- (Photo: Reuters / Romeo Ranoco)
Although Christian radio broadcaster Harold Camping has made headlines once again for his failed doomsday prophecy of the world ending on May 21, 2011, he is definitely not the only figure who has falsely prophesied Christ's Second Coming. Here is a list of some of the top failed doomsday prophecies throughout history, according to Ranker.com.
In the second century, a prophet named Montanus, who converted to Christianity and then broke away from it, incurred a cult following after he proclaimed God told him the end of the world was near. Along with two other prophetesses, he set out to purify his followers by denying them material possessions and making them fast. Although his predictions never came through, the cult remained for centuries after.
In 1814, a 60-year-old virgin named Joanna Southcott from Devon, England claimed she was the woman described in Revelation as "clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars," and that she was to deliver the next Christ. She claimed that she was pregnant with the Messiah and that on the day she was to give birth, Christmas Day, the world would end. She failed to deliver on that day, and in fact died shortly after.
In 1980, televangelist Pat Robertson said on "The 700 Club" that by 1982, God would bring judgement forth on the world and that it would be the beginning of the "nightmare years," or years of tribulation, as referred to in the Book of Revelation.
In 1986, author Richard W. Noone published a book entitled Ice: The Ultimate Disaster in which he predicted that a cataclysmic shifting of ice towards the equator would take place on May 5, 2000, because of a change in the planet's alignment with the sun and moon. That date was supposedly to be the start of a new ice age.
In 1999, rumors of computers completely shutting down in the year 2000 and the world falling into chaos had some in a panic. A Time magazine article featured the Eckharts, a family that went to extreme measures to make sure they were prepared for the event. They stocked up on food, weapons, and made sure they learned some medicine in case of emergencies.
Camping's latest prediction is that the world will end this Friday, Oct. 21, 2011, but with his history, as well as that of former prophecies, not many are beginning to panic just yet.