There are more failed doomsday predictions than what you will find below. But don't let the number of failures lead you into a false sense of security. The people below got it wrong because they did not heed the biblical words which declare that no one knows the day or hour. See our 2012 Bible Prophecy page for more on this.
You can be sure that when that someone says they know they day and hour, their end of the world doomsday prediction is doomed to fail. They will be next on a growing list of failed end of the world doomsday predictions.
Will people learn from this? It appears not.
Even after failing in their end of the world doomsday predictions, they try again... amazingly, some of their followers even come with them.
79 - Eruption of Mt. Vesuvius
The Roman philosopher Seneca predicted a smokey end of the world picture when he said that everything that was presently admired in the world would burn in a “universal fire” that would bring about a “new, just and happy world” (quotes from the book Apocalypses). He died in 65 AD. When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, Romans saw this as a fulfillment of Seneca’s words.
156 - Montanus
In the second century, around 156 (some say as late as 172) Montanus who had converted to Christianity from the Oriental ecstatic cult of Cybele, the mother goddess of fertility, claimed to be speaking as the voice of the Holy Spirit. He started prophesying about the end of the world and the imminent return of Christ. He was soon joined by two prophetesses who left their husbands. The community he formed abandoned marriage for a celibate life, gave up worldly possessions, practiced rigorous fasting and were very strict on forgiveness. Claiming to the embodiment of the Holy Spirit he started preaching a third testament. He was ultimately condemned at the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD.
1358 - The Black Death
At the time of the Black Death Agnolo di Tura wrote, "And I, Agnolo di Tura, called the Fat, buried my five children with my own hands...and so did many others likewise...And nobody wept no matter what his loss because almost everyone expected death... People said and believed, 'This is the end of the world.'"
1420 - Martinek Hauska
Martinek Hauska proclaimed the Second Coming of Christ would be soon and people were told to flee to the mountains where five Taborite communities lived. He proclaimed that Christ would return between February 1 and February 14, 1420. At this time, God would consume every town with Holy Fire and initiate the Millennium reign on earth.
Believing this to truly be the end of the world, Hauska's followers went on a rampage to "purify the earth", and remove from the world what they saw as false leaders in the Church. They occupied Tabor, an deserted fortress and rebelled against the religious authorities at that time. The second coming didn’t arrive but the Bohemians did and Hauska and his followers were conquered in 1452.
1666 - Great Fire of London
In the Bible, 666 is the number of the beast. This lead many Christians in Europe to begin the year 1666 with great concern for what was coming upon the world. Would they live to see the end of the world. This fear was influenced by a severe plague that killed many people in London in 1665 and the Great Fire of London that started in a bakers shop in Pudding Land in 1666, added to those fears. The fire was seen as God’s judgement on the earth.
1806 - A Prophetic Hen!
In 1806 in the English town of Leeds word spread fast that a hen way laying eggs with a message written on them: "Christ is coming" Because of this people started believing that there was a doomsday coming soon.
Eventually, the plot was exposed as someone witnessed the hen lay one of the doomsday eggs and discovered that the inscription on them was man-made!
The whole thing was just one bad eggsperience leaving a lot of people in one foul mood!
1843 - William Miller
William Miller from New England said that you could determine the time God would destroy the world through a literal interpretation of the Bible. Miller explained the end of the world like this, “Jesus Christ will come again to this earth, cleanse, purify, and take possession of the same, with all the saints, sometime between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844.” Thousands of “Millerites” believed Miller’s teachings and as a result got rid of their possessions since they would need them no longer.
When everyone was still here on March 22, Miller’s followers continued to believe the end of the world was still near and gave the date of April 18 as the end of the world. When this doomsday prediction failed the date was changed to October 22, 1843. It all sounds a bit like Harold Camping who changed his end of the world dates more than once with followers still hanging on to his words. Some who were disenfranchised from Miller’s teachings left the movement and established the Seventh Day Adventists. Miller died in 1849 still believing that the end of the world was near.
1891 or earlier - Mormon Doomsday
The Mormon Church was founded by Joseph Smith. He is reported to have said in February 1835 that he had spoken to God and discovered that the return of the Lord was near and that 56 years should “wind up the scene”. He also said that he was unsure exactly what this meant and that the coming of the Son of Man would not be sooner than that time.
1910 - Halley's Comet
The knowledge that the earth would move through the tail of Halley’s Comet (which actually happens around every 76 years) spread worldwide panic and fears of the end of the world. This came about because in 1881, a spectral analysis revealed that comet tails contained a deadly gas called cyanogen (like cyanide). Nothing much was thought of this at the start until it was discovered that the earth would move through Halley’s Comet tail. It was of only passing interest until someone realized that Earth would pass through the tail of Halley's comet in 1910. Fears escalated when the possibility of death by poisoning became headline news in some major newspapers in Europe and America.
Some profited from the panic as sales of masks, "comet pills" and oxygen supplies went through the roof. We will probably see a similar rush for survival kits as December 21, 2012 draws near. Eventually, scientists were able to explain that people’s fears were unfounded.
Drawing from prophecies in the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament and Revelation in the New Testament of the Bible, Jehovah’s Witnesses falsely declared 1914 to be the end of the great day of the Lord Almighty and an end to the world’s current rule. When this didn’t happen, the meaning of the prediction was changed to read that it was the start of Jesus invisible rule! Sounds a bit like Harold Camping, who, interestingly enough, has a Jehovah’s Witness background. Other end of the world dates given by the Jehovah’s Witnesses include, 1915, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975 and 1994.
