Tuesday, August 8, 2017

UFO Hypothesis Far More Credible Than Catholic Claim of A "Miracle Of The Sun"

In 1917 on the 13th of six consecutive months one of the largest mysteries in Portugal took place starting in May, when three children allegedly claimed they saw "Our Lady" or "a small pretty lady" who told them to come back on the 13 of each month until October when she allegedly said she would tell them "who she was and what she wanted of us."

Rational skeptics have good reason to be doubt large portions of this story; however there is little or no doubt that about forty people believed these little children and showed up to see what would happen on June 13th of that year, and the crowd grew each month until in October estimates of the crowd ranged from 30,000 to 100,000. There was an enormous amount of media coverage collecting testimony from hundreds if not thousands of people that claimed they saw a variety of unusual phenomena.

Like a lot of other major unsolved mysteries that involve alleged communications or signs from "God" the highest profile views are almost always divided into two sides which often don't seem to listen to each other and may, in some cases, both ignore major flaws from their own views. Religious people claim that there is a "God" who created us and is worth worshiping because he's been so benevolent and miraculous, etc.; however if such a "God" did exist why wouldn't he maintain an open honest line of communication and when atrocities like the Crusades, Inquisitions, or Holocaust start happening, partly, if not entirely as a result of someones interpretation of religion, Why doesn't "God" speak up and explain this isn't what he meant at all, and provide guidance in a manner that people can understand so that these atrocities can be avoided or at least minimized.

If "God" was as powerful and merciful as they believe, surely he would.

Mainstream academics are usually much better, at least if they stick to their own field and show the work explaining how they come to their own conclusions; however when there is a powerful faction, often related to financial ideologies that impact scientific fields, or if their are major unsolved mysteries they may also ignore inconvenient facts and often adopt many of the same distraction tactics that religious people do. When it comes to the academics providing financial propaganda, people that look through the alternative media outlets or non-fiction books can often find much better academic work; however when it comes to major unsolved mysteries the media has arranged for a class of "skeptics" that often only use scientific methods when it supports their own beliefs.

In many cases they do a great job using scientific methods and attempt to develop credibility with their track record; however, Fatima may be one of the examples where they can't even come close to explaining the full story so they often ignore, or misrepresent, the parts that they can't explain and focus on the problems they can explain. This method works very well when the public is unfamiliar with the subject; or if the only alternative presented to the public is the one provided by believers who make even more mistakes.

I listed at least half a dozen of these skeptics below, and it isn't hard to find more; however the ones I looked at demonstrated that either they didn't look to close into the details or, they did and didn't feel the need to address many of the most important reports and hoped that their target audience wouldn't be familiar with it. Ironically, many of these skeptics passed up many opportunities to debunk large portions that weren't accurate at all, at least according to the earliest written accounts taken either shortly after the alleged "Miracle" on October 13th, or before it while they were still unaware of what the biggest event would bring and they only saw smaller phenomena and heard the predictions of alleged "Secrets of Fatima."

The researchers that did the best job, that I know of, looking into the details, by interviewing many of the survivors decades later, and sorting through the historical records including newspaper accounts that were written as the events were happening and testimony that was taken during several Parish inquiries, were Joaquim Fernandes and Fina D'Armada who found evidence to indicate that most of the alleged prophecies may have begun as rumors at a time when the children who allegedly received these secrets weren't mentioning it at all in their testimonies. Some of these alleged prophecies weren't disclosed to the public until they came true. The clear implication is that there is a possibility that these children were pressured to saying that they were given a secret. And, even if they did receive a message from this being, which was allegedly acting on behalf of a benevolent God, why would they ask to keep it secret if God was, as religious people believe, looking out for the best interest of his followers?

However, whether they did receive a message or not about later prophecies, there were thousands of witnesses saying that they saw increased amount of unexplained phenomena escalating until the "Miracle" on October 13th. There should be no doubt that if they hadn't believed something would have happened there they never would have gone there in the first place, since this was an isolated place with a very low population, nor would there have been any need for the enormous amount of media coverage or the Parish Inquiries and other investigations.

Joaquim Fernandes and Fina D'Armada are the authors of "Heavenly Lights: The Apparitions of Fatima and the UFO Phenomenon" where they explain why the written records indicate that it is far more likely that this event was part of the large number of UFO incidents that escalated after World War II, and that the people of that time were more inclined to interpret it in a manner that fit their beliefs as indicated in the following article which originally appeared on Wikipedia for about four months in 2009, before it was redirected to the "Miracle of the Sun."

The Fatima UFO Hypothesis

The Fatima UFO Hypothesis is a theory that the Miracle at Fatima was a UFO incident. Many UFO researchers including Jacques Vallee, Joaquim Fernandes and Fina d'Armada have expressed the theory. Jacques Vallee first expressed it in the sixties. [1] He believes that the typical responses to this incident for the most part fall into two different categories, the first the scientific response that the people must have mistaken a natural event for a miracle and that nothing important happened, the second the religious response in which this is a miracle and it should be accepted without question. Some researchers including Vallee and Eric Davis into this phenmomenon prefer the term Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) rather than the term UFO since it is not associated with the Extraterestrial Hypothesis (ETH). Vallee does not believe we should jump to the conclusion that this is the result of Extraterrestrials without further evidence. In 1976 Joaquim Fernandes and Fina d'Armada began an in depth research project into the original newspaper articles and other documents and used this to develop their theory that the incident at Fatima may have been related to the UFO phenomena that began in the forties.

