by Marco Corvaglia
§ 2. Photos and Videos
Concerning the second part of the movie made by pilgrims left with Paolo Brosio, what those persons consider to be a prodigious figure appearing on the iPhone is clearly a trivial reflection of sunlight.
Merely by way of example and comparison, this photo is a normal picture of the sun, with the classic reverb, the "ray" at the top, in all respects similar to that obtained by the pilgrims with Paolo Brosio.
It is obvious that only a susceptible person could see something definite in forms of that sort, as moreover one of the women, who at minute 3:49 of the video, says (in Italian): "Everyone sees a bit in his own way, eh!",implicitly admits.
In practice, let us watch two freeze-frames of the video mentioned above, where one can easily observe what in the same video is defined Our Lady “with her hand that means Come to me”.
If everyone sees in his own way, this is clearly a well-known phenomenon called “pareidolia”: it makes you perceive complete pictures where there are only random forms.
However there are movies, shot in Medjugorje, that show spectacular pulsations of the sun. We will review some of these below.
First, consider a different alleged phenomenon linked to the sun.
The following video, now famous, shot at Medjugorje by an American couple on 25 June 2006 shows, in addition to two long diverging “rays”, a mysterious black spot in the center of the sun, in spite of the camera movements:
What has really happened?
With regard to the black spot, as we have heard in the television program, the American couple has only seen it in the movie and not live.
This is normal: we have to call into play the technical characteristics of the camera. Plenty of pictures exhibit this effect, when framing a wide and intensely luminous area, which leads to an overexposure of the sensor called CCD (Charge-Couple Device).
Here's an example from Peru:
And here's another one, which shoots the rising of the sun in the Californian Death Valley (but there is an embarrassingly wide choice of these photos, as we shall see):
Now let us turn to examine films allegedly related to solar pulsations.
We begin with the following video, shot in the Herzegovinian village in 1994.
Considering the technology of the cameras of that period, in this case it is evident the perfect shape of the shutter that closes itself because of the sunlight and is repeatedly reopened with a manual procedure (note, inter alia, that not only the sun appears larger or smaller: the entire black frame changes its size). Meanwhile, the priest prays quietly and, although there are other persons (you can hear the sound of footsteps many times), there is no clamor:
And now two videos, filmed by an Italian pilgrim in a bus in Medjugorje:
In the first one, we can hear the pilgrim describing very loudly and with precise details what the sun did ("Now it is firm and then becomes large"). We could deduce that he is communicating to the other people in the bus what he (and those who are close to him) is seeing in his camcorder. Strong evidence of it is also the phrase “And then there are some rays…one, two, three and four”. Very frequently video cameras, framing the sun, show the four perpendicular lines, due to diffraction.
Moreover, when he asks the driver to stop, he gets angry (behaviour scarcely credible in a person who is witnessing a so striking phenomenon).
In the second video we have the confirmation of the purely technical nature of the phenomenon: the pilgrim says (second 0:08): “I stop it now” (and the sun stops!). And while the sun is allegedly making those incredible movements, the group leader calmly narrates, by microphone, the history of Medjugorje.
In fact, examples of registration of an apparent solar pulsation, even outside of any religious context, are innumerable, in video from around the world. These are also very recent films, therefore made with the same modern technology that has surely been used in Medjugorje. We shall see several examples on this same page.
In this regard I have consulted, on 19 March 2008, Prof. Piero Marietti, director of the Department of Electronic Engineering, University "La Sapienza" of Rome, who stated:
Such an effect may be due to a number of causes. To ascertain the right one we have to know the type of camera and how it precisely works, for example if it has an automatic diaphragm.
Then I personally tried to make a recording of the pulsating sun with a cell phone. After several attempts, the following video has been made by me, from my house, on 20 April 2008, at 2 p.m. (solar time) with a Nokia E65:
Now let us watch a series of films that show, outside of any religious context, apparent solar pulsations.
Two videos from England:
This was filmed in the Philippines (it is passed off as a UFO apparition):
Finally, a quick roundup of photos and video related to other phenomena.
On the official website of Radio Maria, you can view (or download) a pdf file, that has a photo (next) with these captions: "Photo of Vicka with the image of Our Lady" – "Photo shot while visionary Vicka was talking with two pilgrims. Behind her appears the image of Our Lady”.
In fact, among the pilgrims in Medjugorje it is common to believe that supernatural phenomena, which do not become visible in the surrounding reality, can be immortalized in photographs. This is a revival of spirit photography: photography tricks invented in the middle 1800’s (by American photographer William Mumler) and used to abuse the customers of the mediums. They were reported in vogue again from the New Age movement (see the entry Spirit Photography in the New Age Spiritual Dictionary).
In time, this process has been obviously adapted to technical and technological changes. Considering that the photo at issue dates back to 1988, we can safely say that this effect can be achieved through the so called “double exposure”, which consists in exposing twice, to two different images, a piece of film. The resulting photo will show the second image over the first.
Mirjana Vasilj Zuccarini, author of a well-known book, translated in 18 languages, edited in Italy with the title “Maria chiama da Medjugorje” (Mimep Docete, 2001), reports in her book a photo where you can see the Votive Cross on Krizevac over which has been superimposed a very blurred image of Our Lady. In this case the trick is particularly gross: if the artifice appears too apparent, it is usual to resort to the expedient of blurring the image.
The sensationalist caption, on page 107 of the Italian version, says: “The image of Our Lady over the Votive Cross remained impressed on the film”.
Updated on 10 May 2010