A Republican congressional candidate from Florida has made some out-of-this-world claims.
Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera, one of nearly a dozen candidates hoping to win the U.S. House seat currently held by retiring Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, claims she was abducted by aliens who reminded her of Jesus Christ, according to newly resurfaced interviews.
“I went in. There were some round seats that were there, and some quartz rocks that controlled the ship ― not like airplanes,” Rodriguez Aguilera said, according to the interviews cited by the Miami Herald.
In the interviews, Rodriguez Aguilera claims she was taken at the age of 7 by three tall, blond space people who have communicated with her telepathically at times since.
She said the aliens reminded her of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.
“God is a universal energy, not a person,” the aliens told her, according to The Washington Post. “It’s in everything. God talks to people and they understand it in different ways, but there’s only one religion.”
She called the Herald report an “attack piece,” according to Miami ABC station Local 10. However, she did not mention whether she believed she had been abducted by aliens or if she had been in telepathic contact with them.
Rodriguez Aguilera issued a statement to the Herald that also did not confirm or deny her earlier comments on being abducted but noted that Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan both claimed to have seen UFOs.
She also cited Stephen Hawking as someone who believes in the possibility of life beyond Earth.
Hawking, the famed theoretical physicist, has indeed said there could be intelligent life elsewhere and has even warned that such an advanced civilization could wipe out the human race. But Hawking is on record as saying he doesn’t believe aliens have visited the Earth.
“I’m discounting claims that UFOs contain aliens,” he said in 2012. “Why would they appear only to cranks and weirdos?”
The Miami New Times notes that Rodriguez Aguilera is one of three Republicans and eight Democrats seeking Ros-Lehtinen’s seat in next year’s midterm election.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.