Saturday, 31 March 2007

An Angel at the Vatican?

When a retired Cambridgeshire police officer, Andy Key, returned home from a holiday in Rome, he noticed a strange 'angelic' form on one of his photos, taken on his Kodak Easyshare camera. The photo was taken inside St Peter's while the Holy Father was giving an address (though no information is given as to the occasion). The papers say that photographic experts are 'mystified' by the image.

It would be lovely to think that this an angel - or perhaps a saint - though I suspect it may be an optical illusion (note the strong rays coming through the window). Sorry to be cynical, but tomorrow is April Fools' Day! What is particularly interesting, though, is that for once the Pope gets a positive mention in the secular media. The press normally disregards the words of the Pope, but in the papers today it is actively suggested that a 'guardian angel' hovers in the vicinity of Christ's Vicar on Earth as he addresses the crowds. Now that's the kind of Ultramontane hyperbole that you'd expect to read in the writings of Cardinal Wiseman! Mr Key himself does not claim to be religious but says:
I didn't see anything but when I looked at the picture it looks just like an angel above the Pope's head. It can't be a trick of the light because I can't see what the light could bounce off. You don't even have to squint to make it out - it looks just like an angel.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must be daft; I can't see what's being referred to...

4:25 pm  
Blogger Fr Nicholas said...

It's that white 'blob' at the bottom left hand of the picture...

If you click on the link you'll see a close-up.

4:59 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hrmm... I don't think that's an Angel. I've seen things like that on my films before!

8:07 pm  
Blogger Ttony said...


9:06 pm  
Blogger Fr Nicholas said...

I don't know what the occasion was supposed to be but incense is not normally in evidence while the Pope gives an address - and nor would it be seen in the side aisle.

9:11 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Skeptics, of course it is angel!

11:27 pm  
Blogger SquareTraveler said...

I viewed this photo with a completely open mind and no interest in debunking it. But it only took a couple of seconds to discern that the illusion of a head is created by an abstract shape from a shaft of light being interrupted by a pillar. Once you recognize this element of the image, it becomes obvious that the apparent breast shape is created in conjunction with it. At this point, no mystery remains.

7:10 am  

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