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Top Ten Scientific Explanations for Fatima
CMR ^ | October 14, 2008 | matthew archbold

Posted on 10/14/2008 6:23:13 AM PDT by NYer

The Miracle of the Dancing Sun at Fatima which was seen by 70,000 people on October 13th, 1917 has been written about often. I truly do enjoy reading about all the "scientific" explanations for the "anomaly of Fatima." The way that science has bent itself into a pretzel to explain away the vision of the sun dancing in the sky at a foretold time is always fun.

So, last year, I got together my top ten "scientific explanations" for Fatima that I was able to find on the internet.

First I'll start with a little history history: A writer named Avelino de Almeida who wrote articles for O Século, (a big newspaper in Portugal at the time). The papper took a strong anti-religious stance. Goodness, even then, the media wasn't a big fan of religion, huh? In fact, all of Almeida's previous articles had mocked the previously reported events at Fatima but here's what he wrote that day 81 years ago:

"Before the astonished eyes of the crowd, whose aspect was biblical as they stood bare-headed, eagerly searching the sky, the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws — the sun 'danced' according to the typical expression of the people."
But despite the fact that one of their own reported this, secularists have amassed an enormous amount of explanations as to why we should not believe our own eyes. Here are the astounding reasons they've amassed so we should believe nothing at all special happened in Portugal that great day.

10. Stratospheric Dust. Steuart Campbell, writing for the 1989 edition of Journal of Meteorology, theorizes that a cloud of stratospheric dust altered the appearance of the sun on 13 October, making it easier to look at, and causing it to appear yellow, blue, and violet and to spin. In support of his hypothesis, Mr. Campbell reports that a blue and reddened sun was reported in China as documented in 1983.

9. Not everyone saw it so nothing happened. Oddly, this is the exact opposite of their argument that people in China saw it so it didn't happen. Astronomers, they say, noticed no dancing in the sky from all over the world. The dancing sun was a regional event thus disproving it. A quick question would be the fact that it was a regional event should prove that something out of the ordinary happened. If it happened worldwide it would be written off as simply an astronomical event because the whole world saw it.

8. ESP! (Always my favorite) Author Lisa Schwebel claims that the event was a supernatural form of extra-sensory phenomenon. God? no way! ESP? Yup! Schwebel has said that throughout the history of man there have been several reported cases of religious gatherings culminating in the sudden and mysterious appearance of lights in the sky so therefore it's ESP. The logic evades me a little but I guess if you're a believer in The Exorcist Part II, then it's as believable as Richard Burton as a priest.

7. Mock-Sun. Didn't even know this one existed but it's worth a listen. Joe Nickell, a self described skeptic and paranormal investigator, according to Wikipedia,
claims that the position of the phenomenon as described by the various witnesses, is at the wrong azimuth and elevation to have been the sun. He suggests the cause may have been a sundog. Sometimes referred to as a parhelion or "mock sun", a sundog is an atmospheric optical phenomenon associated with the reflection/refraction of sunlight by the numerous small ice crystals that make up cirrus or cirrostratus clouds. A sundog is, however, a stationary phenomenon, and would not explain the reported appearance of the "dancing sun". So Nickell further suggests an explanation for this phenomena may lie in temporary retinal distortion, caused by staring at the intense light and/or the effect of darting the eyes to and fro so as to avoid completely fixed gazing (thus combining image, afterimage and movement).
So, in effect, 70,000 people all shook their heads and thought a mock-sun was dancing. All 70,000? Prety ridiculous, huh?

6. Dust cloud! Paul Simons, in an article entitled "Weather Secrets of Miracle at Fatima", said that it's possible that some of the optical effects at Fatima may have been caused by a cloud of dust from the Sahara.

5. The old mass hallucination theory. Author Kevin McClure is one of many on this claim which goes something like this: The crowd at Cova da Iria was expecting to see signs in the sun so they did. Yeah because that happens all the time. But McClure doesn't factor in that people several miles away who weren't thinking about the event also saw it.

4. UFO! The old alien craft pretending to be a sign from God trick. Happens all the time, didn't you know. Of course, the spaceship just happened to come on the day that the three children said a miracle would occur. Or perhaps the apparitions were all the works of little green men. This all sounds a lot more real than the Church's explanation.

3. Solar Storm. A gigantic coronal mass ejection (CME) occurred. Better known as the Northern Lights in Portugal. You see, solar flares emit high-speed particles that cause the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis. Well that explains it all right there. Because we all know the Northern Lights look exactly like the Sun dancing. Or not.

2. Peer pressure. There was significant social pressure to see a miracle so everyone fooled themselves into believing they did. 70,000 people? That's some pretty strong peer pressure especially for the people who saw it 20 miles away.

1. An Eclipse. These fellas don't mind contradicting themselves. This would be a very very regional eclipse. Wouldn't astronomers have noted the eclipse?

Bonus Reason:
-1. Evolution. This is sadly from Institute of Physics, Catholic University of Louvain. Evolution has provided us with the infamous “zoom and loom effect”. It occurs when you see an image at some unknown distance. Your brain considers the possibility that it might come closer so without your knowledge your brain performs "an illusory mental zoom, where the apparent size of the object is progressively increased." Here's why this occurs, says scientists: Evolution forces us to be constantly worried that something dangerous is coming to eat us so we might need to skedaddle right quick so the brain zooms it in to scare us into skedaddling. When the “idea” of an approach does not lead to any real danger, the perceived object returns to its normal place. Thus the dancing sun. Amazing. 70,000 people thought the Sun was coming to eat them. When they realized the Sun had no teeth they "zoomed and loomed" it back to where it belonged. That might just be my favorite one.

