Mary Apparitions on the 13th of the Month

Blessed Virgin Mary Sightings Similar to UFOs

Blessed Virgin Mary Sightings in Fatima
Alien Identities: The Fatima Case (reposted from  the net - fair use intended)

Alien Identities: The Fatima Case
Excerpt from:
Alien Identities: Ancient Insights into Modern UFO Phenomena
1993 by Richard L. Thompson
ISBN 0-9635309-4-1
Govardhan Hill, Inc. Alachua, FL

Christianity is a source of a great deal of evidence for encounters between humans and human like beings endowed with mystic powers. The Roman Catholic Church, in particular, has developed a vast literature on this subject, and I have already alluded to some Catholic views regarding succubi and incubi. Here I will briefly discuss one example of an encounter with beings of a more positive spiritual nature. This is the story of meetings that took place in Fatima, Portugal, in 1917, between three children named Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta and a brilliantly effulgent lady whom they understood to be the Virgin Mary. As we shall see, this story is relevant to the UFO question, and it is backed up by an unprecedented amount of eyewitness testimony.

The meetings occurred on the 13th of the month for six successive months

in a natural amphitheater called the Cova da Iria near the town of Fatima. Revelations were made to the three children in the presence of a large throng of onlookers, which increased greatly from month to month as news spread. The actual visions of the beautiful lady could be seen only by the three children, and so our knowledge of these visions is limited to their testimony. However, during the revelations there occurred related phenomena that were witnessed by large numbers of people.

These phenomena included the appearance of a glowing, globe- shaped vehicle and the occurrence of a shower of rose petals that vanished upon touching the ground. Showers of flower petals are often mentioned in Vedic accounts of celestial visitations.[In other words, the rebel angels  who pretended to be Vedic gods did the same things as the rebel angels  who are now pretending to be Mary... perhaps they are the same rebellious entities? - ww] For example, here is an excerpt from the description of Krsna's rasa dance in the Bhagavata Purana:

The demigods and their wives were overwhelmed with eagerness to witness the rasa dance, and they soon crowded the sky with their hundreds of celestial airplanes. Kettledrums then resounded in the sky while flowers rained down and the chief Gandharvas and their wives sang Lord Krsna's spotless glories.

As for the aerial globe, one eyewitness, Mgr. J. Quaresma, described its appearance on September 13, 1917, as follows:

"To my surprise, I see clearly and distinctly a globe of light advancing from east to west, gliding slowly and majestically through the air...Suddenly the globe with its extraordinary light vanished, but near us a little girl of about ten con- tinues to cry joyfully: 'I still see it! I still see it! Now it is going down!'"

In his report about what happened after these events, Quaresma said, "My friend, full of enthusiasm, went from group to group... asking people what they had seen. The persons asked came from the most varied social classes and all unanimously affirmed the reality of the phenomena which we ourselves had observed."

::: The Solar Miracle :::

During one of the revelations, the child Lucia had requested that a miracle be shown so that people unable to see the divine lady could believe in the reality of what was happening. She was told that this would occur on the 13th of October, and she immediately communicated this to others.

On this date, it is estimated that some 70,000 people congregated in the vicinity of the Cova da Iria in anticipation of the pre- dicted miracle. The day was overcast and rainy, and the crowd huddled under umbrellas in the midst of a sea of mud. Suddenly, the clouds parted, and an astonishing solar display began to unfold. I will describe this in the words of some of the witnesses:

Dr. Joseph Garrett, Professor of Natural Sciences at Coimbra University:

"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, when suddenly a clamour was heard from all the people. The sun, whirling, seemed to loosen itself from the firmament and advance threateningly upon the earth as if to crush us with its huge fiery weight. The sensation during those moments was terrible."

Dr. Formigao, a professor at the seminary at Santarem:

"As if like a bolt from the blue, the clouds were wrenched apart, and the sun at its zenith appeared in all its splendour. It began to revolve vertiginously on its axis, like the most magnificent firewheel that could be imagined, taking on all the colors of the rainbow and sending forth multi-colored flashes of light, producing the most astounding effect. This sublime and incomparable spectacle, which was repeated three distinct times, lasted for about ten minutes. The immense multitude, overcome by the evidence of such a tremendous prodigy, threw themselves on their knees."

