Close encounters of the Scientology kind:
Pilots aboard three passenger planes in the vicinity of London’s Gatwick Airport late last year reported seeing a pair of “flat, silver discs” hovering near the UK headquarters of the Church of Scientology.
Air traffic controllers also said that they saw six UFOs on radar screens before the objects disappeared, according to a report issued last week by the UK’s Airprox Board.
The board examines reports of air traffic safety violations in UK airspace and recommends safety measures. Last week’s report failed to find an explanation for the pilot sightings from last Dec. 30 at about 9 a.m. It did describe how a Boeing 777 pilot raised the alarm at 8:53 a.m. after spotting “two flat silver discs”over the Scientology headquarters in East Grinstead minutes from touchdown at Gatwick. The three pilots on the flightdeck said that they saw the objects about 100 feet below them, moving slowly or stationary, according to the report.
Minutes later a Boeing 767 and an Airbus 319 saw the same “saucer-like” shapes hovering about 1,000 feet above ground. The 777 crew said they looked “man-made” and “toy-like.”
Airprox Investigators considered explanations including that the objects were balloons or kites.
The juxtaposition of UFOs and Scientology is not surprising. Some think that the movement, which purports to have the answers to life’s questions, believes that aliens inhabit humans, although Scientologists insists the “alien descendent” theory is a set of “scurrilous statements, issued by the Internet fringe.” The movement’s most celebrated follower is actor Tom Cruise.
The encounter came the day before Scientologists supposedly carved messages to aliens in an “alien space cathedral” in the hills in northeastern New Mexico.