Fatima: Did 70,000 people witness a miracle?

  1. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,122
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    This may not be the best source but it tells the basic story.


    If in fact some large percentage of the 70,000 actual observed what they say, and if the reports are fairly consistent, then there is only one explanation that would be consistent with science and the reported facts: What they saw was not the sun.

    Russ, thanks for mentioning it. It is ironic that as an ex-Catholic, it never occurred to me to start a thread about this.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,122
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    Of course, there is also this complication:

  4. -Job-

    -Job- 1,127
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    I have a hard time believing in this, despite the fact that 70,000 people witnessed it. When you have that many people sitting around, antecipating something, looking for anything that might seem unusual, someone is bound to come up with something. And then what is everyone else going to say? Everyone wants to have seen it, because those who didn't weren't special enough to receive the "communication". Was there any chance that these people were going to go home without having seen anything?
  5. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,122
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    I would really like to see someone duplicate that claim with something this dramatic. :biggrin:

    There is another twist on this: There will be some who would deny what they have seen.

    There is also a middle position: There is a school of thought that natural phenomena such as ball lightning may be able to affect observers psychologically. This would suggest the possibility of distorted perceptions of real events.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2007
  6. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,122
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    Is there any possibility that this was some kind of hoax; an elaborate magic trick?
  7. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,122
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  8. -Job-

    -Job- 1,127
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    I don't think it was a magic trick. Probably something akin to the "clever joke" effect. Someone tells a clever joke which you don't get but you still laugh and claim to have understood because everyone else got it, or so you think (not that i do this on a regular basis). Everyone will report having found the joke funny, but that's not really what happened.
    Not only that but by this time there was probably already some energy built up over who would be the first to see it.
    I'm fairly convinced nothing happened at all.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2007
  9. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    I don't think there was any hoax or trickery, but it would sadden me to think that God could only manage a localized visual distortion and not do something that was recordable. Now THAT would be convincing. No one outside a certain radius could see this, which leads me to believe it was some type of natural localised phenomenon and possibly mass autosuggestion.
  10. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,122
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    Has it ever been shown that such a mass suggestion is even possible? Of course, we really need to know more about the personal accounts. Did almost all of the 70,000 really see the same thing? And what of those allegedly 30 KM away?
  11. Large group of emotive people, religously primed, I've heard stories of mass hysteria and suggestion particularly amongst religious groups. I've seen cases like this before also although not on this scale, if I get some more time later I'll try and track them down. But I think there's most likely a more rational explanation for this particular case.

    Here's a detailed account along with a critical assessment.


    Last edited: Jan 3, 2007
  12. I wonder with 70,000 people what the majority said they saw. It seems that a lot of people claim there was irregularities in witnesses' descriptions. I wonder both how many people were actually individually asked what they saw, and what the ranges of their responses were. If one person said it zig-zagged, and another said that it was blue and red, do local news reports then state that "Witnesses claimed the sun appeared blue and red and zig-zagged across the sky." thus implying agreement between witnesses?
  13. SF

    SF 0

    It's easy to suspect why the newspapers would report such a thing.

    What happens if a buch of crazed reporters stare at the sun for a couple of hours? Geee :)
  14. Alkatran

    Alkatran 944
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    Sounds interesting. Makes me wish they had better cameras and maybe a video camera or two back then.
  15. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,122
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    Similar reports can be found throughout the UFO literature, both internationally….

    Apr. 22, 1957 Palalda (France). Mr. and Mrs. Firmin Bason heard
    1300 an unusual noise and saw a whirlwind of flames 10 or
    15 m above ground, coming down toward the vine-
    yard. It was red and blue, spinning wildly, flying
    slowly. It hovered for 5 min over plants which moved
    violently, then it flew south with a deafening roar,
    hovered again and departed to the southwest. Diam-
    eter at the top: about 5 m. (Ouranos 21)

    …as well as here in the US. Below are a few selections from the list of unknowns from the USAF; Project Bluebook:

