posted by GeoT
(2012) “I’ve got kids; this really scares the hell out of me. Is there something I should be doing? Is this real?”
By Robert Roy Britt There’s no shortage of end-of-the-world prophecies and hoaxes, but the latest one has a slick twist. Or, some might say, a sick twist.
In fact, just by writing about it, I’m playing into the hands of a big media company that hopes I will write about it, or at least pass the word and a link, so that they can ultimately make money. Rather, I’ll try to keep a few people from being frightened.
The story starts with Mike Brown, an astronomer at Caltech who has found more planet-like objects in our outer solar system than anyone.
Just like this reporter, Brown gets a lot emails from people worried the world will end in 2012. So many, in fact, that Brown has come to call them “The 2012 People.” He’s long assumed they’re rather gullible worry warts. His view just changed a little.
The concerns often stem from bogus information about a fantasy planet dubbed Nibiru which, the story goes, will swing into the inner solar system, smack Earth in 2012, and bring an end to it all. (Brown assures us there is no such planet, and no such looming scenario known to science.)
The emails have been increasing of late. And recently one concerned citizen went a step farther and called and left Brown a voice mail: “I’ve got kids; this really scares the hell out of me. Is there something I should be doing? Is this real?”
The planet hunter reassured the man that it was all just a hoax. The man was grateful.
But the man got Brown’s attention.
2012 The Movie
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10 Failed Doomsday Predictions
The Millerites, April 23, 1843
A New England farmer named William Miller, after several years of very careful study of his Bible, concluded that God’s chosen time to destroy the world could be divined from a strict literal interpretation of scripture. As he explained to anyone who would listen, the world would end some time between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844. He preached and published enough to eventually lead thousands of followers (known as Millerites) who decided that the actual date was April 23, 1843. Many sold or gave away their possessions, assuming they would not be needed; though when April 23 arrived (but Jesus didn’t) the group eventually disbanded—some of them forming what is now the Seventh Day Adventists.
Nostradamus, August 1999
The heavily obfuscated and metaphorical writings of Michel de Nostredame have intrigued people for over 400 years. His writings, the accuracy of which relies heavily upon very flexible interpretations, have been translated and re-translated in dozens of different versions. One of the most famous quatrains read, “The year 1999, seventh month / From the sky will come great king of terror.” Many Nostradamus devotees grew concerned that this was the famed prognosticator’s vision of Armageddon.
May 5, 2000
In case the Y2K bug didn’t do us in, global catastrophe was assured by Richard Noone, author of the 1997 book “5/5/2000 Ice: the Ultimate Disaster.” According to Noone, the Antarctic ice mass would be three miles thick by May 5, 2000 — a date in which the planets would be aligned in the heavens, somehow resulting in a global icy death (or at least a lot of book sales). Perhaps global warming kept the ice age at bay.
Heaven’s Gate, 1997
When comet Hale-Bopp appeared in 1997, rumors surfaced that an alien spacecraft was following the comet — covered up, of course, by NASA and the astronomical community. Though the claim was refuted by astronomers (and could be refuted by anyone with a good telescope), the rumors were publicized on Art Bell’s paranormal radio talk show “Coast to Coast AM.” These claims inspired a San Diego UFO cult named Heaven’s Gate to conclude that the world would end soon. The world did indeed end for 39 of the cult members, who committed suicide on March 26, 1997.