We are reviewing a Facebook post, which says that an amazing video from Mount Athos shows the appearance of the Mother of God. According to the description in the text, the video was shot on Mount Athos and shows the appearance of the Most Holy Mother of God.
Around the figure that people believe to be the Mother of God, the light shines in a circle, and as the video progresses, it becomes clearer and clearer. Her movements are also visible, which reminded many of the incense. The legend says that the Mother of God discovered the Mount Athos, blessed it and determined it to be a holy place where isolated monks dedicated to prayer will live and that women will not come to this place, the text reads.
However, the video was not recorded on Mount Athos, nor did it show the Virgin Mary. On 19 November 2021, the same video was posted on the YouTube channel REALЬNAЯ INFA, noting that “a tourist stopped on Mount Altai “and recorded it.” The caption below the YouTube video states that “the video is from Kosh-Agachsky District, a rural site and administrative center in Russia.”
What can be seen in the video is already a known meteorological phenomenon. This is the “Brocken spectre” phenomenon, which can occur on any foggy mountain or be seen from an aeroplane. It is an increased shadow opposite the clouds, opposite the direction in which the sun shines. Around the head of the figure, there are rays like a halo of coloured light, forming a glare, which, in turn, appears opposite to the direction of the sun. There is a local legend about this phenomenon in Germany, whence the name of the phenomenon. The “Broken Spectre” was described by Johann Silberschlag in 1780 and has been described in the literature of the region ever since.
Traditional media, such as the BBC, have reported on this rare phenomenon.
The Washington Post, on the other hand, has a report on the “Broken Spectre” in Scotland.
Given that the location of the original video in the post we are reviewing, is Russia, not Greece, we assess that the video is not from Mount Athos, the phenomenon does not reflect the Mother of God but is a natural and explained phenomenon, in this case simply a matter of superstition and through it attracting the attention of readers on social networks, using their religious beliefs.
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