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Monday, February 13, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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"Holy" chip reveals itself to woman on flight

Knight Ridder Newspapers

PALMETTO, Fla. — Elizabeth Gould said a strange sensation overwhelmed her while she was eating from a bag of potato chips during a flight from New York to Florida.

She paused, stopped eating and looked at the potato chip in her hand.

The chip bears the image of the Virgin Mary, Gould said, and passengers on the flight agreed.

She spread out the remainder of the chips on her tray, but none looked like anything more than, well, a potato chip. So she wrapped the roughly quarter-sized chip in a napkin, tucked it in the bag and held on to it.

A friend she showed the chip to said it looks kind of like a painting of the blue Madonna displayed at the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Fla. Gould brought the chip to The Bradenton Herald recently along with the other remaining chips, still in the original bag.

The chip does have an image of a head and partial body. The head is slightly tilted and the shape is surrounded by a white substance, resembling a robe of sorts.

Some of the other chips have traces of the white, but not as pronounced as the "holy" chip.

"When I saw this," Gould said, "I felt like she was looking at me."

Gould, a Palmetto resident, flew JetBlue Airways to New York over the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend to visit her sister, she said. She got the bag of Terra Blues chips from a passenger sitting next to her. The Terra Blues chips are the official chips of JetBlue Airways, according to the Terra Blues and JetBlue Web sites.

While touring New York City, Gould said an indescribable feeling swept over her as she neared the remains of the World Trade Center towers. She said she encountered the same feeling while on the plane eating JetBlue's complimentary bag of blue-colored potato chips.

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"That's what made me look at the potato chip," she said, "I think my words were, 'This looks like the Virgin Mary!' "

This isn't the first story of claims of holy images appearing on food.

Probably the most famous case happened about two years ago. GoldenPalace.com, an online casino, paid $28,000 for a grilled-cheese sandwich allegedly bearing the image of Mary.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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