1919 - Planetary Alignment
Albert Porta who was a meteorologist in good standing with his profession, predicted that “a magnetic current that would pierce the sun, cause great explosions of flaming gas and eventually engulf the Earth.” This would happen on December 17, 1919 as six planets in the solar system lined up.
As a result, there were incidences of mob violence and even some suicides. Albert Porta lost face and lost his job with the meteorologist profession and found himself, ironically, doing the weather column for a local paper. Check out our Nibiru 2012 page and scroll to the Planetary Alignment section for more info. You may also find the Galactic Alignment 2012 page of interest.
1982 - The Jupiter Effect
John Gribben and Stephen Plagemann (both astrophysicists) wrote the Jupiter Effect published in 1974. They speculated that when nine planets aligned on March 10, 1982 it would create a gravitational pull resulting in increased solar activity such as sun spots, flares, coronal mass ejections and possibly also earthquakes though it may just be earth quakes. Even though Gribben stated that it was only a theory people still held it to be true and believed these things would happen.
1982 - Pat Robertson
As early as 1976 Pat Robertson who is a televangelist, made the startling claim that the world would end by 1982. In May 1980, he told his 700 Club TV audience "I guarantee you by the end of 1982 there is going to be a judgment on the world,". This prediction about an apocalyptic judgement flies in the face of what the Bible actually says that “No one knows the day or hour” (Matthew 24:36).
1997 - Heaven's Gate and the Hale-Bopp comet
2012 has brought with it stories of aliens returning to earth. But we’ve been there before.
In 1977 the Hale-Bopp comet appeared (named after Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp). With it, rumors that it was followed by an alien spacecraft in the tail of the comet. As with 2012 doomsday predictions, there were stories of government cover-up. However, anyone with a decent telescope could prove that the rumours were false. This didn’t stop these rumors being publicized on Art Bell's paranormal radio talk show Coast to Coast AM.
As a result of this influence, a UFO cult in San Diego UFO called, named Heaven's Gate, decided that it would soon be the end of the world. They only way they could escape was to take their lives at the moment the comet was at its brightest so that they could ascend to the alien spaceship as it was passing. On March 26, 1997 police found the bodies of 39 cult members who had committed mass suicide. Check out our Aliens and 2012 page.
1999 - Nostradamus
In one of Nostradamus’ quatrains we read the following words, "The year 1999, seventh month / From the sky will come great king of terror." Followers of Nostradamus believed that this was a prediction of Armageddon. Check out our page on Nostradamus 2012
2000 - Y2K Computer Bug
Many of you reading this will remember clearly the end of the world hype about the Y2K Computer Bug which was going to bring an end to the world on January 1. This was based on the prediction of a worldwide computer crash as the year 2000 arrived. Some people saw a computer caused doomsday. The problem some foresaw was that computers would get confused between the dates of 1900 and 2000. This concern was first expressed as early as the 1970s. People were encouraged to stockpile food, gun sales increased, bunkers were built but when the day arrived, there were no blackouts and no nuclear malfunctions leading to a nuclear war.
2000 – An Icy End of the World
Quite the opposite of global warming, Richard Noone predicted an end of the world global disaster that would see the Antarctic ice reach three miles in thickness. Noone wrote the book "5/5/2000 Ice: the Ultimate Disaster" published in 1977.
This would all happen by May 5, 2000 as this was the date of a significant planetary alignment. Maybe global warming started when people began burning his books. Check out our page on Global Warming and see if the problem really is man made or whether it comes from forces more powerful than human activity.
2008 - God's Final Witness
In his book, "2008: God's Final Witness" (written 2006) God's Church minister Ronald Weinland warns that the end of the world is near and that hundreds of millions of people will die. Weinland predicted that by the end of 2006, "there will be a maximum time of two years remaining before the world will be plunged into the worst time of all human history. By the fall of 2008, the United States will have collapsed as a world power, and no longer exist as an independent nation." Very much like Harold Camping, Weinland is not put off when his predictions do not happen. He is now predicting that Jesus Christ will, “return to this earth in a second-coming as King of kings on May 27, 2012”.
2009 - Black Hole!
When the Large 27 kilometers long (in circumference) Hadron Collider at Geneva started in September 2009, some doomsday theorists suggested that this machine which smashes sub-atomic particles called hadrons together at speeds close to the speed of light may create a black hole that could consume the earth.
The purpose of the Hadron Collider is to find the source dark matter which is believed to make up about a quarter of the universe’s dark matter. So far so good; no black hole.
2011 – Harold Camping
Harold Camping predicted the Rapture on May 21, 2011 and said that by October 21, 2012 God’s judgement would have been complete on earth and all will have been destroyed. If you want to find out more about Harold Camping, visit our Harold Camping page. It also contains a link to an attempted apology for his cataclysmic error.
WHICH BRINGS US TO THE 2012 END OF THE WORLD DOOMSDAY PREDICTIONS
Unlike all the other predictions above that centered mainly on one thing (a biblical interpretation or a single event such as the Great Fire of London or Planetary Alignment) the 2012 end of the world predictions are many.