So after listening to these level-headed scientists(?) explain away Fatima hasn't it convinced you to join the Richard Dawkins fan club? Me neither.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Religion & Science
KEYWORDS: atheism; fatima
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Photo of the solar event


Onlookers kneel in amazement as the evidence of God.

1 posted on 10/14/2008 6:23:14 AM PDT by NYer
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To: Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...

Newspaper account of the event

2 posted on 10/14/2008 6:25:14 AM PDT by NYer ("Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ." - St. Jerome)
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To: NYer; Quix; tpanther; metmom

I’d like to see scientific theories on the prophesy of Russia that was made just after that sign? On the same day? [In 1917, when Russia was a war-torn mess, humiliated by the Germans.]


3 posted on 10/14/2008 6:27:25 AM PDT by Arthur Wildfire! March ("Never tell me the odds!" -- Han Solo)
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To: NYer

Baleva Sacessfa of San Clemente, California, reported seeing Elvis at this sidewalk café on March 13, 2001. Sacessfa said she was driving past the café, taking her cousin, Honey Rivera, for her colonoscopic exam when she spotted Elvis sitting at the table at the far left rear in this picture. She slowed the car and her cousin also got a look at Elvis. Sacessfa and Rivera said Elvis was eating something that looked fried and did not look up as they drove past. At the next intersection, Sacessfa circled the block to come back by the café on the side of the street where Elvis was, but when she drove by in that direction, he was no longer at the table.

http://www.honorelvis.com/sightings.htm


4 posted on 10/14/2008 6:32:08 AM PDT by Soliton (> 100)
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To: NYer

Roper Poll claimed that nearly four million Americans have had certain “indicator” experiences and therefore had probably been abducted by aliens.

Theories
How can we explain these experiences? Some abductees recall their experiences spontaneously, but some only “remember” in therapy, support groups, or under hypnosis. We know that memories can be changed and even completely created with hypnosis (Laurence, et al. 1986), peer pressure, and repeated questioning (Loftus 1993). Are “memories” of abduction created this way? Most of Wright’s ninety-five abductees were hypnotized and/or interviewed many times. Hopkins is well known for his hypnotic techniques for eliciting abduction reports, and Mack also uses hypnosis. However, there are many reports of conscious recall of abduction without hypnosis or multiple interviews, and the significance of the role of false memory is still not clear.
Another theory is that abductees are mentally ill.

http://www.csicop.org/si/9805/abduction.html


5 posted on 10/14/2008 6:36:20 AM PDT by Soliton (> 100)
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To: Soliton

Sainthood for her!


6 posted on 10/14/2008 6:38:31 AM PDT by ConservativeMind (The LA Times, 10/6/08, was told to cut "75 editorial positions." How many are needed for 2 pages?)
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To: NYer

A few years ago, the supposed image of Jesus Christ on a tortilla made the news—which is curious, since the Bible provides no description as to what Jesus looked like.


7 posted on 10/14/2008 6:47:33 AM PDT by Fiji Hill
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To: Fiji Hill
But does give a receipt for “tortilla” chips.
8 posted on 10/14/2008 6:52:12 AM PDT by svcw (Great selection of gift baskets: http://baskettastic.com/)
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To: Soliton

I know you think you are being clever but you are not.


9 posted on 10/14/2008 6:53:10 AM PDT by svcw (Great selection of gift baskets: http://baskettastic.com/)
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To: Fiji Hill
A few years ago, the supposed image of Jesus Christ on a tortilla made the news—which is curious, since the Bible provides no description as to what Jesus looked like.

The Shroud of Turin has His perfect likeness! Of course, if the shroud is real, then St. Francis and Padre Pio were frauds. The Shroud shows nails through the wrists, while St. Francis and Pio both had stigmata of the palms.

10 posted on 10/14/2008 6:55:29 AM PDT by Soliton (> 100)
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To: NYer

Did anyone consider the possibility of the Fatima “miracle” being a supernatural demonic deception?


11 posted on 10/14/2008 6:59:06 AM PDT by NorthShoreGibby
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To: Soliton
Roper Poll claimed that nearly four million Americans have had certain “indicator” experiences and therefore had probably been abducted by aliens.

The aliens always wipe your memory after an abduction. One of the key "indicators" is not remembering the event. Therefore, anyone who doesn't remember being abducted by aliens probably has been. Those people who say they were abducted are just saying to fit in.

12 posted on 10/14/2008 7:02:55 AM PDT by mbynack (Retired USAF SMSgt)
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To: NYer

In the fifties we were told to pray to Our Lady of Fatima for the conversion of Russia.

Has anyone ever explained the polluted water of Lourdes not making anyone ill?


13 posted on 10/14/2008 7:05:21 AM PDT by diefree
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To: mbynack
The aliens always wipe your memory after an abduction. One of the key "indicators" is not remembering the event. Therefore, anyone who doesn't remember being abducted by aliens probably has been. Those people who say they were abducted are just saying to fit in.

You're right of cours. I know for a fact that I have never been abducted, so I absolutely have been.

14 posted on 10/14/2008 7:05:26 AM PDT by Soliton (> 100)
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To: diefree
Has anyone ever explained the polluted water of Lourdes not making anyone ill?

