A secret bunker hidden deep within the deserts of New Mexico is reported to be the "alien space cathedral" of the Church of Scientology, according to the author of a new book on Scientology.
The site is marked by a large symbol etched onto the desert floor: two diamonds surrounded by a pair of overlapping circles, according to the British newspaper The Sun. A private airstrip, built to serve the controversial church's leaders, is within walking distance of the symbol.
The entire complex is located near Mesa Huerfanita, N.M., roughly two-hour's drive from Santa Fe, N.M., and three hours north of Roswell, N.M., site of numerous purported UFO sightings, according to The Sun.
The Sun report, penned by BBC journalist (and author) and Scientology debunker John Sweeney, claims the church designed the underground site to withstand a nuclear holocaust. Hidden within the complex's vaults are titanium caskets that hold gold disks inscribed with the original texts of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, according to the Daily Mail.
Best known for its celebrity members like Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Kirstie Alley, scientology "is a religion that offers a precise path leading to a complete and certain understanding of one’s true spiritual nature and one’s relationship to self, family, groups, Mankind, all life forms, the material universe, the spiritual universe and the Supreme Being," according to the organization's website.
The symbols seen on the desert floor are reportedly there to help guide such Scientologists returning to Earth after fleeing the planet to escape a future "Armageddon," writes the Daily Mail.
The Church of Scientology did not respond to requests for comment, according to the Daily Mail. Sweeney's new book "The Church of Fear: Inside the Weird World of Scientology" (Silvertail Books), is scheduled to be published in January 2013.
Copyright 2013 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.