Satellite image of Virgin Mary in a sandpit: Preston, Lancashire, UK (small image)People continue to find the Virgin Mary in the strangest places. This time, they think she chose to manifest herself in a massive sand formation at a construction site in Preston, Lancashire in the UK. The Daily Mail reports on this astounding and compelling new discovery (WebCite cached article):

Stunned workers at a construction site near the M6 claim to have found an image of the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus in a satellite image.

Contractors Steve Hirst and Carl Richards were researching for a project they were working on and decided to look at a half-acre sand and mud site on Google Maps.

While looking at the photo they say the image of a hooded figure holding a baby was clearly distinguishable – just off the M6 motorway near Preston.

They know it can only be a miraculous image of the Virgin Mary, because … well … they just know it:

Carl, 42, from Bolton, said: ‘We both looked at each other for a few seconds without saying anything. It is an amazing image of the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus in her arms.

‘It is so clear. We were looking at the layout of the area for some work we are doing and we were zooming in and it caught our eye.

‘We were stunned into silence and Steve joked he had seen the light.’

Aha! I guess that pretty much nails it, then!

The problem is that this satellite image is dated, and the Virgin Mary is no longer visible on the site:

Project manager Ian Selby said: ‘The machinery in the picture would suggest it was taken a few years ago and there are trees planted on it now.

Woops! I guess the Virgin Mary neglected to get the word out about her sacred presence on that holy site, in time for people to have really appreciated it when it was still there. I’m sure clergy and believers in the UK would have agitated to leave the construction incomplete and the image of the precious Virgin Mary intact, had they been aware of it. But as it stands, they’ve lost that opportunity. Sorry, Marianists!

I note that, in this image, the Virgin Mary is posed in front of some equipment that appears to be an upside-down cross. But the upside-down cross is considered profane, not sacred. Why would she have done this? I have no idea. I’m sure she must have had her reasons!

This is yet another case of the well-known psychological phenomenon of pareidolia, or seeing things in otherwise-ordinary patterns.

The only thing missing from this story is the claim that the construction workers intentionally created the image of the Virgin Mary on the ground in order to appeal to her as the Queen of Heaven, along the lines of the common belief that the Nazca lines are “proof” that extraterrestrials had visited the earth in the primeval past and the people of that area were trying to communicate with these visitors from the sky. Or something like that.

Hat tip: Skeptic’s Dictionary.

Photo credit: Google Earth via the (UK) Daily Mail.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,