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A Personal Experience with Pareidolia

by Guy McCardle

December 24, 2011

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Donate Back in 2008, while working at Florida Hospital in Orlando, I had a close encounter of the pareidolia kind. If you were not already aware, pareidolia is random images or sounds that are perceived as significant. You can read more about it in this piece that I wrote a couple of months ago. I (along with thousands of others and anyone who caught the story on CNN) saw Jesus in the window of the Prayer Garden at the hospital. OK, it wasn't Jesus per se, it was his likeness in what looked like condensation on the glass. Christ appeared to be weeping.

I have to tell you, it wasn't hard to tell who it was supposed to be. There are pictures of the King of Kings all over the place in that facility. This looked just like them. The image was almost three-dimensional. This is due, I suppose, to the fact that water vapor was forming the image was between two panes of glass. After a few hours, the image vanished.

The hospital, whose mission statement is "To extend the healing ministry of Christ" used what I considered to be great theological restraint in calling the phenomenon "an unexplained image". People flocked to the image day and night. Many were praying, some were in tears, almost all snapped cell phone pictures. Joel Cruzada, who witnessed the image and whose ex-wife was diagnosed at the time with stage-3 cancer, remarked, "This was just a sign for me to not worry about what is going on in my life and that everything else is under control." Cruzada said. "It was an enlightening experience."

What physically formed the image? I have my suspicions. Anyone who has ever been to Central Florida can vouch for the fact that it is a horribly humid place. The inside of the glass was part of an interior hallway. The outside of the glass was outdoors in an area with sprinklers. My guess was that it was simple condensation. I doubt that anyone formed the image manually because the image itself was between two panes of glass and the area is under constant video surveillance.

To the best of my knowledge, nothing particularly miraculous happened in the facility during the time Christ made his appearance. Unfortunately, there was a murder/suicide a few months ago just yards from where the image appeared. The world works in mysterious ways.


by Guy McCardle

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