Solar Miracle of
The Flop of the Century
An Agnostic Looks
The apparitions of
the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima in
To argue that 70,000 saw the miracle therefore we should lend it credence is odd considering that thousands more did not see it. And it is not true that 70,000 seen it. And what is the use of people seeing something when scientific instruments do not? Science is more reliable than people.
17 October 1917 O Seculo
"The people ask one another if they have seen anything. The greatest number avow that they have seen the trembling and dancing of the sun. Others however ... swear that the sun fell almost to the point of burning the earth with its rays".
This account by a witness talks about the miracle of the sun at Fatima wherein it is boasted that thousands of people saw the sun spin and change colour. It shows that the sun dancing and trembling is not supernatural. If you look at the strong sun it will be hard on the eyes and yourself and you will think it is moving and shaking. If you are shaking you will think it is the sun that is shaking. The quote shows that the witnesses did not all agree on what they saw. It also shows that they noticed people around them who seemed to have seen nothing. You do not ask others if they seen something unless it is clear that they may not have seen anything.
Thankfully a Catholic priest wrote in his book that many saw nothing. http://www.amazon.com/God-sun-Fatima-Stanley-Jaki/dp/B0006R7UJ6
The Blessed Virgin
Mary allegedly appeared in
Lucia revealed that the Lady promised to do a great miracle that day. This promise was published in the papers and this drew huge crowds on the day of the expected miracle. Sceptics have concluded that this prediction preconditioned the people to see something. They were not going to go to the effort of going to the Cova and taking a day off work for nothing.
The Bible God forbids us to listen to prophets - people who say they have messages from God - if there is any error in them. Lucia only revealed in 1941 that she was told by Mary in 1914 that there would be another world war - she did this after World War 2 had started. This is only how a fraud would behave. It is against the Bible to believe in the prophecy about the miracle of the sun and therefore in the miracle of the sun itself.
alleged miracle of the twentieth century has to be this miracle of the sun at
Some books would have you think that it had no less than 70,000 witnesses (eg. Fatima Revealed and Discarded, page 168). But if you look at the photographs you see that this was an exaggeration.
The papers gave a range of between 30,000 and 100,000 people. That they couldn't get their figures half right is a warning bell. If you look at the press photographs you will remember that photographers would have snapped the largest part of the crowd. Bearing that in mind we see that the crowd was not as big as the Church and the papers and the priests tried to make out. Also, there were a lot of children there. Why are there no accounts of children going berserk during the scary part of the alleged miracle?
The Lisbon paper, O Seculo", painted a very impressive account of the alleged miracle. It was obviously promoting a mystery. It was the paper that said there was 30,000. Given its adoring attitude towards the alleged miracle it would not have said that unless it were sure. The paper gave the following account,
"From the height of the road where the people parked their carriages and where many hundreds stood, afraid to brave the muddy soil, we saw the immense multitude turn towards the sun at its highest, free of all clouds. The sun called to mind a plate of dull silver. It could be stared at without the least effort. It did not burn or blind. It seemed that an eclipse was taking place. All of a sudden a tremendous shout burst forth, 'Miracle, miracle! Marvel, marvel! "before the astonished eyes of the people, whose attitude carried us back to biblical times, and who, white with terror, heads uncovered gazed at the blue sky, the sun trembled and made some brusque unheard-of movements beyond all cosmic laws; the sun danced, in the typical expression of the peasants."
This dross goes beyond what most of the witnesses said.
If you study the photos, a lot of witnesses were shielding their eyes during the miracle and squinting. No wonder they were able to look at the sun!
The fussing done about the miracle is a mystery considering that the occultist Vintras prophesied that visions would take place at Tilly-Sur-Seulles in Calvados France and when the prophecy was fulfilled in 1896 many people had aerial visions of Mary and there were miracles in which bizarre contortions of the bodies of visionaries took place. Contortions like that are generally regarded as from Satan no matter how orthodox the doctrine they seem to defend is for they are so pointless and showy. The miracle of the sun was frequently reported at Bayside New York which was not only the focus of apparitions without credibility for years but which were condemned by the Church and which made mincemeat of the authority of the pope. When people imagine the miracle happening when there is no miracle or when the miracle is heretical and therefore from Satan there is no point in taking any implication of such miracles seriously. In other words, you don’t consider becoming a Catholic if you see the sun spinning and turning different colours. It wouldn’t do any harm to consider seeing a therapist or a psychiatrist or your optician.