Similar testimony was given by large numbers of people, both from the crowd at the Cova da Iria and from a surrounding area measuring about 20 by 30 miles. The presence of confirming witnesses over such a large area suggests that the phenomenon cannot be explained as the result of crowd hysteria. The absence of reports from a wider area and the complete absence of reports from scientific observatories suggest that the phenomenon was local to the region of Fatima. It seems there are two possibilities. Either remarkable atmospheric phenomena were arranged by an intelligent agency at a time announced specifically in advance or coordinated hallucinations in thousands of people were similarly arranged at this time. By either interpretation, it is hard to fit these phenomena into the framework of modern science.

Although there seems to be a remarkable amount of testimony attesting to the unusual phenomena at Fatima, it is also relatively easy to dismiss them, if that is what one wants to do. For example, consider the following statement by a skeptical newspaper reporter:

"According to what we heard, there were people who seemed to see the sun leave its supposed orbit, break through the clouds and descend to the horizon. The impression of these seers spread to others, in a common effort to explain the phenomenon, many crying out in fear that the giant orb would precipitate itself to the earth on top of them, and imploring the protection of the Holy Virgin. The 'miraculous hour' passed."

Here simple suggestibility and crowd hysteria are used to explain how a few people's imaginary ideas were spread and amplified by frenzied believers. However, this doesn't explain how it came about that many people in surrounding communities also witnessed the solar spectacle. For example, in 1960 the Rev. Joaquim Lourenco, a canon lawyer of the diocese of Leira, described what he saw as a boy in the town of Alburitel, some nine miles from Fatima:

"I feel incapable of describing what I saw, I looked fixedly at the sun, which seemed pale and did not hurt my eyes [maybe it did not look like the sun because it wasn't the sun... it was a UFO - ww]. Looking like a ball of snow, revolving on itself, it suddenly seemed to come down in a zig-zag, 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."

It would seem unlikely that mass hysteria would give rise to the same illusions in Fatima, Alburitel, and other separated communities.


::: The Beings Seen at Fatima :::

The manifestations at Fatima were strongly connected with religion, and with Roman Catholicism in particular. I should emphasize, however, that all testimony regarding communication with the effulgent lady and other paranormal beings comes solely from the three children, since only they could actually see these beings and hear them speak.

The lady would appear to the children as a dazzling, beautiful figure standing directly above a small holm oak tree that grew in the Cova da Iria. According to Lucia, "She was more brilliant than the sun, and she radiated a sparkling light from her person, clearer and more intense than that of a crystal filled with glittering water and transpierced by the rays of the most burning sun."  Her message to the children was couched explicitly in the terminology of the Catholic Church, and it consisted mainly of warnings that unless people give up sinful life and turn back to God, there will be terrible divine punishment, and various nations will be annihilated.

[The message was non-Biblical, and a messenger from God would not contradict the Gospel. No matter what puny humans do, God will carry out what He has determined to carry out i.e. Divine punishment of sinful dwellers on the Earth. The intelligent supernatural being pretending to be Mary urged the listeners to "pray constantly", say the Rosary, and vaguley somehow "turn back towards God". Despite human efforts or some rebel angel or demon pretending to be Mary ... THE WRATH OF GOD WILL STILL FALL ON THE EARTH BECAUSE BIBLE PROPHECY SAYS IT WILL. The Book of Revelation will be fulfilled just as God says, and the prophecy of Daniel concerning the "tribulation" will come to pass, no matter what puny humans do. And if this glowing creature is really the mother of Jesus, then where is the Good News in her message? She says nothing of Christ's Atonement, and her message is inconsistant with the Gospel.  Galatians 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. - ww]

Before their meetings with the lady, the three children also had encounters with an angel. At the time of the first encounter they were tending their sheep at a rocky knoll not far from their home. They saw across the valley a dazzling globe of light like a miniature sun, gliding slowly towards them. As it approached, the ball of light gradually resolved itself into a brilliantly shining young man, who seemed to be about fourteen years old. He identified himself as the "Angel of Peace" and enjoined them to recite the following prayer: "My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, I love Thee. I ask pardon for those who do not believe, nor adore, nor hope, nor love Thee." Then he disappeared by fading away.

