The   most   important   apparitions   in   the   20 th    century   took   place   between   13   May   and 13   October   1917   in   Fatima,   Portugal,   in   a   place   called   Cova   da   Iria,   located   about   85 miles   north   of   Lisbon.   During   this   period   a   figure   of   a   Lady   appeared   six   times   to three   children:   Lucia,   Jacinta   and   Francisco   and   passed   to   them   certain   information which   later   became   known   as   the   secrets   of   Fatima.   When   the   apparitions   ended, about   50,000   people   witnessed   a   very   unusual   display   in   the   sky   which   made   a lasting    impression    on    believers    and    skeptics    alike.    It    was    the    first    ever    public manifestation of an previously announced inexplicable phenomenon.
Click   on   the   thumbnails   below   to   see   actual   photographs   taken   at   the   time   of   the   50,000 strong crowd.
Thanks   to   the   presence   of   mind   of   Lucia,   who,   during   the   meeting   on   July   13   asked the   Lady   for   a   “miracle”   for   people   to   believe   in   the   authenticity   of   the   apparitions, the    entire    character,    scope    and    the    impact    of    these    events    changed.    The    Lady promised   that   she   would   perform   a   “miracle”   on   October   13   for   every   one   to   see. This   information   was   widely   circulated   in   Portugal,   and   because   of   this,   the   display was   witnessed   by   many   thousands   of   people   who   received   3   months   notice   prior   to the event. The   display   in   the   sky   commenced   straight   after   the   apparition   finished.   All   the witnesses   stated   that   they   could   watch   it   directly   without   squinting.   So   why   did   this phenomenon   pass   into   history,   as   “the   miracle   of   the   sun”?   Probably   because   the disc was of a similar size and position in the sky to the sun. The   luminous   disc   did   not   shine   brightly   and   was   not   blinding.   The   disc   had   a distinct   edge   and   was   of   silver-blue   color   but   not   like   the   moon.   The   color   was   clear and   rich,   having   the   opalescence   of   a   pearl.   Witnesses   with   a   technical   background described   it   as   a   disc   of   opaque   or   frosted   glass,   illuminated   from   behind,   with   a rainbow   of   iridescence   on   its   periphery.   Some   of   the   witnesses   claimed   that   the colors   of   the   disc   were   lively   and   strong,   and   changing   from   white,   red   and   blue   to orange,   yellow   or   green.   Some   compared   it   to   stained   glass.   It   looked   as   thought   the periphery   of   the   disc   was   more   colorful   and   iridescent   than   the   center   and   changed cyclically,   according   to   some   repeating   pattern.   The   color   changes   were   not   random and   rapid,   but   slow   and   regular.   The   disc   sometimes   looked   as   if   it   was   surrounded with   an   aureole   of   flames,   at   other   times   by   yellow   or   purple   rays.   At   one   moment the    flames    disappeared    and    the    disc    became    dull    silver-blue    again.    One    of    the witnesses   noticed   that   the   clouds,   moving   at   that   time   from   west   to   east,   were   not obstructed from view by the disc but looked as if they passed behind it. The   disc   did   not   stay   in   one   place   but   moved   in   the   sky.   All   witnesses   agreed   –   it revolved   on   its   axis.   Some   people   noticed   that   it   whirled   very   quickly.   In      the   opinion of   Goncalo   Almeida   Garrett,   a   professor   of   mathematics,   only   the   peripheries   of   the disc   carried   out   this   rotary   motion.   The   movements   were   not   uniform   but   repeated three   times   after   intervals.   There   are   descriptions   comparing   the   disc   to   a   turning wheel    of    fireworks,    with    flashes    of    sparks    of    light    on    its    border,    similar    to    a Catherine   wheel.   Apart   from   the   whirling,   witnesses   noticed   other   movements.   They describe    that    the    disc    “danced”,    “jumped”    or    “trembled”    through    the    almost diaphanous clouds. The   most   dramatic   scene   happened   when   “the   sun   fell   down   to   the   earth”.   The whirling   disc   appeared   to   approach   the   earth,   and   its   movement   was   very   elaborate. It   looked   as   though   the   disc   was   spinning,   descending   in   slow   zigzags,   or   moving down   in   a   spiral.   When   the   disc   descended   so   low   that   it   looked   as   if   was   touching the   tips   of   the   trees,   a   panic   seized   some   people.   Next,   the   disc   started   climbing   back up   at   a   very   slow,   snail-like   pace,   all   the   way   to   it’s   initial   position.   The   entire   display lasted about 10 minutes. Witnesses   noticed   not   only   extraordinary   colors   of   the   disc   and   the   clouds,   they   also claimed   that   the   people,   the   trees,   the   fields   and   the   entire   surrounding   area   looked colorful.   Some   said   that   everything   around   them   turned   yellow,   others   gold,   purple, blue,    orange,    green    or    metallic.    Some    witnesses    noticed    that    the    color    of    the surroundings   changed   with   the   color   of   the   disc.   The   illumination   was   patchy   and the   witnesses   mentioned   seeing   stains   of   various   colors.   The   intensity   and   the   shapes of these colorful patches varied with time, as if under the influence of air movement.
