Unexpected faces

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Jesus in the clouds


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 I’ve looked at clouds that way

Images of Jesus emerging from cloud patterns are very popular, but the image above, said to have been taken by a United States Air Force photographer in the 1950s, during the Korean War, is probably the great-grandaddy of them all.

The stories surrounding the picture are vague, but according to one version, the American pilot of a B-29 superfortress saw a dazzling white light in the sky during a bombing raid over North Korea, and took a photograph of the effect. Two other B29s can be seen in the picture, giving a rather jarring image of the prince of peace apparently blessing the machines of death.

According to reports, it was only when the photograph was developed that the head and shoulders of Jesus were noticed. (It’s a frequently recurring detail in stories about “miracle” pictures that Jesus is only seen when the film comes back from the developers.) The local newspaper which ran the picture is said to have sold out of two special editions.

Other images of bearded faces or robed figures have been seen in thunderstorms, hurricanes and even in the clouds of the Cone Nebula, 2,500 light years from Earth.

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 He’s in the top left part, looking up

Above: Can you see the face of Jesus in this picture of storm clouds over the Smoky Mts. of Kentucky? Look for the profile of a bearded man who is looking up towards the top right-hand corner. “I was taking indiscriminate shots of the sky as we drove,” says the girl who took the photograph.

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About this module

Have you ever unexpectedly seen a picture in the shapes made by clouds, or a face in a pattern of dots? Some people have been taken by surprise by glimpsing the face of Jesus in wood grain, or a snowy field, or shadows.

In these pages we’re looking at some of these strange pictures and the stories behind them. Click and explore among the images on the left. If you know any other pictures or stories, email to let us know via the contact page.

Compiled and written by Simon Jenkins.

Categories: Creativity, Art & image,

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Module contents

arrow Unexpected gallery

arrow Jesus of Asparagus

arrow Jesus in tree bark

arrow Clouds form a crucifixion

arrow Jesus in a star cluster

arrow Jesus in a fence shadow

arrow Jesus in snow patterns

arrow Jesus in woodgrain

arrow Jesus in the clouds

arrow Jesus on cloth

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