So that all will believe
Lucia wanted the
lady to do a big miracle so that everybody would believe. In July, the Lady told that her she would
perform the miracle she wanted in October “so that everyone will believe your
story” (page 33, What Happened at
The Lady later appeared to the three children in Valinhos and discussed the miracle she would do in October. She told them that because of the scepticism of the unbelievers the miracle would be less dramatic and great. So she had changed her mind about doing an extremely striking super-miracle and set her Immaculate Heart on a less spectacular one. The less wonderful the miracle is the more reason people have to disbelieve it and yet she said she wanted the miracle done to make people believe. An all-knowing God does not change his mind or spout such stupidity for he knows all things and you only change your mind when you realise you have made a mistake. The Virgin at least partly broke her promise.
The Lady said that everybody would believe the story of the children upon seeing the miracle. But everyone did not believe when it happened. Many in the crowd saw nothing! Many of those that did did not see anything that couldn't be explained by excitement and imagination.
Many decided to wait until the Church
decided what level of veracity and accuracy could be attributed to the
The vision was subjective
The miracle is proven to be a subjective experience by the fact that no observatory noticed any change in the sun that day or a change in its position. Christians often say that Satan doesn’t have miraculous powers but uses tricks that look like miracles. Whatever the so-called miracle did, it did not then demonstrate the miraculous power of God. There are no scientific accounts of the miracle. Is it wiser to believe the machines than the people? You must decide. If three doctors say a person has cancer and a machine which has no faults says they are wrong which do you believe?
The atmosphere was right for many to say
that the solar miracle had happened because even before it people were
reporting strange things. Some thought
the sky had gone dark in September though Canon Formigao
who was the first to support Fatima saw nothing untoward at all (page 51, What
Many of the people
had umbrellas up. Lucia had told them
to put down their brollies before the apparition though it was raining (page
78, The Evidence for Visions of the
Virgin Mary) which shows that she was planning a solar illusion
and had touching concern for the old people who could have caught
pneumonia. The brollies might have
blocked their vision of the sky so they had to go down. It is obvious that not many would have
listened to her or even heard her but many would have noticed people taking
brollies down and then they would have followed suit. Mc Clure thinks
the crowd did not expect to see the sun spinning but they all knew a miracle
was promised and I don’t doubt that being asked to put the umbrellas down was
an indication that it was time for the miracle. Since the crowd was so large and it was
hard to see the apparition site they would have realised that any sign would
have to take place in the sky and that most obvious orb in the sky, the
sun. The ban on using umbrellas alone
would have suggested that. And people
were seeing strange things in the sun months before the miracle of the sun (page
Lucia shouts to look at the sun
In October, a crowd of 70,000 had gathered. At the end of the visions, the Lady who had identified herself as the Lady of the Rosary, let the children see Jesus and Joseph and herself in the sun. Lucia shouted for the crowd to look at the sun.
Some say that there is no way of proving that Lucia shouted that the crowd must look at the sun before anything happened. Only a few at the front would have heard her and they might not have seen what maybe Lucia and some of the rest were seeing in the sky for their own imagination and memory would colour their perception of what they thought they were seeing. And you know the way it is with eyewitness reports at occasions like that. Some would misremember her saying to look at the sky before anything happened. But in all probability she did tell them to look at the sun. She had the stage set when she told them to put their brollies down.
