The Miracle of Fatima: Was it the Virgin Mary or something stranger?

The Miracle of Fatima: Was it the Virgin Mary or something stranger? October 18, 2016

Tertia Van Rensburg via
Tertia Van Rensburg via

We all live day to day completely oblivious to the fact that we’re a part of a much larger and stranger reality than we can possibly imagine.  ~Blake Crouch

There’s a thin veil that separates us from the world beyond and sometimes there’s a tear in that veil that shows us…something strange. And nowhere is this truer than in the incident known as The Miracle of Fatima.

In his book Dimensions, Jacques Vallee, the famed scientist featured in Steven Spielberg’s classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind, has another take on the Miracle of Fatima. He looks back at the story and what many see as a visit by the Virgin Mary, he sees as something closer to an alien visitation. Crazy talk? Hear him out.

You probably know the back story of Fatima and how in 1917 three children “found themselves caught in a glowing light…and in the center of the light they perceived a little woman who spoke to them, begging them to return every month to the same spot.” To the children the woman is the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, and return they did.

Over a number of months, the children have a series of encounters with Mary who shares with them messages from God. The number of people who join the children grows to the hundreds and then thousands. And here’s where Vallee points out the story gets a little strange:

While the children would address Mary, no one else present could see who they were talking to or hear Mary’s response. Some of the witnesses testified to hearing the buzzing of a bees, a sound associated with many modern day UFO-sightings.

 Others reported seeing what sounds like a classic UFO. In their words, they saw “a weird disk…making a buzzing or humming sound…emitting a bright flash…turning rapidly…plunging in zig-zag fashion.” Another reported “a luminous globe spinning through the clouds…the globe rose and disappeared into the sun”. Vallee sums it up this way:

The events at Fatima involve luminous spheres, lights with strange colors, a feeling of “heat waves”—all physical characteristics associated with UFOs. They even include the typical falling-leaf motion of the saucer zig-zagging through the air. They also encompass prophecy and a loss of ordinary consciousness on the part of the witness.

The crowd looking on at Fatima, October 13, 1917, via Wikimedia Commons.
Onlookers at Fatima, October 13, 1917, via Wikimedia Commons

What you saw on those strange days in Fatima depended on your belief system and personal mindset. According to a priest who witnessed the event, the spinning globe “was a heavenly vehicle that carried the Mother of God from her throne above to this forbidden wasteland.” But not all had this same sense of a divine presence.

Decades later, an American writer named John Haffert went back and talked to some of the witnesses. One commented that “even today, whenever there is lightening, I remember it, and I am afraid.” Another, who would go on to become a priest, said that after witnessing the event “people ran to the two chapels in the village which were soon filled to overflowing…when we realized the danger was over, there was an explosion of joy.”

People were “afraid” and sensed “danger”? This does not sound like the friendliest of heavenly visitations.

I am reminded of a theory by the writer Keith Thompson who believed that UFO encounters contained mythic and legendary elements and may come from somewhere deep within our psyche. He compared UFOs to visionary experiences like angelic visions, shamanic journeys and folkloric encounters with fairies.

As I have written before, there seems to be a parallel between those who claim to have witnessed angels or the divine, and those who encounter aliens and fairies. These entities often appear out of nowhere and disappear just as quickly. They defy rationale or scientific explanation. They seem to represent first-hand proof that there is more to this world than meets the eye.

Perhaps when the children saw the Virgin Mary, in the words of Blake Crouch, it was “a manifestation of the mind as it attempted to visually explain something our brains haven’t evolved to comprehend.” It may be that the responses of those who witnessed the event were shaped by their culture and upbringing. One man’s Virgin Mary is another man’s ET.

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