For some people, a single incident of seeing a UFO—or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena as the Air Force would now like us to say—can be a paradigm shifting moment. Or simply one experience witnessing something move on its own can lead to a quest to determine one’s belief, or lack thereof, in ghosts.
But when you’re Ace Frehley, The Spaceman formerly of KISS, once is not enough for potentially paranormal phenomena.
Rather, Space Ace claims that not only has he seen multiple objects performing odd maneuvers flying in the sky above his home, but also that a craft of some sort landed in his backyard in Westchester, New York—and that the chances of him encountering an extraterrestrial face-to-face is around “50/50.” Moreover, he said that a ghost punched him in the face, and that another potentially caused his body to shake (and was captured on camera).
And he believes he receives downloads of unknown origins when writing songs.
These are all things Frehley told me in a long interview we connected nearly 11 years ago, in Fall 2009, when I was interviewing him about Anomaly. It was his first studio record in 20 years, since 1989’s Trouble Walkin‘.
As I recall, the interview took place in a recording studio at the Gibson Guitar offices in New York City. The room was dimly-lit, but the lead guitarist was lounging in a couch, wearing shades and some Egyptian-inspired jewelry—and owning the place in the way you’d hope from a rockstar.
The conversation was a good one as we spoke about his comeback. And while Anomaly marked his return to the studio, it was still an early outing for my work surrounding “paranormal pop culture.” Even though I had been working professionally as a journalist for five years or so, I was still reticent asking celebrities about their paranormal experiences.
So when I tested it out on The Spaceman, I did not expect him to deliver. But boy, did he ever. Before I even got the question out of my mouth about what seemed to me like a connection between alien life and his album, he jumped in:
“I’m the kind of guy that says nothing’s impossible, you know? Well, I’ve seen spaceships and you know, I’ve seen it all.”
If you listen to the audio, you can hear my surprise when I reply, “Wait, wait, okay, so you’ve seen spaceships. All right.”
Frehley claimed he had always been interested in unexplained topics—including ancient aliens, and the mysteries of Ancient Egypt. His first UFO sighting of a “cigar-shaped something” was from a plane while on tour with KISS. He then proceeded to reveal he often sees them from his backyard in Westchester (a fact he said he had not previously discussed).
“I see something going across the sky, like super fast, and I’m watching, and it’s going just like this, really fast,” he said. “It stops dead and goes straight up. Now, if you know a plane that can maneuver at that speed and do a tactical maneuver like that, you let me know because I don’t think there’s one made on Earth that can do that.”
But then he dropped the bomb that he believes one landed on his property, and knocked him unconscious.
“All I know is I woke up the next morning, and I’m laying in my doorway, halfway in the house and halfway out of the house, and then there was like this circular burn on the grass,” said Frehley. “I don’t know, you tell me. I didn’t really talk about it to anybody because I didn’t want people on my property.”
As to whether he was himself abducted, he said he thinks the chances are “50/50” because the beings from another world can wipe one’s memory.
He said he believes people who don’t believe in extraterrestrials are “idiots,” considering the vastness of the universe.
“Any person who closes their mind to new ideas is just limiting their view on the world around us.” For Ace, that also includes the existence of ghosts.
“I’ve seen ghosts. I believe in spirits. I believe in past lives… I mean, I was punched in the face by a ghost.”
Frehley told the story, which had occurred in 2008, just a year before the interview, of the time he was lifting the top of a suitcase when a force struck him. He said the top of the case wasn’t heavy or powerful to cause him to be “whacked.” However, the experience followed him being hit by a book that he said came from the top of a water cooler, along with a strange sensation of his hand shaking unexplainably.
“I was in my recording studio, and I was having problems making a cup of tea because my hand was shaking,” said The Spaceman. “My hand never shake; I have a steady hand.”
“I’m pouring honey into my cup, and my hand shakes, and I spilled the honey, and I said, ‘What the fuck’s going on?'”
While he said his dismissed the hand shaking, and the book, the hit from the luggage made him connect the dots. As he spoke, he also recalled an experience from 2000, when he first purchased the Westchester home. He claims his daughter and a friend were watching him through security camera footage as he was setting up the cams. An experience of strange lights witnessed through the camera coincided with his own physical discomfort.
“She said, all of a sudden, from the bottom of my feet, it started to glow, and it was coming up my whole body. And by the time it got up to my waist, I don’t know, I didn’t feel right, and I just said I’m out of here. And when I went back in the house, her and her friend, their faces were kind of white. I go, ‘What’s wrong?’ And she described what happened.”
The strange case of Ace Frehley and the paranormal continued to unfold that day when he echoed a popular theory from those who explore alleged interplanetary, and interdimensional, life. According to Frehley, he received “downloads” from other forces as he wrote his songs. The notion that information is transmitted into a human has been used to explain the impressive construction of the Egyptian pyramids—and supposedly Nikola Tesla received his own transmissions.
“Sometimes I write songs, and I don’t know where they’re coming from,” said Frehley. “It’s almost like they are being beamed into my head; I’ve had nights where I can’t write the lyrics down as fast as I get them, and it’s like I’m not writing them, and somebody else is giving them to me.”
All of it together, said Frehley, is connected. He believes it even explains his nickname of The Spaceman of KISS.
With so many juicy quotes, perhaps an obvious question about Ace Frehley’s accounts is also the most unexplained: Why did I wait 11 years to publish these?
And I wish I had a good answer.
It felt like I struck gold, and I had big plans for Ace’s story. Perhaps it became overwhelming or I set it aside to use as part of another project. I do know, however, that I filed away the audio from the interview, and forgot about it until recently when it flooded back to me.
Humorously enough, what made me think about the Frehley interview was his near-dismissal of one third of the paranormal trifecta. After dishing about aliens, and ghosts, he matter-of-factly shot down the topic of Sasquatch.
“I don’t have the time to get into Bigfoot because where I grew up, it wasn’t an issue.”
While talking to a legend of rock ‘n’ roll, sprawled on a couch and wearing sunglasses in a darkened studio, he ultimately sounded like all of us who just can’t be bothered with yet another thing.