The Bélmez Faces, Supernatural or Silly?
Wow! Jesus appeared in my dirty laundry, I think he’s trying to tell me to wash my clothes. OK, maybe not, but if you believe the claims of some international media outlets Jesus is appearing in some pretty strange places of late, namely in the drop cloth of a man from Massachusetts.
"My heart went a million miles an hour. I was hyperventilating,” Brian Krantz, told WHDH Channel 7 News. "A crown or a halo. Two eyes. Mustache, nose, there’s the chin, jaw line. His right arm out like that with cloths he was buried in hanging down,” said Krantz.
Is he nuts? Is he the victim of Pareidolia? Or did he really capture the essence of the Divine Son in his painting rag? Who knows…
In the world of the paranormal, seeing faces in your toast is quite a normal thing, really, but seldom do they show something so poignant. One example of this phenomenon, one that has been called the best-documented and without doubt the most important paranormal phenomenon in the 20th century, is that of the Bélmez Faces.
The story begins in 1971, when Maria Gómez Cámara claimed that a human face had appeared on her cement kitchen floor. Subsequent to its discovery, Cámara’s husband Juan Pereira and their son Miguel hacked up the floor with pickaxes and replaced it with new concrete, only to be faced with another image a few days later. Since then, many hundreds of faces of different shapes, sizes and expressions have appeared and disappeared on the Pereira’s kitchen floor.
Named after the town of Bélmez de la Moraleda, Jaén, Andalusia, Spain, the faces have garnered a huge amount of fanfare over the years, beckoning hundreds upon hundreds of people to make the pilgrimage to Bélmez, all in the hopes of catching a fleeting glimpse of the faces that continue to appear to this day.
Because of the longevity of this particular case, local and international researchers have investigated the hell out of the Pereira’s home, most of whom came up empty when it comes to conclusions. But conclusions be damned, the evidence speaks for itself, which by the way includes photographs, EVP’s, video footage and a host of environmental readings. The paranormal community at large is fairly well unanimous in its support of the Bélmez Faces, and the leading theory of their cause isthoughtographic imprinting.
Considered to be an extension of other psychokinetic phenomenon,thoughtographic imprinting is said to be a process by which a psychic subconsciously causes images or script to appear on or "burn into” surfaces like…concrete. Also known as Nensha (Chinese), projectedthermography or nengraphy, thoughtography became relatively famous in
the early 1900’s when Tomokichi Fukurai, an assistant professor of psychology at Tokyo University and a firm believer in the supernatural, used self-proclaimed psychics who were said to have a history with Nensha, to prove the existence of such phenomena, though was largely unsuccessful. Other attempts by Ted Serios and Uri Geller saw marginal success in their own efforts.
In the case of the Bélmez Faces, it is thought that Cámara was subconsciously causing the imprints, though her death in February of 2004 (at the age of 85) brings that theory into question as the faces continue to appear. Some claim that Cámara’s ghost is now causing the images; others however suggest that there must either be another cause or someone else was performing the Nensha.
Of course, the sceptics have their own theory, which pretty much diminishes the Bélmez Faces to a well performed hoax. The Pereira’s son Miguel has been accused of spending hours drawing the faces on the floor, and chemical analysis of the concrete of the floor seems to show traces of paint, which admittedly could have come from anywhere.
Regardless of the sceptical view, people all over the world are convinced that the faces are supernatural, some even claim divine influence. Nonetheless, droves of people still flock to Bélmez in search of thrills and answers.
What do you think causes the Bélmez Faces?