Some Fatima Eyewitness Accounts

I’ve gathered these from different sites, a quick Google search should give you the source of an individual account.

Anyways, I used to consider the argument from miracles dubious, but this event blew me away. Every argument I’ve seen attempting to dismiss the sightings is a joke. Mass hysteria, hallucinations, people giving false testimony to avoid seeming left out, none of them add up. In the end even skeptics are forced to admit that something happened in the sky, which leaves a bigger problem for them because the event was predicted, that’s why so many people were gathered at the site. Anyways,what are your thoughts on this?

"As if like a bolt from the blue, the clouds were wrenched apart, and the sun at its zenith appeared in all its splendour. It began to revolve vertiginously on its axis, like the most magnificent fire-wheel that could be imagined, taking on all the colours of the rainbow and sending forth multi-coloured flashes of light, producing the most astounding effect. This sublime and incomparable spectacle, which was repeated three distinct times, lasted for about ten minutes"
-Dr. Formigao, Professor
**
“I feel incapable of describing what I saw, I looked fixedly at the sun, which seemed pale and did not hurt my eyes. Looking like a ball of snow, revolving on itself, it suddenly seemed to come down in a zig-zag, menacing the earth”** -Joaquim Lourenço, young boy

"The sun’s disc did not remain immobile. This was not the sparkling of a heavenly body, for it spun round on itself in a mad whirl, when suddenly a clamour was heard from all the people. The sun, whirling, seemed to loosen itself from the firmament and advance threateningly upon the earth as if to crush us with its huge fiery weight. The sensation during those moments was terrible."
-Dr. Garrett, Professor

"To my surprise, I see clearly and distinctly a globe of light advancing from east to west, gliding slowly and majestically through the air…My friend, full of enthusiasm, went from group to group… asking people what they had seen. The persons asked came from the most varied social classes and all unanimously affirmed the reality of the phenomena which we ourselves had observed"
-Mgr. J. Quaresma

"I saw the sun spinning round and it seemed about to come down on us. It revolved like a bicycle wheel. Afterwards, it returned to its place" -John Carreira, young boy

"I saw the sun as if it were a ball of fire, begin to move in the clouds. It had been raining all morning and the sky was full of clouds, but the rain had stopped." -Carlos Mendes, Lawyer

"I looked at the sun and saw it spinning like a disc, rolling on itself. I saw people changing colour. They were stained with the colours of the rainbow. The sun seemed to fall down from the sky"
-Antonio de Oliveiro, Farmer

"I was watching sheep, as was my daily task, and suddenly, there in the direction of Fátima, I saw the sun fall from the sky." -Abano Barros, building contractor

"The sun, at one moment surrounded with scarlet flame, at another aureoled in yellow and deep purple, seemed to be in an exceeding fast and whirling movement, at times appearing to be loosened from the sky and to be approaching the earth, strongly radiating heat."
― Dr. Domingos Pinto Coelho, Lawyer
**
Suddenly the rain stopped and a great splendour appeared and the children cried: ‘Look at the sun!’ I saw the sun coming down, feeling that it was falling to the ground."**
-Maria Candida da Silva, ordinary woman

"I looked and saw that the people were in various colours – yellow, white, blue. At the same time, I beheld the sun spinning at great speed and very near me. I at once thought: I am going to die.”
-Joao Menitra, Reverend
**
"The sun started to roll from one place to another and changed to blue, yellow – all colours…And then we see the sun come right into the trees.”** -Dominic Reis, ordinary man

"It came down as if to the height of the clouds and began to whirl giddily upon itself like a captive ball of fire.” -Fr. Pereira da Silva

"I saw the sun turn upon itself; it seemed to fall from the sky" -Maria dos Prazeres, widow

"The sun at its zenith whirled upon itself; it detached itself in descending towards the right, all the while whirling with sudden movements never seen before, to the right and the left; having almost arrived at the horizon line, it went back up to the zenith on the left, tracing a sort of winding ellipse as it went.”
-Baron de Alvaiazere

"At a certain moment, the sun seemed to stop and then begun to move and dance.”
-Ti Marto, ordinary man

"However, the sun stops, only to begin the strange dance again after a brief interruption, whirling upon itself, giving the impression of approaching or receding.” -Dr. Pereira Gens of Batalha

"it (the sun) spun like a firewheel,” -Maria do Carmo Marques da Cruz Menezes, ordinary woman

