Observations placeholder

Pilot Dick Rutan



Type of Spiritual Experience


Number of hallucinations: 1


Pilot Dick Rutan completed the first nonstop flight around the world in 1986. In 1979, during an extended flight in an experimental plane, an elf appeared on one of the wings. The elf communicated that Rutan had fallen asleep and crashed into a mountain, and could now relax. A spacecraft with “little gray men” pulled alongside, while airplanes in his wake were looping about in dogfights. All this was accompanied by “beautiful, loud organ music.”

 “I don’t believe in any spiritual crap,” Rutan said. But he did note that he had been in the air for the same length of time as Charles Lindbergh on his epic voyage.

A description of the experience

‘I saw a spacecraft’ recalls Rutan.  ‘It was big and complicated with little grey men looking at me from its windows.  When I turned my head to see it better it would pull up and go away.  If I looked straight ahead I could see the spacecraft in my peripheral vision, with all its intricate details.  There were airplanes as well, dogfighting me from behind and a big battle going on down on the ground.  I could hear beautiful loud organ music.  I had no idea what the hell was happening’

The source of the experience

Rutan, Dick

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps




Explorers of the Infinite – Maria Coffey