Click on the video link below to hear more on the display.
How the display in the sky could have been achieved After examining the witnesses’ statements, there is not the slightest doubt that it was not the sun which moved in the sky, but it was a kind of optical illusion. To make a whirling and dancing disc visible at the same time to thousands of people, an image visible in a large area had to be produced. One could assume that for generating such an image an optical projection method was applied. Suppose that the image was projected on a screen positioned at a distance of 0.6 miles  from Cova da Iria at a height of 0.6 miles , the diameter of the disc should be about 30 ft. To generate such an image it is possible that several lasers were used, generating strong, colorful, monochromatic light beams which were projected on special clouds, acting as a screen. Application of lasers for the disc  optical projection is confirmed by several observations.  The disc was colorful, but surface colors were not uniform – silvery in the middle and glittering in all sorts of colors at its periphery.  During the whirling, the rotary disc motion could be seen not at its center, but mainly at the rim. Assuming that the image was created by the superposition of several laser beams of different colors, it is very difficult outside laboratory conditions to obtain perfect overlap of all beams. Where the overlap was precise, observers could see a uniform, silver color, but on the periphery, where the superposition was not accurate, they saw various colors.  It is well known  that when a laser beam is passing through the earth’s atmosphere, due to diversified air temperature and and associated uneven air densities  it is deflected similar as by a glass prism. Since the air temperature varies, the beam deflection also will be continuously changing. This phenomena were observed by witnesses as shaking or dancing of the disc. It is possible to observe a similar phenomenon at night, such as twinkling stars. This observation confirms that the optical beams used for display traveled a long way through the atmosphere. As during the apparitions, a screen was essential for projecting the image of the disc. This function in this case was also performed by clouds, however they were not natural clouds. These special, small clouds had to be continuously produced, because when one disappeared, in its place appeared a new one. During the display the disc came close to the ground, so we could conclude that the screen created from these peculiar clouds stretched from the surface of the earth, all the way to the height of at least 0.6 miles. Since the disc was in the same place in the sky where the sun was, it was necessary to limit considerably the intensity of the sun's rays. And for this purpose artificially made clouds were used. The blockage of the sun’s rays had to be very effective, because none of the observers looking in the direction of the sun were blinded by them. The artificial clouds were probably generated by heating an area of the earth using infrared radiation. This is supported by the statements of some witnesses who testified that their soaked through clothing, after the show, was completely dry.  Many persons noticed that both the people and the landscape in their neighborhood had changed color, as if illuminated by colored lights. The colors changed non-stop through all the colors of the rainbow. What is interesting is that the witnesses observed that certain areas were more strongly and others less illuminated, and that looked like colored patches. Such a phenomenon can only exist when monochromatic light is used as the source of light, and this observation confirms the application of lasers for the optical projection of the disc. The above scientific analysis does not give an answer to the question of how the events in Fatima   were really staged. It will not be possible to establish true events and we will most probably never learn what specific technical solutions were used in Fatima. The purpose of this analysis is to establish that everything the witnesses and visionaries saw and heard is possible to explain and would be possible to stage, applying techniques based on the known laws of physics. Perhaps we are still unable to reproduce the Fatima events, but we know the technical solutions which could be applied to design similar displays.. Predictions of the events in Fatima The fact that the apparitions in Fatima were predicted a few months earlier distinguishes them from all other supernatural events. This fact is omitted by both the Catholic Church and skeptical authors. We can separate the predictions in to two groups: the ones which appeared in the Portuguese national press before or on May 13, 1917, and the ones which were handed over by the central figure of the events, Lucia dos Santos. The first prediction was published in Lisbon on March 10, 1917, in one of the most important newspapers in Portugal, still in print, Diario de Noticias. It was in the form of an announcement with the title printed in bold letters: 135917, see Fig. 1, which, it would be easy to decipher, refers to the date – 13.05.1917– the day of the first apparition in Fatima.  The text is a little mysterious and looks like an encrypted message, and in a cursory translation it reads: “Do not forget the happy day in which our suffering will end. The war in which we participate will end. A. and C.”           