A meticulous synthesis of history, science, and Ufology, "Heavenly Lights" establishes that the famed Fátima Incident of 1917 did not involve "Marian apparitions" - as is conventionally believed - but a series of close encounters with alien beings. The first history of the Fátima incident to be written by Portuguese historians based on the original documents of the case held in secrecy by the Catholic Church since the time of the apparitions, "Heavenly Lights" subjects all of the pertinent facts of the Fátima case to a sweeping evidentiary analysis that is at once thorough and fascinating. When it was fi rst published in Portugal in 1995, the Jornal de Notícias heralded this work as "a literary success without precedent." "Heavenly Lights" is Volume I of the Fátima Trilogy.
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"Heavenly Lights: the Apparitions of Fatima and the UFO Phenomenon" is the first volume of a trilogy of books (in English) whose primary author is Portuguese professor/writer Joachim Fernandes, with some volumes co-authored by writer Fina D'Armada. These books represent a loose summary of the authors' long-term traditional work in this "UFOs at Fatima" fantasy, with additional material input from other authors, editors and translators. The core theme of all 3 Volumes is to seek to co-opt and displace the well known Fatima, Portugal visionary events of 1917 as a religious apparition. This is done by attempting to superimpose a case that although the authors agree that stupendous events did indeed occur there on October 13, 1917, they were in reality a major example of a visit to Earth by extraterrestrials in UFOs. Furthermore, that submit that they could not be the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Lord Jesus, as the Catholic church has supported and promulgated as "worth of belief" for close to the last 80 years. The authors and promoters strive to buildup interest and credibility for this particular book series by highlighting their document research at the Fatima archives in 1978, and by being repeated exponents of the "we saw the original documents" of Fatima mantra. I really do support a "let the documents speak" sentiment, as in any research project, but in my opinion the authors and editors have demonstrably failed in their attempts to "let them speak" here. They have instead relied on fantasy, gross misrepresentations, and some poor rendering of Portuguese language translations that are woven around and interlaced with some of the accepted historical elements of those 1917 events. The writers in this trilogy have also employed frequent use of selective "cherry-picking" of key phrases out of context. The result is a statement of sophistic reasoning, a deeply flawed and a fallacious product of so-called meticulous research. Please see my review of "Celestial Secrets: The Hidden History of the Fatima Incident". Instead of letting the evidence lead one to eventually compelling logical conclusions, this work and its complements are a prime example of preconceived biased arguments that are amalgamated with historical Fatima data and then all shaped and shoe-horned to fit into their own belief system of "Extraterrestrial visits to Earth via UFOs." In summary, the closest description that comes to my mind of this book and its companions of the trilogy is that it is another exercise of Sigmund Freud's "free-association" technique of thought generation. Its use of fantasizing betrays a woeful lack of detailed real knowledge of the Fatima events of 1917, and it is saturated by imprecision, fallacious reasoning, and nonsensical conclusions. "Heavenly Lights..." and the rest of this trilogy might appeal to those fans of science fiction masters such as Isaac Asimov and many others, because this book series is indeed full of fiction and if so, I hope they would all enjoy it. Most importantly though, it is definitely not a work of straightforward definitive research that will give a prosaic answer to all those who may be looking for a different but credible version of the Fatima 1917 events, an alternative to the one that has been promulgated at Fatima for close to the last 90 years.
Informative and critique as we should wait from professional historians this work can be labeled as landmark of its kind, because it has the courage to stay far from the pious and fundamentalist hundred of books written in an apologetic manner. These Portuguese authors were the first ones that were given access to read the original texts. This is the most important service that they could offer to all the truth lovers.
At last, we find something usefull to understanding the Fatima episodes, out of the naif faith and fundamentalist believers. A true historical research only made possible by Portugeuse historians looking at the ORIGINAL Fatima documents and not on religious biased and manipulated perspectives.