Reality Checking—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, November 2018
Reality Checking with Brent Raynes
by: Brent Raynes
Did one of the most spectacular “flying saucer” sightings occur before an estimated 70,000 shocked and astonished people in the small village of Fatima, Portugal, on October 13, 1917, some thirty years before the birth of the modern “flying saucer age”? Some “ufologists” believe so, but to the Catholic Church it was a deeply religious event that involved the appearances of the Blessed Virgin Mary who descended from the sky in a mysterious globe of light, appearing initially to young shepherd children.
Of this dramatic spectacle, scientist and noted UFO/UAP researcher and author Jacques Vallee wrote in his book, Dimensions: A Casebook of Alien Contact (1988), “The final 'miracle' had come at the culmination of a precise series of apparitions combined with contacts and messages that place it very clearly, in my opinion, in the perspective of UAP phenomena. Not only was a flying disk or globe consistently involved, but its motion, its falling-leaf trajectory, its light effects, the thunderclaps, the buzzing sounds, the strange fragrance, the fall of 'angel hair' that dissolves upon reaching the ground, the heat wave associated with the close approach of the disk – all of these are frequent parameters of UAP sightings everywhere. And so are the paralysis, the amnesia, the conversions, and the healings.”
Journalist John Keel, in his book UFOs: Operation Trojan Horse (1970), delved quite heavily into Fatima and other similar religious apparitional reports attributed to the Blessed Virgin Mary, arguing that most authors made the mistake of concentrating mainly just on the similarities of the October 13th Fatima event to classic UAP cases while ignoring the many strange and significant happenings that were reported in the months and, in fact, two years prior. These details, Keel noted, offered important insights into the complex and controversial UAP contactee syndrome.
“Fatima was a modern event, yet it is already clouded with the distortions of belief,” Keel wrote. “As the years passed, the object was turned into a 'dancing sun,' the angel hair became 'rose petals,' and the entire phenomenon was removed from the field of science and entrusted to the religionists.”
Keel carefully reviewed the data and reconstructed it from beginning to end. Two years earlier, in 1915, four young girls were tending sheep at Cabeco, Portugal, when they allegedly observed a white figure hovering in the air. “It looked like somebody wrapped in a sheet,” was the description. “There were no eyes or hands on it.” [Keel noted how West Virginia's legendary Mothman had no hands or arms either] In addition, also twice again that year, the four children once again reported what resembled a “white, headless entity.” One of those girls (who would later play a very prominent role in the Fatima saga) was Lucia Abobora.
In the summer of 1916, Lucia and friends were near a cave playing when a strange light appeared over a nearby tree and a “transparent young man” came down near the cave. “Don't be afraid,” the apparition reportedly told the children. “I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me.” Several weeks later, the same children, location, and apparition appeared once again and again prayed with the children. Then on May 13, 1917, Lucia, then 10, and Francisco Marto, 9, and Jacinto Marto, 7, were in the meadows of Cova da Iria outside of Fatima when their attention was drawn to a flash of light from a clear sky. Then they saw a brilliant globe of light hovering just over a three-foot-tall evergreen. Inside the globe, the children claimed that they saw a luminous, white robed being, with a face that emanated light that “dazzled and hurt the eyes.” “Don't be afraid,” a soft feminine voice, with a kind of musical quality to her speech, stated. “I won't hurt you.” The voice was heard by Lucia and Jacinto, while Francisco claimed that he only saw the object and heard no voice. The being was asked where she came from, and allegedly she replied, “I am from heaven. I come to ask you to come here for six months in succession, on the 13th day at this same hour. Then I will tell you who I am, and what I want. And afterward I will return here a seventh time.” In addition, the being asked the children to daily say the Rosary and to pray for peace. Then the globe rose into the air and floated away.
According to Keel, “small children often have a high degree of ESP, but as they grow older and develop reason – and skepticism – and their minds become more disciplined to the material world around them, these powers seem to slip away. It is probable that small children make excellent contactee material because of these factors, and that may explain why so much UFO, ghost, and poltergeist activity seems to surround children.” The parents, understandably, were skeptical when their children excitedly described to them their experience. But it wasn't long before the story spread throughout the area. And so, on June 13, a small crowd of devout pilgrims followed the children to watch and see what was to happen. Watching from a distance, a Maria Carreira would later describe how as the children knelt and were presumably communicating with a being neither she nor the others in the crowd could see, she did notice an odd noise she compared to the buzzing of a bee.
