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Pareidolia
image Donald Stephens, Mayor of Rosemont in Illinois for fifty-one years, died on April 18. But now he's come back. On a tree. The Chicago Tribune reports that:
Eerily, a likeness of the late mayor's face has appeared on a tree outside the village-owned health club, according to some people who have seen it. In a town still grieving for the larger-than-life mayor, who died April 18, the mysterious image is sure to add to the Stephens mystique.
I find it amazing that people think it's the late mayor and not Jesus. Though, according to the article, some observers did initially think it resembled Jesus. Apparently, to really see the resemblance, you need to stand inside the health club and look out at the tree through the glass doors. And probably having a couple shots of whisky doesn't hurt either. (Thanks, Joe)
Categories: Death, Paranormal, Pareidolia
Posted by Alex on Thu Jun 07, 2007
Comments (13)
image
Chicken Born With Duck Feet
A chicken in Columbia has surprised everyone by being born with webbed feet and legs like a duck. Vetinary experts say that the chicken is not a result of cross-species breeding, and is just a genetic mishap.
(Thanks, Adam.)

Divine Or Delusional?
wcbstv.com has a gallery of images showing items on which religious icons have allegedly been found. We've covered a few of them here, but some of the images were new to me. I found I could generally make out the figure or face or whatever was being claimed to be there, if I squinted or tilted my head, however some of them were really beyond my ability to make out, even though I was trying to. Personally, I accredit these phenomena to pareidolia.

Vatican Newspaper Denounces Fake Penitent
The Vatican Newspaper has attacked a reporter who, in the course of writing an article for a magazine, made false confessions to 24 different priests. The article the reporter was writing was researching whether priests followed the strict teachings of the church, and how they handled difficult situations in which to give advice.

Museum of Hoaxes is Site of the Week
Scifi.com has this week chosen the Museum of Hoaxes as its Site of the Week.
(Thanks, Hulitoons.)
Categories: Advertising, Animals, Journalism, Pareidolia, Religion
Posted by Flora on Sun Feb 11, 2007
Comments (15)
imageJon-Erik Beckjord has taken photographs that show images of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson, as well as OJ Simpson, he claims. The photos were taken at the scene of the murders, and Beckjord believes that the images are an accusation from beyond the grave. He says that the photographs show OJ's face alongside those he was acquitted of murdering, and his theory is that the spirits of Goldman and Simpson are making a statement.

Beckjord is a keen observer of the strange. "He acts as perhaps a psychic “lightening rod” for anomalies, since he has filmed Nessie, filmed UFOs at Area 51, photographed strange beings in crop circles and also has recently photographed a ten foot tall Bigfoot in the Sierras."

UPDATE: Chuck has noted that Beckjord is selling these images on ebay for a minimum bid of $100, 000. I can't see anyone paying that much for fuzzy images that can be barely be interpreted as faces at all, let alone any specific faces.
Categories: Celebrities, Death, Paranormal, Pareidolia, Photos/Videos
Posted by Flora on Sun Nov 26, 2006
Comments (26)
If you feel deprived because you've never had a vision of Jesus, here's your chance to see him float before your eyes. Just look at the image below and follow these instructions (via somareview).

1. Relax and concentrate on the four small dots in the middle of the image for roughly 30 or 40 seconds.
2. Then, stare at a blank wall near you (any smooth, single-colored surface will do).
3. You will see a circle of light developing—the onset of a holy vision.
4. Blink your eyes a few times as the figure begins to emerge.
5. What do you see? Or rather, who do you see?... Congratulations. You just had a religious sighting!

image

Once you've had your fun with that, consider this link (getbehindjesus.net) sent in by Phred who writes: "I suspect this was done with Photoshop and that its perpetrators firmly have their tongue in cheek but, see for yourself." I also think "get behind Jesus" was more than slightly enhanced by Photoshop (the superimposed image of Jesus helps to clarify the miracle). The link may not be safe for work (if a picture of a dog's posterior would offend your boss) or for people whose religious sensibilities would be easily offended.
Categories: Pareidolia, Religion
Posted by Alex on Mon Sep 18, 2006
Comments (15)
imagePeople have been crowding around a seven-metre betel nut tree in Kuala Lumpur. The tree has developed what looks like a human face on one of its fronds, the reports say. The owner, Miah Majid, told reporters that the tree had previously sported the shape of an eye.

"Superstitious village elders have advised onlookers not to make any comments when they pass the tree, reports said. Other enterprising villagers are selling photographs of the face for 2 ringgit (US$0.55)."

Good to see a slightly lower-tech way of making money off it, rather then using eBay...

(Thanks, naiart.)
Categories: Pareidolia, Photos/Videos
Posted by Flora on Wed Sep 13, 2006
Comments (23)
imageI'm posting a lot of these lately. I guess it's Religious Icon season or something.

Shirley McVane believes her two-year-old turtle is developing an image of the Virgin Mary on its belly.

