Elizabeth Clare Prophet warned that Dec. 31, 1989, would be the world's last New Year's Eve. Nuclear war and economic collapse would occur when Russia attacked the United States. Prophet gathered 2,000 followers on a 12,000-acre ranch near Yellowstone National Park in Montana, where they built underground shelters to be safe from nuclear incoming. Many of the group closed bank accounts and paid $10,000 to guarantee themselves a haven underground. They called their enclave Glastonbury, after the place in Britain said to be the sanctuary of King Arthur. They also ate macrobiotically and wore purple on Thursdays.
Halley's, a regular returnee every 76 years for the last 4.6 billion years. Halley's, last here in 1986, has been an ill omen for centuries. In 1910 it was suggested that all life would end when Earth passed through the comet's tail because the tail was made of deadly space gas. Thousands rushed out to purchase newly marketed anti-comet pills and gas masks.
Out in Oklahoma a group called the Select Followers determined that the only way to save the planet was to reach back to a tried-and-true method from another time and sacrifice a virgin. A candidate was actually chosen until police got wind of the plan and stepped in.
Paris designer Paco Rabanne, modeling himself more on Descartes than Chanel, said he had interpreted Nostradamus, dead since 1566 but still cited for his prescience. Rabanne said he learned that Paris would be destroyed at 11:22 a.m. on Aug. 11, 1999. The City of Light would be extinguished in flames by the crash of Russia's Mir space station during that day's solar eclipse, Rabanne claimed. A poll showed 10 percent believed this. Rabanne fled to Brittany. A group of 1,000 unfortunates left behind gathered Aug. 11 at his Left Bank boutique and counted down to 11:22 a.m. ``Caramba! No Paco-lypse,'' shouted the champagne-sipping celebrants as the appointed hour came and went. Rabanne, perhaps prodded by his bankers or his PR people, recanted. ``I made a massive mistake, a huge blunder, and now I publicly apologize,'' he said, just back from the country. ``I wish I'd never opened my mouth.'' ``You know, I don't smoke, don't take drugs and I don't even drink,'' said the 65-year-old Rabanne. He did admit, however, that he is the reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian priest and an 18th-century prostitute in the court of Louis XV. GARLAND, TEXAS, was the locale chosen for Chen Heng-ming who went there with 150 followers of God's Salvation Church. Chen, who said Garland sounded like Godland to him, predicted that at 10 a.m. March 31, 1998, God would descend via a flying saucer and save those who repented their sins. The rest would fry. Touchdown was to be at 3513 Ridgedale Drive in Garland, Texas, 75041. ``I guarantee this on my life,'' Chen said. He promised a sign would come at 12:01 a.m. on March 24 via his television. When that didn't happen, Chen told his followers to regard his forecast for the 31st as ``nonsense.'' Chen moved on to Lockport, N.Y., and stayed in the doomsday biz. The new predicted final, final end is ``sometime late in 1999.''
According to Isaac Asimov's Book of Facts (1979), an Assyrian clay tablet dating to approximately 2800 BC was unearthed bearing the words "Our earth is degenerate in these latter days. There are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end. Bribery and corruption are common." This is one of the earliest examples of the perception of moral decay in society being interpreted as a sign of the imminent end.
1500BCE Many historians trace the apocalyptic world view back to the Persian prophet Zoroaster, who spoke of a cosmic battle between good and evil ending in a new, perfect world for humanity. TheZoraster tradition survives today in Iran and as the basis of Parsiism in India.
St. Martin of Tours (ca. 316-397) wrote, "There is no doubt that the Antichrist has already been born. Firmly established already in his early years, he will, after reaching maturity, achieve supreme power."
Lotharingian computists foresaw the End on Friday, March 25, 970, when the Annunciation and Good Friday fell on the same day. They believed that it was on this day that Adam was created, Isaac was sacrificed, the Red Sea was parted, Jesus was conceived, and Jesus was crucified. Therefore, it naturally followed that the End must occur on this day!
John of Toledo, after calculating that a planetary alignment would occur in Libra on September 23, 1186 (Julian calendar), circulated a letter (known as the "Letter of Toledo") warning that the world was to going to be destroyed on this date, and that only a few people would survive.
French astrologer Pierre Turrel announced four different possible dates for the end of the world, using four different calculation methods. The dates were 1537, 1544, 1801 and 1814.
Martin Luther believed that the End would occur no later than 1600.
Nov 13, 1900 Over 100 members of the Russian cult Brothers and Sisters of the Red Death committed suicide, expecting the world to end on this day.
Dec 17, 1919 According to meteorologist Albert Porta, a conjunction of six planets on this date would cause a magnetic current to "pierce the sun, cause great explosions of flaming gas, and eventually engulf the Earth." Panic erupted in many countries around the world because of this prediction, and some even committed suicide.
In 1950, a young Billy Graham stated "We may have another year, maybe two years. Then I believe it is going to be over."
Feb 4, 1962 A planetary alignment on this day was to bring destruction to the world. Incidentally, the Antichrist was supposed to have been born the following day, according to pop psychic/astrologer Jeane Dixon.
Aug 20, 1967 The beginning of the third woe of the Apocalypse, during which the southeastern US would be destroyed by a Soviet nuclear attack, according to UFO prophet George Van Tassel, who claimed to have channeled an alien named Ashtar.
Jun 25, 1982 Benjamin Creme, British artist and founder of Tara Ceneter, on April 25, 1982 took out an ad in the Los Angeles Times proclaiming "THE CHRIST IS NOW HERE", referring to the coming of Maitreya within 2 months. Creme supposedly received the messages from Maitreya through "channeling."
Fall 1982 In the late '70s, Pat Robertson predicted the end of the world would occur in the fall of 1982. "I guarantee you by the end of 1982 there is going to be a judgment on the world," he said in a May, 1980 broadcast of the 700 Club.
Aug 17, 1987 The "Harmonic Convergence." New Age author José Argüelles claimed that Armageddon would take place unless 144,000 people gathered in certain places in the world in order to "resonate in harmony" on this day. Apparently, their resonating succeeded: we're still here.
Dec 17, 1996 Famed psychic Sheldon Nidle predicted that the world would end on this date, with the arrival of millions of space ships.
Mar 26, 1997 Heavens gate suicides. The suicides occurred between March 24 and March 26, during a window of time that the cultists had predicted a UFO trailing behind Comet Hale-Bopp would pick up their souls and save them from the imminent Apocalypse. Notice the similarity between their prophecy and Schiller's one above? Both claim that an object is following the comet. This rumor started when amateur astronomer Chuck Shramek mistook a star for what he thought was a "Saturn-like object" following the comet. With the help of the Internet and the Art Bell show, the false rumor that a UFO or asteroid was trailing the comet spread like wildfire.
Nov 7, 1999 Internet doomsday sayer Richard Hoagland claims that an "inside source" called him anonymously and warned of three objects that will strike the earth on this day. The objects were supposedly seen during the August 11 eclipse. For an example of the extent that Y2K doomsday paranoia can grip someone, take a gander at Gary Norths page.