"See that object above the Virgin Mary's shoulders?" Madame said, pointing at a disk-shaped object floating in the sky. Below it, a man and his dog could clearly be seen looking up at the object.
Momentarily, Madame looked up from the book and scoffed, "Paintings like these were quite common before the French Revolution when such work became a threat to the Church and the Church began to censure such work." She looked directly at Fr. Theo. "Am I right, Fr. Theo?"
"Uh, there have been instances of the Church censuring artists and even threatening them with excommunication, but I'm not sure if these were some of those instances," Father Theo said, evading the direct query. He wasn't a Jesuit priest for nothing.
Madame grunted and went back to her art book.
"And this is how and when it all began," Madame said, suddenly producing a smile that made her face glow. "The Annunciation by Carlo Crivelli."
Fr. Theo gasped. He once saw the original painting displayed at the National Gallery of London. What is considered most surprising about this painting is the glorious ray of light coming down from the sky and reaching the Virgin Mary. Many believe that this ray emanates from a saucer-like Unidentified Flying Object hovering among the clouds.
Staring at the painting, Fr. Theo remembered something from the Bible. The gospel of St Matthew opens the New Testament with a frightening visit from a skyborne being who descends from the starry heavens to proclaim a sensational message to terrified shepherds attending their flocks: Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which is translated, 'God is with us'.
In May 1999, Israeli historians researching ancient copies of the Apocrypha, the books of the Greek Bible excluded from the Hebrew Bible, found that one translation of the Virgin Mary's conception after a visitation from the angel described a chilling tale that paralleled accounts of people who have undergone gynecological examinations in UFO abduction experiences. When the media got wind of this, they pressed these codex researchers to expound on their intriguing claims, but the historians were suddenly silent and unavailable, evidently "advised" by religious authorities to withhold further interpretations of the ancient text.
Remembering this, Fr. Theo shook his head and shivered slightly.
But it's a bloody preposterous idea!
"We belong to project Ultra. As I said, it is a top secret group that exists
on a need to know basis. Anyone and I mean anyone who breaks the code of
silence will be eliminated."
"But then why are you telling me all of this?" Judah asked nervously.
"Because, you Judah, have a direct line of contact of communication that few
others have. This Azazel has singled you out. If it wants you, then we want
you. But nothing leaves this room. Am I clear?"
"Yes, I guess, but what about Dr.Lazant and the people at the Institute?"
"We are fine, Judah. We have worked along with Ultra for years", Dr.Lazant
answered quietly. "We personally believe that these UFO's are angels as you
know. These guys think that we are nuts. So be it. We will continue to do our
research and maybe someday we will be able to convince them." Pages 77-79
Judah headed for the CIA building in Langley, Virginia. It was not very far
from Bethesda Naval Hospital or the Institute for that matter which was in
Potomac, Maryland. Judah had built up some lasting friendships with the people
there. One especially, Mike Butrell, was the Deputy Director, and he had taken
an immediate liking to Judah. Butrell had friends in the Mossad who had spoken
very highly of Judah. Also Senator Jordan had personally vouched for him.
That, coming from the Chairman of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee was
enough for Butrell to ignore his doubts about hiring a former IDF soldier and
Mossad operative. General Desporte at West Point also had vouched for Judah.
"Hello, Sir!" Judah said as he was immediately admitted to Deputy Director's
Butrell's office. His secretary had recognized Judah right away and had called
her boss. Butrell wanted him sent right in.
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