In January 2015, NASA discover Kepler 438B, a planet 475 light years away. It is a similar size to Earth and distance from its Sun, in the hypothetical “goldilocks zone” – the proposed optimal distance a planet needs to be from its star in order to harbour intelligent life. This adds to the possibility of aliens existing seeming increasingly likely.
With this in mind, since the 1960s there have been attempts by pseudo scientists to reconcile traditional religious teachings with our increasing understanding of the universe we live in and questioning the implications for the history of human race if we are not alone.
Ufologist Dr Barry Downing is one of many people who believe aliens have visited Earth and influence our history and religions for millennia.
Dr Downing, who is also a Presbyterian minister, argues the divine events depicted in the Bible are in fact evidence of extraterrestrial technologies that were interpreted by early humans.
In fact, Dr Downing even goes so far as to say Jesus Christ was actually an alien.
Dr Downing identifies episodes in the Bible that are similar to modern UFO encounters, like the world’s purportedly oldest UFO sighting in the Book of Ezekiel.
He further highlights evidence of extraterrestrial activity in the Gospel of St Matthew in the New Testament, which reports a sky-born being descending to tell the wise men about he coming birth of Jesus.
Dr Downing also suggest the star leading the wise men to the stable where Jesus was born is in fact a UFO that telepathically guided the wise men to Bethlehem.
He also draws evidence from the biblical depiction of Mary’s immaculate conception and the virgin birth of her son Jesus.
Dr Downing suggests Jesus’ embryo was implanted into Mary by aliens while other theories claim she was inseminated with alien sperm and Jesus was an alien-human hybrid.
When she was visited by the Angel Gabriel, Mary is told she will have an important son.
Dr Downing suggests this exchange she had with Gabriel was in fact an alien encounter.
Other Ufologists draw comparisons with Mary’s virgin birth and modern alien abduction reports, where women recall becoming spontaneously pregnant after an alien encounter.
However. this phenomena has not been proven by modern science and so the most compelling evidence for the Jesus-alien theory is the Biblical reports of Jesus’ miracles.
The Bible says aged 30, Jesus left home to embark on a three year mission to preach wisdom to humanity and advocate social change.
During this mission, Jesus performed a series of miracles, which Christian churches believe prove Jesus was a divine Messiah and the son of God.
Jesus had the power to change nature, walk on water and even raise the dead, according to the Bible, but Biblical Ufologists believe it is more logical to attribute this miracles to advanced alien powers than a divine one.
This alien power, Dr Downing believes, is also what Jesus used to resurrect himself after being crucified on the cross and his ascension from the Earth is argued to be a return to this home planet.