"What did I see at Fatima that was even stranger? The rain, at an hour announced in advance, ceased falling; the thick mass of clouds dissolved; and the sun – a dull, silver disc – came into view at its zenith, and began to dance in a violent and convulsive movement, which a great number of witnesses compared to a serpentine dance, because the colors taken on by the surface of the sun were so beautiful and gleaming.” -Avelino de Almedia, anti-clerical journalist
**
“I saw the rain cease, suddenly, not as rain usually ends. Then the clouds were pushed back from the sun in every direction, as if by invisible hands, and the sun appeared, in color like the blade of a knife, luminous but not dazzling. Then as I looked, the sun described a swift circle, paused; described another, paused; described yet a third. And then the clouds began to seep over it again.”**
-Mabel Norton, Englishwoman

Eyewitness testimony is evidence… In this case, it provides a very strong argument.

You’re right - the event was predicted and skeptics attended to witness it, and they gave their testimony afterwards, as shown.

Let’s just say at the very, very least - we should keep this post in mind when we hear the typical sorts of atheistic-ridicule about the existence of the supernatural. Is this evidence taken seriously or is it merely dismissed and ignored?

The problem with miracles is that you can never be absolutely sure a natural explanation won’t be found at some point in the future. A miracle may nevertheless be a tentative best explanation, but that’s as good as it gets - and miracles (assuming they occur) are so rare and therefore unlikely it’s really hard to weigh the relative likelihoods of miracle vs. undiscovered natural explanation.

Now at Fatima, granted there was no hysteria, hallucinations, or widespread lying (although I wouldn’t rule out a bit of exaggeration). But a perfectly satisfactory natural explanation is had in the biochemical, physiological, and neurological processes which occur under periods of gazing directly into the sun. In fact plenty other “miracles of the sun” with witnesses observing similar phenomena have occurred since 1917. And they have similar characteristics, including beautiful colors, dancing, the sun appearing to get closer. An article on this may be found here:

meessen.net/AMeessen/MirSun.pdf

What a crock! You can be the first to test his hypothesis and make sure you video record your experience so you can share the results with the rest of us. :hypno:

Does the writer serious believe that no one ever looked at the idea that simply looking at the sun can cause all these things to occur? That’s not a new idea, and it was one of the first explanations given.

Plus, mixing approved apparitions with unapproved is going to cast some doubt to the casual observer who doesn’t know about them.

I know there are just far too many devout catholics who find great value in the Fatima apparition to say anything that could upset anyone. If it is helpful to them that is great. I have reservations about it, and would not be able to overlook them if I became a catholic. Since it is optional to believe, I’ll opt out of it.

Good to know though. Yes, we are free to ignore it, as the Vatican has stated, the Virgin Mary does not tell us anything that we do not already know for our salvation, but apparitions aside, we should honor her as her Son did perfectly. The apparitions are simply reminders, something most of us need from time to time.

To each his own. Cheers. :compcoff: (They need a beer icon.)

Oh come on, this isn’t a group of children you’re dealing with. Bring it on, I care about truth not emotions. As long as your assertions are based on some sort of reasoning I don’t care what they are.

All I have to do is gaze at the sun to heal me? Why didn’t someone tell me this years ago?

Oh and I forgot - if I am soaking wet immediately dry me and the muddy earth.

And apparently a satisfactory one. Just saying “what a crock!” is absolutely nothing in the way of a rebuttal.

Plus, mixing approved apparitions with unapproved is going to cast some doubt to the casual observer who doesn’t know about them.

And what does the Church’s approval have to do with anything here?

No rebuttal of the article, I note. And there was no mention of miraculous healings or becoming “immediately” dried in the witness statements given in the OP.

Do a simple google search. We Catholics have known about this for decades, and you aren’t saying anything we haven’t heard before.

When will you naysayers realize that you are not wiser than your predecessors?

NowAgnostic:

“The problem with miracles is that you can never be absolutely sure a natural explanation won’t be found at some point in the future.”

–That is unpersuasive. The question of “what we can be absolutely sure of” is irrelevant: As anyone who studies epistemology will tell you, we can’t really be “absolutely sure” of anything. The more relevant question is, “where does the evidence lead to?” or “what is the most likely conclusion?” The “evidence” in the form of the eyewitness accounts, is that something happened which could not presently – or even later – be uniformly explained by natural means.