    Sept. 20 [19?], 1950. Kit Carson [10 miles S of Akron?],
    Colo. 10:49 [10:45? MST] a.m. USAF B-25 crew with
    3416th Training Sq saw brilliant white star-like object
    accelerate and decelerate, emitting sparks. Source [?] saw
    2 large, round, glowing objects and 3 smaller, internally lit
    objects; 2 hovered for 1 min, moved, and 3 smaller
    objects came from behind or within the 2 larger objects,
    and all sped upward and away. (

    Sept. 1, 1952. Marietta, Georgia. 10:30 p.m. Mr.
    Bowman (ex-artillery officer) and 24 others saw a red,
    white, and blue-green object which spun and shot off
    sparks. An unidentified witness using binoculars saw 2
    large objects shaped like spinning tops with red, blue and
    green colors, fly side by side, leaving a sparkling trail for
    30 mins. (Berliner)

    Sept. 21, 1954. Barstow, Calif. (34.90° N, 117.02° W). 1
    a.m. (PST) 2 local policemen, 4 USMC police, and a
    highway patrolman saw a red-orange ball giving off
    sparks, and a smaller light, making a zigzag descent then

    Oct. 4, 1965. West Middletown to Poast Town, Ohio.
    6:45 p.m. Mrs. Helen Tucker and 3 teenage girls driving
    in a car turned S onto Brown’s Run Road and saw a bright,
    flashing red and white object, at one point with sparks
    shooting off. As they drove W to Poast Town, the object
    stopped flashing and

    Nov. 2, 1947. Anderson Rd., Houston, Texas (29.76° N,
    95.36° W). Daybreak. Immigration Service [agent?]
    Brimberry saw an almost round or oval or saucer-shaped
    object with bright light [?] about 100 ft [?] diameter
    spinning in its descent.

    Jan. 1952. Weston, Wyoming. 10:30 p.m. 38-year-old
    rancher saw a “shooting star” suddenly stop in mid-air
    between him and a mountain, spinning clockwise, with
    one red window periodically facing the observer, went
    down toward the Little Powder River, come up again. He
    turned his car to send light signals, object seemed to
    respond by stopping its red window to face witness.
    Spinning resumed, object rose and came down. Similar
    object arrived, then both went into the deep valley out of

    Provincetown, Mass. (at 42°10’ N, 71° 0’ W). 10:20 and
    10:47 p.m. (EST). USAF pilot and radar operator of F-
    94B jet interceptor saw a large round spinning object
    throwing off a blue light. At 10:47 p.m., same or different
    F-94B jet fighter chased blue-green or green object
    circling at high speed, with airborne radar tracking and
    lockon. Another [?] F-94 intercepted 2 objects with
    flickering white light and swishing circling blue light
    whuch passed the jet, with airborne radar tracking and
    ground visual observation

    Aug. 24, 1952. Levelland, Texas. 9:30 p.m., 10:30 p.m.
    Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Sharp saw an object, shaped like a
    spinning top, changing color from red to yellow to blue,
    with a fiery tail, hover for 20 mins with whistling [shrill?]
    sound, then fly away on a NNW course in 3 mins. Same
    or similar object returned 1 hr later repeating maneuvers.

    Last edited: Feb 19, 2007
  16. Gib Z

    Gib Z 3,347
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    I doubt it was a magic trick, that implies something actually occurred. I can't see anything in the photo, perhaps is one of those crap apparitions that are actually normal but some Christian sees the virgin mary in...
  17. Gib Z

    Gib Z 3,347
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  18. My understanding of Fatima is that the real issue is not whether or not it happened, it's whether or not it was an 'alien' visitation from 'Our Lady of the Heavens' or an appearance of Mary as she is known in the Catholic tradition popular in Portugal.

    Some people saw Mary, and some people saw UFO's.

    But the children involved in the encounters did become very religious and devoted their lives to the church.

    Even if the miracle of the sun could be attributable to mass hysteria, how would that explain the suddenly dry clothes, after the downpour.

    It would be so much simpler to just attribute it to the status of urban legend along with dragons and unicorns.
  19. wolram

    wolram 3,552
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    It could have been some cosmic event that interacted with the sun,
    some thing akin to, but not the same as the northern lights.
  20. the clouds parted, the sun shined, the clothes dried. you've never seen this?
  21. I would stick that to post hoc ergo propter hoc, but what about the rest! Are we allergic to saying this could have happened?
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