Their work was first published in 1982 in "Extraterrestrial Intervention at Fatima: The Apparitions and the UFO Phenomenon." The incident began on May 13 1917 when three young children claimed to see a lady whom many assumed was the Virgin Mary. When reviewing the original text Joaquim Fernandes and Fina d'Armada found that Lucia Santos the eldest of the three didn't initially say it was our lady of Fatima but just "a small pretty lady". This lady allegedly told them to go to the same spot for six consecutive months. The next five months attracted a growing crowd to observe the event that rose from 40 to 50 people in June, to about 4,500 people in July, 18,000 in August 30,000 in September and 50,000 to 70,000 people in October. [2] Joaquim Fernandes and Fina d'Armada sorted through many different versions of this event and concluded that in most cases the ones that were recorded the earliest were the most reliable. Whenever possible they also interviewed any surviving witnesses, however this didn't include Lucia Santos since they couldn't interview her without approval from the Vatican. [3] [4] Joaquim Fernandes and Fina d'Armada didn't come to any final conclusions about what happened at Fatima due to insufficient information. They recommended more research in the academic community. [5]

May 13th

The event began on May 13th when three children claimed to see a vision at Cova da Iria. Jacinta age 7 told her mother "O, mother I saw our lady at Cova da Iria." [6] Jacinta's father later responded "If the kids saw a woman dressed in white, who else could she be but Our Lady?" [7] When Lucia Santos age 10 was asked about this by her mother she said "I never said it was our lady rather a small pretty lady. I even asked Jacinta and Francisco (age 9) to say nothing." and she goes on to say "She told me that we should continue to go there for six consecutive months, on the 13th of each month, and at the end of the time, she would tell us who she was and what she wanted of us." [8] Lucia told Viscount of Montelo that the lady "seems to be about 15 years old." She compared the lady to a girl who was about 1.1 meters tall. [9] Jacinta and Francisco were illiterate and subject to beliefs, often blind in nature, which they got from their father. The local priest would note that Manuel Marto their father was either "an over-believer, or otherwise, insane." Lucia didn't have much more education her mother was a devout Catholic who taught her the doctrine and read adequate passages of the scripture. [10] [11]

Phenomena testified to by eyewitnesses

During the investigation by Joaquim Fernandes and Fina d'Armada they found several characteristics in the witness reports about the various sightings on the 13th of each month that are also often present in UFO reports and they conducted a detailed analysis of them. One of the more notable occasions was August when the children weren't present. The events on that day included Thunder, lightning and many people screaming. One person reported lights on the rocks and another reported an eclipse of the sun. [12][13] [14] August was the first time where there were reports of an object that may have been a UFO which came down from the sky, although they referred to it as the sun. [15] When these events happened many of those gathered interpreted this as a sign from God that he was angry because the girls were being detained. [16] Artur de Oliveira Santos, president and founder of a Masonic lodge and an anticlerical republican offered the children a ride to Cova da Iria but instead took the children to his house. It was later claimed that they were detained in a prison. [17] More reports of the sun coming down happened in September. [18] These characteristics allegedly witnessed by people at Fatima include the following:

Lightning or a flash of light which was first seen by the three little girls on the 13th of May. They claimed that this wasn't accompanied by any thunder and it was on a sunny day. [19]

Buzzing of bees or something similar. Some UFO reports allegedly are also accompanied by a low hum. Many of the witnesses specifically referred to it as the buzzing of bees. [20]

Thunder allegedly accompanied some of the events at Fatima. When this happened on the 13th of August many of those gathered interpreted this as a sign from God that he was angry because the girls were being detained. [21] Artur de Oliveira Santos, president and founder of a Masonic lodge and an anticlerical republican offered the children a ride to Cova da Iria but instead took the children to his house. It was later claimed that they were detained in a prison. [22] [23]

Unusual clouds some of which seemed to hide an apparition. [24]

A sudden cooling reported by several witnesses. [25]

Unusual odors or perfumes. [26]

Luminous objects including disks orbs or a cross were reported at Fatima. These were first reported in August when Manuel Marto claimed to see "a type of luminous globe gyrating within the clouds." Joaquim Xavier Tuna gave this statement: "In august on the 13th day, I saw the sun come down in the sky at the hour of the apparition. It never descended quite as much as it did on that day, not even on the 13th of October. Every object which surrounded me turned yellow." In September the number of people claiming to see objects in the sky increased the witnesses included Joel de Deus Magno, Dr. Jose Maria Pereira Gens, Monsignor Joao Quaresma, Canon Galamba de Oliveira, Joaquim Xavier Tuna and more. The highest number of reports came in October when thousands of people claimed the sun was dancing and came down close to Earth. [27]

