A plane flying a banner displaying a swastika intertwined with the Hebrew Star of David and the word “Swastika,” flew over Long Beach Island and along the Jersey Shore on Saturday, the local Manasquan-Belmar Path reported.
The Long Beach Township Police Department received several calls reporting the sighting, according to Bill Gee, a dispatcher with the department. Reports of the plane and banner have been reported as far north as Manhattan.
Officers believe the plane was sponsored by an organisation connected to the Raelian Movement, which preaches that earth life was scientifically created by a species of extraterrestrial beings.
In a press release the Raelians claimed responsibility for the banner, adding that Saturday was their 3rd Annual Swastika Rehabilitation Day and invited Buddhists, Hindus and other groups to stand up and show their support in cities around the world.
The Jewish Community Center of Long Beach Island said it is aware of the incident and is attempting to uncover further details.
"We're trying to find out-- what are their intentions?" said Don Pripstein, the center's president, the paper reported.
The group said it intended to fly the banner on Saturday over New York City from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and “along the New Jersey coastline” from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Flights were also scheduled for other U.S. cities including Houston, Los Angles, Chicago and Miami, according to the press release.
On its website the Raelian Movement describes the swastika as “a symbol of peace and good luck in many Eastern religions” and a “good luck symbol.”
“The star of David represents infinity in space whereas the swastika represents infinity in time i.e. there being no beginning, no end in time and everything being cyclical,” it writes.
The movement’s ‘official’ symbol features the swastika intertwined with the Hebrew Star of David, as reportedly seen by beachgoers.