They're ill when they get there. How could you tell? Also, everyone eventually dies after visiting Lourdes. How do you explain that?

15 posted on 10/14/2008 7:09:43 AM PDT by Soliton (> 100)
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To: Soliton

Everyone eventually dies. Yes. I’ve been to Lourdes twice and Fatima twice. I’m still alive. I drank the polluted water at Lourdes. I didn’t get sick from the water.


16 posted on 10/14/2008 7:12:57 AM PDT by diefree
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To: Fiji Hill

Very clever!


17 posted on 10/14/2008 7:14:48 AM PDT by Gamecock (Sadistic preachers don't talk about Hell.)
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To: NYer
A quick question would be the fact that it was a regional event should prove that something out of the ordinary happened.

It would also prove that the sun didn't dance, it was just an optical illusion (or a 'mass vision' if that's what you'd prefer to believe).

18 posted on 10/14/2008 7:27:41 AM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall cause you to vote against the Democrats.)
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To: Soliton

ACTUALLY,

The mentally ill accusation has been emphatically proven false.

On average, as a group, the populace of studied abductees is slightly but measurably mentally healthier than the average population.

There IS a bit of evidence in them of some PTSD . . . as well there would be from an abduction experience.

The better known researchers are scrupulous in avoiding leading the abductees with their questions whether in hypnosis, or not.


19 posted on 10/14/2008 7:54:51 AM PDT by Quix (POL LDRS GLOBALIST QUOTES: #76 http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2031425/posts?page=77#77)
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To: Arthur Wildfire! March

‘ET’s’

are evidently quite . . . beyond the limits of time . . . as we know it . . . and could well have made such a prediction . . . particularly in cahoots with hell.


20 posted on 10/14/2008 7:56:10 AM PDT by Quix (POL LDRS GLOBALIST QUOTES: #76 http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2031425/posts?page=77#77)
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To: MEGoody

>> It would also prove that the sun didn’t dance, it was just an optical illusion (or a ‘mass vision’ if that’s what you’d prefer to believe). <<

Are you familiar with this event? Did you know that the witnesses said they all saw the sun crash to the Earth? Obviously, the most fervently believing witness doesn’t believe that what they saw happened is what did happen, since that would of course meant the destruction of the Earth.

But what sort of optical illusion makes it appear that the bright shining object in the sky would dance around and crash to the Earth? And don’t forget, this would have to also explain exactly how three little children were also able to anticipate this, so as to gather a crowd of 70,000 people to witness it happen. See, that’s the tough thing: Even if a naturalistic phenomenon could be proffered as an explanation, it can’t detract from the miraculous nature of the event, just like the various naturalistic phenomena offered as explanations for Moses’ plagues of Egypt can’t detract from the miraculous nature of God’s deliverance of his people from Egypt.


21 posted on 10/14/2008 7:58:06 AM PDT by dangus
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To: NYer

The only plausible one that fits the facts reported earliest and by the most reliable observers

is the UFO/ET one.


22 posted on 10/14/2008 7:59:26 AM PDT by Quix (POL LDRS GLOBALIST QUOTES: #76 http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2031425/posts?page=77#77)
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To: NorthShoreGibby

With the

fallen angels, nephilium, watchers, ET’s being in cahoots with satan and his demonic forces . . . would amount to the same thing.


23 posted on 10/14/2008 8:00:56 AM PDT by Quix (POL LDRS GLOBALIST QUOTES: #76 http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2031425/posts?page=77#77)
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To: mbynack

The ‘memory wiping’ appears to be quite flawed and spotty . . . at least not consistently thorough or long lasting for all abductees in all respects.


24 posted on 10/14/2008 8:01:54 AM PDT by Quix (POL LDRS GLOBALIST QUOTES: #76 http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2031425/posts?page=77#77)
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Bush's fault.

25 posted on 10/14/2008 8:05:27 AM PDT by evets (beer)
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To: dangus
But what sort of optical illusion makes it appear that the bright shining object in the sky would dance around and crash to the Earth?

Don't know, but obviously, the sun didn't dance or crash to the earth.

Even if a naturalistic phenomenon could be proffered as an explanation, it can’t detract from the miraculous nature of the event, just like the various naturalistic phenomena offered as explanations for Moses’ plagues of Egypt can’t detract from the miraculous nature of God’s deliverance of his people from Egypt.

Except the plagues of Egypt had a purpose. What purpose would this have served if it were a miracle?

26 posted on 10/14/2008 8:15:55 AM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall cause you to vote against the Democrats.)
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To: NYer
I will take the testimony of the children at Fatima over the scientists any day!

Apparition of 13 October 1917

Apparition of 13 October 1917

During the night of 12-13 October it had rained throughout, soaking the ground and the pilgrims who make their way to Fátima from all directions by the thousands. By foot, by cart and even by car they came, entering the bowl of the Cova from the Fátima-Leiria road, which today still passes in front of the large square of the Basilica. From there they made their way down the gently slope to the place where a trestle had been erected over the little holm oak of the apparitions. Today on the site is the modern glass and steel Capelhina (little chapel), enclosing the first chapel built there and the statue of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fátima where the holm oak had stood.

As for the children, they made their way to the Cova amid the adulation and skepticism which had followed them since May. When they arrived they found critics who questioned their veracity and the punctuality of the Lady, who had promised to arrive at noon. It was well passed noon by the official time of the country. However, when the sun arrived at its zenith the Lady appeared as she had said she would.

