Maybe you were up on the roof gawking at some more pedestrian astral dealings over Dallas last night, but today, with Christmas just a few days off, Frank Ford is here to blow your mind with the sun.
Ford's launched a site today, called I Saw The Light, documenting his religious awakening on an early evening walk through a church garden in Dallas. Ford says it was sometime late last spring when he happened to have his camera (a Samsung NV24HD, for the record) along on a stroll through this garden when an incredible vision -- a cross -- revealed itself in his camera's viewfinder. What he lacks in details, like the church's name or the date he was there (he doesn't want to start a mob by naming the church, he says), he makes up for with enthusiasm. Take the headline from the press release announcing his site launch: "Man Experiences Miracle in Church Garden While Capturing Photographic Evidence That God Exists"
On the main page of the site -- which is remarkably well designed, considering (but watch your speaker volume) -- Ford's posted a series of photos of the sun's rays in the leaves, between which he breathlessly recounts his thoughts as this little stroll in the churchyard became much, much more:
This garden. It was drawing me in. I don't know why. It was there. I was there. I had some time to kill. Figured I could email my Mom some Kodak moments. She's big into gardening.
It's all double-rainbow from there, as Ford describes the wonder of catching the Old Rugged Cross in lens flare, further wonder at seeing it transformed into a big white orb in the photos on his computer, and -- at last! -- "the plot thickens" as "Google gets involved."
Update at 2:26: On the phone this afternoon, Ford explained why he decided to make his revelation so public. "I know that there's gonna be skeptics either way," he says, "but I could also say, 'Well, maybe this is not for those people.' My hope is that it could help somebody who is on the fence."
"It blew me away entirely, completely, Ford tells us. "It's very hard to put into words -- how do you recount the emotions of a miracle that happened to you? When it was all over, my lower backbone just quivered. It's just something you feel on a molecular level."
At the bottom of the page, Ford finally discovers that the Google Street View shot of his new Dallas address comes with a solar flare of its own -- "Definitely a blast of light similar to what I experienced in the Church's garden," he writes.
Another cross? Another LifeForce? What's going on? Why me?
What's this orange thing?
God is trying to tell me something. And I can't believe Google took these pictures. Not me.
I sat at my desk for hours taking these computer screenshots in amazement.
Ford concludes with a teaser for the coming year: "There's so much more to the story," he says, promising "hundreds of pages" of more images next year. I've left a message with Ford to hear more about how it all came together and what he plans for the unfinished pages, Twitter and Facebook accounts -- but for now, rest assured that if you want to donate, that page is right here.
Update:Over the phone, Ford says the rest of the new pages will detail "other serendipitous events that were happening to me over the course of the same couple months," and the way the experience has changed his life.
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Ford wants to stress that the cross he saw in his camera viewfinder looks different in the digital photo -- that at the moment, what he saw was a clearly a cross of light shifting from left to right in the frame. The best view of the cross he saw, Ford says, is in the last shot on his site, where a green orb wrapped in concentric red circles forms the bottom of the cross. "I've gotten lens flares from other things," he says. "It was miraculous. I wouldn't have believed it myself had it not come out on my camera."
"That's one of the things that I hestitated about before I launched this site," Ford says. "People are gonna say, 'this guy's nuts,' 'this is lens flare,' 'this is bullshit.' I just came to terms, it's just kinda my responsibility to share it and let people make their own minds."
Ford says he was a skeptic before his experience in the churchyard, and isn't after scoring converts for religion -- it's just had too great an impact on his life, he says, not to say something.
"Before this happened," Ford says, "I was like a lot of people who either had doubts in a higher power, or didn't believe, or didn't have time for it and just went on their merry way with their lives. After them miracle, I'm no longer skeptical about that. To me, it's all the evidence in the world that I need."