The World Ended… No Wait, It Didn’t!

English: Skeptics descend on Hollywood Blvd Ma...
English: Skeptics descend on Hollywood Blvd May 21, 2011 for the end-of-the-world rapture prediction by Harold Camping. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another year, another Apocalypse, it seems.  People just generally seem to be in a hurry for the world to end.  I’ve had an interesting fascination with it, too – not the world ending, it will end when it end.  Instead, with the people who say it’s going to end, and with the amount of times it’s been said it’s going to end.  Some of the stuff I’ve researched over the years actually dates back to before the birth of Christ.

Of course, with media – online and offline – being what it is today, it’s easy for someone with little notoriety to come up with an end of the world scenario and tell others about.  Those who fear such things (or look forward to it) repeat it often, trying to prove it to be true with the worst possible evidence.  But, social networks help it spread, and gain the attention of mass media, who pump up the volume on it, and in turn you hear more about it on social networks.  It’s a self-feeding frenzy of stupid predictions.

I also started wondering:  how many times, within my lifetime, has the world been foretold to end and failed to?  Well, there’s a website for that, and here’s the list of the ones I’ve survived so far:

2012, December 21

The so-called Mayan apocalypse at the start of the 14th b’ak’tun. The Earth would be destroyed by an asteroid, Nibiru, or some other interplanetary object; an alien invasion; or a supernova. Scientists from NASA, along with expert archeologists stated that none of those events were possible.


2012, June 30

José Luis de Jesús

José Luis de Jesús predicted that the world’s governments and economies would fail on this day, and that he and his followers would undergo a transformation that would allow them to fly and walk through walls.


2012, May 27

Ronald Weinland

Ronald Weinland stated Jesus Christ would return and the world would end on this day.


2011, October 21

Harold Camping

When his original date failed to come about, Camping revised his prediction and said that on May 21, a “Spiritual Judgment” took place, and that both the physical Rapture and the end of the world would occur on October 21, 2011.


2011, September 29

Ronald Weinland

Ronald Weinland stated Jesus Christ would return on this day. He prophesied nuclear explosions in U.S. port cities by July 2008 as the blowing of the Second Trumpet of Revelation. After his prophecy failed to come true he changed the date for the return of Jesus Christ to May 27, 2012.


2011, August-October


There were fears amongst the public that Comet Elenin travelling almost directly between Earth and the Sun would cause disturbances to the Earth’s crust, causing massive earthquakes and tidal waves. Others predicted that Elenin would collide with Earth on October 16. Scientists tried to calm fears by stating that none of these events were possible.


2011, May 21

Harold Camping

Camping predicted that the Rapture and devastating earthquakes would occur on May 21, 2011 with God taking approximately 3% of the world’s population into Heaven, and that the end of the world would occur five months later on October 21.



Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn

This magic order predicted the world would end in this year.


2008, September 10 – c.


A number of groups claimed that activation of the Large Hadron Collider experiment would bring about the end of the world through the production of planet-eating micro black holes or strangelets. Similar claims were made about 2010, March 30, when the collider reached 7 TeV, half of its maximum energy. See safety of particle collisions at the Large Hadron Collider.


2007, April 29

Pat Robertson

In his 1990 book The New Millennium, Robertson suggests this date as the day of Earth’s destruction.


2006, September 12

House of Yahweh

Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer, The House of Yahwah, Abilene, Texas in the Feb. 2006 newsletter predicted the start of nuclear war on September 12, 2006.


2006, June 6

Various Christians

Fears about the date being 06/06/06 led some people to believe the Antichrist would come on this day, as 666 is said to be the number of the Antichrist.


2003, November 29

Aum Shinrikyo

This Japanese cult predicted the world would be destroyed by a nuclear war between October 30 and November 29, 2003.

2003, May

Nancy Lieder

Lieder originally predicted the date for the Nibiru collision as May 2003. According to her website, aliens in the Zeta Reticuli star system told her through messages via a brain implant of a planet which would enter our solar system and cause a pole shift on earth that would destroy most of humanity.



Tynetta Muhammad

This columnist for the Nation of Islam predicted the end would occur in this year.


2000, October 9

Grant Jeffrey

This bible teacher suggested this date as the “probable termination point for the ‘last days.'”