Ramps of light were reported to have shined on the Oak tree at Fatima. [28]

Breezes were reported in June and July, in August the thunder and lightning was allegedly accompanied by a "whirlwind" which frightened the crowd and caused them to flee. [29]

A white substance fall from the sky that has often been referred to as Angel hair. This usually dissolves quickly so there is rarely anything to examine. On two occasions a sample was sent for testing once on the 13 of October in 1917 a sample was sent to Lisbon and on October 17 1957 another sample found and examined. The analysis of this proved to be natural consisting of white flakes. When put under a microscope it was found to be a vegetable product not animal. [30]

The Miracle of the Sun

On October 13th 50,000 to 70,000 (some estimates were as low as 30,000 or as high as 100,000) people gathered at Cova da Iria to observe the alleged miracle. Someone counted over 100 cars and over 100 bicycles and there were more that lined the road. This included a diverse group of people including city people, Professors, farmers, house wives, atheists and Christians. the population of Portugal was about 72% illiterate at that time. Many of the witnesses claimed they saw a disc; others said it was the sun. Joaquim Fernandes and Fina d'Armada believe that once a few people referred to it as the sun everyone else just followed suit, however there were a few that referred to it as an object other than the sun including three people that gave statements that were used for a statistical analysis of the witnesses. This analysis was done based on statements from 100 people. Due to the low sampling and the fact that they couldn't conduct follow up interviews this has a high margin of error. The object appeared to come down to the crowd well within the Earths atmosphere. This could also be seen from several surrounding towns in different directions including Alburitel, Minde, Aljustrel, Leira and Torres Novas. Most of the witnesses from these towns claimed they saw the object in the direction of Cova da Iria. Dr Joao Lopes Pires concluded that if this object moved it couldn't have been the sun since it would have affected the orbits of the planets and it would have been seen all over the world not just in Fatima. [31] there were four or five people who insisted they saw nothing at all. [32] [33]

Conflicts in Lucia's testimony

Lucia testimony was often inconsistent, for example on October 19 she told the Viscount of Montelo that the Lady had claimed the war would end on this day. A letter written on 6/26/1947 to the reverend Jose Pedro da Silva said "I did not hear her say 'a war ends today' but did hear' if they shall do penance, a war will end." In 1941 she claimed there were predictions about WWII and about the premature deaths of Jacinta and Francisco of natural causes. This wasn't made public until the events had already occurred. In her memoirs she admitted that she considered absenting herself from the encounters out of fear that it could be the work of the devil. [34] [35] [36] Complete article

A review of the skeptics efforts to debunk this alleged "Miracle" may raise doubts about whether or not they read the vast majority of material about this subject or looked at many of the pictures. My impression is that if they did they ignored an enormous amount of it and their bias is surprisingly obvious. Ironically, in some cases they passed up justifiable evidence that could have debunked some portions of the miracle if they had read some of the most important history of this event which it appears that Joaquim Fernandes and Fina D'Armada did a much better job at. This would have enabled them to dismiss most of the alleged prophecies about the war coming to an immediate end, which it didn't, the claim that Saint Joseph would appear with the Baby Jesus on October 13th, which wasn't necessarily true.

The vast majority of the crowd didn't see them at all, it was only the three children, and perhaps a few of the most devout that claimed they saw them at the end of the miracle of the Sun. This is what most rational skeptics refer to as anecdotal evidence which they often easily dismiss, right or wrong. My impression was that this was far less credible than most of the claims from that day, including many that were seen by far more people; I wouldn't completely rule out the possibility that they let their imagination get away with them on that one. Joaquim Fernandes and Fina D'Armada didn't completely rule this out but they also speculated about the possibility that they might have mistaken extraterrestrials for the Baby Jesus, Saint Joseph and Mary. Most of the apparitions that they described in much more detail including extensive conversations were just of what Lucia referred to as "a small pretty lady" but Jacinta jumped to the conclusion that it was "Our Lady," even though she only allegedly spoke to Lucia.

Joe Nickell is widely recognized as one of the most credible "skeptics" among the community of "skeptics" that often agree with each other on almost everything, when it comes to debunking claims they don't believe; however he said, "Two years before the famous series of apparitions occurred at Fatima, eight-year-old Lucia and three girlfriends claimed to have seen apparitions of a snow-white figure on three occasions. Lucia’s mother called the experiences 'childish nonsense.'" If he had checked the record he would have known that Lucia initially denied this claim and only when pressured by Canon Formigao did she say that she had made this claim. Lucia's mother did dismiss her stories initially but her parents were among the witnesses to the alleged miracle.

However, despite all the credibility problems that Lucia, may or may not have had, there is little doubt that there was an enormous pilgrimage of people that traveled a major distance, often on foot, since there were few automobiles or other transportation at that time expecting to see some kind of miraculous event; and when the time came they did see something they considered spectacular, although they couldn't all agree on many of the details. When it comes to the vast majority of the evidence, like most if not all other high profile skeptics, Joe Nickell simply pretends it doesn't exist, and doesn't bother doing research that challenges his beliefs.

