The staining on this window is among the many that pop up throughout history and are called miracles because of the images that are seen. This picture is of a building in Clearwater, Florida, on which the form of the Virgin Mary appeared in 1996. This image alone managed to attract about a million visitors over several years, even though it was never sanctioned by the local diocese. During that time, the building was purchased by a Chatholic revivalism group based in Ohio. The group was called the Shepherds of Christ Ministries and they dubbed the building the "Virgin Mary Building." On March 1, 2004, a vandal broke the uppermost panes with a slingshot. A teenager confessed, saying he used ball bearings but that he was acting out of personal frustration, so he was not charged with a hate crime.
Joe Nickell visited the building later in March with Dr. Gary Posner. Dr. Posner had written an article about the building, and a local chemist, Charles Robert, had examined the windows. Roberts said that the colors were due to a mixture of water deposits and weathering. There is a sprinkler located where the Virgin Mary was, and as Nickell and his group observed the other windows, they noticed more patterns with sprinklers near them too. One wall on the west side was even dubbed the "Buddah." The photograph is on a card that is about 3 inches tall and about 2 1/2 inches across. (See Gary P. Posner, "Tampa Bay's 'Virgin Mary Apparition,'" Free Inquiry, Spring 1997, pp. 4, 6.)