Originally written in Portuguese by historians Joaquim Fernandes & Fina D’ Armada, and translated into English by cognitive gymnast Alexandra ‘Chica’ Bruce, Celestial Secrets: The Hidden History Of The Fátima Incident is the second book in Fernandes & Armada’s planned Fátima Trilogy, which explores the famed Fátima incident of 1917 in a way that’ll have orthodox Roman Catholics screaming out for a return to inquisition-style tribunals and the burning of witches at the stake.
The trilogy argues, quite convincingly, that the famous Fátima incident of 1917 - which all devout Catholics have come to know, love and feel safe with - did not actually involve a series of Marian apparitions (as is commonly accepted) but may in fact have been a sequence of extra-terrestrial encounters of a most unusual nature.
I haven’t read the first book Heavenly Lights: The Apparitions Of Fátima And The UFO Phenomenon, and probably won’t either (as all of the convincing data seemed available in this book); but from what I understand, the first volume of the trilogy is more of an academic analyses of the incident, expounding theories of the event from a ufological standpoint and compellingly arguing that the paranormal events preceding the Fátima apparitions are of considerable significance in determining the very nature of the peculiar events which followed.
Where Celestial Secrets differs, however, is that it explores the supposed church “cover-up” surrounding the matter, which the authors claim has both influenced the modern interpretation of the Fátima incident and concealed what may very likely be one of the first recorded cases of a 20th century alien encounter.
I have no problem buying into that idea. In fact, I have no problem interpreting any historical faith-based miraculous event in a more grown-up and adult context. The book left me convinced that indeed a church cover-up had occurred. Where I part company with the authors is that I think viewing the event from a ufological perspective may also be inaccurate, and that when the human nervous system comes into contact with an event that it cannot categorise in terms of learned experience, it grasps for the most logical and less-mentally damaging explanation.
That aside, the subject and the recorded events make for compelling reading in whatever context one wishes to interpret them. As someone who has been fascinated for years by the recorded facts surrounding other extra-terrestrial/praeter-human encounters and communications (most notably the documents and ciphers surrounding Aleister Crowley’s “Cairo Working”) I enjoyed exploring the comparisons as I advanced through this wonderful tome.
What initially seemed was going to be a laborious volume to churn through, quickly became a pleasure to read, and I’m certain much of that is down to Alexandra Bruce’s translation. For those who are unaware of the intricacies of language translation, European Portuguese can differ considerably from the Brazilian Portuguese which Alexandra Bruce is fluent in. For example, not only are many words pronounced differently, but word order is more flexible and second person verbal forms are seldom used. Spelling can also vary and it is clear that Bruce has laboured extremely hard to produce an accurate translation of this book whilst simultaneously making it thoroughly enjoyable to read.
Currently published by Anomalist Books and available through Amazon priced $14.95 (£9.99 UK), this book is a must for all ufonauts and connoisseurs of curious and unusual history books.