On July 13th, a much larger crowd followed the children, and again the three children knelt and spoke to a being no one else could see and hear, although again some felt that they did hear something. Ti Marto, an adult, described hearing something “like a horsefly in an empty waterpot.” In the crowd were cripples and blind people who urged the children to ask for a miracle. Lucia relayed their request to “the Lady,” who allegedly replied: “Continue to come here every month. In October, I will tell you who I am and what I wish and will perform a miracle that everyone will have to believe.”
In August, due to growing concern among local church officials about the children's claims, that were increasingly garnering widespread attention, the Administration of Qurem seized and imprisoned the children for a time, threatening them (even with death), trying to get them to confess that they had simply been making all of this up. However, the young children did not break and refused to change anything in their accounts, and while they were being detained in Qurem on August 13th, a crowd estimated at 6,000 had nonetheless gathered at Cova da Iria and reported a flash of light followed by the appearance of a small transparent cloud-like thing that slowly floated down and came to rest briefly on top of an evergreen tree. At some point, everyone's face in the crowd became bathed in a strange multicolored illumination. The children were later released and on August 19th returned to the meadow and again claimed that they met and conversed with “the Lady.”
By September 13th, the roads coming into Fatima were heavily congested with many thousands of people. A Reverend Doctor Manuel Nunes Fromigao, who was the canon of the cathedral at Lisbon and a professor at the Seminary of Santarem, would go on record testifying that as the children were entranced there was an unusual dimming of the sun, even though it was a cloudless day.
October 13th, as already written, was the day thousands had gathered at Fatima hoping to witness a miracle. There was a heavy rain and the ground was covered in mud, but the faithful and curious stood their ground huddled under their umbrellas. The three children approached the small tree where these manifestations had occurred before and waited. Then, shortly after noon, Lucia was heard to gasp and it was noted that her face became flushed as she entered a trance. The children described to the gathered crowd (who couldn't see the apparition) how “the Lady” held an infant in her arms and, for the first time, revealed her identity as “the Lady of the Rosary.” She gave a message to the children that the war would soon end, though it continued for another year. Then people screamed and fell to their knees! “Something was coming through the clouds: a huge silver disk which rotated rapidly as it descended toward the mob,” Keel wrote of this remarkable incident. “Fragile strands of silvery 'angel hair' showered from the sky, melting away before any of it could be collected. The object bobbed up and down, waltzing under the cloud layer, and as it whirled faster, it seemed to change color, going through the whole spectrum. It swooped down and passed low over the terrified people; then it bobbed upward again. These gyrations were continued for a full ten minutes.”
This was a momentous, well-witnessed event. The massive crowd included priests, scientists, and journalists. A Professor Almeida Garrett, a scientist with Coimbra University, would describe what he saw as the hard rain unexpectedly gave way to a break in a dense cloud cover above and everyone looked up at the bright sun, and then, in his own words he was suddenly looking at “a disk, of very definite contour” and how it “possessed a clear, changing brightness, which one could compare to a pearl...It looked like a polished wheel....This clear-shaped disk suddenly began turning. It rotated with increasing speed....Suddenly, the crowd began crying with anguish. The 'sun,' revolving all the time, began falling toward the earth, [now] reddish and bloody, threatening to crush everybody under its fiery weight...” The crowd reportedly felt a wave of heat sweep over them and described how their clothing, which had moments before been soaked, were suddenly dry. Miraculous healings were also reported.
During the initial appearance of this mysterious revolving “disk” it was reported later how it had cast beams of colored lights in all directions, illuminating the clouds, the landscape below, including the people. When the “disk” plunged toward the earth, it reportedly came down in a zig-zag motion, which is a classic UFO flight pattern, and the disk had even reportedly been described by some as flat, not as a globe. Many knelt down in the mud in fear and confessing sins – even former debunkers.