Moreover, I found the article you linked to be singularly unpersuasive, from a scientific perspective, as to events such as Fatima, for a wide variety of reasons. This is just off a quick skim of the article:

  1. The author names 12 such “sun images” but appears to have examined only one – the episode in Germany – closely. Even if he is correct as to that example, the other 11 instances are unaddressed.
  2. The author apparently did not speak to any of the eyewitnesses to any incident nor examined them medically. Did he study medical images of their eyes to examine for damage consistent with staring at the sun? No. Did he speak to them? No. He bases his conclusions in large part on secondary material, i.e., what others wrote about the event, as related to third parties.
  3. His examination of “what happens when one stares at the sun” appears limited to experimenting on himself, by doing it, himself, twice, under conditions totally different (based on time of day) from that experienced at Lourdes. He stared at the sun twice, late in the day, in winter (November & December), when the sun is at its dimmest. Is that really a valid way of doing research?
  4. Moreover, his “research” did not bother to investigate the effects or testimony of people who stare at the sun repeatedly for whatever reason, including insanity or other reasons. For example, some gurus in the far east (I believe they were called ‘fakirs’) would stare at the sun for hours. What did they see? Did he ask them? Did he examine their eyes?Clearly, no.
  5. The author’s own scientific credentials are not established. He speaks about psychological responses, neurologic responses, etc., but appears to have a background in physics, solely based on where he teaches. His credentials to speak on any medical matters, authoritatively, are not established, and his knowlege of medicine, etc., is apparently based merely on “scanning medical and psychological literature…” (his article, p. 4) (his words). That is absurdly thin. This guy is a non-doctor doing medical experiments on himself.
  6. The author appears to decry the power of suggestion, i.e., seers of miracles were praying fervently and sort of “wanted to see something.” However, he does not appear to account for the fact that he himself is equally in the same boat. For example, he “experimented on himself” only after supposedly investigating “what he was supposed to see,” by reviewing medical literature…and then saw what some literature said he would see.
  7. The author admits that his own viewing was very different from what eyewitnesses saw. For example, he himself saw no motion of the sun. They did. His “research” cannot account for that.

So, sorry, I find the article, on whole, a “crock.”

I care about a friend here that helped me learn many things about the Mass that finds this devotion very beneficial to their spiritual life. I am not viewing anyone as a child needing protection. I am simply not willing to post anything that would be or could be very unhelpful. This is the least problematic of all apparitions in my opinion, and not one I am concerned with others believing in.

So, in other words, you’re aware of the possibility of these sensations being produced by physical processes in the eye and the brain, have been aware for decades, and yet you continue to trumpet Fatima as a “miracle”.

When will you naysayers realize that you are not wiser than your predecessors?

We certainly know a lot more than our predecessors. And when will you realize that so-called “ancient wisdom” is often tosh.

I am very aware that one should not look at the sun directly so their retina does not burn out.

How Does the Solar Phenomenon Confirm the Message of Fatima?

,Michael Whitehead Spetchley, Worcs
Visions of the Virgin
Sir – As someone who spent 11 years researching the story of Fatima, I wanted to add some important details about Sister Lucia and what happened during the final vision of October 13 (Obituaries, Feb 15).
It had been pouring with rain for several days and the area was a mudbath; the 50,000 people present were soaked to the skin. The clouds parted and the sun began to spin and change colour, and then hurtle towards the earth. The vast crowd were terrified. They thought the end of the world had come and threw themselves on their knees in the mud and prayed fervently. When the sun returned to its normal place in the heavens, these thousands got to their feet, rejoicing. It was then they found their drenched clothes were dry and the mud had all dried up.

Unpersuasive to you, because you have already made up your mind about miracles, or because the “cult of Fatima” is so pervasive in the Church. Are you willing to even consider the possibility of a natural explanation? Or that one may be found in the future?

The more relevant question is, “where does the evidence lead to?” or “what is the most likely conclusion?”

Indeed, and I did say a miracle could be a tentative best explanation - assuming one could get over the bar of showing a miracle more likely than undiscovered natural explanation. Miracles of the sun don’t meet the bar, with what we know now about the eye and the brain.

The “evidence” in the form of the eyewitness accounts, is that something happened which could not presently – or even later – be uniformly explained by natural means.

But yes it can be explained by natural means - physiological processes occurring in the eye and the brain. Moreover, how do you explain that the eyewitness accounts themselves differ on many particulars.

