Monday, June 9, 2008

Final Date of the Earth: August 18, 1999 (1973)

I don't know whether Criswell believed his own predictions or not. I only know that he was wrong. A lot.

An excerpt from the January 11, 1973 Oakland Tribune (Oakland, CA) containing Criswell's prediction for our last day on Earth appears below.
His rubicund countenance aglow with camaraderie, Criswell said the predictions in [his book] were prompted by a ghostly visitation of Nostradamus, the 16th century prophet who reputedly had correctly predicted the founding of America and World Wars I and II, not to mention flights to the moon and - hold your hats - the final date of this earth, August 18, 1999.

I'd really like to think that "psychics" believe their own nonsense. The emotional and psychological abuse they perpetrate is otherwise unexcusable.

Sorry about the soapbox rant today. Sometimes the paleo-future can get kind of heavy. Consider my anti-psychic-powers posts to be public service announcements interrupting our regularly-scheduled shenanigans. Jet packs, meal pills and rowbuts will return tomorrow.

See also:
The Prophetic Year 2000 (1968)
The 1980s: Countdown to Armageddon
Nucelar War to Start September 12, 2006
Nuclear War Revisited (2006)
Apocalypse Soon (1980)

9 comments:

Jonathan Badger said...

But let's not forget Criswell's insightful comments in "Plan 9 from Outer Space" (playing himself).

"Greetings, my friends. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember, my friends, future events such as these, will affect you, in the future."

FredProgGH said...

I think most psychics believe their own crap, but I also tend to think Criswell was not one of them. One gets the impression he was a blatant opportunist but a well-meaning one. He was just trying to be entertaining. Anyone who would recite dialog for Ed Wood like "We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives" can't be all bed.

FredProgGH said...

Oh no! Simil-post *g*

Jill said...

If the final date of the earth was August 18, 1999, why was the title of his book "Criswell Predicts From Now To The Year 2000" ?

Just askin'.

Anonymous said...

You might enjoy these, the results of 'tracking' one Web psychic in particular:

http://www.ntskeptics.org/1998/1998december/december1998.htm

And:

http://www.ntskeptics.org/challenge/cioffi/prediction01.htm

-- and subsequent.

Anonymous said...

Great post today. Psychics are retarded.

. said...

Nothing wrong with expressing appropriate disdain for charlatans. If anything we need *more* bold skepticism, not less.

lolarusa said...

I think psychic predictions of the past come from the same cultural stew that "expert" predictions about technological changes come from, and are a worthwhile addition to Paleo Future.

Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah, Criswell. THE Celebfity Psychic of the 1950s and First 1960s. My grandmother used to have some of his books, and I think he did radio shows in the Nifty Fifties, with this deep reverberating voice:
"I PREDICT..."

The End of the World -- 8/18/1999. A black ring from outer space was going to form around Earth and suck all the oxygen out of the atmosphere.

"IF WE MET ON THE STREET ON AUGUST 17 OF THAT YEAR AND ASKED EACH OTHER ABOUT TOMORROW, WE COULD SAY NOTHING; BECAUSE THE FUTURE HAD JUST RUN OUT."

"We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives." -- Jonathan Badger

I believe that was actually Criswell's signoff line when he was the Big Celebrity Psychic.