More religious weirdness

I used to be a picture framer, the second wierdest thing I ever had to frame was a potato chip shaped like the Virgin Mary. You’ve never known workplace pressure until your asked to frame a sign from God.

Hundreds of faithfull christians gathered to a donut shop to view this deep fried miracle, the line stretched around the block.

Seems like every year theres a tortilla with the face of jesus on it that is said to heal the sick, or a rust stain that looks like the blessed virgin.
JTI’s question about the evolution debate in America got me thinking about this stuff. Is this phenominon limited to the states and to christianity? Do jewish people find turnips shaped like manorahs in Isreal? Any mud puddles that look like Mohummad in the middle east? How about sushi shaped like a Shinto shrine in Japan?

Actually most Christians dont see the Virgin Mary as special so its the Catholic Christians (And the curious) who came to see it. It is not restricted to the US. A lot of different sites where ‘apparitions’ have occured, often they are accompanied by images of Mary (in your case a potato chip shaped like her). Anyway you wouldnt find a turnip shaped like a menorah because they do not grow in candelabra shapes. Muslims would not recognize mud puddles shaped like the prophet Mohammed because no one knows what he looks like (Islam is very strict against representations in art of people or animals, that’s why only flowers, plants and calligraphy adorn their art (well,most that is. There are some paintings with people and animals, but never of Mohammed). Sushi is formed by hand in rolls. Unless someone could construct an architecturally detailed Shinto Shrine out of rice and seaweed it’s not likely to happen.

“Oa tu beral haonar kelo, tu faikal gehayun”

I’m dying to know. This was the second wierdest thing you ever framed? What was the weirdest??


My Homepage Updated 9/30/99!
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There was a news item on New Zealand TV a couple of years back about a window on a house that when the hallway light shone through it, a cross pattern formed on the frosted glass.

This is a perfectly standard phenomenon, it happens on almost every kind of frosted and rippled glass there is - but for some completely insane reason, Catholics from all over the region were flocking to this one house and pronouncing it a miracle.

I was ashamed it was my fellow countrymen acting so doggone bananas.

And no, it wasn’t April 1st.

“So what you are telling me, Percy, is that something you have never seen is slightly less blue than something else that you have never seen.”

I kind of feel sorry for people that flock to these “manifestations”. It’s the same sadness I feel when I see the fans flocking to Riverfront Stadium (sorry! Cinergy Field!) every other week to see the Bengals.

I had a whole bag of potato chips that looked like religous figures, mary, jesus on the cross, complete with little nails…

I ate the whole bag!

I think it’s a cultural thing more than a religious one.

As Doobieous said, Catholics are into images more than other Christians, so they tend to be the ones who look at an ordinary window and see a cross.

In contrast, a Jew might look at that same window and see an antisemitic window manufacturer. :slight_smile:

and I’d love to see an answer to Cessandra’s question

Well, the first weirdest thing was the “budoir” photography of a 70 year old woman. Corset, stockings, garters, ugh…

Some scars don’t heal.

The third weirdest was one of those sticks women pee on that say weather or not their pregnant.

Fourth, a baby’s vestigle tail. Yes, some babies are born with little ‘psudo-tails’ that are usually clipped off soon after delivery.
The guy framing it was a “Bokor”, a Santaria witch doctor. He put it on the framing table, unfolded the handkerchief it was in, and I thought to myself “why does he want to frame a piece of beef jerky?”.
Years later he also had us frame a lock of Charles Manson’s hair (fifth weirdest).

And finally, as honorable mention, sixth was a pair of Gwen Stephani’s (lead singer of “No Doubt”) panties.

Sadly, unworn…

We had a recent incident of this type of thing here. It was a “baby’s face on a tree.” You can find the photo from the newspaper at:

And the articles about it from that paper at:

Incidentally, there are two articles there, although I accidentall ran them together a bit.

Skull_boy, thanks. It’s my own fault for asking. Ughhh.

David, interesting pic and articles. It doesn’t bother me when someone says, “Oh! That looks like a face!” But when someone puts a name to that face (and especially if that name is of a person he’s never seen personally) that’s when I question the person’s mental health. Like, suppose someone sees a face; who says that it’s Jesus, and not Mohammed or Moses?

Whatever happened to the water stain in a Mexico City subway station that allegedly looked like the Virgin Mary? This was several months ago, IIRC. Last I heard, Metro was going to remove it with a pressure hose because the crowds of (non-fare-paying) gawkers were screwing up the flow of passengers in and out of the station.

About ten years ago, there was a billboard of spaghetti that supposedly showed the face of Jesus, and people were lined up on the highway to worship it. Well, I saw a photo of the billboard, and the “face” was obviously 1930s character actor C. Aubrey Smith–just what HE was doing in a spaghetti ad, I don’t know . . .

John - “Our Lady of Estación Hidalgo” was quite a spectacle. Seepage from above formed a somewhat pear-shaped morph with concentric ellipses, so It Must Be Lupita.

There was added humor when the subway vendors called it a Miracle because at that time, the municipal transit authorities were trying to kick the unlicensed vendors out of the Metro station tunnels. Because of the brouhaha caused by the sighting, the Hidalgo station authorities had more to worry about than gum peddlers–namely, thousands of the Faithful lining up to view a smudge of iron oxide.

If I recall, they eventually removed the piece of flooring where the image appeared.