Several of the skeptics including Brian Dunning raise doubts about the size of the crowd and he even goes so far as to say, "it does look like several thousand to me, I certainly wouldn't go as high as thirty," without much if any explanation except to say that the photographers would shown larger portions of the crowd. He also said that he was only able to find one photo with umbrellas, which seems meaningless; however if he wanted to find photos with more umbrellas or crowds as large as a photographer, from that time, could get into a picture he could have either by Googling "Miracle of the Sun," which he could have done at the time he wrote his article, or before the internet he could have done a little research the old fashioned way and it wouldn't have taken to long to find more photos and enormous amounts of testimony from the witnesses.

Their efforts to debunk these claims are, for the most part only capable of convincing people that are not familiar with the subject. They rarely ever acknowledge the vast majority of evidence available even when at times it could help them debunk some of the claims that should be debunked. At least Brian Dunning did provide a link to one of the most widely cited sources about the subject although he raises doubts about his credibility. Father John de Marchi may have been biased; and some of the testimonies that he collected were clearly based on witness testimony that may be unreliable; and in some cases I suspect he may have exaggerated the numbers, however he does acknowledge that some of them are hard to estimate, and presents a fer more credible and informed story than many of the skeptics who don't seem to have done there own research as indicated in a few of the following excerpts, the rest of his book is available free on line:

"The True Story of Fatima" Father John de Marchi, I.M.C,

"What do you want of me?"

And our Lady's unvarying first reply: "Come again to the Cova da Iria on the thirteenth of next month, my child, and continue to say the Rosary every day."

Again Lucia requested the Lady to bring to these hills a miracle so that all would know she came from heaven. Please do this, she requested, since they were so tired and so punished from being disbelieved.

"I will," the Lady promised. "In October I will perform a miracle so that everyone can believe in the apparitions. If they had not taken you to the town (meaning Ourem), the miracle would be even greater. St. Joseph will come with the Holy Child to bring peace to the world. Our Lord will come to bless the people. Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Dolors will also come at that time." ......

With great astonishment (in September) I saw, clearly and distinctly, a luminous globe, which moved from the east to the west, gliding slowly and majestically through space. My friend also looked, and had the good fortune to enjoy the same unexpected and delightful vision. Suddenly the globe, with its extraordinary light, disappeared.

Near us was a little girl dressed like Lucia, and more or less the same age. She continued to cry out happily: "I still see it! I still see it! Now it's coming down... !"

After a few minutes, about the duration of the apparitions, the child began to exclaim again, pointing to the sky: "Now it's going up again!"—and she followed the globe with her eyes until it disappeared in the direction of the sun. "What do you think of that globe?" I asked my companion, who seemed enthusiastic at what he had seen. "That it was our Lady," he replied without hesitation.

It was my undoubted conviction also. The children had contemplated the very Mother of God, while to us it had been given to see the means of transport—if one may so express it—which brought her from heaven to the inhospitable waste of the Serra da Aire. I must emphasise that all those around us appeared to have seen the same thing, for one heard manifestations of joy and praises of our Lady. But some saw nothing. Near us was a simple devout creature, crying bitterly because she had seen nothing. ......

"Will you assist a little girl who is deaf and dumb?"

"She will improve within the year," the Lady said.

"And the conversions that some have asked to have brought about? The cures of the sick ones?"

"Some I will cure," the Lady said, "and some I will not. Our Lord does not trust them all."

Lucia, obedient and satisfied, accepted this decision. She then remembered the desires of Maria da Capelinha and other pious women who had believed in the apparitions from the beginning.

"Would you like a small chapel to be built here with the money the people have left?" she asked.

"Yes; I would like a small chapel built in honour of Our Lady of the Rosary. But tell them to use only half the money for this. The other half is to be for the andors that you already know about."

Lucia's thoughts turned inward to personal problems.

"So many believe that I am an impostor and a cheat," she said, "that they say I deserve to be hanged and burned. Will you please perform a miracle so that all of them can believe?"

"In October," the Lady said, repeating her earlier promise, "I will perform a miracle that will permit everyone to believe." .......

We have at hand a variety of newspaper accounts, taken from journals of differing political policy and tone, and while tempted to print them all, we are aware their bulk would tax the limits of this book. The following is from an article in the newspaper, O Dia, which we now know to have been written by Dona Madalena Patricio:

The hamlets, villages and towns in the proximity appeared to be depopulated. For days beforehand, groups of excursionists were to be seen on the way to Fatima. The fishermen from Vieira left nets and wooden houses by the sea and came swinging through the pine woods. Artisans from Marinha, farmers from Monte Real... serra folk from much further afield, from every place where news of the miracle had penetrated, the people left their houses and their fields, and came to Fatima by horse, carriage, on foot, by every means of transport. The roads through the pines and the mountains echoed during these two days, with the noise of traffic and the voices of the pilgrims.

