This is a very funny story. Aliens visit a village, but nobody believes that they are aliens. It was written by a very famous sci-fi writer. Unfortunately I've forgotten the name of the author and the story.

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    When did you read this? Online, in a book, or in a magazine? What language? Why didn't the people in the village believe they were aliens? Did they look like humans? Did they look like something else familiar to people? Could they communicate with humans?
    – DavidW
    May 14, 2021 at 17:55
  • 4
    What, did they think they were French?
    – FuzzyBoots
    May 14, 2021 at 18:04
  • You could improve this question by going through the checklists here and editing in any relevant info you can think to add.
    – Valorum
    May 16, 2021 at 6:37

2 Answers 2


I think this is 'Trouble with the Natives' by Arthur C. Clarke. Two aliens land near a small country village but when they meet a local and ask for directions they can't understand his accent. The next person they encounter is a professor of atomic physics, out hiking, but so engrossed in thinking through his latest theory that he doesn't even see them. They also meet the village postman (in a hurry) and an old woman (stone deaf) so those contacts don't work out either. Eventually they run into the village bobby who assumes they're mad and locks them up until he decides what to do. In the cell of the police station is a drunken student, who comes with them when they break out and becomes Earth's official first contact.

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    I have rarely been amused by science fiction (i never even like futurama) but there are occasional funny stories. I as a coin collector loved the one where aliens show enthusiasm for collecting cow pies and then humans get involved with nomenclature for describing them -- then the aliens leave. I will check out the clarke story maybe.
    – releseabe
    May 14, 2021 at 18:49

Another story with a similar theme is part of Ray Bradbury's the Martian Chronicles. Specifically, "The Earth Men".

Being a Bradbury work, it isn't really funny, though.

A set of astronauts visit Mars, and land near a Martian village. Going into the village, they deal with the locals and by some manner are eventually put into a (martian) insane asylum. Martians have the ability to project their mind's reality into reality, and if someone is declared insane, they are immediately killed. The astronauts point to their space ship as evidence of their having come from earth, but to the Martian doctor examining them sees it as evidence of their insanity, and has them killed. After having killed the last one, the space ship still hasn't vanished, so he thinks himself insane and kills himself.

I guess it's somewhat funny, in retrospect.

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    Can you explain why this one matches?
    – FuzzyBoots
    May 16, 2021 at 3:46
  • Well, earthlings are aliens from the martian perspective...
    – Faydey
    May 16, 2021 at 3:53
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    It matches, sort of, since the visitors spend the whole time trying to explain they're from another planet, and no one believes them . I saw it on TV on Ray Bradbury Theatre. It was "funny" in the sense that it was more trippy than scary. May 16, 2021 at 5:07
  • Faydey A good story but not what was looking for.
    – mspd2003
    May 16, 2021 at 13:11
  • Love the Martian Chronicles, some gems in there that were turned into radio shows for Dimension X and X-1.
    – MichaelF
    Dec 17, 2021 at 13:28

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