The Facts on the Cloud
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There is a lot of misinformation and hype relating to the Cloud. The purpose of this page is to simply list the facts and provide links to the research behind the facts.
Just the facts
- On December 23, 1962 in Jeffersonville, Indiana, William Branham said he had a vision on the preceding day of five angels coming from the west in a pyramid-constellation.
- The word "cloud" is not mentioned in the vision
- One week later, on December 30, 1962 William Branham changes his recollection of the vision to state that it was seven angels.
- At 1:02 AM on the morning of February 28, 1963, an Atlas rocket, codenamed "Pitch Pine", was launched from Vandenburg Air Force Base in California.
- A Nike-Zeus missile was launched a short time later which intercepted the Atlas rocket.
- Later that same day, a thrust assisted Thor rocket was launched from pad 75-3-5 at Vandenburg Air Force Base in California carrying a Keyhole 4 military surveillance satellite.
- The rocket started to veer off course and was intentionally destroyed at an altitude of 44 kilometers (144,000 feet) at 1:52 pm.
- The "cloud" appeared around sunset on February 28, 1963 and remained sunlit for 28 minutes after sunset.
- The "cloud" appeared near Flagstaff, AZ (referred to as the "Flagstaff Cloud" in this article).
- The height of the Flagstaff Cloud was estimated to be approximately 43 kilometers (141,000 feet).
- A second cloud was reported off to the northwest of the main cloud, with a shape very much like that of the main cloud, but only about a quarter as large. The correctness of these reports was established from photographic evidence.
- No one recorded the wind speed on the day of the Thor explosion Vandenburg but the wind speed recorded by scientists at other times, according to Dr. Macdonald, was "tantalizingly close" to the required wind speed to get the Flagstaff Cloud from California to Flagstaff by sunset.
The hunting trip
- William Branham was in Tucson, AZ on February 28, 1963. This has been confirmed by his daughter.
- On March 3, 1963, William Branham drove from Tucson to Houston, TX.
- On March 4, 1963, William Branham spoke in Houston (A Absolute, 63-0304).
- William Branham drove back to Tucson from Houston on March 5, 1963.
- William Branham drove to Rattlesnake Mesa, AZ with Fred Sothmann and Gene Norman on March 6, 1963.
- Rattlesnake Messa is approximately 200 miles south southeast of Flagstaff.
- On March 7, 1963, William Branham killed a javelina hog.
- The following afternoon, William Branham and his 2 companions returned to Tucson.
The Seven Seals sermon series
- William Branham preached a teaching series, "The Seven Seals", from March 17-24, 1963 in Jeffersonville.
- No mention is made of the Flagstaff Cloud in any of the sermons of the series.
The picture in Life Magazine
- The May edition of Life Magazine was published on May 17, 1963 (Vol. 54, No. 20) and contained an article on the Flagstaff Cloud entitled "...And a High Cloud Ring of Mystery."
William Branham's statements regarding the cloud
- The first mention of the Flagstaff Cloud by William Branham was on June 1, 1963 and William Branham states - "I looked to see when it was, and it was time, same, about day or two before, or day or two after I was up there. I looked where it was at. “Northeast of Flagstaff, or Prescott, which is below Flagstaff.” Well, that’s just where we was at, see, just exactly."
- On June 23, 1963, William Branham also stated - And just above me was the Angels of the Lord that sent Message back, for me to come here to break these Seals. ...And, now, I didn’t know at the time, that they were taking pictures of that, scientists was, as the Angels lowered themselves from Heaven, to bring the Message. ...And I didn’t know they were taking a picture of It, ’cause immediately I hurried East. But going back home to Tucson, there It was all through the papers that had been seen almost nation-wide, or plumb into Mexico, and all the Western States, and I think the Courier over here. It was on the Associated Press. How many saw, “A mysterious cloud in the sky”? You see the hands. And now the Life magazine picked it up. And I have the—the article here this morning, in the Life magazine here, to show. ...And then while I was praying on this subject, of wondering what would happen to me, and you know where I was at? North of Tucson, east of Flagstaff; just exactly, positionally, where I told you, months before it happened, I’d be standing. And exactly according to this paper here, and of papers and this magazine, and our own testimony, exactly where it taken place. God is perfect and cannot lie, and it will come to pass.
