The end of the world is nigh – again.
Doomsday prophet Harold Camping is once more predicting an apocalypse, and apparently we don't have long left. The 90-year-old California radio mogul has pointed to October 21 on the calendar, by which date he reckons it will “probably” all be over.
But this time around he is not warning of souls burning up and ascensions to heaven from the sidewalks of Manhattan. Instead Camping, the owner of the Family Radio Network, believes it will be a much quieter affair.
“I really am beginning to think as I restudied these matters that there's going to be no big display of any kind. The end is going to come very, very quietly, probably within the next month. It will happen, that is, by October 21," he stated in a recent radio recording.
Camping became infamous earlier this year for incorrectly heralding the arrival of the Rapture on May 21. Followers across the U.S. spent millions on advertising campaigns warning people of the eventual non-event.
Despite admitting that he was “flabbergasted” that the world still existed, Camping insisted his erroneous warning had in fact been correct - but that only a spiritual "Judgment Day" had occurred.
Nonetheless, reports suggest Camping didn't take the whole episode too well and suffered a stroke in June. But he has made a partial recovery since and is now back to broadcasting – until Oct. 21, of course.
How do these prophesies usually get started
Unusual planetary alignments are a common culprit when it comes to doomsday prophecies (along with comets or asteroids). The technical term is Syzgy, and it narrowly refers to a three-body system -- usually the sun, the earth, and either the moon or another planet in the solar system that is either in conjunction or opposition to the other bodies.
But in the broader sense, it's applied to any unusual conjunction of planets. The term might be familiar to fans of The X-Files; it was the title of an early episode in the series, where a key plot rested on an unusual planetary alighment.
So these kinds of predictions are common; they're also usually wrong, and this year's motley collection of Ig Nobel doomsday prophets is no exception. I suppose they can take comfort in the fact that they're in very good company. Here's just a sampling of famous failed Doomsday predictions from eras past, most of which sought to place the blame squarely on the cosmos.
The five biggest predictions for the end of the world between 1666 - 2012
Mother Shipton's Greatest Prophesy
"Carriages without horses shall go,
And accidents fill the world with woe.
Around the world thoughts shall fly
In the twinkling of an eye.
The world upside down shall be
And gold be found at the root of a tree.
Through hills man shall ride,
And no horse be at his side.
Under water men shall walk,
Shall ride, shall sleep, shall talk.
In the air men shall be seen,
In white, in black, in green;
Iron in the water shall float,
As easily as a wooden boat.
Gold shall be found and shown
In a land that's now not known.
Fire and water shall wonders do,
England shall at last admit a foe.
The world to an end shall come,
In eighteen hundred and eighty one."
Source: News Discovery