Pareidolia Strikes Again

On Wednesday, around the time that the new pope was announced in Rome, some of the folks in South Florida thought they saw a sign from God in the sky, a cloud that they interpreted as having the shape of an angel. Naturally, the Worldnutdaily is linking to the story.

Most saw an angel in the clouds and grabbed their cameras to document the vision.

For some, it was a clear sign from heaven, maybe a message from God himself, showing his pleasure at the election of the first Latin American as the 267th successor of St. Peter.

Thom George wondered “if Pope Francis ordered that.”

“The Pope asked to pray for Him. .. God answered,” was Cat Sunn’s reaction.

Here’s a picture of the “angel.”


These are the same people who see Jesus or the Virgin Mary in their pancakes and tortilla chips.

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  • Doug Little

    Looks like a wizard’s beard to me. Is Gandalf God?

  • @Doug Little #1 – Gandalf, like all of the Istari, were Maiar, part of the lower order of divine beings sent into Arda to perform the will of Eru. The higher order were the Valar.

  • doublereed

    Is the angel trying to grab his halo from flying away????

  • Here’s a bigger miracle: Liberty University (Jerry Fallwell’s faux university) made one of the NCAA play-in spots with a 15 and 20 record.

  • doublereed


    Perhaps it’s actually Satan! :O

  • Anyway, I fail to see why the Almighty Creator of the Universe would put a very transitory, vague cloud formation above a state with a large Jewish population to mark the installation of a collaborationist as head of a world-wide criminal enterprise on the other side of the planet.

    You would think that this would stretch credulity even in the hopelessly incredulous, but alas.

  • dingojack

    looks like a winged creature with their arms up above their head in either exasperation or surrender over the election of yet another senescent, conservative, white collaborator as pope…

    Meteorology or miracle, you decide.


  • Gregory: God works in mysterious ways. Oh, and he’s every bit as stupid about geography and other religions as the wankers who believe in him.

    On a more serious note — yes, it does look like an angel LOSING his halo. Which I think is a perfect commentary on the moral authority and credibility of the Catholic Church.

  • Anthony K

    Jacob wrestled one of those for a day?

  • Randomfactor

    It’s god’s way of saying “Hey! I sent you a nice Jewish savior…what’s with all the goyim as Popes?”

  • Mr Ed

    That’s no angle that’s a cuttle fish. Head down with the lighter areas on the side being the fins. Quick someone sacrifice a vertebrata

  • dingojack

    So Gandalf is an Istari, I thought he was human, just really, really prolonged*…



    * Took? Peregrin Took? You;re a fool, Took, a complete loser…. 🙂

    PS: Is Tom Bombadil an istari too?

    PPS: ‘Gandalf’ and ‘Bombadil’ are both in the google dictionary!

  • With this being a “miracle” for Catholics, I had to check out the WND comments because I knew there had to be some fun wingnut-on-wingnut bickering, and they did not disappoint!

  • John Hinkle

    How can anyone claim it’s an angel when no one has actually seen a real one?

  • You’re all wrong!!!


    You know which of the FTB’ers we’ll all have to start worshiping now…

  • All hail Mr Ed the prophet (even though he got there before me)!

  • dingojack

    Hmmmmmm calamari [drools]

    🙂 Dingo

  • dingojack

    Now just wait a second there Richard – let’s not put the (talking) horse before the calamari!

    ::) Dingo

  • coragyps

    Justadamminnit here………..

    That’s actually PROOF POSITIVE of the Invisible Pink Unicorn (PBUHHH!)

    1 Pink. Check.

    2 Nothing in the image remotely similar to a unicorn or other perissodactyl. Check.

    Glory be! Her Invisibility and Her Pinkness are demonstrated to Floridians, as is Her Promise to maybe kick some red-suited Argentinian ass if necessary!

    well, She could have promised that……..

  • @dingojack #12 – I’m drawing on memory here, but….

    A thousand years after Isildur vanquished Sauron at the end of the Second Age, Sauron (himself one of the Maia and thus effectively immortal) began to gather his power again. The Valar chose five Maiar and sent them into Middle Earth to watch for Sauron’s return and help protect the world. Saruman served Aule, the smith (as did Sauron long ago) and his knowledge of artifice made him uniquely qualified to watch for signs that the Rings of Power were awakening again. Radagast served Yavanna, the Earth Mother; his deep love for living things led him to volunteer for the mission. The Blue Wizards, never named in the canon, were twins selected by Orome the Hunter for their fierceness. Gandalf was the last picked, by Manwe the Lord of the Skies, from among the Maiar of Nienna the Weeper, who shed tears of sorrow and compassion for the evils that Morgoth and Sauron had wrought.

    In addition to their mandate to watch for the return of Sauron, they were given one firm order: not to use their divine power to dominate the people of Middle Earth. This was where Saruman went wrong, and why at the end of The Return of the King he was not allowed to return to the Divine Land in the east. It was also why the Wizards seemed so impotent in the story: Tolkein literally had several dei ex machina on his hands and needed to keep them from just wishing away the plot.