Video
"What do you want of me?"

I want a chapel built here in my honor. I want you to continue saying the Rosary every day. The war will end soon, and the soldiers will return to their homes.

"Yes. Yes."

"Will you tell me your name?"

I am the Lady of the Rosary.

"I have many petitions from many people. Will you grant them? "

Some I shall grant, and others I must deny. People must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. They must not offend our Lord any more, for He is already too much offended! 

"And is that all you have to ask?"

There is nothing more.

As the Lady of the Rosary rises toward the east she turns the palms of her hands toward the dark sky. While the rain had stopped, dark clouds continued to obscure the sun, which suddenly bursts through them and is seen to be a soft spinning disk of silver.

"Look at the sun!"

From this point two distinct apparitions were seen, that of the phenomenon of the sun seen by the 70,000 or so spectators and that beheld by the children alone. Lucia describes the latter in her memoirs.

After our Lady had disappeared into the immense distance of the firmament, we beheld St. Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady robed in white with a blue mantle, beside the sun. St. Joseph and the Child Jesus seemed to bless the world, for they traced the Sign of the Cross with their hands. When, a little later, this apparition disappeared, I saw Our Lord and Our lady; it seemed to me to that it was Our Lady of Sorrows (Dolors). Our Lord appeared to bless the world in the same manner as St. Joseph had done. This apparition also vanished, and I saw Our Lady once more, this time  resembling Our Lady of Carmel. [Only Lucia would see the later, presaging her entrance into Carmel some years later.]

This would be the last of the apparitions of Fátima for Jacinta and Francisco. However, for Lucia Our Lady would return a seventh time, in 1920, as she had promised the previous May. At that time Lucia would be praying in the Cova before leaving Fátima for a girls boarding school. The Lady would come to urge her to dedicate herself wholly to God.As the children viewed the various apparitions of Jesus, Mary and Joseph the crowd witnessed a different prodigy, the now famous miracle of the sun. Among the witnesses there were the following:

O Seculo (a pro-government, anti-clerical, Lisbon paper):

From the road, where the vehicles were parked and where hundreds of people who had not dared to brave the mud were congregated, one could see the immense multitude turn toward the sun, which appeared free from clouds and in its zenith. It looked like a plaque of dull silver, and it was possible to look at it without the least discomfort. It might have been an eclipse which was taking place. But at that moment a great shout went up, and one could hear the spectators nearest at hand shouting: "A miracle! A miracle!

Before the astonished eyes of the crowd, whose aspect was biblical as they stood bareheaded, eagerly searching the sky, the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws---the sun "danced" according to the typical expression of the people.

Standing at the step of an omnibus was an old man. With his face turned to the sun, he recited the Credo in a loud voice. I asked who he was and was told Senhor Joao da Cunha Vasconcelos. I saw him afterwards going up to those around him who still had their hats on, and vehemently imploring them to uncover before such an extraordinary demonstration of the existence of God.

Identical scenes were repeated elsewhere, and in one place a woman cried out: "How terrible! There are even men who do not uncover before such a stupendous miracle!"

People then began to ask each other what they had seen. The great majority admitted to having seen the trembling and the dancing of the sun; others affirmed that they saw the face of the Blessed Virgin; others, again, swore that the sun whirled on itself like a giant Catherine wheel and that it lowered itself to the earth as if to burn it in its rays. Some said they saw it change colors successively....


O Dia (another Lisbon daily, edition of 17 October 1917):

"At one o'clock in the afternoon, midday by the sun, the rain stopped. The sky, pearly grey in colour, illuminated the vast arid landscape with a strange light. The sun had a transparent gauzy veil so that the eyes could easily be fixed upon it. The grey mother-of-pearl tone turned into a sheet of silver which broke up as the clouds were torn apart and the silver sun, enveloped in the same gauzy grey light, was seen to whirl and turn in the circle of broken clouds. A cry went up from every mouth and people fell on their knees on the muddy ground....

The light turned a beautiful blue, as if it had come through the stained-glass windows of a cathedral, and spread itself over the people who knelt with outstretched hands. The blue faded slowly, and then the light seemed to pass through yellow glass. Yellow stains fell against white handkerchiefs, against the dark skirts of the women. They were repeated on the trees, on the stones and on the serra. People wept and prayed with uncovered heads, in the presence of a miracle they had awaited. The seconds seemed like hours, so vivid were they.


Ti Marto (father of Jacinta and Francisco)

We looked easily at the sun, which for some reason did not blind us. It seemed to flicker on and off, first one way, then another. It cast its rays in many directions and painted everything in different colors--- the trees, the people, the air and the ground. But what was most extraordinary, I thought, was that the sun did not hurt our eyes. Everything was still and quiet, and everyone was looking up. Then at a certain moment, the sun appeared to stop spinning. It then began to move and to dance in the sky until it seemed to detach itself from its place and fall upon us. It was a terrible moment.


Maria de Capelinha  (one of the earliest believers):

The sun turned everything to different colours---yellow, blue and white. Then it shook and trembled. It looked like a wheel of fire that was going to fall on the people. They began to cry out, "We shall all be killed!" Others called to our Lady to save them. They recited acts of contrition. One woman began to confess her sins aloud, advertising that she had done this and that.... When at last the sun stopped leaping and moving, we all breathed our relief. We were still alive, and the miracle which the children had foretold, had been seen by everyone.