The accounts do not all agree
Many of them but not all (page 77, The Evidence for Visions of the Virgin Mary) saw the sun spinning or changing colour or both but the accounts do not agree (ibid 78, 80). Now, for the Lady to want the crowd to look at the sun which is very dangerous over visions that might have been hoaxes or paranormal freaks shows that she was not the Virgin Mary but something else – perhaps something equivalent to a fairy-tale playmate. Despite all the photographers who were present there are no photos of the changes in the sky or any physical evidence. The best the defender can do is produce photos of eclipses in far away lands! (page 78, The Evidence for Visions of the Virgin Mary). When a miracle is given for unbelievers one would expect the Virgin to have done a better job of seeing to it being authenticated. The picture below shows nothing strange. If it was taken at Fatima which is doubtful then the person who took it thought it was odd. It seems the desperation to see a miracle was at work.
Some of the witnesses must have been liars
It seems that a crowd that could have been between 50,000 and 70,000 were at the Cova and were drenched to the skin (The Thunder of Justice, page 137). It seems they were up to their ankles in mud. But when the crowd endured so much discomfort which would only have brought them ridicule if nothing happened it is clear that they were desperate to convince themselves or their companions that they saw something. At that stage there was no miraculous or scientific proof that the children were telling the truth. Most of the people then had no regard for evidence and would lie or convince themselves they saw something when they saw nothing.
Many people would have said they saw something though they did not. The Virgin had said the miracle was for unbelievers and those who saw nothing might have been accused of being so stubborn in unbelief that doing a miracle to convince them would not work.
Also anybody who defended the miracle of
the sun was helping to undermine the brutal atheistic government and would
have felt that it was their duty to lie for
The miraculous drying of clothes?
It had been wet. The people thought
their clothes dried miraculously. They
must not have realised that they had not been wet or not noticed that they
had dried out which shows what kind of mental state many of them were
in. Even today, people claim that
The majority of testimonies about the Solar Miracle of 1917 never mention the drying of clothes. This is inexplicable. Many of them would have thought that what happened the sun was an illusion especially after hearing that the sun only seemed to move where they were at. So they would have dwelt more on the instant drying had it really happened. There is one eyewitness testimony that says the drying never took place. Please read the testimonies compiled by Jaki.
The photos show no evidence of anybody getting wet or being wet at all. And that includes the photos from minutes before the Miracle.
Not all saw the solar miracle
The Virgin had
vowed at Valinhos to convince all that her
apparitions were true and from God by performing a great miracle (The Thunder of Justice, page
137). But all in the Cova did not see the miracle of the sun so she lied. The Church lies that the 70,000 did see the
miracle (page 54, What Happened at Fatima?) but then we are told that
no two people seem to have seen the same thing (page 55, What Happened at
In a Fortean Picture Library photo in The Book of
Miracles some of the people are not looking up at the solar miracle
evidently because they have seen nothing and all of the faces looking up are
not amazed. There are no open mouths
or hands to the mouth. There is nobody
showing any sign of fear. This picture
tells a lot of the real truth about the solar miracle. It says Lucia herself did not see the
miracle (page 54, What Happened at
Fr Manuel Pereira da Silva wrote that the sun seemed to have come down to the height of the clouds and began to whirl. The people looked yellow. But if you look up at the sun and pretend you don’t know how high it is it looks as if it is as high as the clouds. And looking at the sun would make it seem to whirl especially when it is a scary thing to look at for we all know what harm it can do to your eyes. The people looked jaundiced because you cannot see colours right if you have just been looking at an excessively bright light.
An account in a newspaper, Ordem, mentioned the sun changing colours and whirling. That can be explained by looking at something too bright for you. It would do strange things to the eyes. The heat mentioned at the time of the miracle was caused by excitement.
Dr Almeida Garret
who witnessed the miracle did not agree with the people who said
the sun turned a dull silver. He
remarked how the sun could be looked at without pain but sometimes that can
be done. It is easy when you are
excited and anxious to see the paranormal before your very eyes. If
you want to fire walk, you won't even feel the heat when the desire takes
over and you parade across the coals. Same effect.
