KNOCK VISION OF 1879, ITS CLARITY AND THEREFORE AUTHENTICITY ARE IN DISPUTE


Source: 1879 Depositions of Witnesses of "Apparition" of Mary, Joseph, John and angels on the gable of Knock Chapel.

After the reported two hour apparition, depositions were taken from the witnesses. There are clues in those statements. Was it a miracle or paranormal or something more natural?

THE CELLS COLOURED IN LIGHT PURPLE AT FACE VALUE INDICATE THE SUPERNATURAL OR INEXPLICABLE

THE CELLS IN LIGHT BLUE ARE CLEAR EVIDENCE OF THE MAGIC LANTERN THEORY OR A NON-MIRACLE

THE UNCOLOURED CELLS DON'T INDICATE ONE WAY OR THE OTHER

THERE ARE FAR MORE BLUE CELLS INDICATING THAT THE EVIDENCE FAVOURS A NATURAL INTERPRETATION

WITNESS

CLEAR AND DISTINCT**

 

1

Patrick Hill

 

Allegedly 13 or 14.  In fact, believers lie about his age.  As he was baptised in 1868 we may presume that he was born that year.  People in those days did not delay baptism.  Hill was 10 or 11 - far too immature to be taken seriously.  He lied about his age for that reason. 

Yes -  very detailed.

Mary's feet visible.

 

But contradicted by, "There was a line or dark mearing between the figure of the Blessed Virgin and that of St. Joseph, so that one could know St. Joseph, and the place where his figure appeared distinctly from that of the Blessed Virgin and the spot where she stood."

This indicates that the vision was not that plain.  The dark bit was needed to be able to see that it was two figures and he states that it was there for that purpose.  This makes them sound like blurs.

WEEKLY NEWS 1880

Says it was visible from the wall.

DAILY TELEGRAPH 1880

Says he heard about the apparition and ran to the chapel and didn't see it from the wall where he stood. He didn't see it until he went over and got closer to the gable. Indicates that he lied when he said that the vision was very clear.

WITNESS

CLEAR AND DISTINCT**

 

2

Mary McLoughlin

WITNESS

CLEAR AND DISTINCT**

 

3

Mary Beirne

aged 26

Clear and distinct and she could make out details of the Virgin's clothes

WEEKLY NEWS 1880

Didn't see feet of Mary

1932 Testimony - not under oath

1935 testimony to Liam Ua Cadhain

1936 deathbed sworn statement for Commission

WITNESS

CLEAR AND DISTINCT**

 

4

Patrick Walsh

aged 65

Too far away

WITNESS

CLEAR AND DISTINCT**

 

5

Patrick Beirne

aged 16

Clearly, fully and distinctly

1932 Testimony

"Appeared to be something like shadows or reflections cast on a wall on a moon-lit night.  I approached nearer the gable and passed my hand along the wall to find there was no material substance there."  Contradicted his 1879 deposition.

1936 Sworn statement

Yes

WITNESS

CLEAR AND DISTINCT**

 

6

Maggie Beirne

Yes.

Mary's feet visible.

WITNESS

CLEAR AND DISTINCT**

 

7

Dominick Beirne

Clear and distinct and could see the eyes.

At the time he arrived there was "some ten or twelve people had been collected around the place, namely, around the ditch or wall fronting the gable, where the vision was being seen, and to the south of the schoolhouse"

What were they all doing standing there?  Why not stand closer?  The distance implies that they could not see it as well if they went any closer.  So it was not that clear and distinct.

It is as if his memory elaborated on what he had seen and he thought he had seen more than what he did.

 

WITNESS

CLEAR AND DISTINCT**

 

8

Mrs Flatley

Yes

WITNESS

CLEAR AND DISTINCT**

 

9

Bridget Trench

 

aged 75

Yes - but undermined by her claim that the Virgin wore something on her head resembling a crown.  She was therefore not sure what it was.  Was her eyesight tricky?  If it was then her claim that the figures were 3-d is suspect.

Mary's feet visible.

WITNESS

CLEAR AND DISTINCT**

 

10

Catherine Murray

 

aged 8

Doesn't say. 

"likeness of the Blessed Virgin Mary and that of St Joseph and St. John, as I learned from those that were around about where I was" implies that the images were so unclear that she needed to be told what they were.  She should have known from religious statues what the images were - unless they were indistinct.

WEEKLY NEWS 1880

 

WITNESS

CLEAR AND DISTINCT**

 

11

John Curry

 

aged 6

1937 New York Tribunal

WITNESS

CLEAR AND DISTINCT**

 

12

Judith Campbell

Clear and distinct

WITNESS

CLEAR AND DISTINCT**

 

13

Margaret Beirne 2

WITNESS

CLEAR AND DISTINCT**

 

14

Dominick Beirne Sen

Yes

WITNESS

CLEAR AND DISTINCT**

 

15

John Durkan


** - Note: A magic lantern on a rough gable wall would make transparent images. 

Nobody was apparently asked if the images were transparent or not or if they were no record was kept.

This may suggest that references to transparency might have been left out or avoided thanks to leading questions as the priests didn't want people to think a magic lantern was used to make the vision.