"I told some of my friends, you know, 'I got a turtle,' and I said it has the image of the Virgin Mary on it, and I said it's getting plainer and plainer, and they said 'Yeah, Shirley, you're 81 years old. You think we believe that?' I said it's the truth, so now they all believe it," said McVane.
She has since renamed the turtle and its mate (you guessed it!) Mary and Joseph.

Is it just me, or are these getting weaker and weaker?
Cute turtle, though.
Categories: Animals, Pareidolia, Religion
Posted by Flora on Mon Aug 28, 2006
Comments (24)
imageFollowing hot on the heels of the chocolate Virgin Mary (which, as many people pointed out, looked more like the Maltese Falcon) comes: Jesus as seen on an ultrasound picture.

Seven months through her pregnancy, Laura Turner went for a routine ultrasound. She already knew that her son had a cleft lip, and she and her partner had been told there was a possibility of the child having Down's Syndrome. She says that she didn't notice anything particularly odd about the scan until a friend pointed it out once they got home.

'The pregnancy has been fairly difficult so to see a likeness of Jesus in the picture gives me a lot of comfort.

'It's as if someone is watching over Joshua. It's helped make us feel more at ease and although I'm not very religious, seeing the picture does reassure me that things are going to turn out okay and that Joshua will be our little miracle.'

I suppose that, what with the difficult pregnancy, it's a very heartening sign for her.
Categories: Birth/Babies, Health/Medicine, Pareidolia, Photos/Videos, Psychology, Religion
Posted by Flora on Thu Aug 24, 2006
Comments (12)
imageIf the Virgin Mary grilled cheese sandwich wasn't to your taste, how about the Virgin Mary discovered in chocolate drippings? Cruz Jacinto discovered the Holy Mother in drippings she was cleaning from a vat of chocolate in the kitchens of chocolatier to the stars, Martucci Angiano.

I can sort of see the shape of a cowled figure, I suppose, but that's about it.

"When I come in, the first thing I do is look at the clock, but this time I didn't look at the clock. My eyes went directly to the chocolate," Jacinto said. "I thought, 'Am I the only one who can see this? I picked it up and I felt emotion just come over me.

"For me, it was a sign."


For me? Not so much.
Categories: Food, Pareidolia, Religion
Posted by Flora on Fri Aug 18, 2006
Comments (25)
Status: Pareidolia
image Spaceweather.com reports that the Loch Ness Monster has been spotted... on the sun. Check out this picture taken by astrophotographer Gary Palmer of Los Angeles. It does look kind of like a serpent, and by the standards of proof applied to blurry images of Loch Ness, that means it must be a sun serpent! (Apparently the dark shapes are really solar filaments, "relatively cool, dense gas suspended above the surface of the Sun.") (via The Anomalist)
Categories: Cryptozoology, Pareidolia, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Thu Apr 20, 2006
Comments (3)
Status: Pareidolia
image Oscar, who's a fish, lives in a tank in Waterfoot, England. He's attracting quite a bit of attention because markings on one side of his body seem to spell out the name Allah in arabic script, while markings on his other side seem to spell out Muhammad. Since I don't know arabic, I'm not in a position to judge how much the markings look like these words. But at least saying that markings spell a word is a bit more cut-and-dry than saying that markings look like Jesus, the Virgin Mary, or someone else whose appearance is unknown. (And now that I think about it, I suppose the Muslim ban on images of Muhammad means that the world will never get to see pieces of toast or frying pans bearing the image of Muhammad.) People who have examined Oscar are quite confident that the markings haven't been painted on in any way. I'm sure Oscar's new-found status as a miracle fish won't hurt the price the pet shop owner can fetch for him. (Thanks to Paul Farrington for the link.)
Categories: Animals, Pareidolia, Religion
Posted by Alex on Fri Feb 03, 2006
Comments (45)
Status: Pareidolia
image Shortly before Christmas workers at a Florida restaurant noticed that mineral deposits had created a face-like image on the bottom of one of the warming trays they were using. They knew right away that this had to be the face of Christ. (Who else would appear on a warming tray?) According to this MSNBC article "A spokesman for the Stadium Club says they will not continue to use the pan." In other words, Jesus has ruined a perfectly good warming tray. Thanks a lot, Jesus. I assume the next stop for the holy warming tray is eBay.
Categories: Pareidolia, Religion
Posted by Alex on Tue Dec 27, 2005
Comments (28)
Status: Pareidolia
image The latest face of a deity to be seen in a random object is the face of Jesus that some people claim they can see in the trunk of a tree on North Clinton Avenue in Rochester, New York. They're now calling it the Jesus Tree. Most of the time, when people start claiming to see the Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich or Jesus in an oyster shell, I can at least make out the outline of a face. But in this case I can't see anything at all. Maybe you need to have more faith in order to be able to see it.
Categories: Pareidolia, Religion
Posted by Alex on Mon Oct 31, 2005
Comments (37)
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