Joaquim Fernandeas, a professor of history at the University of Fernando Pessoa in Porto, Portugal, and author Fina D' Armada have both spent years digging deeply into the Fatima story. Together they produced a pretty comprehensive examination of the subject in their book, Celestial Secrets: The Hidden History of the Fatima Incident (2006), that actually took into consideration the UAP aspect as well, and at one point in this remarkable volume, as the authors were describing some notes that they had studied that detailed records of eyewitness descriptions from October 1917, that had been recorded by a Father Jose Ferreira de Lacerda, they read of how the apparition that descended from the sky had been described as just a little over a meter tall, wearing checkered clothing, and was wearing a tight, knee-length skirt, which back at that time was a very scandelous thing. In fact, the authors pointed out that even “ladies of the night” didn't wear such skirts back at that time! “In these notes, we observe that the closer to the time of the apparitions that the notes are written, the more similar to contemporary 'contactee' reports the Fatima accounts are,” the authors declared.
These two noted Portuguese authors have been investigating the Fatima incident for many years. In fact, back in July 1978, they located and interviewed one Carolina Carreira, who they call “the Fourth Witness” of Fatima. She had, we could say, slipped through the cracks and, as a result, lived a normal life, got married, her husband still alive at the time of their interview, and she still lived in Fatima. In what the authors describe as an “utterly forgotten” document entitled The Official Interrogation of 1923, one Viscount of Montelo recounted how Lucia had been asked to inquire of “Our Lady” of a 12-year-old girl named Carolina who had reported seeing a mysterious being; had it been her (Our Lady) that she and a 7-year-old girl had both allegedly seen on July 28, 1917, at Cova da Iria, in the vicinity of the holm oak tree where “Our Lady” had been reported several times. Lucia claimed that “Our Lady” would communicate it was not her, it was an angel. Carolina claimed that she and the other girl, who were herding sheep that morning, saw this being, who was of small stature, appearing to be perhaps 9 or 10 years old, and appeared to have near shoulder length blond hair, once walking near the tree and then a little later a being (this time with a small crown on its head; she wasn't sure if it was same being) floating it seemed over the oak tree. She felt that she was receiving a mental message, something like: “Come here, say three Hail Marys; come here, say three Hail Marys.” The other girl did not have any such impression, though she presumably did see the apparition as well.
The authors also cite a document called Memorias, wherein Lucia was quoted about a 1915 incident that happened around noon when she had invited some young friends to pray the Rosary with her. “We had only just started praying, when in front of our eyes, suspended in the air over a small tree, there appeared a small figure, that looked like a statue made of snow,” Lucia reported. “When struck by the rays of the sun, it became somewhat transparent.” As soon as the children stopped praying, Lucia stated that the figure disappeared. “As was my custom, I did not discuss this with anybody, but as soon as my friends got home they told their families about what had happened.”
From Lucia's testimony, it was in the spring of 1916 when for the first time Francisco and Jacinta, who hadn't yet seen an apparition with her, nor had she told them about her prior experiences, saw an apparition with Lucia. Again it was a figure resembling someone shrouded in a sheet, looking as though it was a young person 14 to 15 years of age. It was described as whiter than snow and “as transparent as crystal in the sun.” It identified itself as the “Angel of Peace.” Also Lucia described how it appeared also early summer 1916, urging them to continue their prayers. Lucia added that it appeared to the children around late September or October of that year as well, again praying with them and then simply disappearing.
Canon Formigao, who interrogated Lucia about those three encounters in 1916, counseled her to remain silent about them. He obviously felt that the public focus should remain on the major 1917 events that best comformed to the Catholic Churches religious expectations of such occurrences.
While most of the children would also see the apparitions along with Lucia, Lucia admitted that a young boy named Joao Marto claimed he didn't see the apparition during their shared encounter in 1916. This is something (as you continue to read this feature) that you will come across again. John Keel speculated that an exterior intelligent force was capable of making us see what it wants us to see. “It is likely that an outsider trespassing on the scene of a UFO contact would see the contactee standing in a rigid trance, just as the witnesses to miracles see only the children in a blind trance state,” he wrote. “The contactee's real experience is in his or her mind as some powerful beam of electromagnetic energy is broadcasting to that mind, bypassing the biological sensory channels.”
The authors of Celestial Secrets noted that in the Fatima encounters “the Being was originally described as having a ball at her waist, which she took in her hand from time to time. It was a ball that shined a bright light.” Lucia in Memoria IV described how as “Our Lady” opened her hands an “immense light” shined upon them. She added, “At the front of Our Lady's right palm there was a heart surrounded by thorns, which appeared to be driven into it. We understood that this was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, outraged by the sins of humanity.”
