Candidate for US congress stands by her claim she was abducted by aliens
A candidate for the United States' Congress has said she stands by her claims she was abducted to an alien spaceship at age seven, but that the incident shouldn't detract from what she's done here on Earth since then.
Florida hopeful Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera has claimed in past Spanish TV network appearances, most recently in 2011, that she was taken aboard a ship with three blonde creatures that resembled Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer statue.
"I don't exactly know what happened," she told The Associated Press on Monday. "I believe it is real. But I was seven years old. It was an experience I had a thousand years ago."
Since those television appearances, Ms Rodriguez Aguilera has served as a council member in the city of Doral, where she was appointed vice mayor. She also teaches leadership at Miami Dade College and runs a consulting firm, Bettinara Enterprises.
Ms Rodriguez Aguilera is one of five Republicans running to replace Rep Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Republican), when she retires at the end of next year.
Ros-Lehtinen's retirement opens up a competitive seat that Democrats have high hopes of capturing as Hillary Clinton won the district last year.
Ms Rodriguez Aguilera declined to go into details on what was said in her 2009 appearance on America TeVe, where she claimed the extraterrestrials told her "the centre of the world's energy is in Africa".
She then talks about 30,000 non-human skulls discovered in a cave on the Mediterranean island of Malta.
Another video uploaded in 2011 also showed Rodriguez Aguilera in a TV show talking about the discovery.
The videos were cited in a Miami Herald story on Monday and are available on YouTube.
In them, Ms Rodriguez Aguilera mentions seeing paranormal activity later while growing up in Miami when she was 12 and into her teens.
She cites a UFO sighting when she was 17 and referred to an article in the same newspaper that she says corroborated what she saw.
Ms Rodriguez Aguilera said news reports were portraying "in a negative way an experience I had when I was 7 and ignores everything I did after that".