Many attempts have been made to compute the number of pilgrims who made the difficult journey to Fatima in October, 1917. Only one thing is altogether certain. It was a tragic problem such as had never beset this obscure and lonely section of the hills. Professor Garrett, of Coimbra University, has estimated a crowd of one hundred thousand, though admittedly he had no means of gauging the actual number to any fine degree. A more generally accepted figure is 70,000, a staggering total at the time. In any event, it was such a vast and unaccustomed crush of humans, that amateur statisticians attempted to count the vehicles that passed at certain points. A reporter from the paper, Diario de Noticias, dutifully counted 240 carts, 135 bicycles and 100 cars that returned from Fatima to Vila Nova de Ourem, and while it is true that in America today we can count 100 cars outside-of any thriving supermarket, we are speaking of Fatima, Portugal, in 1917, when an automobile was almost as rare as a five-legged calf. Obviously this reporter did not count oxen, donkeys, horses, mules, or that primary means of transport in those days of grace, a peasant's feet. .....

The rain continues, and by the official government time it is well past one o'clock. But by sun time it is precisely noon when Lucia looks to the east. "Jacinta," she says softly, "kneel down." Then more strongly she calls, "Our Lady is coming; I have seen the lightning."

The children kneel, as do countless numbers of the faithful; but the people as yet have been stirred by no great happening. The faces of the children are mirrors of ecstasy, yet what they see is not for other eyes to know, except through the testimony of the children themselves. .....

"What do you want of me?" asks Lucia

The dialogue, read this way, does not seem inspired. From May to October it has been much the same. But there is this significant difference. It is heaven and earth concerned with goodness, rather than with skills. There is no call for Dante, or for Shakespeare, or for any modern literary hand.

"I want a chapel built here in my honour. I want you to continue saying the Rosary every day. The war will end soon, and the soldiers will return to their homes."

"Yes," says Lucia "Yes." But since the Lady has promised this day to tell exactly who she is, Lucia asks further,

"Will you tell me your name?"

"I am the Lady of the Rosary."

There is a reverent silence. Lucia then explains, "I have many petitions from many people. Will you grant them?"

"Some I shall grant, and others I must deny." This Lady of the Rosary, who is God's Mother, is gentle, but she is serious. She has never smiled- She is asking for penance. She is talking in terms of heaven and hell—a blunt and terrifying equation that so many have comfortably forgotten. She speaks as though after 1900 years, a cross still weighs upon the shoulders of her Son: "People must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. They must not offend our Lord any more, for He is already too much offended!"

"And is that all you have to ask?" Lucia inquires.

"There is nothing more." ......

These visions are brief and they succeed one another rapidly. Three times St. Joseph has traced the sign of the cross above the people. St. Joseph fades away, and Christ appears at the base of the sun. He is cloaked in red. With Him stands His Mother. She is gowned now in neither white nor blue, but as Our Lady of Sorrows, gazing on the earth. She has not the traditional sword in her heart. This the children clearly note, and are later able to recall. Christ gives his blessing to the people, and then, as this vision passes, there is one that Lucia alone is privileged to see: Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Remember, this is Lucia speaking; this is the privileged sight of three, quite different from the shocking and indisputable phenomenon that is witnessed by the crowd.

It seems strange, recounting here in simple words, such prodigies as this. There can be no attempt to describe the impact of this experience on the children. They have themselves no more succeeded in this than they have managed fully to convey a picture of the Lady whose beauty was more than the senses, unaided, could properly comprehend.

But what of the crowd who did not see the Christ Child, or His Mother, or St. Joseph in the sky? Here the record pursues the sceptic, and inexorably, if he does not flee from the evidence, it will defeat him. The miraculous hand falls heavily. Like stones, the signs of God will be laid before you now to build a house of faith.

When Lucia cried, "Look at the sun!" the people responded. The rain at that moment had stopped; the sun was clearly seen. There was no cloud to obscure it, yet it did not strain the eyes of any man to look on its unveiled light. The people could see that the sun was strangely spinning. It began to revolve more rapidly, more frighteningly. It began to cast off beams of many-colored lights in all directions. Shafts of brilliant red came from the rim of the revolving star and fell across the earth, the people and the trees; and green lights came and violet and blue in mixed array. It is a story of wonder and of terror, too, as the great star challenges the discipline of all the ages it has known, and begins careening, trembling in the sky for seventy thousand witnesses to see. Now, horribly, it appears to plunge from its place in the heavens and fall upon the earth. People are crying: ......

Perhaps less dramatic than the visible acrobatics of a heavenly body ninety million miles removed from earth, was another phenomenon we have not yet emphasised. In that hectic noontime, while the great star hung in cloudless clarity, the people, who had been drenched and soggy with the pelting, unremitting rain, were suddenly and completely dry—their shoes and stockings, their skin and their clothes, as though the Lady of the Rosary had invoked the power of some new machine. You'll pardon our conviction that it was the power of her Son, from whom all grace and lesser powers proceed.

We'll close this chapter by quoting from a pastoral letter on the apparitions written in 1922 by D. Jose Alves Correia da Silva, the bishop of Leiria:

The solar phenomenon of October 13, described in newspapers of the time, was of a most marvellous nature and caused the deepest impression on those who had the good fortune to witness it. ....

