In 1922, a government permanent secretary was quoted in The Times of London calling grays “sneaking, thieving, fascinating little alien villains.”
In fact, the above quote refers to gray squirrels, in this rather amusing NYT Magazine story. But what it made me think of was the following sign, which is located near the central Nagoya train station, and which I saw out the shinkansen window as I passed by. I did not take this photo, and I believe the sign I saw had fancier graphics (the below photo is from August, 2004 and I saw the sign in May of 2007) but the text is the same:
In UFOs, there is love
As the URL, www.rael.org, confirms, this sign is the work of the Raelians, a bizarre cult based around UFO worship, founded by a French automobile journalist named Claude Vorilhon in 1975, and best known for their unconfirmed claim to have successfully clones a human being. They, like the more famous science fiction inspired religious group of Scientoloy, are classified as a cult in France (and other countries), and have been particularly singled out in South Korea, a country which is particularly sensitive to cloning related controversy following the Hwang Woo-suk fiasco.
While this massive billboard in central Nagoya indicates their presence in Japan and the Japanese Wikipedia article on them claims that of the 60,000 worldwide members they have scattered throughout 90 countries, Japan has the largest number, I have never heard anything else about their activities in Japan.
Based on this photo, they do seem to be active in South Korea though.