The images below are of a Marian apparition that appeared in Clearwater, Florida in 1996. News coverage of the event follows the images.


The Virgin Mary Does Windows?
by D. Trull
Enigma Editor

A strange, rainbow-colored image appeared on the mirrored windows of a Florida office building just before Christmas 1996, leading many observers to declare it a manifestation of the Virgin Mary.  Hundreds of thousands of  believers have traveled from across the country and around the globe to view the alleged miracle. The owner of the building has announced plans to turn the property into a shrine, although a recent bout of vandalism has partly damaged the image. (Click here for a  high-resolution view before it was defaced.) The Marian apparition occupies about a dozen glass panes of a large office building in Clearwater, Florida, which at the time of the image's appearance housed the Seminole Finance Corporation. The stained area, about 50 feet tall and 35 feet wide, suggests the curves of a hooded head and shoulders surrounded by an ethereal glow. Analysts believe the colorful streaks were created by mineral deposits left behind by spray from nearby water  sprinklers. The image was first noticed after palm trees in from of the windows in question had been cut down, and the palm leaves washing the glass probably helped shape the stain. This explanation has not deterred an estimated 1.5 million sightseers from flocking to the building. A great number remain convinced that the image is the form of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or perhaps Jesus, as some have suggested. Crowds are persistently gathered outside the building, where it is common to see people praying and weeping at the supposed vision. The resulting pilgrimages have meant headaches for the Clearwater city council, which has had to take measures to accommodate new levels of congestion and pedestrian traffic in the area. Mike Krizmanich, the building's owner, counts himself among the faithful. Saying that the image is a gift from God to be protected and shared, he announced in early May that he would turn the office building into a permanent shrine. Krizmanich was also the owner of Seminole Finance Corporation, until he sold the business earlier this year to Ugly Ducking Car Sales Inc. Ugly Duckling has been running its collections department out of the building temporarily. When it finds a new location, Krizmanich will presumably set about converting the office space into a house of worship. In late May, an unforeseen development entered the picture. An unknown assailant defaced the revered image by splattering several of its panes with a corrosive chemical. The image is still readily recognizable, but the damaged areas are apparent and irreversible. The attack has rekindled public interest in  the apparition, just as the novelty seemed to be wearing off. "I thought she was crying when I first saw it," said Sandi Christian, a spectator viewing the damaged glass. "Then someone told me it was vandalism." It has not yet been determined what method was used to deface the image. Speculation has run from high-powered water guns filled with acidic chemicals to ammonia-filled water balloons. A television reporter suggested that the windows may have been pelted with tomatoes, whose natural acids could have caused the damage. It also remains unknown what impact, if any,  the vandalism will have on Krizmanich's plans to officially enshrine the building.

             Sources: FATE, April 1997; Nando Times; Electronic Telegraph; The
             Tampa Tribune; John Lockhart's "Apparition of the Virgin Mary" web page.
             (c) Copyright 1997 ParaScope, Inc.


Well, this really isn't a Marian apparition, but it is the same genre.


The History of The NunBun™

On October 15, 1996, a cinnamon bun bearing a striking resemblance to the Holy Mother of Calcutta, Mother Teresa, was discovered in Nashville, Tennessee by Bongo Java™ Coffeehouse employee Ryan Finney.

     "I was horrified because I almost ate this religious piece of dough,"
     said Finney.

The bun -- now referred to as The NunBun™ -- was shown to several employees and customers to verify the likeness. It was then stored in a freezer at the Nashville coffeehouse for nearly a week until purchased by Bongo Java employee Todd Truley for $1.89.

    "Here's two dollars; keep the change," said Truley.

Truley then teamed with another employee, Russ McGarry, and director friend Michael McNamara, to produce a nine minute documentary about the now famous bun titled; "A Music City Miracle: The Story of The NunBun™." The documentary premiered December 17, 1996 to a capacity audience at Bongo Java™. To complete the event, the first public presentation of The NunBun™ was made before the awed faces of thrilled audience members.

     "Amazing, completely amazing...the audience reaction to the film, The
     NunBun™...I don't know what to say." -- Bun Manager/Promoter
     Russ McGarry, apparently at a loss for words.

Immediately following the premiere, Truley, McGarry, and Bongo Java™ owner Bob Bernstein decided The NunBun™ was in need of management and representation. They formed a side business to the coffeehouse, Global Pastry Management (GPM), and began to field phone calls and inquiries about the NunBun™ and developed Bun souvenirs: T-shirts, bookmarks/prayer cards, coffee mugs, and copies of the documentary.

Then, December 28, The Tennessean, a Nashville newspaper, published a cover story on The NunBun™ and the local attention being given to it.

     "After that day, all hell broke loose," says McGarry.

And indeed it did: All three local network affiliates and Reuter's News Service interviewed the three founding members of GPM. The story then hit the news wires, which made The NunBun an international sensation.

     "In one day, we were interviewed by more than sixty American radio
     stations, half a dozen Canadian, The BBC, and did three radio spots
     for Australia," Bernstein said.

The flurry of attention didn't stop then. Featured in Jay Leno's monologue on New Year's Eve, and on David Letterman (Friday, January 3), The NunBun™ continues to grab the public's love and attention. Additional appearances on late-night talk shows may be on the horizon.

     "We're thrilled here at GPM and hope to continue to bring The
     NunBun™ to the masses." -- Todd Truly, Bun Manager/Promoter