I was looking at the place of the apparitions, in a serene, if cold, expectation of something happening, and with diminishing curiosity, because a long time had passed without anything to excite my attention. Then I heard a shout from thousands of voices and saw the multitude suddenly turn its back and shoulders away from the point toward which up to now it had directed its attention, and turn to look at the sky on the opposite side.

It must have been nearly two o'clock by the legal time, and about midday by the sun. The sun, a few moments before, had broken through the thick layer of clouds which hid it, and shone clearly and intensely. I veered to the magnet which seemed to be drawing all eyes, and saw it as a disc with a clean-cut rim, luminous and shining, but which did not hurt the eyes. I do not agree with the comparison which I have heard made in Fatima---that of a dull silver disc. It was a clearer, richer, brighter colour, having something of the luster of a pearl. It did not in the least resemble the moon on a clear night because one saw it and felt it to be a living body. It was not spheric like the moon, nor did it have the same colour, tone, or shading. It looked like a glazed wheel made of mother-of-pearl. It could not be confused, either, with the sun seen through fog (for there was no fog at the time), because it was not opaque, diffused or veiled. In Fatima it gave light and heat and appeared clear-cut with a well-defined rim.

The sky was mottled with light cirrus clouds with the blue coming through here and there, but sometimes the sun stood out in patches of clear sky. The clouds passed from west to east and did not obscure the light of the sun, giving the impression of passing behind it, though sometimes these flecks of white took on tones of pink or diaphanous blue as they passed before the sun.

It was a remarkable fact that one could fix one's eyes on this brazier of heat and light without any pain in the eyes or blinding of the retina. The phenomenon, except for two interruptions when the sun seemed to send out rays of refulgent heat which obliged us to look away, must have lasted about ten minutes.

The sun's disc did not remain immobile. This was not the sparkling of a, heavenly body, for it spun round on itself in a mad whirl. Then, suddenly, one heard a clamour, a cry of anguish breaking from all the people. The sun, whirling wildly, seemed to loosen itself from the firmament and advance threateningly upon the earth as if to crush us with its huge and fiery weight. The sensation during those moments was terrible.

During the solar phenomenon, which I have just described in detail, there were changes of colour in the atmosphere. Looking at the sun, I noticed that everything around was becoming darkened. I looked first at the nearest objects and then extended my glance further afield as far as the horizon. I saw everything an amethyst colour. Objects around me, the sky and the atmosphere, were of the same colour. An oak tree nearby threw a shadow of this colour on the ground.

Fearing that I was suffering from an affection of the retina, an improbable explanation because in that case one could not see things purple-colored, I turned away and shut my eyes, keeping my hands before them to intercept the light. With my back still turned, I opened my eyes and saw that the landscape was the same purple colour as before.

The impression was not that of an eclipse, and while looking at the sun I noticed that the atmosphere had cleared. Soon after I heard a peasant who was near me shout out in tones of astonishment: "Look, that lady is all yellow!"

And in fact everything, both near and far, had changed, taking on the colour of old yellow damask. People looked as if they were suffering from jaundice, and I recall a sensation of amusement at seeing them look so ugly and unattractive. My own hand was the same colour. All the phenomena which I have described were observed by me in a calm and serene state of mind, and without any emotional disturbance. It is for others to interpret and explain them.


Dr. Almeida Garrett, PhD (Coimbra University):

I was looking at the place of the apparitions, in a serene, if cold, expectation of something happening, and with diminishing curiosity, because a long time had passed without anything to excite my attention. Then I heard a shout from thousands of voices and saw the multitude suddenly turn its back and shoulders away from the point toward which up to now it had directed its attention, and turn to look at the sky on the opposite side.

It must have been nearly two o'clock by the legal time, and about midday by the sun. The sun, a few moments before, had broken through the thick layer of clouds which hid it, and shone clearly and intensely. I veered to the magnet which seemed to be drawing all eyes, and saw it as a disc with a clean-cut rim, luminous and shining, but which did not hurt the eyes. I do not agree with the comparison which I have heard made in Fátima---that of a dull silver disc. It was a clearer, richer, brighter color, having something of the luster of a pearl. It did not in the least resemble the moon on a clear night because one saw it and felt it to be a living body. It was not spheric like the moon, nor did it have the same color, tone, or shading. It looked like a glazed wheel made of mother-of-pearl. It could not be confused, either, with the sun seen through fog (for there was no fog at the time), because it was not opaque, diffused or veiled. In Fátima it gave light and heat and appeared clear-cut with a well-defined rim.

The sky was mottled with light cirrus clouds with the blue coming through here and there, but sometimes the sun stood out in patches of clear sky. The clouds passed from west to east and did not obscure the light of the sun, giving the impression of passing behind it, though sometimes these flecks of white took on tones of pink or diaphanous blue as they passed before the sun.

It was a remarkable fact that one could fix one's eyes on this brazier of heat and light without any pain in the eyes or blinding of the retina. The phenomenon, except for two interruptions when the sun seemed to send out rays of refulgent heat which obliged us to look away, must have lasted about ten minutes.

The sun's disc did not remain immobile. This was not the sparkling of a, heavenly body, for it spun round on itself in a mad whirl. Then, suddenly, one heard a clamor, a cry of anguish breaking from all the people. The sun, whirling wildly, seemed to loosen itself from the firmament and advance threateningly upon the earth as if to crush us with its huge and fiery weight. The sensation during those moments was terrible.

