Failed Doomsday Predictions – Business Insider

You have exactly 14 days until the end of the world, according to ancient predictions based on the Mayan calendar.

NASA and the U.S. government have made clear that Apocalypse rumors are false. Thought it has not stopped people from preparing for Earth’s imminent destruction.

Keep in mind that doomsday theorists and religious sects have been predicting The End for thousands of years.

Fortunately, all of these dates have come and gone uneventfully.

To maintain your faith that this will also be the case in two weeks when the 21st rolls around, we’ve compiled 10 other dates when the world was supposed to end, but didn’t.

1000 A.D.

Christian authorities believed the new millennium would be the Second Coming of Jesus.

In anticipation of his return, many people disposed of their belongings, left their jobs, and abandoned their homes.

When the date came and went with no apocalypse, folks who thought the end was near realized they had miscalculated Jesus’ age and decided the world would actually end in 1033 A.D.

This, as we know, also turned out be a vast miscalculation.

Feb. 1, 1524

London astrologers freaked everybody out when they interpreted the alignment of planets in the constellation Pisces (a fish) to mean the world would be wiped out in a massive flood.

Tens of thousands of people sought refuge on higher ground and some people built arks.

The Great Flood never came.

May 19, 1780

On May 19, 1780, a heavy gloom fell over New England prompting a religious group known as the Shakers to believe Judgment Day had come.

Though the unusual blackened sky, later called the “Dark Day,” was most likely caused by a mix of smoke from forest fires and heavy fog, it sent the religious sect on a mission to spread their message of celibacy as the path to redemption.

March 21, 1843 — March 21, 1844

William Miller tricked thousands of followers, or Millerites, when he declared that the world would end between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844.

When the year rolled over and nothing happened, the date was moved to Oct. 22, 1844.

After Jesus failed to arrive for the second time (known as the “Great Disappointment“), some Millerites left Miller’s religion and went on to form the Seventh Day Adventists.

May 19, 1910


During the early 20th century, astronomers learned that comet tails contained a poisonous gas called cyanogen. The discovery sparked widespread panic in 1910 when people learned that Earth would pass through the long tail of Halley’s Comet.

Although scientists agreed that Earthlings were not in danger, newspapers, including the venerable New York Times played up superstitions, convincing the public that the end was near.

Of course, there was nothing to worry about. The tail’s noxious gas would never be able to get through Earth’s atmosphere, and there was not enough gas to cause harm in the first place.


In 1876, Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, predicted that Christ would return in 1914.

Since that prophecy failed, the society has predicted at least seven other dates when Armageddon would occur.

The world still hasn’t ended and the group is now best known for distributing religious pamphlets door-to-door and refusing blood transfusions.

1936, 1943, 1972, and 1975

The founder of the Worldwide Church of God, Herbert W. Armstrong, told members of his church that the Rapture would take place in 1936, and that only they would saved. After the prophecy failed, he changed the date three more times.

March 10, 1982

In 1974, astrophysicists John Gribbin and Stephen Plagemann published The Jupiter Effect, which claimed that on March 10, 1982, the planets would align on the same side of the Sun creating gravitational effects that would lead to catastrophic earthquakes.

It goes without saying, the book was eventually followed by The Jupiter Effect Reconsidered.

Y2K (Jan. 1, 2000)

Nobody was really sure what would happen on January 1, 2000, except that it necessitated stockpiling bottled water, D batteries, and guns.

The fear was that computers would not understand the year “00,” reading it as 1900 instead of 2000. Presumably, this would cause the technological universe to collapse.

The millennium came. Everyone was fine. A few people were disappointed about spending their life-savings on a doomsday bunker.

May 21, 2011

Harold Camping, president of the Family Radio Network, created a lot of hoopla last spring when he predicted that world would end in a series of rolling earthquakes known as “The Rapture.”

After May 21 came and went sans any signs of hell-fire and brimstone, Camping pushed The End back to October 21.

No word yet on why we’re all still here, although the 90-year-old preacher has decided to stop making predictions. Camping resigned from his post shortly after the second failed doomsday forecast.

via Failed Doomsday Predictions – Business Insider.

via Failed Doomsday Predictions – Business Insider.

About Old Boy

Love the past and the future but live in the present

Posted on December 16, 2012, in Religion, SCIENCE and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Charles Taze Russell was not the founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses; he was a non-sectarian who believed that one could be a member of the true church irrespective of denominational lines. He did not believe in such an authoritarian and sectarian organization as the JWs.

    Charles Taze Russell was NOT expecting Christ to return in 1914; in 1876, he accepted Barbour’s conclusion that Christ had already returned in 1874. Russell died in 1916 still with the belief that Christ had returned in 1874.

    Russell did not believe in the Armageddon end of the world that the JWs preach. He was not expecting the end of the world, nor was he expecting doomsday for 1914. Russell was expecting that the time of trouble was to begin in 1914, and that it was last for some time after 1914.

    Charles Taze Russell never said anything about forbidding blood transfusions.

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