time to leave.
Some time passed before I was to see Ali again, which is to be expected, considering the fact that he was in such demand all over the world as a champion prize fighter, a celebrity and a peacemaker who always felt that, because of his status, he had the opportunity to help mend fences and bring about a better Earth. He’s one of the few well-recognized figures who is comfortable whether he is speaking with a group of ghetto kids, being interviewed on national television or dining with presidents or kings. Regardless of the circumstances, he has always been permitted to get his message across because he is Muhammad Ali. One of his messages happens to involve UFOs. Ali even went so far one time as to break away from a pre-planned conversation on the Johnny Carson Show to bring up a subject that “The Tonight Show” host seemed to have little interest in discussing. Our next “confrontation” was at Ali’s training camp high in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania at Dear Lake. This time I went along with an entire entourage, including my old friend Harold Salkin, health writer Herbert Bailey and super psychic Uri Geller.
“Remember how I told you about Elijah Muhammad’s belief in a large mothership circling the Earth? Well, I think this is what I observed recently over my training camp here.”
Suddenly, seemingly from out of nowhere, Ali’s eyes caught a glimpse of a bright glowing orb off in the distance. “At first I thought this flicker was the North Star rising in the heavens. However, within moments, I could tell I was watching something out of the ordinary.” Ali went on, talking with unusual candor. “Before I could blink my eyes, this ‘light’ had come down toward the mountains until it hovered right above the valley here. I knew I couldn’t be dreaming. Sure ‘nough, it was still there. This had to be one of those big ships they talk about! The UFO was streamlined and shaped sort of like a cigar, but blunt on both ends. I couldn’t see any windows or anything, but I’m certain there must have been people onboard. I always speak my mind, since I found out that so many other people have had similar sightings. I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few years lecturing to college campuses around the country and I find students are open-minded toward the existence of things like this. I hope others will listen in the future as I’m convinced UFOs are of tremendous importance to the whole world.”