If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone
From: The Evidence for Visions of the Virgin
Kevin McClure, Aquarian Books, Northamptonshire, 1983
"Nothing about Fatima has turned out to be in the least bit simple or straightforward at all. Indeed, I have never seen such a collection of contradictory accounts of a case in any of the research I have done in the past ten years. Part of the problem is that very little was written about Fatima before the end of the Second World War, and most of the Catholic commentaries seem to date from after 1950. Thirty year later is not an ideal time to start writing about any event. Also, much of the original material, published at the same time as the visions, has become confused with the content of Lucia Santos' memoirs, which were only published in 1942" (page 72).
"It is difficult to find any two accounts of the visions of May and June 1917 that agree in detail" (page 73).
"With the fifth apparition, on 13 September 1917... there are UFO-type phenomena witnessed by others besides the children, and ... there is the vision of the Virgin. Many of those present saw nothing at all..." (page 76).
"There are many factors that prevent us drawing the simple conclusion that a divinely-inspired miracle took place. Firstly, there were many representatives of the press present at the Cova, both journalists and photographers. There are many photographs of the crowd witnessing the vision; but in spite of the presence of cameras there is no photograph of the event that is even vaguely authentic; the one usually presented is actually of a solar eclipse in another part of the world, taken some time before 1917. What were the photographers doing? How could anyone miss a scoop like that? Secondly, it is clear that only a proportion of the crowd, probably less than half, actually witnessed the miracle. There is some evidence to the effect that only those who were standing in a broad band across the centre of the Cova saw the vision; but the truth of this is now impossible to establish. Thirdly, the accounts of the miracle, of the 'dance of the sun,' are simply not consistent" (page 78).
"These contradictions must raise some doubts as to the objective nature of what was seen" (page 79).
"On the whole I have been disappointed to find that there is less to most of the visions than originally seemed to be the case. In the seven major speaking visions... we have a total of only nineteen witnesses telling us about the actual visions. All of them are children, most of them barely literate, and having very little experience in life. The contemporary investigation was often shabby and incomplete, and the recording of the witnesses' own accounts often took place far too long after the events for accuracy... Consequently, while I am prepared to accept that most of the visions were genuine for the visionaries, I am not convinced that any external force, entity or intelligence had a part in any of the reported visions... what emerges from the stories of the visions may be a contact with some sort of externalized form established by belief or hope over the years, and perceived by those who were prepared for it, who were in the right frame of mind" (pages 150-151).
Kevin McClure states it so well -
"there are many factors that prevent us drawing the simple conclusion that a divinely-inspired miracle took place. Firstly, there were many representatives of the press present at the Cova, both journalists and photographers. There are many photographs of the crowd witnessing the vision; but in spite of the presence of cameras there is no photograph of the event that is even vaguely authentic... What were the photographers doing? How could anyone miss a scoop like that? Secondly, it is clear that only a proportion of the crowd, probably less than half, actually witnessed the miracle... Thirdly, the accounts of the miracle, of the 'dance of the sun,' are simply not consistent... these contradictions must raise some doubts as to the objective nature of what was seen." (Pg. 78-79, The Evidence for Visions of the Virgin Mary, Kevin McClure, Aquarian Press, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, 1985).
APPENDIX: FROM RECOMMENDED BOOK
THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF THE FATIMA INCIDENT
Anomalist Books, San Antonio, New York, 2007
THE MIRACLE OF THE SUN
In October 1917, during the vision’s last visit to Fatima she allegedly made the sun spin and exude different colours before a crowd of 70,000 people.
The complaint I would have to make about the book is the assumption that the miracle of the sun at Fatima was seen by 70,000 people (Foreword i). The fact is that only some of the crowd saw it and no two people saw the same thing and no proper investigation was conducted. Witnesses were not cross-examined. Very few reports from witnesses exist. Some reports about a silver disk where the sun was would suggest that a spaceship was appearing. Some said the sun seemed to be falling down and panicked so if they had been many in number there would have been a stampede. If it was a spaceship why didn’t everybody see it? But alien encounters and even alien abduction stories are full of similar problems. Not everybody is able to see the spaceships. The silver disc couldn’t possibly have any religious significance. It is a sign from aliens if anything.
Lucia had shouted at the crowd to look at the sun and later she said she didn’t remember doing so and there is evidence documented in the book of amnesia. Something was playing games with her brain. How can we trust her visions when we cannot trust her memory? The amnesia sounds like that reported in most apparitions involving aliens.
Curiously the book omits the fact that UFO’s were seen in the month preceding the solar miracle. Two priests and a child saw a glowing globe slowly moving from east to west and it vanished in a flash of light. Others who saw it said it came down to the apparition site and said it looked like an airplane. During the same occasion, the lady made petals seem to fall – this is a mark of many UFO events (page 76, 77, The Evidence for Visions of the Virgin Mary, Kevin McClure, Aquarian Books, Northamptonshire, 1983). This can be taken as confirmation that the children were not seeing Mary but having experiences akin to what people having visions of spaceships and aliens experience. McClure says that Fatima doesn’t match close encounters of the second kind in the sense that such encounters do not involve people changing colour which was reported by some who looked at the sun during the Miracle. These people still looked at something bright which could have tricked their eyes and besides most of those seeing the miracle didn’t speak of this colour changing.
Afonso Lopes Vieira and a group many kilometres away from Fatima saw something like a revolving globe of snow over Fatima that day (page 76, The Book of Miracles, Headline, London, 1996). Sounds like our spaceship again.
The vision of Gilberto Santos at Fatima in 1917 is interesting. He saw the crowd of pilgrims swathed in the darkness of night and their faces turned into sallow shapes little more than skulls and their faces were expressions of extreme torment (Celestial Secrets, page 229-230). Is this a sign from Heaven that the apparition was going to lead the people to Hell? Evangelical believers would say that Mary worshippers are in danger of Hell until they convert to faith in Christ alone. Santos didn’t take the vision to mean that but we can. Some would say that his not doing so indicates the authenticity of his vision. His is more convincing than that of the three children.
It is interesting that on the anniversary of the first Mary vision, May 13th, 1925 that the sun was seen at Alcacer do Sal behaving suspiciously like spaceships. Luis Antonio Carraca and his family and fifteen others saw the sun change shape and then glowing objects started to appear around it and started to turn into multicoloured lights that framed the sun (page 111, 112).
At Fatima in 1957, Father Anibal Coelho, the Postmaster General and others saw a UFO at Fatima. They couldn’t make out the shape of the object they saw in the sky for it moved about at great speed. It didn’t make any sound nor did it emit light. The witnesses are certain that it was not an airplane or a shooting star.