During the solar phenomenon, which I have just described in detail, there were changes of color in the atmosphere. Looking at the sun, I noticed that everything around was becoming darkened. I looked first at the nearest objects and then extended my glance further afield as far as the horizon. I saw everything an amethyst color. Objects around me, the sky and the atmosphere, were of the same color. An oak tree nearby threw a shadow of this color on the ground.

Fearing that I was suffering from an affection of the retina, an improbable explanation because in that case one could not see things purple-colored, I turned away and shut my eyes, keeping my hands before them to intercept the light. With my back still turned, I opened my eyes and saw that the landscape was the same purple color as before.

The impression was not that of an eclipse, and while looking at the sun I noticed that the atmosphere had cleared. Soon after I heard a peasant who was near me shout out in tones of astonishment: "Look, that lady is all yellow!"

And in fact everything, both near and far, had changed, taking on the color of old yellow damask. People looked as if they were suffering from jaundice, and I recall a sensation of amusement at seeing them look so ugly and unattractive. My own hand was the same color. All the phenomena which I have described were observed by me in a calm and serene state of mind, and without any emotional disturbance. It is for others to interpret and explain them.


Dr. Domingos Coelho (reported in the newspaper Ordem):

The sun, at one moment surrounded with scarlet flame, at another aureoled in yellow and deep purple, seemed to be in an exceedingly fast and whirling movement, at times appearing to be loosened from the sky and to be approaching the earth, strongly radiating heat.


Fr. Manuel Pereira da Silva (in a letter to a friend)

The sun appeared with its circumference well defined. It came down as if to the height of the clouds and began to whirl giddily upon itself like a captive ball of fire. With some interruptions, this lasted about eight minutes. The atmosphere darkened and the features of each became yellow. Everyone knelt even in the mud....


Senhor Alfredo da Silva Santos (Lisbon):

We made our arrangements, and went in three motor cars on the early morning of the 13th. There was a thick mist, and the car which went in front mistook the way so that we were all lost for a time and only arrived at the Cova da Iria at midday by the sun. It was absolutely full of people, but for my part I felt devoid of any religious feeling. When Lucia called out: "Look at the sun!" the whole multitude repeated: "Attention to the sun!" It was a day of incessant drizzle but a few moments before the miracle it stopped raining. I can hardly find words to describe what followed. The sun began to move, and at a certain moment appeared to be detached from the sky and about to hurtle upon us like a wheel of flame. My wife---we had been married only a short time- -- fainted, and I was too upset to attend to her, and my brother-in- law, Joao Vassalo, supported her on his arm. I fell on my knees, oblivious of everything, and when I got up I don't know what I said. I think I began to cry out like the others. An old man with a white beard began to attack the atheists aloud and challenged them to say whether or not something supernatural had occurred.


There may have been many former atheists in Fátima that day, but there were plenty in Portugal, nonetheless, to charge hallucination. For those the Lady provided witnesses who were not at the scene and could not have been subject to collective suggestion.

Alfonso Lopes Vieira (observed the display from a distance of nearly 25 miles):

On that day of October 13, 1917,  without remembering the predictions of the children, I was enchanted by a remarkable spectacle in the sky of a kind I had never seen before. I saw it from this veranda....


Fr. Ignacio Lorenco (Alburitel, 11 miles away):

I was only nine years old at this time, and I went to the local village school. At about midday we were surprised by the shouts and cries of some men and women who were passing in the street in front of the school. The teacher, a good, pious woman, though nervous and impressionable, was the first to run into the road, with the children after her.

Outside, the people were shouting and weeping and pointing to the sun, ignoring the agitated questions of the schoolmistress. It was the great Miracle, which one could see quite distinctly from the top of the hill where my village was situated---the Miracle of the sun, accompanied by all its extraordinary phenomena.

I feel incapable of describing what I saw and felt. I looked fixedly at the sun, which seemed pale and did not hurt the eyes. Looking like a ball of snow revolving on itself, it suddenly seemed to come down in a zigzag, menacing the earth. Terrified, I ran and hid myself among the people, who were weeping and expecting the end of the world at any moment.

Near us was an unbeliever who had spent the morning mocking at the simpletons who had gone off to Fátima just to see an ordinary girl. He now seemed to be paralyzed, his eyes fixed on the sun. Afterwards he trembled from head to foot and lifting up his arms fell on his knees in the mud, crying out to our Lady.

Meanwhile the people continued to cry out and to weep, asking God to pardon their sins. We all ran to the two chapels in the village, which were soon filled to overflowing. During those long moments of the solar prodigy, objects around us turned all the colors of the rainbow. We saw ourselves blue, yellow, red, etc. All these strange phenomena increased the fears of the people. After about ten minutes the sun, now dull and pallid, returned to its place. When the people realized that the danger was over, there was an explosion of joy, and everyone joined in thanksgiving and praise to our Lady.


27 posted on 10/14/2008 8:16:29 AM PDT by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

"Never apologize for the Blessed Virgin Mary!"

~~Mother Angelica

And I think Mother Angelica would include trying to explain away the Blessed Virgin Mary and all her apparitions in her comment. People might be very amazed when they are met by Christ's mother when they die and have to account for all the dissing that they did of her. (My opinion.)

28 posted on 10/14/2008 8:21:51 AM PDT by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: diefree
In the fifties we were told to pray to Our Lady of Fatima for the conversion of Russia.

