Chapter 6: Extra-Biblical Christian-Related Accounts of UFOs








Some extra-Biblical UFO experiences have been overtly religious but which can be interpreted as either positive or negative according to the investigator’s point of view.  Many of these experiences also are informationally rich.


One such famous incident occurred in 1917 in Fatima, Portugal. In that event, the apparition of a lady appeared to three children in Fatima, Portugal.  Two of the children subsequently died in the great influenza epidemic following World War 1, supposedly with the full knowledge of and joyful anticipation of their coming death.  The third, Lucia, lived to the age of 97, passing away in 2005.  The children were given three secrets by the apparition, interpreted as Mary by the Catholic Church.  The first involved a vision of hell.  The second involved a request to save souls and a command to consecrate Russia to Mary, with the warning that if Russia didn’t return to God, another, worse war would occur during the tenure of Pope Pius XI.  This prophecy was fulfilled in 1939, the year that Pope Pius XI died.  There is a bit of the cloak-and-dagger regarding the third secret of Fatima.  Lucia had cautioned that it was not to be revealed until 1960, but the Catholic Church continued to hold it secret until 2000, when the secret was declared to have been a vision of a Pope climbing up a hill toward a cross, accompanied by many Church leaders and other Christians.  Upon reaching the cross at the summit, they were gunned down by soldiers.  Angels were said to have collected their shed blood.  But there is still controversy regarding this third secret, with many claiming that the third mystery revealed more than the Church has been willing to disclose.  At any rate, Popes Pius XII, Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI have all strongly acknowledged their acceptance of the Fatima apparition and the secrets as supernatural fact.  In 2010 Pope Benedict XVI repeated this conviction. Other apparitions of Mary have been witnessed, including eighteen appearances to Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes, France, and a number of events at Medjugorje, Bosnia beginning in June, 1981.  A recommended Web site for the interested reader is “Apparitions of Mary”.   Additional details of the Medjugorje apparition are discussed later.


The well-known Fatima miracle, as Jacques Vallee relates, was connected with UFOs:


“The famous apparitions at Fatima offer a historical example of the religious dimension of UFO encounters.  The case is a celebrated one, yet I am prepared to wager that few Americans know the full story of what happened in 1917 near the small Portuguese town.  I suspect that even fewer realize that the entire sequence of observations of an entity thought to be the Virgin Mary had begun two years previously with a fairly classical sequence of UFO sightings.


“If we accept the interpretation given of Fatima by the Catholic Church, we are dealing with a phenomenon that cannot be explained either as a physical effect or as an illusion.  In its decision of 1930, arrived at after thirteen years of painstaking investigation by many scholars, the church stated that:


“’The solar phenomenon of the 13th of October 1917, described in the press of the time, was most marvelous and caused the greatest impression on those who had the happiness of witnessing it. . .


“’This phenomenon, which no astronomical observatory registered and which therefore was not natural, was witnessed by persons of all categories and of all social classes, believers and unbelievers, journalists of the principal Portuguese newspapers and even by persons some miles away.  Facts which annul any explanation of collective illusion.’


“This ‘miracle,’ the reader will note, had been predicted several months before by three illiterate children after their vision of a woman ‘in a bright glow.’  She had not said that she was the Virgin Mary.  She had simply stated that she was ‘from Heaven’ and instructed them to return every month until October, when a public miracle would take place ‘so that everyone may believe.’


“The events at Fatima involve luminous spheres, lights with strange colors, a feeling of ‘heat waves’ – all physical characteristics commonly 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 witnesses – what we have called the psychic component of UFO sightings.”


Vallee goes on to describe various messages given to selected individuals, the prophetic statements, and the several follow-on apparitions that comprise the Fatima miracle.  He notes features of the events, like buzzing sounds experienced by some witnesses, which are characteristic of modern UFO sightings.  Some prophesies are quite specific, as noted by Vallee:


“’The war is going to end, but if people do not stop offending God another and worse one will begin during the reign of Pius XI [note: he died in 1939, years after the prophecy and indeed at the beginning of World War II].  When you see a night illuminated by an unknown light know that this is the great sign that God is giving you that he is going to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, famine, and persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father.


“’To prevent this I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia. . .If they heed my requests, Russia will be converted and there will be peace.  If not, she will spread her errors throughout the world.’”


Vallee then makes a curious statement regarding this prophecy:


“The mixture of seriousness and absurdity that we have already noted in several contactee stories is an unmistakable characteristic of this statement.  We will find the same thing to be true in Lourdes, where the alleged Virgin Mary instructs the little Bernadette to perform meaningless actions.”


Did the statement have absurd elements?  World War II began the same year Pius XI died.  Major events which precipitated it occurred during his reign.  According to Christian (and Western) thought, Russia has indeed spread her errors throughout the world.


Perhaps the absurdities, if any, are perceived out of an incomplete grasp of the event, or of the intimate relationship between a given event and others that might not seem connected at the time.  Vallee himself commented in the narration of an earlier tale, that:


“Indeed, we cannot help but recall here the word of Hartland in his Science of Fairy Tales: ‘This gift of an object apparently worthless, which turns out, on the conditions being observed, of the utmost value, is a commonplace of fairy transactions.  It is one of the most obvious manifestations of superhuman power.’”


