The apparition of the lady was also associated with sightings of lights, strange clouds, the falling of "angel hair" and ultimately the spinning of the sun viewed by at least 50,000 people on Oct. 13, 1917. Witnesses to this were located at the Cova da Iria and at locations 15, 20 and 30 kilometers away. Heat from this "'solar" phenomenon dried wet clothes and apparently healed people who were exposed to it.
What is intriguing is that no one except the three children, namely Lucia dos Santos and her cousins Jucinta Marto and Francisco Marto (aged 10, 7 and 9, respectively)
The visions of this lady also provided Lucia with the so-called three secrets of Fatima. The 'last' secret is still shrouded in controversy. Some still claim it predicted the end of the Catholic church and/or the world, the Vatican's secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone -- the Pope's second-in-command -- has declared that it is "pure fantasy."
In recent decades, the visions have been regarded as being of extraterrestrial or alien beings rather than of a religious nature.
Nigel Watson reviews the pros and cons of this case in The Secret of Fatima on the Oh My News website.