The typical representation of Jesus Christ both in art and in miraculous apparitions is of a long-haired, bearded, and decidedly Gentile young man. Although the running joke is that of Jesus Christ making an appearance in a taco or a grilled cheese sandwich, in some cases more than others there is much to make even a diehard skeptic go “wow.” Remember the face that was discovered on the surface of Mars? Those initial low resolution images did look for all the world as though it had distinct facial features. Okay, maybe not distinct, but certainly recognizable. Of course, over the years as the technology improved, new photographs revealed it to look far less like a face than originally. Even so, the supposed face on Mars pales in comparison to this image of a man who does bear a remarkable similarity to Renaissance representations of Jesus Christ.
This photograph was taken during the Korean War in the early 50’s. The photographer was aboard a plane on a routine mission that took him over a mountain range in Korea. Also identifiable in the photograph are two other B-29 aircraft. The photographer in question was none other than the pilot himself, who reached for his camera at the sight of an unusually bright white light in the sky. At the time, the image of the bearded man was not noticeable; it was only after the photo was developed that the surprising image was revealed. At the time, of course, it was utilized up as propaganda for America’s war effort in Korea, and the larger crusade to destroy Communism. The figure in the photo almost seems to be blessing the weapons of war and death.
Unquestionably, the image is jarring. Photography experts have asserted that the image was not faked or the result of lab trickery. Instead, the explanation forwarded for such an unexpected image to arise naturally is that the figure of a man who bears the stamp of Renaissance Jesus is the result of what is known as a simulacrum. To wit: the image was created by a unique combination of light, shading and the natural desire of the human to create order and symmetry. The human brain is disdainful of randomness; at all times it insistently seeks to perceive order even when there is none. This explains why so many people refuse to accept the simplest explanation for JFK’s assassination—that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone—and instead attempt to piece together an elaborate crazy quilt out of a series of completely random and unrelated occurrences.
The same effect takes place when one looks at this photograph. Obviously, a person who had never seen a painting of Jesus would never make the connection, although they would probably perceive the image of a bearded man. Still, whether the image really does bear any similarity to Jesus Christ or not, you’ve got to admit it is eerie.