Moreover, I found the article you linked to be singularly unpersuasive, from a scientific perspective, as to events such as Fatima, for a wide variety of reasons. This is just off a quick skim of the article:

Before we get into this, the burden of proof is on you, not on me. A perfectly plausible natural explanation has now been proposed. Even if we do not know all the details, it’s known now from neurology, etc., that being exposed to strong, intense light can cause chemical changes in the retina, etc., which can lead to the experience of illusions.

  1. The author names 12 such “sun images” but appears to have examined only one – the episode in Germany – closely. Even if he is correct as to that example, the other 11 instances are unaddressed.

False, descriptions of what happens are taken from all of them.

So-called “miracles of the sun” were observed… They have been described by many witnesses and from their reports we can extract the following characteristic features, appearing successively…

  1. The author apparently did not speak to any of the eyewitnesses to any incident nor examined them medically. …He bases his conclusions in large part on secondary material, i.e., what others wrote about the event, as related to third parties.

So? You base your own conclusions about Fatima on the same material - what others wrote about the event. That doesn’t make their statements about what the witnesses said intrinsically unreliable. Obviously medical images of the eyes are going to unavailable, or at least not without significant expense (for those still alive, even for the most recent 20 years after the event in Rwanda).

  1. His examination of “what happens when one stares at the sun” appears limited to experimenting on himself, by doing it, himself, twice, under conditions totally different (based on time of day) from that experienced at Lourdes. He stared at the sun twice, late in the day, in winter (November & December), when the sun is at its dimmest. Is that really a valid way of doing research?

And what, precisely, is wrong about it? Miracles of the sun were reported in places where the sun was low in the horizon. At Fatima (I assume you mean) there would be a lot of humidity in the air, attenuating the strength of the light. BTW this isn’t really a “research paper” it’s just describing preliminary results.

  1. Moreover, his “research” did not bother to investigate the effects or testimony of people who stare at the sun repeatedly for whatever reason…

So what?

  1. The author’s own scientific credentials are not established. He speaks about psychological responses, neurologic responses, etc., but appears to have a background in physics, solely based on where he teaches. His credentials to speak on any medical matters, authoritatively, are not established, and his knowlege of medicine, etc., is apparently based merely on “scanning medical and psychological literature…” (his article, p. 4) (his words). That is absurdly thin. This guy is a non-doctor doing medical experiments on himself.

So what? He’s not speaking “authoritatively” (whatever that means) on anything. What your scientific credentials, may I ask, to say the opposite of what he’s saying?

  1. The author appears to decry the power of suggestion, i.e., seers of miracles were praying fervently and sort of “wanted to see something.” However, he does not appear to account for the fact that he himself is equally in the same boat. For example, he “experimented on himself” only after supposedly investigating “what he was supposed to see,” by reviewing medical literature…and then saw what some literature said he would see.

So? If the power of suggestion is operative it’s an explanation, or part of an explanation, in both cases.

  1. The author admits that his own viewing was very different from what eyewitnesses saw. For example, he himself saw no motion of the sun. They did. His “research” cannot account for that.

That’s the only thing that was different - he saw the gray disk and the colors. And he has an explanation as to why he saw no motion.

So, sorry, I find the article, on whole, a “crock.”

As I’m sure every devout, pious Catholic would, opposing their faith to the “pretensions” of “materialist” science. History’s not on your side though. That’s what they said about heliocentrism and evolution back in the day, so ya know…

Says nothing about whether these visions could be produced by natural processes occurring in the eye and brain. In other words:

YOU CAN’T REFUTE THE CLAIM but you will continue to trumpet Fatima as a miracle which “confounds” unbelievers anyway.

That’s supposed “eyewitness testimony”? A letter to the Telegraph?

I’m still waiting for the prophesied “conversion of Russia”, BTW…

No observatory saw it nor forecasted it. But 70,000 people came to one spot and saw it. It was observed from 30 miles away.

As I stated on an earlier post - many of these people were illiterate peasants and did not write their memoirs. The Secular newspaper wanted to diss it just like you.

Do not expect to find accounts since many of these people returned to their fvillages and simply thanked God for their healing. The agnostics and atheists wrote about it. They witnessed it. Some converted.

The state controlled atheist media was not going to report more than the very minimum and trash it as they printed. You know very well why.

And…God often uses natural phenonema in His miracles. He is not restricted.

That is enough for Catholics.

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