Interestingly, regarding the Blessed Mary ball of light artifact the authors included, with a very brief description, an artist illustration from a case near Cordola, Argentina, back on June 14, 1968, shortly after 1 a.m., where a Maria Elodia Pretzel, 19 at the time, an employee at the Motel La Cuesta, claimed that she encountered a tall and constantly smiling humanoid figure inside the building that was carrying a glassy-looking ball that projected what was described as a coherent faint pale blue, almost white colored beam of light. The ball of light had what resembled pens or needles (resemblance to thorns?) sticking out of it, that appeared to cover the entire object.
It was Sunday, June 18, 1961, when playing marbles on the outskirts of the small village of Garabandal, located in the Cantabrian Mountains of northern Spain, four young girls, ages 11 through 12, claimed that they encountered an “angel” dressed in a long blue robe, with a small face with black eyes, looking like a 9-year-old boy. However, he was surrounded by a dazzling light and, as the children watched spellbound, he faded away into invisibility without uttering a word. As often happens in these incidents, the girls ran back to the village and begin excitedly sharing with everyone how they had seen an angel. A couple of days later, as the same four girls were walking on a path outside the village, they were frightened when a brilliant white explosion of light temporarily blinded them.
Not long after these two unusual episodes, the children began entering deep trance states in which they claimed to encounter the Blessed Virgin Mary. Hundreds of people would come to observe what was happening and described how the children would enter a state of religious ecstasy where they'd be kneeling with their heads thrown back as they stared upward, transfixed in a visionary state that sometimes lasted hours and certainly should have been very uncomfortable and awkward for children. During one of the first episodes, on July 2, 1961, the girls described how the Lady was accompanied by two angels who were dressed alike “as if they were twins.” Off to the Lady's right the girls said that saw “a square of red fire framing a triangle with an eye and some writing. The lettering was in an old Oriental script!”
Keel found the description of the eye and triangle symbol very interesting, noting that it had come up in many UAP contactee accounts, alleged MIB (Men In Black) encounters, which some identify with a symbol of the Third Eye, and is even pictured on the American dollar bill as the Great Seal of the United States.
The children came to have hundreds of these visions and were frequently photographed in these ecstasy states. It was even described how all four would spontaneously awaken at times in the night, in their separate homes, and rush out into the darkness to visit the sacred spot where these manifestations would often unfold.
Witnesses had seen the entranced girls fall forcefully to their knees or bodily to the ground, in an ecstatic trance, on rocky surfaces without leaving any marks or wounds. Doctors would prick them with pins and shine lights in their eyes during these ecstatic states without the girls so much as flinching, and their pupils remained dilated as they starred skyward. The absence of injuries from running up a mountain across sharp-edged stones and thorny thickets barefooted, even kneeling in a thorn bush, was reported by amazed witnesses who observed young Marian visionaries in Medjugorje, Bosnia, in 1981.
John Keel was aware of this aspect within the UAP experience too, writing in Saga's UFO Report (January 1978): “When a human is exposed to a religious 'vision' he or she is frequently overcome by a pleasurable sensation known as 'ecstasy' which is very similar to a sexual experience. Eyewitnesses in low-level UFO cases report the same thing – a series of sensations so delightful that they are willing, even anxious, to have repeated experiences with flying saucers.”
The Medjugorje events began on June 24, 1981, when reportedly the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to one Mirjana Dragicevic, 16, while walking near a hilltop called Podprado with her friend Ivanka Ivankovic, 17. After that, they and four other young friends of theirs, in ages ranging from 10 to 17, began to have frequent visions of the Virgin Mary, often daily. This group of seers was made up of four girls and two boys. It was reported in March 1986 that nearly 2000 apparitional appearances had been reported there at that point.
An American newspaper publisher and columnist, Wayne Weible, became quite interested in the Medjugorje reports and traveled there and interviewed many of the participants in this remarkable story. He also shared what he had himself experienced. He wrote: “What I saw and what I felt is not easily put into words. It will be difficult for others to accept it or believe it. Yet, I was there and I know what I saw and what I felt. I saw the sun dance and move and whirl and pale so that I could look directly at it with the naked eye. That is impossible, but I saw it. It was the same sun you and I see every day.