"Did she say that she would come back to the Cova da Iria? "

"She said before that it was the last time she would come, and today, too, she said it was the last time." ......

"She said: "The war will end today. You can expect the soldiers very shortly.' "

"But listen, Lucia, the war is still going on. The papers give news of battles after the 13th. How can you explain that if our Lady said the war would end that day?" ....... Complete book

As I've pointed out in numerous articles in the past including 107 Wonders of the Ancient World there is overwhelming evidence of other major unexplained mysteries, including massive megaliths, some over seven hundred tons, that were allegedly moved with ancient technology even though experiments to replicate this with the same technology runs into problems when they get over ten tons and they begin cheating, without even trying to go above forty tones. The vast majority of the high profile debate about this subject, and many others about the evidence of miracles divides up, for the most part, to two sides, one that claims that this miracle is evidence of a "God" and they assume that this is a "good God," and the other side that argues, for the most part that there is no "God," or at least they strongly imply that; however neither side gives much if any consideration that it could be an unknown advanced intelligence of some sort with some kind of ulterior motive.

If this was caused by a "Good God" what Benefit did it provide and how? This event sounds spectacular, and it scared many people but it didn't involve opening up an honest line of communication or lead to the end of the war.

Whether this event happened or not, if it was a UFO or miracle created by "God," it was used by the Catholic Church to strengthen peoples belief in "God" and they used this to strengthen their own authority.

There were also alleged prophecies and miracle healing that were attributed to God and the Miracle at Fatima; however it doesn't take much to figure out that if there was an unknown advanced intelligence of some sort, whether people believe it is "God," aliens or something else, and it wanted to heal people in the most effective way possible or bring an end to the war, or even better prevent wars from happening in the first place, then there are better ways to accomplish that than this alleged miracle.

If "God" wanted to help cure people in the most effective way possible then he could teach people how to cure themselves; yet instead of doing this for thousands of years this hypothetical "God" has either been inspiring religions that suppress research into the best medical cures, and often even done enormous amounts of stupid things based on superstitions, often related to religion, like instead of controlling the rat population, which carried fleas that caused many plagues, they killed cats because they thought they caused the plagues.

Instead of opening up a consistent line of communication, teaching people how to get along with each other, and develop education systems that teach critical thinking skills, the religions allegedly inspired by "God" divide people up into different groups and teach them to hate and fight those not part of their own groups, in many cases. God doesn't try to teach people basic principles about democracy, like that all people should be able to participate in decisions about how their government is run; or that in order to do that they need a good education and accurate information to based their decisions.

Instead the dominant religious teachings are about obedience, backed up by the threat of violence, which is why we fight many of these wars that are often based on lies. This begins at a very young age, often based on Biblical teachings including Proverbs 23:13 which says, "Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die." actually in many cases children that are beat by their parents for disciplinary purposes do die, and when they don't they grow up thinking the way to deal with their problems is to deal with them using violence.

Religion is far more concerned about control than it is about teaching morality as can be demonstrated in one verse after another including Exodus 14:4 which says, "I shall then make Pharaoh stubborn and he will set out in pursuit of them; and I shall win glory for myself at the expense of Pharaoh and his whole army, and then the Egyptians will know that I am Yahweh.' And the Israelites did this." If people accept the Bible as the literal truth this should be an obvious example of entrapment, where "God" made the "Pharaoh stubborn" then used his own actions as an excuse to punish the entire Egyptian population. Of course if the Bible is not the literal truth then this never happened; however it is still used by religious people as a guide to lead their life; and if "God" did exist he could have corrected their mistakes by opening up a consistent line of communication which would be the appropriate way of earning trust.

There is one Biblical verse after another that clearly shows how outrageous the alleged sense of morality taught by the Bible is including Genesis 19:4-8, 2 Peter 2:7 which portrays Lot as being righteous even though he offers up his own daughters to be raped when he thinks it will deter a mob from raping messengers he thinks came from God, yet, if this "God" exists he never explains that this might not be such a rational sense of morality, and when rational people suggest such a thing emotionally unstable devout religious people often resist any reform to the best of their ability, often with violence.

The most rational sense of morality is often learned when people figure it out for themselves, without help from "God," the most powerful religious leaders, or what ever political faction is currently controlling any given government!

Religious people aren't taught that trust is earned by honest communication, at least not when it comes to the most powerful people in society or "God" himself. They're taught to blindly believe their leaders and obey without question. This is what enabled many tyrants to hold power for thousands of years and these tyrants fought one war after another based on lies. The World War they were hoping to see come to an end was just the latest of these wars and the second World War, which they claim was predicted at Fatima, although that revelation wasn't disclosed to the public until 1941 when the war had already begun was another; and if the people were taught to question authority it could have either been prevented or kept from becoming so extreme.

The incident at Fatima did far more to amaze people than it did to accomplish anything worthwhile, at least directly; however since an enormous amount of people were predisposed to believe that the appropriate way to demonstrate credibility, at least for "God" was to carry out spectacular feats that don't do anything practical this helped reinforce peoples beliefs and led them to obey authority figures.

