Miracle Of The Sun Explained?


#1

This professor claims to be able to explain the Miracle Of The Sun (I don’t suggest that anyone attempt to repeat his decidedly foolish experiments. I am told even brief glances at the sun can cause irreversible retinal damage).

Extract from: meessen.net/AMeessen/MirSun.pdf

By Auguste Meessen
Institute of Physics, Catholic Univeristy of Louvain.

…In November 2002, I looked directly into the sun, at about 4 p.m. The sun was relatively low above the horizon and its light intensity was attenuated, although the sky was clear. I was able to look right into the sun and was amazed to see that the sun was immediately converted into a grey disc, surrounded by a brilliant ring.The grey disc was practically uniform, while the surrounding ring was somewhat irregular and flamboyant, but did not extend beyond the solar disk. It coincided with its rim. I stopped the experiment, since I wanted to be prudent, but I had experienced myself the initial phase of a typical “miracle of the sun” and I could explain it. The sun became grey, since my eyes immediately responded to its great luminosity by an
automatic reduction of their sensitivity…

…In a second experiment, realized at 3 p.m. in December 2002, I looked straight at the sun during a much longer time. After some minutes, I saw impressive colours, up to 2 or 3 times the diameter of the sun. They changed, but were mainly pink, deep blue, red and green. Further away, the sky became progressively more luminous. I stopped there, since I understood that these colours resulted from the fact that the red, green and blue sensitive pigments are bleached and regenerated at different rates…

These are just short excerpts, please read the whole article which is considerably longer if you would like to comment.


#2

Yeah, and 70,000 people did this all at once. :rolleyes: AND, they were then all instantly dried after a sudden downpour. :rolleyes: And so on.

There are enough fully-documented miracles in the 2,000 year history of the Catholic Church that anyone honestly looking for the great truths of life will be guided to Her. But, as Christ told the rich man, those who do not want to believe will not believe regardless of the rational evidence. It is as simple as that.


#3

Hi, no need to accuse me of dishonesty, the arguments are stronger than you might think.

Firstly, not all pilgrims saw the miracle of the sun, some scholars, notably Mike Dash (In Borderlands) estimate only half. Jaki (In God and the Sun at Fatima) puts the number considerably higher but still maintains that there were a few reliable witnesses that claim to have seen nothing.

Secondly, Meessen contends that the miracle of the sun i.e. the gyrations and colour changes are a result of staring at the sun. So plausibly, 70,000 people could collectively view a solar miracle. This is made more likely by that fact that the Cova had been racked by storms during the day, and when the denser clouds cleared, all the pilgrims began to look up at the sun at the same time.

Now the theory would fall apart if the eye witness accounts were perfectly synchronised, as presumably the sun would have different affects on the eyes of different people. Interestingly no such synchronicity is to be found in the eye witness accounts. Some witnesses speak of the sun advancing towards the earth others omit this. Some say the sun changed colour other omit this. Some say the sun spun on its axis, others say the sun followed an elliptical path.

Thirdly, not all eye witnesses attest to the miraculous drying, in fact in Jaki’s compilation of eye witness testimonies (which is by far the most comprehensive I know of) most eye witnesses fail to mention the miraculous drying and one denies it ever occurred.

Fourthly, sun miracles are not unique they have occurred in Medjugorje (Bosnia), Conyers (Georgia), and Heroldsbach ( Germany), among other places, and they seem to share a common cause. Each time pilgrims have stared towards the sun eager to see a miracle. At Fatima some of the eye witnessses claim to have seen the very same miracle in the following days and weeks. After looking up at the sun, hoping to witness the phenomenon again.

Thanks for the reply.


#4

I feel I didn’t develop this point enough:

Secondly, Meessen contends that the miracle of the sun i.e. the gyrations and colour changes are a result of staring at the sun. So plausibly, 70,000 people could collectively view a solar miracle. This is made more likely by that fact that the Cova had been racked by storms during the day, and when the denser clouds cleared, all the pilgrims began to look up at the sun at the same time.

The reason the pilgrims collectively gazed at the sun when the clouds cleared is because Lucia exclaimed ‘look up at the sun!’ ‘Miracle’. This is attested to by many eye witnesses.


#5

Are you saying the people therefore deluded themselves psychologically?


#6

No. The effects are optical. The article will explain my view.


#7

What’s the point? If you (or this scientist) don’t believe it just say you don’t believe it and move on with life.