“I also saw a huge, 14 ton cement cross mounted high on a mountain that stands behind the church at Medjugorje totally disappear on a cloudless, bright morning. This same cross was observed by me early in the black of morning to glow and shine as though it was covered with lights. That also is impossible. There is no electricity on that mountain, but I saw it. There was more, but the point is, there is no explanation for these phenomena. They usually occur at the time the Blessed Virgin is appearing to the children. Some see them. Some do not. Others saw them at times when I did not.”
From Scott Corrales's excellent article in FATE magazine (Dec 1996) "Angels or Aliens?" we read this of one of the six Medjugorje children (Vicka Ivankovic) observing a white ball of light on the rocky hillside where the apparition of the Virgin Mary had appeared. Scott wrote: "Vicka reported this detail of her sighting to her sister, who remarked simply: 'That was a flying saucer.'"
A well-known researcher named Max Edwards of Victoria, British Columbia, an amazing linguist, concert pianist and a composer, and a man deeply interested in UAP (he used to contribute scholarly material to England's acclaimed Flying Saucer Review, and up until his passing my magazine Alternate Perceptions) wrote me in 1996 how years earlier a professor he knew from the University of Victoria went on a vacation to see relatives in the Medjugorge area. He explained in a letter to me: "I requested him kindly to bring me back the fullest possible information on Medjugorje - without mentioning UFOs to him. When he returned, I asked him what he had found out; and he replied: 'I am confused, because all I could find out, is that all around that village, in the fields, there are countless circles of burnt grass, and UFOs have been landing there in numbers.' I thanked him, and told him that he had completely confirmed my suspicions!"
Two of the Medjugorge seers, Mirjana Dragicevic and Ivanka Ivankovic, claim that they were given by Our Lady a parchment that “looks like paper,” however, whatever it is, it allegedly cannot be destroyed “even by fire.” The parchment contains ten “secrets” given to each of the girls, “secrets” that have to do with significant future world events, and each girl only is able to read their own secrets.
“Each of these two seers is told by Mary to select a priest to whom they will give that material on which the secrets are written ten days before the secrets are to happen. The priest, in turn, with the help of The Madonna, will be able to read the message of each secret and will announce it three days before it happens. He will describe the full nature of the secret, its time and even minute, and the place. The priest will then return the paper to the seer from whom he received it. The priest will not be able to read all ten secrets at once, but just one by one when the time comes for it to be announced.”
Another time when questioned about the mysterious parchment, Mirjana stated: “Yes, the parchment exists, you heard well: it is a parchment in which all the ten secrets are written. For now, only I can read what is really written on it. I don't have to hide it in secret places, because only I can see what is really written on it. Once I showed that parchment to a cousin and to a girlfriend of mine, at the same time, and they couldn't see the same thing. One saw a prayer and the other saw a sort of letter where someone was asking for help.”
Mysterious written messages, often in unusual symbols and unknown languages, turn up occasionally at UAP sites, though sometimes they are the product of an experiencer's “automatic writing.” In Brooksville, Florida, on March 2, 1965, a John F. Reeves, 65, a retired longshoreman from New York, claimed that following a face-to-face encounter with a humanoid being in a tight-fitting silver suit, with a glass-like helmet, that he retrieved physical evidence of his encounter. From its side, the being produced a small black object that it held up to its chin, and pointed it at Reeves, after which a flash of light like a camera was produced. The humanoid allegedly promised to return later, and then climbed aboard a dull metallic gray saucer-shaped craft, estimated at 40 feet in diameter, with a clear dome on top. The craft quickly shot straight up into the air. Soon afterwards, Reeves came upon two sheets of odd paper-like material with strange writings on them. The paper was loaned to the Air Force, but what was returned later Reeves claimed was not the original, for the original, he claimed, could not be cut or burned. The duplicate was on regular paper.
Here's an extra little odd wrinkle to this story. A Norman Bean, a Florida engineer in radio broadcasting in Miami, had told my friend Dr. Schwarz that his 9-year-old daughter had done, while in a state of entrancement, some automatic writing on a torn envelope prior to the Reeves case. Dr. Schwarz explained to me: “The wife saved this stuff that the girl did on the back of an old torn envelope and then years later, because by a miracle she didn't throw the data out, there was an article which the husband tossed on the wife's dresser and she read it, and, lo and behold, there inside was the same precise sequential arrangement of coded configurations sent or given to John Reeves of Brooksville.”