Monsignor Journet, the future Cardinal believed that "Without Fátima, Salazar would not be possible. He would not be serving in government to begin with, much less have maintained his position there," and he may have been at least partially right although it may have been for the wrong reasons. Monsignor Journet seems to have supported Salazar's regime even though he was a dictator that oppressed his people; however he did support the Catholic church, and was supported in return by the Church, which is typical of many tyrants. Religion is also be responsible for World War II, and the strengthened faith provided by Fatima and other alleged mystical people or events, like Padre Pio, may also be partially responsible for it, since the prophecies of Fatima and teachings of Padre Pio were used to teach obedience, and this is what enabled Adolf Hitler to get so many blind followers to blindly obey. Religion also caused fanatical Antisemitism teaching people to hate Jews going back centuries, blaming them for everything.

If "God," assuming he exists, or aliens, or any other unknown advanced intelligence that is perceived as "God," wanted to prevent World War II at the time of Fatima he could have explained how they were mistaken about many of their beliefs. For that matter if "God" was inclined to prevent WW-II, and if he was influencing religion since Biblical times, he could have done this thousands of years earlier making the Crusades, Inquisitions, and many other atrocities far less likely, if not prevented them completely. At best, by refusing to provide better advice, "God" gave tacit approval of many of these atrocities; at worst he actively and intentionally inspired religions knowing that it would have lead to atrocities that he was partially if not entirely responsible for.

Instead, if "God" Exists and has been influencing religion for thousands of years he shrouds his motives and methods in secrecy and even uses his control of religion to teach people to think this secrecy that results in atrocities and ensures that the human races is constantly basing their decisions on lies is worthy of worship. Devout Catholics actually seem to think that it is appropriate for their benevolent God to share secrets through little children that wind up being pressured and abused by religious and secular leaders.

There is a popular Portuguese saying, "Secrecy is the soul of business." This is a reasonably fair description of business everywhere; however this secrecy enables those that control powerful financial institutions to get away with enormous amounts of fraud that robs the public and also causes an enormous amount of other problems like selling unsafe products or polluting the poor. It is also a reasonably fair description of religion, which is based on secrecy, lies or ideological misunderstandings, and mythology that is used to control the beliefs of the followers. Cult leaders that can control the beliefs, however absurd or false, of the followers can partially if not entirely control the decisions made by the followers, creating a state of virtual slavery that enslaves minds, which is much more difficult to free than the body, unless intervention happens at a young age.

Regrettably thanks to the enormous amount of pressure that was put on the three children instead of intervening to teach them rational thinking they were surrounded by people that wanted to use the perception of this miracle to control the masses for their own purposes. If "God" existed, cared about the best interest of these children, and understood the consequences then he wouldn't have used them in this manner. Two of these children died only a couple years after this, indicating that even if "God" was capable of miracle healing he refused to use it to save them.

All three children especially Lucia were intimidated by one person after another including the mayor who tricked them into going into his carriage on the 13th of August, 1917, in an attempt to end what he considered nonsense, then when there was thunder scaring the people attending, instead of letting them go he took them to the local jail held them over night, threatened to boil them in oil, although he never intended to do so, and when they refused to tell him what the alleged "secret" was reluctantly took them back to his home before releasing them two days later.

The three children allegedly claimed they received a prophecy about the two youngest dying within a few years of the incident at Fatima; as far as I can tell no one reported on this in the early newspaper reports including ones covered by Joaquim Fernandes and Fina D'Armada, who don't directly address this issue, However they do establish a pattern of behavior of changing the alleged secrets and prophecies; and my best guess is that like the prediction about WW II it wasn't disclosed to the public until after the fact. According to the official version from the Church and this article, Seven Lessons From Fatima’s Youngest Visionary, 02/20/2017 Jacinta believed that she should worship the "Lord" even though he allegedly caused the suffering that killed her older brother and was clearly leading to her death soon afterwards, when she was also sick and actually said that she loved her own suffering. “Mortification and sacrifice please our Lord very much,” she said. “Oh, how much I love to suffer for love of Our Lord and our Lady. They greatly love those who suffer for the conversion of sinners.” she said.

This is part of an indoctrination process that teaches followers to blindly worship their leaders and sacrifice for them, whether there is a supernatural "Lord," aliens that have been perceived as the "Lord," some other unknown advanced intelligence, or just by the Catholic church, assuming the skeptics are right about there not being any phenomena. Enormous numbers of people are being indoctrinated to sacrifice without question for the benefit of those that control powerful institutions. The author of this article about Jacinta served as press secretary of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee Chairman, which might raise doubts about separation of Church and State, and whether the Church is still helping to control the government and the people, influenced by "God" or not.

Then representatives of the Church coerced Lucia into reluctantly joining a convent where she was sequestered for the rest of her life. It was there that the alleged secrets grew from one to three and were released selectively when it suited the Churches purposes. Many people blame the Church for controlling this message, and to some degree, justifiably so, however, if there is an unknown advanced intelligence that has been influencing religion for thousands of years, known as "God" and it created these revelations and the phenomena observed by thousands, most of the responsibility belongs to who ever or what ever this "God" is.

