A You Tube video showing a series of bizarre cloud formations over rural New Brunswick has millions of people worldwide guessing.
Denis Laforge, of Grand Falls, N.B., a town about 200 kilometres northwest of Fredericton, was watering his plants on Aug. 1 when he pulled out his iPhone to record the fast-moving clouds, which morphed from what appeared to be a pig face to the face of Jesus.
About halfway through the video, Laforge blurts out “A face. . . a face. . . holy frig!”
The three-minute clip has been viewed more than 1.7 million times. The regal face disappeared as quickly as it came.
“What I saw was a face,” the father of two said in an interview. “I never concluded anything else, really, but it was an eerie feeling to say the least.”
The community has gotten a lot of unusually turbulent weather. This storm left a trail of destruction: Forty angora goats died after lightning struck a barn in nearby Drummond and set it on fire.
Not long before that Laforge said the town endured a hailstorm.
“We’ve had a freaky summer for weather, that was the main reason why I bought this iPhone. I’m not a storm catcher but I’ll definitely be on the lookout.
"I can’t look at clouds the same way anymore.”
More than 2,800 people have left comments on the clip, ranging from the awe inspired to the humoured.
“God is looking!,” wrote one.
“That’s Captain Kebab from Parodius!” wrote another.
“Looks like George Washington to me,” wrote a third.
Laforge, 36, is not willing to say whether he considers the faces an omen of any sort.
“I really wanted to be neutral when I put the video on YouTube. I’m not saying it was God’s face, the devil’s or any other. I’ve gotten comments that people have seen the villain in Harry Potter. I haven’t seen the last movie of the series so I’ll go see that for sure.”
Laforge’s wife, Jinny Soucy, is not so quick to pass the episode off as a fluke of nature.
“We were just looking at each other amazed,” she said. “He’s always teasing me that it’s the end of the world coming so I asked him when the storm was happening is this the message? It was pretty amazing.”
But George Isaac, a senior cloud scientist with Environment Canada, was quick to play down the significance of the faces. Although he didn’t see the clip, he said there are variety of factors that could work together, including cloud turbulence, water vapour pockets and specific lighting, that cause dramatic and changing cloud formations.
“Clouds come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, air currents can carry funny patterns,” he said.
Eerie apparitions throughout Canada
December 2008: An amateur painter in Kingsville, Ont., sees Jesus Christ’s face on the canvas of an unfinished landscape scene.
December 2002: The Virgin Mary reportedly appears in northern Saskatchewan, first in sealed glass panes at a greenhouse and then in frost on a living room window about 300 kilometres away.
May 2001: Hundreds of people report feeling peaceful after viewing an image on a freshly painted house wall in Indian Brook, N.S., that looks remarkably like the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus.
September 1998: An image resembling Christ appears on the side of a Tim Hortons shop in Cape Breton, N.S