The mirage analogy is not perfect. Yes, consciousness seems to be needed for someone to perceive a mirage. This is where the analogy breaks down. With consciousness, consciousness actually is the illusion to/of itself. It’s the illusion of separation. There is no separation. There is no consciousness, just as there is no water in a mirage. Everything is exactly as it seems except that there is no witness. It’s very obvious, even in hindsight, when it’s revealed.