If you want to fire walk, you won't even feel the heat when the desire takes over and you parade across the coals. Same effect.
people reported seeing something happening over
The people at the Cova knew that the children stared into space with few blinks to see their vision which was the traditional practice. When two or more people stare at a strong light source they will be subjected to illusions and different colours and the light changing shape and seeming to come towards them or go away from them. Try it and see. You can make a room seem to fill up with light and colour and things seem to move simply by staring fixedly at the one spot. Many of the people in the crowd wanted to see a vision and they would have stared deliberately and perhaps in eagerness to see something and the illusion started.
Garret said that the clouds seemed to pass behind the sun. But then the miracle of the sun was deceptive for there is no evidence that the sun moved that day except in the eyes of the people. Science can prove that it did not move. Would God do such a dishonest miracle? When the best ever miracle implies that God is a trickster the rest can’t be reliable at all. Some of the people thought the sun was coming at them which scared them witless and could have prevented them from thinking straight. If there had been no miracle they would have imagined there had been. If a layer of clouds obscures the sun the sun can look pearly. Clouds look pearly. The light could be bright enough to make it look like the clouds are moving behind it and not in front. People do not normally look at the sun so don’t be surprised if these explanations seem too simple to be true.
The stratospheric dust
Steuart Campbell found that a cloud of
stratospheric dust could explain the miracle and change the image of the sun
and make it easy to look at (The Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, Journal
of Meteorology, UK, Vol 14, no. 142,
October, 1989). The sun could still
have been strongly bright depending on where one was standing that day
meaning that different people could have seen different things. And besides if you see the sun changing you
will be caught up in fear and how accurate would your memory be of it? The dust can make the sun easy to look at
and make it appear to be different colours even blue and violet. He reported that a similar event happened in
Catholics dismiss this for they say it doesn’t explain how the sun moved across the sky and zig-zagged. Not everybody saw the alleged zig-zagging and if you look at a bright object and look away to the side it may seem to have moved to where your eyes are focused on now. The object may look smaller which can give the impression that it is going back and if you look at the object again it will seem as if the object is coming closer to you for it will look bigger than the illusion.
Lucia reflects badly on the miracle
The centrepiece of it all was Lucia who warned the miracle was coming and told the people to look at the sun.
Her manipulative tendencies are well noted.
And it did not stop with the miracle of the sun. An aurora borealis took place over Europe in January 1938 and lasted from 8.45 pm to 1.15 am the next morning. Lucia proclaimed that the Virgin had predicted the coming of this "unknown light" and said it signalled the start of a world war. From eyewitness accounts the light looked reddish and gave the impression that fire had broken out. In some places, the lights were a beautiful display.
There was nothing magical abut the aurora borealis. And it was not the first light in the sky and not the last. It suited Lucia to treat it as important as World War II broke out soon after.
Nobody asks why the timing is still a bit odd. Why could God not have sent it a few days or the day before the War?
The cause was actually "a large sunspot" - (Nature, January 22, 1938, p.156).
Read Nature, January 29, 1938, p.192. February 5, 1938, p.232-235. Nature, April 16, 1938, p.686-7.
The prophecy of the light contains errors. Mary said that "If people do not cease offending God, a worse [war] will break out during the reign of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given to you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father." The person who makes out that a war that killed many innocent people and children is a punishment is the lowest of the low. And the persecutions of the pope did not happen. The aurora was not an unknown light. It was natural.
There is no evidence that the prophecy was written before the event. It was not mentioned even until 1940.
There has never been a proven prophecy where somebody was named like the pope was that came true.
The message reflects badly on the miracle
The solar miracle
is dubious because it happened for the sake of the message of
If it was a
miracle, then it was a miraculous illusion.
It was a divine magic trick. It
is an indignity to God to suggest that he does such things. A real God does real miracles. If the solar miracle of
Church says divine miracles have mostly good fruits.
When most people wreak havoc over religion though they do not know if it is right or wrong why trust them when they cry, “Miracle”?