Yes ... I remember that! Did you ever imagine that in your lifetime, you would see the fruit of those prayers!

29 posted on 10/14/2008 8:37:02 AM PDT by NYer ("Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ." - St. Jerome)
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To: Soliton

I think there are a few missing steps in that argument. Care to flesh it out?


30 posted on 10/14/2008 8:51:36 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: NYer

Yes. I did.

On my first trip to Portugal I made the observation to myself that the Portuguese looked like Russians. I believe that I read somewhere that they did indeed migrate from Russia. Have you ever heard that?

Also, it’s interesting that the Basque (Lourdes) language has no roots in Romance languages but is more like the ?Hungarian language, I think.


31 posted on 10/14/2008 8:51:48 AM PDT by diefree
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To: Soliton
Of course everyone dies after visiting Lourdes. So what? No claim is made that the waters preserve life indefinitely.

Are you familiar with the Church's standards for characterizing a healing as miraculous?

32 posted on 10/14/2008 8:53:41 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Quix
Two questions:

(1)How was the populace of studied abductees related to the populace of abducties in general (or were all tested)?

(2)Does calling them abductees rather than, say, "people who claim to have been abducted" or something like that suggest some premises coming into the study?

And (3) How the heck are you?

33 posted on 10/14/2008 8:59:21 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: NYer; Quix
The old mass hallucination theory.

Never understood that one. Is there such a thing as a "mass hallucination"?

An illusion, a trick of the light, could be seen by many people at once. A hallucination, seeing something that isn't there, is something that must be going on inside someone's head. People in crowds aren't going to have the same hallucination.

.UFO! The old alien craft pretending to be a sign from God trick. Happens all the time, didn't you know. Of course, the spaceship just happened to come on the day that the three children said a miracle would occur. Or perhaps the apparitions were all the works of little green men. This all sounds a lot more real than the Church's explanation.

I would not be too quick to dismiss this. UFOs ain't, can not be, "little green men" from another planet. I suggest you look up Jacques Vallee and his work on historical apparitions. He concluded (from what I recall, it's been a number of years since I read him.) that the UFO phenomenon was an attempt to manipulate humanity.

Ping to Quix, who's interested in that stuff.

34 posted on 10/14/2008 9:05:58 AM PDT by Lee N. Field ("I've studied bible prophecy 30 years" usually means "I've never heard of Geerhardus Vos.")
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To: Lee N. Field; NYer; Quix
Start here
Vallée proposes that there is a genuine UFO phenomenon, partly associated with a form of non-human consciousness that manipulates space and time. The phenomenon has been active throughout human history, and seems to masquerade in various forms to different cultures. In his opinion, the intelligence behind the phenomenon attempts social manipulation by using deception on the humans with whom they interact.

Vallée also proposes that a secondary aspect of the UFO phenomenon involves human manipulation by humans. Witnesses of UFO phenomena undergo a manipulative and staged spectacle, meant to alter their belief system, and eventually, influence human society by suggesting alien intervention from outer space. The ultimate motivation for this deception is probably a projected major change of human society, the breaking down of old belief systems and the implementation of new ones. Vallée cannot say who or what is behind this scheme, only that the evidence, if carefully analysed, suggests an underlying plan for the deception of mankind by means of psychotronic technology. It is highly unlikely that governments actually conceal alien evidence, as the popular myth suggests. Rather, it is much more likely that that is exactly what the manipulators want us to believe. Vallée feels the entire subject of UFOs is mystified by charlatans and science fiction. He advocates a stronger and more serious involvement of science in the UFO research and debate. Only this can reveal the true nature of the UFO phenomenon.

Sounds spot on to me. Someone's messing with your head.

35 posted on 10/14/2008 9:11:06 AM PDT by Lee N. Field ("I've studied bible prophecy 30 years" usually means "I've never heard of Geerhardus Vos.")
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To: Soliton
NAhhh. Elvis is in a nursing home in Texas.
36 posted on 10/14/2008 9:13:41 AM PDT by Lee N. Field ("I've studied bible prophecy 30 years" usually means "I've never heard of Geerhardus Vos.")
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To: NYer
Actually the biggest miracle was not the sun.It was that all the people's clothes were dry and clean and the ground was dry.An eye wittiness explains what happened after the sun went back in place and it is on video.
37 posted on 10/14/2008 9:22:08 AM PDT by fatima (Put your lipstick on girls and go vote.)
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To: Quix
The ‘memory wiping’ appears to be quite flawed and spotty . . . at least not consistently thorough or long lasting for all abductees in all respects.

There seems to be some quality control issues with some of the alien memory wiping technology. You can rely on the ones from Mars, but don't trust anything that comes from Uranus.

38 posted on 10/14/2008 9:27:42 AM PDT by mbynack (Retired USAF SMSgt)
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To: fatima

“Missing time” might account for that. Stuff dried out by itself.


39 posted on 10/14/2008 9:28:14 AM PDT by Lee N. Field ("I've studied bible prophecy 30 years" usually means "I've never heard of Geerhardus Vos.")
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To: NYer

That was reasonably quick. Predictable.


40 posted on 10/14/2008 9:28:30 AM PDT by Jaded ("Eloquence is no substitute for experience" -Joe Lieberman)
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To: MEGoody

The plagues served to change the heart of the pharoah, so that he would let Moses’ people go. Ultimately, of course, since God could have achieved this through other means, the purpose was to strengthen the faith of the Israelites.