“Where there is clarity, there is no choice. And where there is choice, there is misery. But then, why should I speak, since I know nothing?”

Time for a glass of perspective and soda.

For every catholic who finds the face of Christ in a tortilla, there’s a pew-ful rolling their eyes and saying to themselves, “oh no, not again.”

When the phone rings with a purported apparition or miracle, the bishop groans. He’s obliged to investigate every one, and virtually none of them ever pan out. Church officials are not as ‘miracle-happy’ as some of the overzealous souls out there.

Thankfully the folks in my parish are pretty sober.

Wir fahr’n fahren auf der Autobahn…
Wir fahr’n fahren auf der Autobahn…
(repeat until your roommates strangle you)

Didn’t have the disk handy earlier, but here is the article I wrote for our newsletter on the face in the tree that I mentioned above.

The following is an article from the October '99 (Vol. 7, #10) issue of The
It is copyright 1999 by the author, reprinted by permission.

Facing Silliness in Springfield
By David Bloomberg

10:00 P.M., September 1, 1999: I’m sitting down to watch the news on WICS Channel 20. One of their top stories is that some people have seen what appears to be a baby’s face in a tree that is about to be cut down. They even send out a reporter, who comes back with words like “mystery” (used several times) to describe it. I don’t see much of a mystery – it is a knothole that, yeah, looks a bit like a baby’s face when viewed the proper way. Even the reporter acknowledged that you can’t really see it during the day – you have to wait until night and look from a certain angle. But it was still a big “mystery” to him.

I was happy to see the next day that the State Journal-Register hadn’t reported on the “story.”

September 3, however, brought a new issue of the paper, with a front-page story on the face in the tree. Some said it was just a knothole. Silly them! Others made leaps and bounds of illogic. One older woman proclaimed, “It’s the Lord.” God on a tree? Why?

Others claimed a baby had been hung in the tree by a man who thought his wife had been impregnated by a black man. Therefore, the “logic” went, the face was obviously that of the baby. Of course.

Alas, the article pointed out that a search of the archives found no evidence that such a murder ever occurred. Bah! Who needs evidence? We have a face in the tree!

There were a few skeptics mingling about the tree as well, and they were also quoted. One pointed out that “if you want to see something hard enough, you will.” And, indeed, many did.

I thought the story ended there. Nope. Sarah Antonacci, one of the reporters who wrote the previous article, contacted me for comment. I couldn’t believe they were actually doing a follow-up! But she told me that the owner had cut the tree down, and they knew people were going to be upset.

So I discussed some information that I had gotten from the Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal’s executive director. They have two bulging files of clippings related to this sort of thing – one for “faces” and another just for “faces of Jesus.”

I noted that the human mind often finds patterns in everyday items. The article gave my statements several column inches of space, quoting me as saying: “That accounts for why people see Mother Teresa in cinnamon buns, Jesus on a tortilla, Elvis in a pizza, and Kermit the Frog on Mars.” I further discussed how just because something appears somewhere, that doesn’t mean there is a supernatural force behind it.

Antonacci had some great lines in her article. The headline itself, “Tree believers lose face,” made me laugh. Then she began: “Had it been a movie, it could have been called ‘Silence of the Limbs.’” And continued: “On Friday, the saga of the face in the ‘miracle tree’ ended when the tree … was turned into miracle mulch.”

Later, she wrote that some called the State Journal-Register and asked, “What are you going to do about it?” She noted: “The answer: Nothing.”

This second article brought another story, that a man who lived next door had supposedly killed four of his neighbor’s kids because they were bothering him. This one had as much evidence behind it as the previous story (which was also still circulating). Going even further, Antonacci talked to the head librarian of the Sangamon Valley Collection, who couldn’t find any evidence for either tale.

Strangely, some people even called the NAACP and said the baby on the tree was “an African-American child and [they] wanted the NAACP to take a stand on it.” They didn’t.

The best was yet to come, though. Sunday’s paper brought an editorial cartoon by Chris Britt. It shows a crowd gathered around a tree, with one man pointing and yelling, “The tree is sending us a message!!!” The message on the tree? “Get a life you fools!”

And so ended the saga of the baby-faced tree: a strange local occurrence not of mass hysteria, but of mass silliness. Back to business as usual until somebody finds an eggplant shaped like Princess Di.

Did anyone else think the “baby in the tree” looked like Casper the Ghost, or is it just me…


“Believe those who seek the truth.
Doubt those who find it.” --Andre Gide

So what’s required to make a miracle “pan out” to a Catholic bishop anyway?

Ray (I also was framed.)

TT: Now that you mention it, it did look a bit like Casper.

Nanobyte: I’m not sure all of what’s involved in proving a miracle to a bishop. But considering they aren’t trained in figuring out trickery, it’s kind of silly for them to be “judging” anyway. For example, take the Audrey Santo case. Santo is a little comatose girl who supposedly provides miraculous healings and whose house has been turned into a shrine where oil drips from statues and paintings, etc. The local bishop did an investigation and, while he did not come out fully and say these were miracles, did say something about not being able to find trickery. Whoop-de-do. Did he have anybody able to detect it on his team? No. Did he install video cameras to see if people were secretly coming in to put oil on these things? No. He mostly seems to have taken the people in the house at face value. That’s not an investigation.

But at the same time, does he really want to say it’s all nonsense? I mean, from his standpoint, all these people are coming in and believing in his religion now…