To the God-fearing people of Cochabamba, it was a miracle, a message from God.
A statue of Jesus Christ weeping blood… and crying tears.
This strange and inexplicable happening in the tiny Bolivian township is one of several so-called miracles investigated by reporter Mike Willesee in a special Sunday Night report.
For Mike, it was an epic 20-year journey for the truth, a quest that took him around the world to exotic and dangerous locations.
The mystery of Bolivia’s weeping statue of Cochabamba began on March 11, 1995, when Silvia Arevalo purchased a cheap, plaster bust of Jesus Christ to display in her home.
That night, she invited her family to pray in front of the statue, among them Silvia’s daughter, Kim, who was 17 at the time.
“We were witnesses of how the statue started weeping for the first time,” she told Sunday Night.
“I was in between excited and scared. My heart started beating very fast. I started sweating. I didn’t know if I should laugh, if it was a good sign, if it was a bad sign.
“All I know is that I found myself on my knees and started crying myself.”
During the next 48 hours, the statue also began to seep blood.
“The first time I saw the statue bleed, that is when I truly felt scared, I felt like God was warning us about something.”
Kim claimed the statue has cried and bled up to 1000 times since 1995.
With a team of scientists, Mike took samples of blood from the statue to be tested in forensic laboratories.
The statue itself was also taken to undergo scanning, to find any cracks or signs of tampering.
The results, surprisingly, came back clear. There was no tampering.
“This is the second time we do this scan [sic]. The first was 20 years ago. And the result is the same, we don’t see anything,” radiologist Alberto Darras said.
“We are sure that we don’t have any trick here [sic].”
The deep red liquid oozing from the statue’s face was sent to labs in Italy, America, and Australia, and each test yielded the same results.
The substance was confirmed to be human blood, but curiously, each lab failed to extract any further DNA.
Forensic pathologist Dr Robert Lawrence remained skeptical of any supernatural element.
“I would suspect that it somehow had been meddled with,” he said. “That would be my thought, that this was a deception of some kind.”
But Kim stands by her story and said there’s a reason why a DNA profile cannot be obtained.
“Of course there is no explanation. If it comes from God they are not going to be able to find anything,” she said.