The miracle at Fatima served to encourage hundreds of millions of Catholics to pray for the conversion of Russia, to resist the heresy of universalism, and to know God was at work even during the horrors of WWII and the Soviet dominance of Eastern Europe. In other words, to strengthen the faith of the faithful Christians in the Catholic Church.


41 posted on 10/14/2008 9:35:36 AM PDT by dangus
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To: MEGoody

(Incidentally, from 1918 until the end of the 20th century, Portugal emerged as the most Christian nation in Europe.)


42 posted on 10/14/2008 9:36:35 AM PDT by dangus
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To: Lee N. Field

:)And they time to hand wash all of their clothes.


43 posted on 10/14/2008 9:45:03 AM PDT by fatima (Put your lipstick on girls and go vote.)
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To: NYer

It was pouring rain. Everyone was soaking wet. the ground was muddy.

After the miracle of the sun, the rain stopped, everyone’s clothes were dried, the ground was gry and no longer muddy.

Can they explain that?


44 posted on 10/14/2008 10:10:49 AM PDT by It's me
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To: NYer
That is supposed to read: dry.
45 posted on 10/14/2008 10:11:41 AM PDT by It's me
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To: NorthShoreGibby; Quix
Did anyone consider the possibility of the Fatima “miracle” being a supernatural demonic deception?

Yes. That is what the Church always considers first as well as fraud and trickery before it approves miracles as "worthy of belief". BTW non natural demonic deception would be preternatural not supernatural. Supernatural is only rightly used in relation to God's actions. Great on line video:

Heaven's Key to Peace

46 posted on 10/14/2008 10:31:54 AM PDT by murphE ("It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged." - GK Chesterton)
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To: NYer

I’m surprised they didn’t use “mass hypnosis” or “drug induced” as a reason.


47 posted on 10/14/2008 10:38:34 AM PDT by SaltyJoe (Pro Life from conception to natural death)
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To: MEGoody; iThinkBig; DarthVader; betty boop

There are quite a number of reports of even large UFO’s as well as dyads, triads, groups of UFO’s

—shining brightly quite similar to the sun
—dancing about precisely as described in the eyewitness reports
—appearing to crash, merge, sink behind, land on the earth—with and without ‘winking out’ phenomena associated at precisely that point in time and in their path etc.

—EVERY visible phenomena reported at Fatima by the most mature, ‘scientific,’ objective of the many observers regarding the sphere, light, craft . . . have been REPEATEDLY DUPLICATED numerous times in many UFO reports.

—ALSO, the personage, perhaps ‘designed’ to appear as a maiden plausibly convincing in the role as “Mary” has had counterparts in the UFO literature. There appears to be an ability to mimic, counterfeit, parallel, virtually any sort of political, spiritual personage such forces and powers care to bother with.


48 posted on 10/14/2008 11:20:40 AM PDT by Quix (POL LDRS GLOBALIST QUOTES: #76 http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2031425/posts?page=77#77)
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To: Salvation; Las Vegas Dave; Marysecretary; betty boop; Mad Dawg

THESE DESCRIPTIONS ARE PARTICULARLY AND PRECISELY AS HAVE BEEN A NUMBER OF DESCRIPTIONS OF ‘STANDARD’ UFO’s:

I veered to the magnet which seemed to be drawing all eyes, and saw it as a disc with a clean-cut rim, luminous and shining, but which did not hurt the eyes. I do not agree with the comparison which I have heard made in Fatima-—that of a dull silver disc. It was a clearer, richer, brighter colour, having something of the luster of a pearl. It did not in the least resemble the moon on a clear night because one saw it and felt it to be a living body. It was not spheric like the moon, nor did it have the same colour, tone, or shading. It looked like a glazed wheel made of mother-of-pearl. It could not be confused, either, with the sun seen through fog (for there was no fog at the time), because it was not opaque, diffused or veiled. In Fatima it gave light and heat and appeared clear-cut with a well-defined rim.

Dr. Domingos Coelho (reported in the newspaper Ordem):

The sun, at one moment surrounded with scarlet flame, at another aureoled in yellow and deep purple, seemed to be in an exceedingly fast and whirling movement, at times appearing to be loosened from the sky and to be approaching the earth, strongly radiating heat.

Fr. Manuel Pereira da Silva (in a letter to a friend)

The sun appeared with its circumference well defined. It came down as if to the height of the clouds and began to whirl giddily upon itself like a captive ball of fire. With some interruptions, this lasted about eight minutes. The atmosphere darkened and the features of each became yellow. Everyone knelt even in the mud....


began to move, and at a certain moment appeared to be detached from the sky and about to hurtle upon us like a wheel of flame.


which seemed pale and did not hurt the eyes. Looking like a ball of snow revolving on itself, it suddenly seemed to come down in a zigzag, menacing the earth.



49 posted on 10/14/2008 11:36:04 AM PDT by Quix (POL LDRS GLOBALIST QUOTES: #76 http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2031425/posts?page=77#77)
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To: murphE
Ya gotta understand one thing ...

The apparation at Fatima came to us through the Catholic Church.

To some folks, that makes it ipso facto evil, demonic and deceptive.

If the exact same phenomena had occurred within the context of some "independent", "nondenominational", "bible" "church" it would be an amazing prophetic witness.

It's all about the context.

50 posted on 10/14/2008 11:41:52 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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