Let us finish with
an important line in Mc Clure’s wonderful book, The
Evidence for Visions of the Virgin Mary, “There are surprisingly few
convincing accounts of the solar event at
It seems 10,000 people saw the Miracle of the Sun at Heroldsbach, Germany in 1949 which was a place graced by alleged apparitions. The Church, through the bishop of the diocese and the Holy Office, condemned the apparitions for hereticla teaching. By implication, the Miracle of the Sun associated with the visions was condemned too. One witness declared that the sun "grew lighter and lighter and more dazzling. The sun seemed to become more blinding and bigger and to be coming nearer us. I felt blinded. I had the overwhelming impression of something quite abnormal and also felt that something awful was going to happen at any minute. I was terrified ... Then the sun began to turn very quickly on its own axis and the rotations were so clearly visible that it seemed as if a motor was turning the sun's disc at a regular speed. During this process it took on the most wonderful colours."
The Miracle of the Sun does not mean that Mary really appeared at Fatima.
miracle of all time, the solar miracle of The Church investigated the apparitions of Fatima but it never
ever investigated the solar miracle. It never looked for depositions
about it. Why did so few write down what they experienced? Why
should we take it seriously when we have no depositions?
The Church investigated the apparitions of Fatima but it never ever investigated the solar miracle. It never looked for depositions about it. Why did so few write down what they experienced? Why should we take it seriously when we have no depositions?
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).
From: The Evidence for Visions of the Virgin Mary,
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).
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).
APPENDIX: FROM RECOMMENDED BOOK
HISTORY OF THE
THE MIRACLE OF THE SUN
In October 1917, during the
vision’s last visit to
The complaint I would have to
make about the book is the assumption that the miracle of the sun at
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
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
The vision of Gilberto Santos
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
BIBLE QUOTATIONS FROM:
The Amplified Bible
The Following Work Explains the Miracle of the Sun http://www.meessen.net/AMeessen/MirSun.pdf
Its written by Professor Auguste Meessen
Institute of Physics, Catholic Univeristy of Louvain.
Agony and the Glory, Francis Johnson, TAN,
"Apparitions and Miracles of the Sun." International Forum in Porto “Science, Religion and Conscience”. 31 Dec. 1005, 1645-6564: 199-222.
The Hidden History Of The Fatima Incident, Anomalist
Fatima Revealed and Discarded, Bro Michael of the Holy Trinity, Augustine, Devon, 1988
Is This The Third Secret? IF Colquhoun, 45 Nicholas Court, Swansea, 1995
Looking for a Miracle, Joe Nickell, Prometheus Books, New York, 1993
Novos Documentos de Fatima, Loyola editions, San Paulo, 1984
Queen of Peace (Newspaper), Fall 1995, Pittsburgh Center for Peace
Reason and Belief, Bland Blanschard, London, George Allen and Unwin Ltd, 1974
The Book of Miracles, Stuart Gordon, Headline, London, 1996
The Evidence for Visions of the Virgin Mary, Kevin McClure, Aquarian Press, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, 1985
The Rosary and the Crisis of Faith, Msgr. Joseph a. Cirrincione and Thomas A. Nelson, Tan, Illinois, 1986
The Third Secret of Fatima, Brother Michael of the Holy Trinity CRC, Tan, Illinois, 1991
The Thunder of Justice, Ted and Maureen Flynn, Maxcol Communications Inc. Sterling VA, 1993
Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998. 133-135
What Happened at Fatima? Leo Madigan, Catholic Truth Society,
Dunning, Brian. "Illuminating the Fatima "Miracle of the Sun"." Skeptoid Podcast. Skeptoid Media, Inc., 22 Jul 2008. Web. 25 Jan 2012. <http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4110>
The Crowd During the Miracle of the Sun – from www.fatimaconference.org
Notice that the photos show they were taken in ordinary light. The miracle then didn’t show up on camera! Some people had to shield their eyes to look at the sun. Others look too relaxed to be seeing a miracle. Some are not looking at the sun at all.
Our photographer didn’t see much when he was so interested in photographing the people!
This photograph plainly shows some people were
looking at the sun during the "miracle". Others were completely
disinterested because nothing was happening.
This photograph plainly shows some people were looking at the sun during the "miracle". Others were completely disinterested because nothing was happening.
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