In his day job, Eli Nazario owns a Miami demolition company that grossed almost $1 million in 2014. But Nazario, a Brooklyn native who transplanted to South Florida around ten years ago, also has another longstanding occupation -- extraterrestrial fanatic. And now he has self-published a book, Pillars of Fire, based on both exhaustive scholarship and what he says are real experiences.
"I think we're definitely not alone," Nazario says, "based on the research and evidence that I've been able to capture."
The 41-year-old says he's been fascinated with the possibility of extraterrestrial life since he was a kid. "I would always look up," he says. But his first real experience with a UFO came about a decade ago, when he was in New York and working as a van driver for an elderly daycare business. He was just getting out of the van for a pickup in Mount Vernon, near the
Bronx, he says, when he looked up. Reflecting in a bright-blue sky, about 400 or 500 yards up, was a mysterious hovering disk. "It was cylindrical," Nazario says. "It had a rotating counterclockwise bottom. It had three windows."
Nazario stood gaping for five minutes, transfixed by the aluminum-like object. He also pointed it out to the elderly woman he was picking up, who confirmed the sighting, he says. Later he began thinking more deeply -- "It just opened up all sorts of questions in my mind," he says, "concerning humankind, concerning our origins, concerning extraterrestrial origins."
A devout Christian, Nazario began examining religious texts for records of similar sightings. He found many: references in Genesis to sons of God who "came down," descriptions of fallen angels that he reinterpreted as allusions to mysterious extraterrestrials. "So that's my theory -- that it has been written in the Bible that these things have spiritual [precedent]."
And in the years since that day in Mount Vernon, Nazario's belief, he says, has been bolstered by further UFO sightings. "A couple of them have been traditional oval-shaped. A couple have been triangle-shaped."
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Just this past fall, he says, he was near SW 122nd Avenue and 153rd Street in Southwest Miami-Dade when he looked up and saw strange "glowing red orbs," which he captured on cell-phone video. A few weeks later, he was working on the demolition of a huge building when he was mystified to find a plant growing inside the bulb for the red light that sat atop the tower -- not extraterrestrial, but further proof of the staggering ingenuity of all life forms. "Wherever there is a possibility that life exists," he says, "it will exist, is my point."
Asked what he would say to potential critics calling him crazy for his extraterrestrial theories, Nazario has a quick response: "I'd say, 'Hey, man, you're in for a rude awakening when you read my book.'" It's available on Amazon, in paperback and Kindle editions.