2000, May 5

Nuwaubian Nation

This movement claimed that the planetary lineup would cause a “star holocaust,” pulling the planets toward the sun on this day.


2000, April 6

James Harmston

The leader of the True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days predicted the Second Coming of Christ would occur on this day.


2000 – c.

Peter Olivi

This 13th-century theologian wrote that the Antichrist would come to power between 1300 and 1340, and the Last Judgement would take place around 2000.


2000 – c.

Helena Blavatsky

The founder of Theosophy foresaw the end of the world in this year.


2000 – c.

Isaac Newton

Newton predicted that Christ’s Millennium would begin in the year 2000 in his book Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John.

2000 – c.

Ruth Montgomery

This self-described Christian psychic predicted the Earth’s axis would shift and the Antichrist would reveal himself in this year.


2000 – c.

Edgar Cayce

This psychic predicted the Second Coming would occur this year.


2000 – c.

Sun Myung Moon

The founder of the Unification Church predicted the Kingdom of Heaven would be established in this year.


2000 – c.

Ed Dobson

This pastor predicted the end would occur in his book The End: Why Jesus Could Return by A.D. 2000.


2000 – c.

Lester Sumrall

This minister predicted the end in his book I Predict 2000.


2000 – c.

Jonathan Edwards

This 18th-century preacher predicted that Christ’s thousand-year reign would begin in this year.


2000, January 1


Predictions of a Y2k computer bug were to crash many computers and would malfunction causing major catastrophes worldwide and that society would cease to function.


2000, January 1

Credonia Mwerinde, Joseph Kibweteere

An estimated 778 followers of this Ugandan religious movement perished in a devastating fire and a series of poisonings and killings that were either a group suicide or an orchestrated mass murder by group leaders after their predictions of the apocalypse failed to come about.


2000, January 1

Jerry Falwell

Falwell foresaw God pouring out his judgement on the world on this day.


2000, January 1

Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins

These Christian authors stated the Y2K bug would trigger global economic chaos, which the Antichrist would use to rise to power. As the date approached however they changed their minds.


1999, December 31

Hon-Ming Chen

Hon-Ming Chen’s cult God’s Salvation Church, now relocated to upstate New York, preached that a nuclear holocaust would destroy Europe and Asia sometime between October 1 and December 31, 1999.


1999, August 18

The Amazing Criswell

The predicted date of the end of the world, according to this psychic well known for false predictions.


1999, July


A prediction attributed to Nostradamus stating the “King of Terror” would come from the sky in “1999 and seven months” led to fears of the end.



Seventh-day Adventists

Some literature distributed by Seventh-day Adventists predicted the end in this year.



Charles Berlitz

This linguist predicted the end would occur in this year. He did not predict how it would occur, stating it may involve nuclear devastation, asteroid impact, pole shift or other earth changes.


1998, March 31

Hon-Ming Chen

Hon-Ming Chen, leader of the Taiwanese cult God’s Salvation Church, or Chen Tao  “The True Way” claimed that God would come to Earth in a flying saucer at 10:00 am on this date. Moreover, God would have the same physical appearance as Chen himself. On March 25, God was to appear on Channel 18 on every TV set in the US. Chen chose to base his cult in Garland, Texas, because he thought it sounded like “God’s Land.”


1997, October 23

James Ussher

This 17th-century Irish Archbishop predicted this date to be 6000 years since Creation, and therefore the end of the world.


1997, March 26

Marshall Applewhite

Applewhite, leader of the Heaven’s Gate cult, claimed that a spacecraft was trailing the Comet Hale-Bopp and argued that suicide was “the only way to evacuate this Earth” so that the cult members’ souls could board the supposed craft and be taken to another “level of existence above human”. Applewhite and 38 of his followers committed mass suicide.


1996, December 17

Sheldon Nidle

California psychic Sheldon Nidle predicted that the world would end on this date, with the arrival of 16 million space ships and a host of angels.


1995, March 31

Harold Camping

Camping’s fourth predicted date for the end. This would be Camping’s last prediction until 2011.


1994, September/October

Harold Camping

Camping predicted the Rapture would occur on September 6, 1994. When it failed to occur he revised the date to September 29 and then to October 2.