::: Fatima as a UFO-Encounter Case :::

How should we interpret these experiences? Of course, one approach is to dismiss them as illusions or attempt physical explanations similar to Terence Meaden's. Another is to propose that they are UFO encounters. For example, Wendelle Stevens did this straightforwardly in one of his books, in a chapter entitled "The Fatima UFO Sightings." Jacques Vallee also argued that the events at Fatima are UFO encounters and not divine miracles as understood by the Catholic Church.

My response to this proposal is to say "yes and no." On the one hand, the events at Fatima have many features that are also seen in UFO accounts. There are glowing globes of light that might be vehicles and were regarded as such by some of the people who saw them. Stevens and Vallee even interpreted the spectacular spinning solar disc of October 13 as a disc-shaped UFO. This may be valid, since it moved about in a zig-zag pattern, gave off colored beams of light, and could be looked at directly without hurting people's eyes. It may well have been a flying device, which finally departed by flying in the direction of the real sun when the latter became visible through the heavy overcast.

On the other hand, there is some danger of creating a stereotyped idea of UFOs and UFO encounters, and imposing this on the evidence. Our ideas about UFOs are empirically based, and they tend to expand and transform as we learn more about the full range of relevant empirical evidence. Clearly, not all UFO encounters are the same. Both the entities involved and the technology they employ show considerable variability. Thus to force Fatima into a preconceived UFO theory might block us from getting an understanding of what was really going on.

To support his view that the Fatima events involved UFOs rather than religious revelations, Vallee stretched some of the evidence. Thus he said that the lady appearing to the children "had not said she was the Virgin Mary. She had simply stated she was 'from Heaven.'" She, indeed, said this during her first visitation on May 13, but she added that she would reveal her identity on October 13. On that date she identified herself as the "Lady of the Rosary" -- an explicitly Catholic designation. [Yes, and that is the partial truth of the BIG LIE... of course a fallen angel would claim it was from heaven -- because it is -- and of course it would identify with the Rosary, a tool of promoting idolatry and totally in keeping with the occultism and eastern mysticism they wish to promote instead of the Gospel. - ww]

The children's encounters with the Angel of Peace are consistent with this: "Through the white radiance of his presence the children could see that he held a chalice with a Host above it, from which drops of Blood fell into the cup." If this is an honest statement of what the children saw, we must conclude that whoever the angel may have been, he was making use of explicit Catholic symbolism.

After seeing the angel with the chalice, the children experienced a sense of utter weakness and remained prostrated on the ground, praying, until evening. Vallee spoke of this as paralysis and compared it to the paralysis connected with many UFO encounters. However, there are forms of weakness, including hysterical paralysis, that are caused by powerful emotional experiences and may have nothing whatsoever to do with UFOs. This seems to be the kind of weakness that is involved here. The children's experiences can be contrasted with those of UFO abductees, who describe the terror of being immobilized by weird beings who lay them out on tables and stick probes into their bodies.

There is a striking contrast between the Fatima visitations and many UFO encounters. In a large group of these encounters, the beings involved are said to have gray, pasty, or mushroom like complexions, terrifying slanted eyes, slit mouths, and vestigial noses. They come in the night, carry people off helplessly, and subject them to sexual molestation. The victims experience psychological trauma, and in some cases develop physical diseases.

Of course, there are other cases in which people have claimed to have relatively friendly contacts with humanoids of various descriptions, including some who looked completely human. In some cases, these beings have conveyed messages to people, and some of these messages were quite complex. As in the case of Fatima, these messages have often been critical of human behavior, and they have often predicted disasters of various kinds. They have also sometimes contained philosophical and theological material.

Witness exclusivity is another feature that Fatima shares with many other UFO cases. The angels and the effulgent lady were seen only by the three children, although thousands of other people present in the Cova da Iria witnessed aerial light displays that tended to back up the children's story.

UFO cases can be regarded as falling along a broad continuum of types. This continuum is not linear. Rather it should be defined by several variables, which might include (1) the degree of friendliness of the contacts, (2) the degree of humanness of the contacting beings, and (3) some measure of the quality of the communicated material.