    He may have been a Christian nutter, but Tolkein really knew how to write a mythos.

  • lldayo

    Looks like a vampire. I guess God is on Team Edward?

  • escuerd

    I always equated the Valar to archangels, and the Maiar to lesser angels. So I guess Gandalf would still count. Praise hobbit Jesus! It’s a miracle!

  • lordshipmayhem

    I look it and see a hypersonic passenger jet going straight into the ground, nose-first.

  • Don Quijote

    It’s a weasel. Weasels are weasely recognized.

  • gridlore

    I see Judas Priest’s “Painkiller”. This is a sign that the band will release a new album!

  • dharleyman

    Looks to me like Pegasus flying towards the camera.

  • Contrary to popular belief, the bible never describes angels as humans with wings. They’re either described as having the heads of animals or as “wheels within wheels”. So, obviously, this can’t be an angel. Must be a demon sent to deceive us!

  • @ dingojack

    18 Ouch! Ouch!! Ouch!!! And I thought I was King of the Horrible Pun

    12 IIRC Bombadill was never explained—Even by Christopher!!!!!

  • edmundog

    Looks more like the Happy Humanist to me.

  • thebookofdave

    Looks more to me like a head, with a beard and a twisted pair of horns. I’m not saying it has any meaning, just calling it as I see it.

  • J Myers (no relation)

    Obviously a Starfleet communicator.

  • Doug Little

    Gregory @2,

    My Geek-o-meter just exploded.

  • Doug Little


    Actually it does look like a Pegasus.

  • @dingojack #12, @richardelguru #28

    Forgot about ol’ Tom.

    As best as I remember, he was a character in some of Tolkein’s other works. In LotR, he seems to be a manifestation of Arda itself, basically a pagan forest god. When one of the hobbits suggests that The Ring be left in his care, Elrond says that not even he could withstand the might of Sauron “unless that power rests in the earth itself.”

    His main purpose is to show the manner in which The Ring works, and to give a bit of the history of the Nazul. Remember that while the hobbits are at his house, Tom puts on The Ring… and does not disappear. When Frodo panics and demands it back, Tom just tosses it aside as if it were a cheap trinket. Tom then explains that he has everything he could possibly want, he has no desires beyond what he already has, so The Ring has no power over him. Then remember why Gandalf, Elrond and Galadriel were most insistant that it not be given to them: they would eventually want to use it for good, and that desire would corrupt them. The desire to use The Ring to defend Gondor is what drove Boromir mad. It was the desire for a present that drove Smeagol to murder his brother. Bilbo and Frodo were able to resist the lure of the ring because, being hobbits raised in hobbit society, their wants and desires rarely extended beyond a full stomach and a warm, dry home.

    The other rings used that same hook. The Nine promised “mortal men, doomed to die” eternal life. The Seven promised Dwarves great wealth and skill at artifice. The Three, never directly tainted by Sauron, promised the power to heal and sustain; nonetheless, this desire for power is what allowed The Ring to bring even the Three and in the darkness bind them. The most powerful of the Nine was given to the King of Angmar, who used it to control death itself and thus become a necromancer; the scene in the Barrows proves that the Witch-King, now chief of the Nazgul, was still alive and still corrupting the natural order of the world.

  • nakarti

    And this morning, it’s orange light reflected by the snow being blown around by strong winds, the sun looked like the horizon was on fire from a giant fireball in the middle.

    I consider that a sign too: these people are stupid.

  • Ichthyic

    “The Pope asked to pray for Him. .. God answered,” was Cat Sunn’s reaction.

    but I prayed for Francis to get a new PopeMobile!

    …he got a cloud? who the fuck needs a cloud? air’s full of em!

  • Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    It’s clearly Jean Grey.

    I mean, you really can’t miss it.

    Chris Claremont, that rat fink, was writing non-fiction all these years and not telling us.

  • Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden
  • matthewhodson

    Its clearly an Air elemental, or a cloud sprite.

  • Wes

    Looks like the Dark Phoenix to me.

  • gardengnome

    Crebain from Dunland!

  • bad Jim

    It’s the devil. It’s always the devil. The typical depiction of Jesus as a blond, blue-eyed beauty? That’s Mephistopheles. What would anyone think of an apparition in the stain on a wall or the pattern on a toasted slice of bread, that it’s the image of the creator of the world or that of its corrupter?

    Okay, it might be worse if random images were routinely imputed to the devil. It’s better for people to see good everywhere than evil lurking around every corner, even if it isn’t as amusing.

  • dingojack

    Ooh look! Baby Jesus weeping over the elevation of some South-American nobody to a nothing post on the say-so of a bunch of other faceless nobodies. Boo hoo hoo!



  • DJ, that’s the first site my company’s nanny-ware ever blocked. Since when did Baby Jesus appear on porn sites? I gotta look into this when I get home…