Folklorist W.Y. Evans-Wentz interviewed in his time an Oxford student who described an experience near Listowel, Ireland, back in 1910, that was also similar to our modern UAP accounts. The student and a friend, the account went, were on horseback at the time when they saw two yellow “lights,” each with a “radiant being having human form” in their midst. Since that night the student claimed other sightings of “lights” and “beings,” in both Ireland and England. He said that he regarded these personal experiences as proof of the “spiritual world.”
In the remarkable apparitional events witnessed by many at the Coptic Orthodox Virgin Mary Church in Zeitoun, a small suburb of Cairo, Egypt from 1968 to 1970, where over a quarter of a million people are estimated to have gathered and witnessed frequent religious apparitions – notably the Blessed Virgin Mary. “The Zeitoun case is arguably the most credible and believable of all Marian apparitions,” psychologist Greg Little (2001) wrote: “As such, it represents nearly irrefutable proof that some sort of unexplainable manifestations can and do intrude into the physical world in a form that is recognizable and photographable.”
That's correct, photographable! In addition to a massive amount of testimonial evidence, dozens of photographs of these phenomena taken by witnesses at Zeitoun were made available for public inspection as well.
It began on April 2, 1968, when two Moslem mechanics noticed a glowing, white robed female figure up on top of the large dome of the Catholic Church. At first, the men feared it was a nun contemplating suicide and notified a priest and police. Upon their return, the figure was no longer there. Soon people were arriving outside the church nightly to watch for the mysterious woman, and it seems they were seldom disappointed. “For the next two years, the apparitions appeared frequently – often appearing every night for months,” Little wrote. “The apparitions lasted for 15 minutes to 8 hours at a time. Literally hundreds of thousands of people witnessed the apparitions with thousands of photographs and videotape taken.”
G. Little gave the following overview of these remarkable appearances: “The apparitions typically appeared after a brilliant series of light bursts around the church's domes. These bursts lasted about 15 minutes followed by showers of sparkling lights and glowing globs of light floating around the domes. These globs of light often took on the form and shapes of large doves circling the domes. This display was, at times, so bright, that the witnesses couldn't look directly at it. Then, atop or around the glowing dome a visible female form began moving. It appeared to be a young woman who had an intense, brilliant glow emanating from her. She wore a vail and full robe. She floated and moved around the dome for hours at a time occasionally bowing, holding out an olive branch, and blowing kisses. Sometimes she appeared to be holding an infant and, at times, she sat atop a dome cradling the infant in her arms.”
Florida ufologist Albert S. Rosales wrote an article based on a remarkable wave of humanoid encounter cases in Canada back in 1968, which can be found in the May 2014 issue of Alternate Perceptions (apmagazine.info) magazine. July seemed to peak with the heaviest concentration of activity in Quebec, which included six young girls on the evening of July 22nd near St. Bruno, ages 7 to 13, who claimed that they saw a luminous white figure in a white veil, presumably the “Virgin Mary,” hovering in the air in a dark hexagonal object. Only two though, Manon Saint-Jean and Line Grise, claimed to hear a “soft and slow” voice that advised them to pray, spoke of peace, and promised a return visit on October 7th. Others in the area reported odd things in the sky, including neighboring St. Basile, where a young boy told his dad that same evening that he had seen “a man walking in the sky.” There seemed to be a lot of reports too that month in the neighboring province of Ontario. In August 1971, I followed up on one interesting case up in Toronto, Ontario, where I met Joan Howard, who described herself to me as psychic since childhood, claiming that in that July of 1968 she became a UAP contactee. She described how one night it felt as though a “powerful beam...bored into my head like a mild laser” and how she became aware of an alien presence that enabled two-way communication. For several weeks, she had visions of “spacecraft, inside and outside...gadgets of all kinds,” and much more. “In the ensuing years I have seen UFOs (in the daytime yet); had 'physical contacts'; experienced hostile attacks (two on my life) by 'Their” enemies,' she would claim. “The Opposites, the 'bad guys'; astral trips on board spacecraft; taken down reams of dictated communications (not automatic writing); everything but a ride in a 'flying saucer' in my physical body.”
Fernandes and D'Armada noted in Celestial Secrets that “it is interesting that the places visited by 'Our Lady' are often places where unexplained shining aerial objects manifest.” They point out how for years following the Fatima events of 1917, many people continued to observe strange phenomena at Cova da Iria and other locations nearby, all the way up until 1957, that included more “miracles of the sun,” “angel hair,” and UAP phenomena. There was even a photograph taken in 1957 of the “angel hair” at Cova da Iria that matches in appearance a similar, if not identical substance, reported globally being discharged from UAP, which evaporates shortly before or soon after reaching the ground.
