Florida has a U.S. senator who once flew aboard the Space Shuttle.
A congressional candidate from Miami can go one better: Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera says she’s been aboard a spaceship too. But this one was crewed by aliens. As in extraterrestrials.
Three blond, big-bodied beings — two females, one male — visited her when she was 7 years old and have communicated telepathically with her several times in her life, she says. (Sen. Bill Nelson served as payload officer aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1986. All seven people aboard were from Earth. As far as is known.)
Rodriguez Aguilera, 59, a Republican who is running to replace retiring Miami Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, recounted her experience with the ETs during a 2009 television interview.
She described “going up” inside the spaceship — though whether it went into space or just hovered around town was left unclear.
“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.
In two separate videos posted to YouTube years ago, one by local Spanish-language station America TeVe and another by a political critic with the user name DoralGirl26, Rodriguez Aguilera spoke on television in detail about her extraterrestrial experiences. She said the alien beings reminded her of the famous statue in Rio de Janeiro, Christ the Redeemer, with arms outstretched.
Among the things she said she found out from the aliens:
▪ There are 30,000 skulls — “different from humans” — in a cave in the Mediterranean island of Malta.
▪ The world’s “energy center” is in Africa.
▪ The Coral Castle, a limestone tourist attraction South Miami-Dade, is actually an ancient Egyptian pyramid.
▪ “God is a universal energy.”
She also said that the aliens had mentioned Isis, though she didn’t clarify if they meant the terrorist organization or the ancient Egyptian goddess.
The Miami Herald asked Rodriguez Aguilera about her experiences Friday. She responded with a statement that waxed astronomical, but sadly failed to mention close encounters of any kind.
“For years people, including Presidents like Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter and astronauts have publicly claimed to have seen unidentified flying objects and scientists like Stephen Hawking and institutions like the Vatican have stated that there are billions of galaxies in the universe and we are probably not alone,” she said. “I personally am a Christian and have a strong belief in God, I join the majority of Americans who believe that there must be intelligent life in the billions of planets and galaxies in the universe.”
Rodriguez Aguilera was a Doral councilwoman from 2012-14 and served as the city's first economic developer. She works as an entrepreneur and has taught leadership seminars at local universities.
She declared her candidacy in late August and raised about $10,000 during the most recent fundraising quarter, she said — a paltry amount she attributed to halting her campaign during Hurricane Irma.
Rodriguez Aguilera’s daughter is former Republican National Committee Hispanic outreach director Bettina Inclán Agen. Her son-in-law, Jarrod Agen, is Vice President Mike Pence’s deputy chief of staff.
Miami attorney Rick Yabor, a frequent political commentator in Spanish-language media, said Friday that Rodriguez Aguilera’s account could hurt her congressional campaign. Miami-Dade Commissioner Bruno Barreiro and former school board member and Miami-Dade County mayoral candidate Raquel Regalado, both far better known than Rodriguez Aguilera, are also running in the Republican primary.
“Being a politician, to come out and say that, it’s odd,” Yabor said. “She got into details that are not very mainstream. Someone who’s running for Congress — you’ve got to raise a lot of money. A donor might have second thoughts.
“Miami politics are unusual,” Yabor said. “This one takes it to a new level.”