Fatima pictures and testimonials: in-depth analysis

Philippe Dalleur

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/SetF.2021.001


Using photographs and testimonials, we will analyze details of the “miracle of the spinning sun” on October 13, 1917, at solar noon near Fatima. The phenomenon predicted ahead of time, occurred as the clouds cleared on what began as a rainy day. Various explanations have been presented but do not stand up to a comparative analysis of eyewitnesses (up to 35 km away), weather data, and photographs. This article aims to bring clarity to this event through the analysis of certified photographs and testimonies comparing them to official meteorological and astronomical data. Our study confirms key points of the testimonials while focusing on objective data. The shadows and reflections reveal two soft light sources emerging from a rather dark background: one seen as a “pale sun”, and another overhead, fuzzy and as softly bright. The latter, likely being caused by a clear cloud, blurred the shadows of the weak “sun”. Strangely, the portions of clothing exposed to this “sun” dried quickly. This warm source, uncannily moonlike, was also able to cast distinct shadows on sloping surfaces and under objects. Eventually, these shadows will help us to estimate the height of the “sun” at ~30°, lower than the expected 42°. Therefore, the directly observed source could not have been the sun, and most probably not any physiological, psychological, or meteorological effect.


apparition; miracle; skepticism; illusion; photography; parhelia

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