#8

I was looking for a discussion of the truth matter, oddly enough blind assertions don’t seem to satisfy me.


#9

Catholics aren’t bound to believe apparitions.


#10

Point 1: The Miracle of the Sun is not a matter of doctrine that must be believed by Catholics. All Catholics are free to either believe or not believe in the appearance of Our Lady at Fatima.

Point 2: It had been heavily raining all the night before and morning up until the moment of the miracle – how did the sun instantly become fully and unobstructively visible?

Point 3: The experiment seems to assume that the people would willingly allow themselves to be duped because of wanting a sign – what about the atheists and skeptics who were only there to disprove it and should not have been able to have their hopes preyed upon?

Point 4: How can any amount of optical illusions cause rain soaked clothing and fields to be instantly dried?


#11

Point 2: It had been heavily raining all the night before and morning up until the moment of the miracle – how did the sun instantly become fully and unobstructively visible?

You are wrong to suggest the that the sun was unobstructed. Jaki deals with this in his exaustive account of the Sun Miracle. Most eye witnesses describe diaphanous cloud cover, through which they viewed the sun’s dance. It is quite possible to view the sun through cloud cover. The retina lacks pain receptors.

Point 3: The experiment seems to assume that the people would willingly allow themselves to be duped because of wanting a sign – what about the atheists and skeptics who were only there to disprove it and should not have been able to have their hopes preyed upon?

The optical effects are an involuntary effect of looking at the sun. Not a result of suggestion.

Point 4: How can any amount of optical illusions cause rain soaked clothing and fields to be instantly dried?

Most eye witnesses don’t mention this.


#12

I skimmed over the article and it appears that the experimenter did not duplicate the characteristics at Fatima.

For instance, the sun at Fatima was high in the sky, and his experiments were when it was at the horizon.

He says: “Miracles of the sun” were observed at several places when the sun was relatively low above the horizon. In Fatima, however, the sun was at the zenith on Oktober 13,1917."

So his experiment was done differently. He explains the high sun at Fatima away by stating: “there could be a high degree of humidity in the air, so that the sunlight was sufficiently attenuated.”

He even admits that his isolated and unparallel experiments only “imply” that “illusions are possible.” No revelation there.

In my brief skim, I also did not see where he gets into the similar phenomenon having occured “5 km and even more than 40 km away” as he notes. He never addresses this other than to dismiss the gray disc as having been an alien spacecraft because the perspectives from far away would have been different.

So I think if your philosophy is not to accept blind conclusions, you should take this fellow with a grain of salt.

Like others said, no Catholic is obligated to believe in sun miracles, but this article does little to refute what happened there in his poor-man’s duplication of the circumstances.


#13

For instance, the sun at Fatima was high in the sky, and his experiments were when it was at the horizon.

He says: “Miracles of the sun” were observed at several places when the sun was relatively low above the horizon. In Fatima, however, the sun was at the zenith on Oktober 13,1917."

So his experiment was done differently. He explains the high sun at Fatima away by stating: “there could be a high degree of humidity in the air, so that the sunlight was sufficiently attenuated.”

Firstly, His experiment certainly implies that this could occur at midday. If clouds permit viewing of the sun

Secondly, Coelho a reliable witness of the Fatima phenomenon, returned to the Cova the very next day in analogous circumstances and witnessed the very same thing. As did many other pilgrims some in analogous circumstances, some at different times.

Thirdly, at Heroldsbach the sun was near its zenith when the ‘miracle’ occurred.

He even admits that his isolated and unparallel experiments only “imply” that “illusions are possible.” No revelation there.

It is a revelation is the gyrations and colour changes of the sun can be explained , regardless of the time of day.

In my brief skim, I also did not see where he gets into the similar phenomenon having occurred “5 km and even more than 40 km away” as he notes. He never addresses this other than to dismiss the gray disc as having been an alien spacecraft because the perspectives from far away would have been different.

You misquote him he never attributes anything to alien activity. At the beginning he considers it as a possibility, but nothing more.

Secondly although the miracle was witnessed by a few persons outside the Cova. Many witnesses in the Cova that day report that they did not see the miraculous change in the colour of the sun, and some report seeing nothing.

So I think if your philosophy is not to accept blind conclusions, you should take this fellow with a grain of salt.