Keel carefully studied UAP cases involving powerful beams of light and the strange effects those can have upon humans. “In religious lore, being belted by one of these light beams causes 'mystical illumination,'” he wrote. “When Saul, a Jewish tentmaker, was zapped by one of these beams on the road to Damascus it blinded him for three days and he was converted to Christianity on the spot and became St. Paul.”
Keel wrote about a most peculiar light beam case from an account prepared by one J. J. Cornish, that occurred late on the evening of December 29, 1875, in London, Ontario, Canada, where two people were being baptized by Cornish in the River Thames when suddenly “a very beautiful light from heaven” that was described as “brighter than the sun at noonday” came down upon the gathering. “It came down with a sound like a mighty rushing wind,” he wrote. “We could hear it far above in the distance, and as it reached the place where we stood we were enveloped in the brightest and most beautiful light I ever saw...The light was round, straight up and down, like a shaft from heaven to earth, and just as bright on the inside edge as it was in the center, and so far as we could see it was just as dark on the outer edge as it was a mile away....After baptism and dismissal the light did not go out, but gradually went up until it vanished from our sight.”
Keel pointed out how in the well-known Presque Isle, Pennsylvania UAP landing case of July 31, 1966, we again have a description of very odd behaving light beams; this time, projecting out from a UAP in various directions. “The peculiar thing about these beams was that they seemed to go out from the object and extend to different lengths, not fading into the darkness but terminating suddenly like poles or rods of light,” Keel noted.
I interviewed a man who described an experience that he had one night in 1967 at the age of 14 while he was sleeping in a screened in porch area in Falls Church, Virginia. “It was in the summer and I remember waking up and sitting up I noticed a light coming down in the shape of a cone,” he explained. “The light was like a spotlight except it had a pointed end and was slowly coming down. I knew this was strange as light would immediately hit the ground but this was coming down slowly and was cone shaped. I got up to go outside from the porch and opening the door looked up at a football shaped disk that was a solid bright orange with the white beam of light that came down to about three feet off the ground. I looked at this but it seemed as soon as I came out, the light started back up to the disk. Once it reached the disk, the craft floated away very slowly and made no sound whatsoever.”
On September 12, 1965, at approximately 5 a.m., a man named Philip, who lived on the Island of Timor, in Indonesia, walked into his garden and encountered a shining human-like figure with long white hair, standing a mere five yards in front of him. Suddenly, his chickens exhibited great fear as they dropped out of the trees that they commonly roost in and his dog began to bark in alarm. Scared, Philip ran back to his house where he met his cousin at the door who exclaimed, “I've just seen a star fall into the garden.” When Philip asked where, his cousin pointed straight to the spot where he had just seen the mysterious figure a moment before.
After Philip had calmed down, he returned to his garden and began watering his apple trees. Then he heard an unseen voice say, “Water people.” He didn't understand, and the voice explained about the spiritual “water of life,” to renew people with the Holy Spirit. Then he experienced a powerful vision where he was preaching the Christian message to many, many people. When the vision ended, he was covered in sweat. His concerned mother and brothers were standing around him. He was surprised to learn that five hours had passed. Thus his spiritual mission began, and in the weeks and months that followed he trekked from village to village in the interior of the island preaching the gospel.
1965 was the beginning of an intense spiritual revival in Indonesia that continued up into the 1970s. Dr. Kurt E. Koch, a Protestant theologian, missionary worker, and author visited Indonesia and documented many remarkable stories. Another account was of native Christians who were preaching to a tribe of sun-worshippers when after a heavy rain they stepped outside and a vision of Jesus in the sky above the sun appeared. Dr. Koch wrote: “Taking their opportunity from the vision which was witnessed in full daylight by everyone present, they began to preach, 'The Lord Jesus,' they said, 'stands before the sun which he has made. You must worship him and not the object that he created.' As a result of their testimony 20 of the natives were converted. When an account of what had happened was told in a nearby village, some of the sick people there were at once healed.”