Do we know who this announcement originated? On February 7, 1917 a group of spiritualists in Lisbon had one of its regular meetings. One of them, Carlos Calderon, a famous Lisbon trance medium, created a message by method of “automatic writing”. It read as follows:  “Do not judge. The one who would judge you would not be pleased with your prejudice. Have faith and patience. It is not normal for us to predict the future. Secrets of the future are not penetrable, although sometimes God lets lift slightly a corner of the veil which covers them. Have confidence in our prophecy. The day May 13 will be one of happy days for the good souls of the world. Have faith and be good. Ego Sum Charitas ( I am Love). By yourself you should always have your friends, who will guide you and will help you in your work. Ego Sum Charitas. The bright light of the Morning Star will illuminate your road. Morning Star”  Furtado de Mendonca, who was present at the séance in Lisbon, published a photocopy of the original received text in his book. Most of the text was written backwards in the same handwriting, from right to left in such a way that in order to read it was necessary to use a mirror. The last sentence and the signature were not reversed. In spite of the mystery and unclear meaning of the received message, spiritualists decided to place an advertisement in the newspaper. There is no other evidence that the spiritualists received such a message, but it is certain that they placed the advertisement. It is worth noticing that in the received message there is nothing about the war. Since the war was the most important event then in Portugal, perhaps mentioning it was supposed to enhance the attraction of the announcement, so the readers would pay more attention to it. It is also worth noticing that in the signature under the announcement the letter “C” probably refers to Carlos Calderon. Regardless of who placed this announcement and what his reason was, it is certain that the prophecy giving the date of May 13,1917 was published on March 10, 1917. The next prediction was published in Porto, where three leading Portuguese daily newspapers: Jornal de Noticias, O Primero de Janeiro and Libertade placed on May 13,1917 information under the title: “The war and the spiritualism. Sensational revelations”. The text of the note read as follows:  “Yesterday we received a message, which we print below: Porto, 11 May 1917. Dear editors, It was communicated by the Spirits and different groups of spiritualists, that on the 13th of this month there will occur an event with respect to the war which will astonish all the people. I have the honor of signing. The spiritualist and the dedicated promoter of the truth. Antonio”.  Jornal de Noticias printed only the letter with a brief explanation, but O Primeiro de Janeiro , apart from the note, placed a malicious and ironic commentary written by the very well known journalist Guedes de Oliveira, who had the reputation of an anticlerical Republican, like the majority of contemporary Portuguese journalists. Oliveira, among others, wrote:  “Today is the 13th [...] the predicted event will have taken place and everyone will be so deeply shaken, as if an abyss had opened under our feet. The intervention by those who exist beyond the physical world [...] cannot be without consequence to us, and I am highly alarmed by this information, that I received from an eager promoter of the truth. It would never come to my mind, that we could be in such a close contact with beings from another world. [...] But now with the letter from Mr. Antonio I confess that all I lack, is the predicted event. [...] What mysterious powers could work upon terrestrial things with their inexplicable influences? How are they able, for example, to cause levitation of a cast iron table, without any physical contact?”  It is worth noticing that rational and atheistic journalists, who were working at these three leading Portuguese newspapers and normally treated with contempt spiritualists and people dealing in paranormal phenomena, suddenly devoted so much attention in order to comment on such unimportant news. Information originating from a visionary herself belongs to the second group of predictions. During the apparition on July 13, Lucia asked the Lady for a miracle so people would believe in the authenticity of the apparitions. The Lady promised that a miracle would happen in three months time, so that everyone could see it. Thanks to this prediction, on October 13 in Cova da Iria, thousands of curious people gathered and most importantly many journalists arrived from the leading Portuguese newspapers. In spite of being anticlerical, these journalists provided an accurate and credible description of the events which took place in Fatima on that day and greatly contributed to the spread of information about the apparitions.  Significance of prediction Let us consider why the existence of the predictions is so important in establishing the authenticity of these events. In everyday life, very often we find ourselves in situations which look very extraordinary, but they do not evoke great amazement. Let's assume that we were standing at a bus stop by the road and we noticed a yellow Rolls Royce passing by. Since we have never seen such a car, perhaps only on film, we would probably be very surprised, but it would not make a great impression on us. However, if somebody tried to estimate the probability of the meeting of such a car in the predicted place and time, it would turn out that he could have one chance in a billion perhaps. Let us consider a different event. We are strolling in a woodland and every now and then we notice rubbish left there by other people. When we see a chocolate wrapper under the bush, this view could spoil the entire pleasure of the walk, but certainly will not cause even the smallest surprise. However if somebody were to predict that at such and such hour, in a specific place we would find a piece of chocolate wrapper, for example, red foil with yellow stripes, the fact that such a prophecy came true makes the entire situation very extraordinary. It is hard to estimate the probability of such an event, but the odds certainly would be infinitesimal. Following these examples we could say that since predicting the place and time of some even very ordinary events is very difficult, prediction of such an improbable phenomenon as an apparition is completely impossible. Therefore we could conclude that the events in Fatima could only be predicted by the organizers of these apparitions.
Fig 1.
The New Genesis Foundation