With or without a Miracle or a UFO the Church has decided to put an enormous amount of money, which could have been used for more practical purposes, like helping feed or educate the poor, into building a massive Chapel; and they've been able to inspire large pilgrimages to Fatima that enable them to help control the faithful and collect money for them to pay for their temples. These massive temples are more effective as tools to help indoctrinate and control their followers than they are as any practical charitable efforts, as they imply. Skeptics often pass up many opportunities to point this out.

By refusing to consider other explanations or to acknowledge that their efforts to "debunk" religious beliefs involves ignoring many of the most important facts high profile "skeptics" like Michael Shermer, James Randi, and Joe Nickell actually play into the beliefs of religious people since they don't even follow scientific methods that they pretend to support. If they were willing to consider the possibility that this phenomena was created by an unknown advanced intelligence, at least as a hypothesis, even if they don't consider if likely, then they could argue that even if this advanced intelligence exists it isn't providing an open honest line of communication, therefore we shouldn't trust alleged beliefs from cult leaders based on it.

They could also put far more emphasis on research about how indoctrination methods often begin at childhood from an early age using coercion that also leads to escalating violence as numerous secular researchers including Philip Greven author of "Spare the Child," have pointed out. Philip Greven doesn't rely on paranormal or supernatural claims to explain how corporal punishment is part of a process to dictate irrational beliefs to religious children, so you would think it would be compatible with their beliefs. However, a close look at their track record doesn't indicate that they're as concerned with skepticism as they are with their own ideology, although that is too much to go into in this article.

Michael Shermer, Ray Hyman, James Randi, Paul Kurtz, and Joe Nickell

The highest profile researchers into the "Ancient Aliens Theory" aren't much better, since they rarely abide by basic scientific methods either and make so many obviously false claims that hardly any rational person would believe them, unless some people are inclined to go along with bad arguments without fact checking them well if at all, or if some people take the time to sort through the details and come to their own conclusions independently.

That doesn't explain what "God," "Aliens," or some other unknown advanced intelligence is trying to accomplish though, do they just have some kind of sick sense of humor? Not likely, it is far more likely that they're trying to accomplish something in the most effective way they know hoe, or at least they think they are; however when it is portrayed as "Good verses evil" it is almost certain that the belief that "God" or "aliens" may have a sick sense of humor will come up repeatedly if an attempt to expose it is made.

As I explained in Deadly Monopolies With Alien Technology? one possibility that might be far more likely is that they're conducting research that they couldn't conduct on their own world, including medical research. this could also include other types of research as well including into Climate Change and how it is caused by human behavior. There is no doubt that there is plenty of research into Climate Change, whether it is being overseen by aliens or not; but if there have been aliens visiting for thousands of years then it could have been intentional from the beginning.

If the aliens have been influencing societies for thousands of years it would be incredibly foolish to trust them since they have a history of of watching as cultures like the Ancient Egyptians, Romans, Assyrians, Kingdom of Ashoka, Angkors, inhabitants of Easter Island, Mayans build up their societies, perhaps with influence from the aliens, then allowing them to collapse and self destruct. we're in the process of doing that now by destroying the environment and the insane political activities by Donald Trump and the incredibly corrupt candidates the Democrats nominate like Hillary Clinton.

If it does turn out that they're studying climate change how can we be certain they don't want to study much more extensive efforts to change it than the human race can live with? If there are people within our government that exchanged technology in return for cooperation with these experiments how can they be certain the aliens don't want to push the environment beyond the point of no return and do research in a different kind of terrain?

This is highly speculative; however there is enough evidence to raise major doubts about the official explanations for these unexplained phenomena. And there is no doubt that our government isn't even trying to act rationally and is behaving in a destructive manner designed to indoctrinate the public instead of educate them.

Whether this far-fetched theory is right or wrong there are many issues that people should agree on like that we need to do a much better job protecting the environment, provide health care, allow coverage for grassroots candidates so that diverse views are provided to make political decisions, and much more.

This rough theory is not a "Great truth" since many of the details clearly haven't been worked out; however if the most rational researchers were willing to address the most important unsolved mysteries and disclose any secret information related to it, then it could lead to the disclosure of a real "Great truth."

The following are some of the sources for this article and provide additional information on the subject:

Joaquim Fernandes and Fina D'Armada "Heavenly Lights: The Apparitions of Fatima and the UFO Phenomenon"

The Real Secrets of Fatima by Joe Nickell 2009

Illuminating the Fatima Miracle of the Sun by Brian Dunning 07/22/2008

Skeptic Benjamin Radford on the Fátima Miracle

The 1917 Miracle of the Sun at Fatima - what does the camera say?

The Lies of Fatima by Philip Coppens

Solar Miracle of Fatima The Flop of the Century

Our Lady Came to Fatima The Final Apparition

Our Lady of Fatima

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