The Fatima case can certainly be added to this continuum, but I would suggest that it constitutes an outlying point that is quite far removed from the majority of other cases reported in the existing UFO literature. Thus it would rate very high in (1) and (2), especially if we measure humanness in terms of attractive qualities such as beauty. It is hard to define measure (3), but it is clear that the Fatima communications are unusual in the sense of being strongly oriented towards Roman Catholicism. Apart from this, they display an emphasis on spiritual devotion that is rarely seen in UFO communications, including those of a philosophical nature.

One interesting project would be to make a general survey of all cultural traditions in search of cases in which people have claimed to meet beautiful, effulgent beings that conveyed spiritual teachings. Many of these cases would probably display typical features connected with the UFO phenomenon, although these would often have more to do with the behavior and powers of the beings involved than with UFOs per se. Thus the UFO continuum might be seen as part of a larger mystical-humanoid continuum. Fatima would probably appear as a typical point in this larger assemblage.

Vallee summed up his viewpoint by saying, "In many UFO stories of the olden days, the witnesses thought they had seen angels from God....Others thought they had seen devils. The difference may be small."

On the contrary, the difference seems quite large to me. The various kinds of encounters in the UFO continuum may all be similar in that they involve similar powers and technologies lying beyond our present understanding. But the extreme points of the continuum are strikingly different with regard to the behavior and, by implication, the consciousness of the beings involved.

If the manifestations at Fatima were not "typical UFO phenomena" and did use Christian symbolism, does this mean that we should interpret them in an exclusive Christian sense? The answer is no, because the same reasoning that would induce one to take the Fatima manifestations seriously can equally well be applied to other meetings with divine beings occurring in non-Christian contexts. Some may argue that only the Christian (and specifically the Catholic) meetings are genuine, and all others are the work of Satan. [No, a Catholic might argue that, but true Christians would admit that ALL are the work of satan - ww] However, if beings demonstrating divine qualities in all non-Christian traditions are actually clever deceptions created by a cosmic trickster, then surely the same thing can be said of the divine beings of Christianity. [Yes, all divine-seeming apparitions in this modern age ARE clever deceptions of a cosmic trickster... but the idolatrous reverence of apparitions described is only Catholic, not Christian. -ww] This brings us back to Vallee's position that the angels and devils are all the same.

No, it would bring us to the conclusion that beings claiming to be ** Catholic angels, saints or the Virgin Mary ** are the same as devils. Any true Christian would tell you that the "divine beings" sighted in modern apparitions like Fatima, Bayside, Medjagorge, Georgia etc. are NOT the Biblical Mary but some creature impersonating her for a deceptive religious agenda. Christians do not believe in Marian apparitions, only Catholics do. You folks can write to me and complain about this, but I am sorry to say... if you hold on to the idolatrous belief that there are angels and the Virgin Mary out there appearing to folks and telling them to pray the rosary and go to church ... then you are not truly of the Called Out, and you are not truly Christian. - ww

The point should also be made that while the communications at Fatima were expressed in explicitly Catholic terms, they also added something new to Catholicism. In his discussion of the Fatima revelations, Francis Johnston made it clear that they have caused a great deal of controversy within the Catholic Church, and the new material (including, for example, the idea of consecrating Russia to the Heart of Mary) has not been immediately and universally acceptable. Protestants will declare that the Catholic cult of Mary is a controversial addition to Christianity, and, of course, Christianity itself arose at a certain point in history. It would seem that at Fatima a new revelation was made in the context of an older tradition, and this has also been done many times in the past. [Yeah, but the current Pope doesn't care if Fatima adds to Catholicism... he is willing, as are most Catholics, to accept supernatural beings at their word. - ww]

Here is another example. In the sixth century A.D., a man in Arabia experienced a vision of the Angel Gabriel "in the likeness of a man, standing in the sky above the horizon." The man was ordered to become a prophet, and over a number of years he would periodically go into trance and dictate messages that were carefully noted and memorized by his followers. The man was named Mohammed, and the messages he delivered in trance were later compiled to form the Koran. [Yep, but don't forget another religion that distorts the Gospel, given to a "prophet" named Joseph Smith by an angelic being... Mormonism. ww]

Galatians 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!

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