Top 5 Failed Apocalyptic Predictions

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

5. 1910 Halley’s Comet

Even though Haley’s Comet had been visible many times before without any reported deaths, the passing of the comet on May 18, 1910 was thought to be a deathly threat to people because of poisonous gas coming from its tail. It is not only religious misapprehension that can cause apocalyptic panic. This may have been the first time science caused this grave fear.

4. Planetary Conjunction

Respected meteorologist Albert Porta predicted that on December 17, 1919 a conjunction of six planets would “cause a magnetic current that would pierce the sun, cause great explosions of flaming gas and eventually engulf the Earth.” This prediction led to some mob violence and a few suicides. It also caused Albert to lose his job as a “respected” meteorologist and he ended up working for a local paper writing the weather column.
3. The Jupiter Effect

The Jupiter Effect came out in 1974 and was written by two astrophysicists, John Gribben and Stephen Plagemann. It was about all nine planets aligning on March 10, 1982 to create a gravitational pull that would cause a huge increase in sunspots, solar, flares, and/or earthquakes. Many credophiles took this as a prediction. Although author Gribben even came out and said it was a theoretical “what if” festival without much of any real substance behind it, people believed it was going to happen and would not be deterred.
2. Hale-Bopp Comet

The comet Hale-Bopp was visible to the naked eye for a record 18 months. Amateur astronomer, Chuck Shramek “observed” a companion object following the comet. He then called the Art Bell radio show to report his findings. This led many to believe a variety of “end of the world” theories. The internet helped spread the word even faster. The Heaven’s Gate cult felt this was their signal to commit mass suicide in March of 1997. The cult believed the companion object was a spaceship coming to pick them up only to be reached by leaving their Earthly vessels behind.
1. Year 2k

Nostradamus, arguably the best-known seer of all time predicted July of 1999 to be the chosen date of Armageddon. A “great King of Terror” was to descend from the sky. When that didn’t come true the doomsayers began spreading rumors that the Cassini space probe was going to crash on Earth. The Cassini probe was filled with radioactive fuel. If this was spilled in a crash it would fulfill the prediction in Revelation 8:11 “And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the  third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.” And of course, no one can forget the years leading up to 2000 in which doomsayers the world over predicted catastrophe for man due to the Y2K bug.


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