In another man's conversion, he was very ill when the angel Gabriel appeared to him and took him up into the seventh heaven itself, where he was said to have seen many beautiful and remarkable sights. When he was returned to his home afterwards, he was healed, along with his children and his wife, who had been ill for a number of years.
An intense religious revival broke out in Wales back during the winter of 1904-05 where many observed mysterious lights in the sky. A 38-year-old Welsh woman named Mary Jones, described as an ordinary, happily married peasant woman who was deeply religious, became a central figure in this revival. Reporters from the Liverpool Echo, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, and London Daily News travelled to these gathering, that were garnering a great deal of attention, to see what was going on. These reporters even wrote about seeing unexplained light phenomena that they couldn't explain. Beriah G. Evans, who was writing for the London Daily News (February 9, 1905) described how while being in the company of Mrs. Jones, he observed pretty phenomenal things. He wrote: “'We cannot start yet,' she told me on the occasion of my visit, 'the lights have not yet come. I never go without them.' A few minutes later, on going out to see, she returned saying: 'Come. It is time to go. The lights have come!'”
It was about 6:15 p.m., Tuesday, January 31, 1905. There was Evans, Mrs. Jones, and three others. All of them witnessed a brilliant star-like object to the south emitting “diamond-like sparklets.” “It took a sudden leap of considerable distance towards the mountains, then back again to its first position, and again rushing towards us,” Evans reported. Next it disappeared from sight and then reappeared much closer to their position, and then it went out. “Following the disappearance of the star came immediately two brilliant and distinct flash-lights, illuminating the stone dykes and heather on the mountain side, the first flash two miles away, the second immediately following a mile higher up the valley, and in the direction we should have to travel. 'Come,' said Mrs. Jones, recognizing the omens, 'We shall have a glorious meeting!' And we did.”
Though up to that point, all five had seen the same things, the next two anomalous displays were only witnessed by Mrs. Jones and Mr. Evans, even though all five of them were still walking in the road together and all five should have seen what followed next. Evans wrote: “Three bars of clear white light crossing the road in front from right to left, climbing up the stone wall to the left, showing every interstice and bit of moss as clearly as though a searchlight had been turned upon it. There was no house, or human being other than our party, near, and no conceivable human agency could have produced this effect.'”
Next a “blood-red light” appeared about a foot off the ground, in the middle of the roadway. Interestingly, Evans noted that it “did not illumine surrounding objects.” Evans was surprised when he later learned that the others had not seen what he and Mrs. Jones had seen, and wrote that those others were equally astounded. “Mrs. Jones, without any suggestion from me, described there and then the appearances precisely as they had presented themselves to me.”
Evans came to learn of another similar instance involving a London journalist who witnessed, along with a woman standing near him, a white light that swept along the ground, near a chapel, stopping on a wall. Half a dozen other witnesses present said they didn't see it.
The late Swiss psychologist Dr. Carl G. Jung struggled to understand such anomalies. He wrote: “...I was once at a spiritualistic séance where four of the five people present saw a object like a moon floating above the abdomen of the medium. They showed me, the fifth person present, exactly where it was, and it was absolutely incomprehensible to them that I could see nothing of the sort.”
Jung knew of a few other cases like this and could not determine for certain what the explanation for such occurrences was. Jung proposed that UAP, psychic, and religious apparitional and visionary phenomena might be something he called “psychoid.” Psychoid represented something that existed on the borders of what we perceive as mental and physical; a third order of reality with overlapping characteristics. On this point, quantum physicists and parapsychologists should find themselves treading upon fairly common ground. Jung's concept of synchronicity (meaningful coincidence) operated on the premise that ideas (mental) and events (physical), though demonstrating no causally direct connection as perceived in terms of standard classic physics, could no doubt be linked as psychoid-related phenomena. Obviously Jung perceived the UAP phenomenon as something of deep potential importance, having devoted the last years of his life to writing a book exploring this very complex and controversial subject, including parapsychology in on the conversation, intimately entangled with his pioneering theories of archetypes and a collective unconscious, and engaging in extensive dialogue over these issues with one of the early pioneers and founders of quantum physics, Wolfgang Pauli.
(Excerpt from Beyond UFOs, Vol. 1, from Chapter 13, An Overview of the History of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Contact Paradigms, written by Brent Raynes. 2018, produced by the Dr. Edgar Mitchell Foundation for Research into Extraterrestrial and Extraordinary Experiences, FREE, Inc.)