- On June 28, 1963, William Branham also mentioned where he was standing - "If you look in Life magazine, last month, you’ll see there. ...get The Seven Seals, and first get What Time Is It, Sirs? Listen to that spoke of, six months before it happened. And science is baffled. Standing right under where it was happening there. And told them, six months before, how that there would be seven Angels in a form of a constellation, and look like a pyramid, would drop down. And I would be standing north of Tucson, Arizona, and there would be a roar that would even shake the rocks from the mountains. Brother Fred Sothmann sitting there, who was standing with us, many of them, when it happened. Now science took the picture of It, you seen It, went on Associated Press. They didn’t know what It was. There is a Cloud hanging, twenty-six miles high. That’s fifteen miles, or twenty, above even where vapor is at. They don’t know what it’s all going about, and they are trying to investigate It. And there, right under It, I was standing. And those seven Angels roaring out their voices, of those Seven Seals, standing there. And the witness, three of us, as a witness of the things that was prophesied on the tape, Sirs, What Time Is It? And there now they’re trying to find out. It’s a mystery to them.
Gene Norman's statement about the hunting trip
- Gene Norman was hunting with William Branham on Rattlesnake Mesa in early March of 1963. Regarding their trip, he stated, “I hunted, oh, probably about a half hour, and that blast went off. It sounded like it was just right above my head. And, I looked up, and, I didn’t see nothing. Ah, yeah, I did, I seen something, but I didn’t see the cloud in the form that it shows in the picture. When I looked up I seen two long streaks like, ah, like a plane leaving a trail. Two streaks, with a great, miles one way and miles the other way. With a spot in between. A big spot, a space in between it.
- The March 1, 1963 edition of the Arizona Republic Newspaper includes an article called “Shaken Up By Sonic Booms”. This article tells of multiple sonic booms over the town of Springerville, Arizona that were being caused by aircraft from Williams Air Force Base (about 150 miles southwest of Springerville). Some of these booms were so loud they cracked windows in the town. Rattlesnake Mesa is about 88 miles southeast of the Williams AFB which a plane flying faster than the speed of sound could reach in under 7 minutes. This proves that sonic booms caused by military jets were common in the the area. It also provides confirmation that what Gene Norman heard and saw was likely caused by military aircraft.
Reasonable conclusions which can be drawn from the facts
- William Branham did not prophesy the appearance of the cloud.
- The cloud was so thin that it was only observable at sunset, when the sun illuminated the cloud as the sky was darkening. This explains why it only appeared at sunset. By the next day at sunset it would have dissipated.
- No one actually measured the wind speed on the specific path that the cloud from the exploded rocket took. It was close to being the right speed a few hundred miles south, so it is reasonable to conclude that the windspeed was sufficient to move it to Flagstaff on Feb 28, 1963.
- William Branham was in Tucson when the cloud appeared. He never indicated that he saw the cloud from Tucson.
- William Branham nor his 2 companions saw the cloud while they were hunting at Rattlesnake Mesa
- It appears that they did hear something akin to a sonic boom while they were hunting. Gene Norman's testimony appears to corroborate that what they heard was a sonic boom from a military aircraft.
- William Branham was completely unaware of the cloud until he was shown the picture in Life magazine.
- William Branham was lying when he stated he saw the cloud while he was hunting.
Evidence from the Branham Family
Rebekah Branham Smith, William Branham's daughter, also wrote on the Cloud and specifically details the timing of the events surrounding the appearance of the Cloud in the Only Believe Magazine, "Road to Sunset".
- Only Believe Magazine, "Road to Sunset", Page 1
- Only Believe Magazine, "Road to Sunset", Page 2
- Only Believe Magazine, "Road to Sunset", Page 3
- Only Believe Magazine, "Road to Sunset", Page 4
You are currently on the page that is in bold.
- William Branham, 63-0601 - Come, Follow Me, para. 14
- William Branham, 63-0623M - Standing In The Gap, para. 81-82,86
- William Branham, 63-0628M - O Lord, Just Once More, para. 42