Like others said, no Catholic is obligated to believe in sun miracles, but this article does little to refute what happened there in his poor-man’s duplication of the circumstances.


#14

of the 70,000 how many said they saw the miracle? werent there atheist in the Portuguese government who said they saw the miracle?


#15

First of all, I read a bit too quickly, and thought you were a believer - if I’d have noted you were essentially taking the side of the author of the article you cited I’d have been both more substantive and less blunt.

Firstly, not all pilgrims saw the miracle of the sun, some scholars, notably Mike Dash (In Borderlands) estimate only half. Jaki (In God and the Sun at Fatima) puts the number considerably higher but still maintains that there were a few reliable witnesses that claim to have seen nothing.

Not a lot surprising there. I have not been to Fatima but know several who have and who had spoken to elderly residents present at the miracle. God does not ‘force’ one to witness anymore than He forces belief, and furthermore it could have been intentionally withheld from sun.

Secondly, Meessen contends that the miracle of the sun i.e. the gyrations and colour changes are a result of staring at the sun. So plausibly, 70,000 people could collectively view a solar miracle. This is made more likely by that fact that the Cova had been racked by storms during the day, and when the denser clouds cleared, all the pilgrims began to look up at the sun at the same time.

As Jaki and many others have noted the miracle was not the sun actually moving, it was virtually 70,000 people, for miles around, including many atheists, who viewed the miracle at exactly the same time and exactly as predicted!

The miracle could have been a physiological affect on the brain of each observer or simply a natural phenomena (ice crystals, etc). The latter makes it no less a miracle - God working via nature in such a way is sensible and possible.

Now the theory would fall apart if the eye witness accounts were perfectly synchronised, as presumably the sun would have different affects on the eyes of different people. Interestingly no such synchronicity is to be found in the eye witness accounts. Some witnesses speak of the sun advancing towards the earth others omit this. Some say the sun changed colour other omit this. Some say the sun spun on its axis, others say the sun followed an elliptical path.

You can have five people observe the same car accident and get five account differing substantially in details - most people are familiar with that type of thing.

Thirdly, not all eye witnesses attest to the miraculous drying, in fact in Jaki’s compilation of eye witness testimonies (which is by far the most comprehensive I know of) most eye witnesses fail to mention the miraculous drying and one denies it ever occurred.

All these “not all” all assertions demonstrate is that anyone who sets out to take apart about any miracle can do so. You are hardly presenting a objective case for the events that transpired that day.

Fourthly, sun miracles are not unique they have occurred in Medjugorje (Bosnia), Conyers (Georgia), and Heroldsbach ( Germany), among other places, and they seem to share a common cause. Each time pilgrims have stared towards the sun eager to see a miracle. At Fatima some of the eye witnessses claim to have seen the very same miracle in the following days and weeks. After looking up at the sun, hoping to witness the phenomenon again.

All of this irrelevant. I’m quite familiar with what goes on in Medjugorje as I know many people who have taken trips to this (false and condemned) “apparition” site - it’s not anything close to what occurred in Fatima that it is really silly to mention it in the same breath.


#16

I know. His whole discourse is “maybe it could have been this” and “maybe it could have been that.” None of his theories explain all the characteristics at once.


#17

The experimenter states:

Nevertheless, there exists a problem, since we have no satisfactory explanation for apparitions, whether they are true or not.

You know the old saying – for those who believe no explanation is necessary, for those who doubt no explanation will suffice.


#18

He very strongly tries to make correlations with ufology, which he is involved in investigating (even beyond this work). But, everything is a possibility – it could have been an optical illusion; it could have been mass delusion; the aliens are to blame; etc. This psuedo-science masquerading as science reminds me of the magic bullet theory.


#19

And if the sun is behind clouds, there won’t be the necessary luminosity to create the effects the experimenter is hypothesizing. Also, if this were caused by merely looking at the sun to such an extent that it caused such an effect, why no long-term damage in even a single witness? And why did the effects of the optical illusion go away so instantly? If I look at a light bulb for even a second the effects stay with me for at least a good minute.

The experimenter dedicates a whole section to “altered states of conciousness” aka delusions and hallucinations. He also attempts to imply that the messages and the seers were driven by fears.

What are the exact percentages? And of those do any state that they were still wet?


#20

You seem to selectively reject or accept non-unanimous eye witness testimony depending on whether it supports or opposes your viewpoint. Can’t have it both ways, you know.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.