Elements of the tale which evoked that response involves another beautiful representation of Mary in Catholic lore.  In this historic incident that took place just outside Mexico City in the year 1531 a Mexican peasant named Juan Diego visited his dying uncle in an effort to comfort him.  In that tale, as also related by Father John Macquarrie in his book Mary for all Christians, an apparition of Mary appeared to the peasant    .  At the time,   Juan’s uncle was very ill, to the point of near-death.  He spent a day trying to relieve his uncle’s sufferings and left him only on Tuesday, to get a priest.  An apparition of Mary barred his way.  She told him,


‘My little son, do not be distressed and afraid. Am I not here who am your Mother?  Are you not under my shadow and protection?  Your uncle will not die at this time.  This very moment his health is restored.  There is no reason now for the errand you set out on, and you can peacefully attend to mine.  Go up to the top of the hill: cut the flowers that are growing there and bring them to me.’


As Juan’s uncle was awaiting the priest, his room was filled with light. A luminous figure of a young woman appeared.  He was indeed cured, but that’s not the essence of this story.  The main event occurs with Juan, who obeys the order to go to the flowers on the hill.


Juan Diego didn’t expect to see flowers on the hill because it was the middle of winter. But he did indeed find flowers there.  They were Castilian roses.  He cut them as Mary had instructed and carried them back to her in his crudely-woven cape.  She spent some time arranging the flowers, and then tied the corners of the cape behind his neck to prevent the roses from falling out.  She told him to let only the bishop see the sign that she had given him.


When he reached the bishop’s palace several servants made sport of him, pushing him around and trying to snatch the flowers from his cape. But the flowers dissolved when they reached for them.  Amazed, they let him go.  When he reached the bishop, Juan Diego untied the corners of the cape and as the ends dropped the flowers fell out in a jumbled heap.  The disappointed peasant became confused as to the purpose of his visit.  But then he was astonished to see that the bishop had come over to him and was kneeling at his feet.  Soon everyone else in the room had come near and they all were kneeling with the bishop.


Juan Diego’s cape now hangs over the altar in the basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.  Over eight million persons were baptized there in the six years that followed this event.  Many millions more of people since that time have knelt before the two-piece cape, coarsely-woven of maguey fibers, for imprinted on it is an intricately detailed, beautiful figure of Mary.  In her graceful posture she appears kind and lovable.  She is surrounded by golden rays.  Fifteen hundred persons a day still visit the shrine.  The image is available on the Internet by Googling on “Juan Diego”.


Some items of interesting information have come to my attention regarding Our Lady of Guadalupe, as the Catholic Church has named this apparition. Although I have yet to verify this information, I’ll pass it along.  First, She apparently never identified Herself to Juan Diego as Mary, but rather as Juan Diego’s Mother.  Second, Her image, as can be seen by Googling Juan Diego, matches that of the Aztec goddess.  Third, according to a Mexican theologian as referenced in http://www.laermita.org/spanish/articulos/senoraguad.htm, the indigenous converts to Christianity, in opposition to the Catholic insistence on perceiving the apparition as Mary, refused to worship Her as such and insisted themselves upon worshiping Her as God.


The same type of apparition has occurred more recently with messages from a spiritual being whom the Catholic Church associates with Mary. In fact, messages from this lady continue to the time of this writing, in 2015.  The apparition first appeared at Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina on June 24, 1981, with the urgent mission of asserting to the world that God truly exists, and that path to joy and peace requires man to return to Him.  Her message has in the past and continues to be given to six people residing in Herzegovina: Ivan, Jakov, Marija, Mirjana, Vicka, and Ivanka.  In her daily appearance to them, this lady gives the six visionaries public messages and private ‘secrets’.  Of these ‘secrets’, there will be ten in all, after which the lady will stop appearing to the visionaries on a daily basis, but will reappear one day each year for the rest of their lives..  To date,  Mirjana, Jakov and Ivanka have each received their ten ‘secrets’, and Marija, Vicka and Ivan have each received nine.


The Medjugorje.org Website includes a cryptic and rather unsettling paragraph that reads:


“Once Our Lady has stopped appearing there will be three warnings given to the world. These warnings will be in the form of events on earth.  They will occur within Mirjana’s lifetime, and Mirjana will be a witness to them.  Ten days before each of the warnings, she will advise the priest she chose for this task (Father Petar Ljubicic), who will then pray and fast with Mirjana for seven days.  Then, three days before each warning is to take place, Fr. Petar will announce to the world what, where, and when the warning will take place.  Fr. Petar has no choice, and must reveal each warning.  After the first warning, the other two will follow in a rather short period of time.  That interval will be a period of great grace and conversion.  After the permanent, visible, supernatural, and indestructible sign appears on the mountain where Our Lady first appeared in Medjugorje, there will be little time for conversion.  For that reason, the Blessed Virgin invites us to urgent conversion and reconciliation.  The permanent sign will lead to many healings and conversions before the secrets become reality.  According to Mirjana, the events predicted by the Blessed Virgin are near.  By virtue of this experience, Mirjana proclaims to the world: ‘Hurry, be converted; open your hearts to God.’”


The “permanent sign” spoken in the paragraph above was identified in a previous paragraph:


“In the third secret Our Lady has promised to leave a supernatural, indestructible, and visible sign on the mountain where she first appeared. Our Lady said: ‘This sign will be given for the atheists. You faithful already have signs and you have become the sign for the atheists.  You faithful must not wait for the sign before you convert; convert soon.  This time is a time of grace for you.  You can never thank God enough for His grace.  The time is for deepening your faith, and for your conversion.  When the sign comes, it will be too late for many.’”






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