1994, May 2

Neal Chase

This Bahá’í sect leader predicted that New York would be destroyed by a nuclear bomb on March 23, 1994, and the Battle of Armageddon would take place 40 days later.



David Berg

Berg predicted the tribulation would start in 1989 and that the Second Coming would take place in 1993.


1992, October 28

Lee Jang Rim

Lee, the leader of the Dami Mission in Seoul, predicted the Rapture on this day. South Korean officials took elaborate precautions against a mass suicide, posting 1,500 riot officers to monitor about a thousand followers who had gathered in the group’s headquarters to await the Rapture. Their efforts were successful, although four group members had committed suicide in previous days.


1992, September 28

Rollen Stewart

This born-again Christian predicted the Rapture would take place on this day.



Louis Farrakhan

The leader of the Nation of Islam declared that the Gulf War would be the “War of Armageddon which is the final war.”


1990, April 23

Elizabeth Clare Prophet

Prophet predicted a nuclear war would start on this day, with the world ending 12 years later, leading her followers to stockpile a shelter with supplies and weapons. Later, after Prophet’s prediction did not come to pass, she was diagnosed with epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.


1989, September 30

Edgar C. Whisenant

After all his 1988 predictions failed to come true, Whisenant revised his prediction date to this day.


1988, September/October

Edgar C. Whisenant

Whisenant predicted in his book 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Could Be in 1988 that the Rapture of the Christian Church would occur between 11 and 13 September 1988. After his September predictions failed to come true, Whisenant revised his prediction date to October 3.



Hal Lindsey

Lindsey suggested that the Rapture would take this year, reasoning that it was 40 years (one Biblical generation) after Israel gained statehood.


1987, August 17

José Argüelles

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.


1987, April 29

Leland Jensen

Jensen predicted that Halley’s Comet would be pulled into Earth’s orbit on April 29, 1988, causing widespread destruction.



Noah Hutchings

The president of the Southwest Radio Church suggested that the Rapture would take place “possibly in 1987 or 1988.”



Lester Sumrall

This minister predicted the end in this year, even writing a book about it entitled I Predict 1985.


1984, October 2

Jehovah’s Witnesses

Another prediction of the end from the Jehovah’s Witnesses.


1982, October/November

Pat Robertson

In late 1976 Robertson predicted that the end of the world was coming in October or November 1982.


1982, June 21

Benjamin Creme

Creme took out an ad in the Los Angeles stating the Second Coming would occur in June 1982 with the Maitreya announcing it on worldwide television.


1982, March 10

John Gribbin, Stephen Plagemann

Stated in their book The Jupiter Effect that combined gravitational forces of lined up planets would create a number of catastrophes, including a great earthquake on the San Andreas Fault.



Chuck Smith

The founder of Calvary Chapel predicted the generation of 1948 would be the last generation, and that the world would end by 1981 at the latest.



Leland Jensen

In 1978 Jensen predicted that there would be a nuclear disaster in 1980, followed by two decades of conflict, culminating in God’s Kingdom being established on earth.



Hal Lindsey

Lindsey book The 1980s: Countdown to Armageddon stated “the decade of the 1980s could very well be the last decade of history as we know it” and that the U.S. could be “destroyed by a surprise Soviet nuclear attack.”. The book strongly suggests that the 1980s would see the biblical events of tribulation and end times come to pass.



John Wroe

The founder of the Christian Israelite Church predicted this year for Armageddon to occur.



William M. Branham

This Christian minister predicted the Rapture would occur no later than 1977.



Herbert W. Armstrong

Armstrong’s fourth and final false prediction.



Jehovah’s Witnesses

In 1966 Jehovah’s Witnesses estimated it would be 6000 years since man’s creation in the fall of 1975 and it would be “appropriate” for Christ’s thousand-year reign to begin at that time. These claims were repeated throughout the late 1960s and in 1974 they reaffirmed there was just a short time remaining before “the wicked world’s end”.


1973, January 11-21

David Berg

Berg, the leader of Children of God predicted that there would be a colossal doomsday event heralded by Comet Kohoutek.



Herbert W. Armstrong

The second of three revised dates from Armstrong after his 1936 and 1943 predictions failed to come true.


The World Ended... No Wait, It Didn't! 1

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