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A Brief History of the Apocalypse

1998 - 1999: The End is Nigh

"No man has learned anything rightly until he knows
that every day is Doomsday." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Death on a Pale Horse by Benjamin West

Predicted date Commentary
  • Larry Wilson of Wake Up America Seminars predicted the Second Coming "around 1998". The Tribulation was supposed to start in 1994 or 1995, and during this period an asteroid was to hit the Earth. (Robbins p.220)
  • Centro, a religious cult in the Philippines, predicted that the end of the world would come in 1998. (Source: Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance)
  • The year of the Rapture, claimed Donald B. Orsden in his book The Holy Bible - The Final Testament: What is the Significance of 666?. "Take your super computers, you scientists, and feed the number 666 into them. The output will be the proof God gives that 1998 is the year Jesus will take the faithful with him...." (McIver #2986)
  • In Ominous Portents of the Parousia of Christ, by Henry R. Hall, the author pours vitriol on atheists and liberals while praising Reagan as a "wise man" sent by God for the End Times. An obvious loony, Hall predicts that the world will end in 1998 because, among other reasons, 666 + 666 + 666 = 1998. The Rapture was to take place in 1991. Sorry, Hank! (McIver #2488)
Jan 8, 1998 31 members of a splinter group of the Solar Temple cult headed by German psychologist Heide Fittkau-Garthe were arrested by police on the island of Tenerife, Canary Islands, amid fears that the cultists were planning a mass suicide. They were convinced that the world would end at 8:00 pm on this day, but that the cult members' bodies would be picked up by a space ship. (Hanna p.226 and FACTNet)
Mar 8, 1998 A doomsday cult from Karnataka in southern India claimed that much of the world would be destroyed by earthquakes on this day, and the Indian subcontinent would break off and sink into the ocean. After the destruction, Lord Vishnu would appear on Earth. The leaders of the cult claimed that El Nino and the chotic weather that accompanied it was a sign of the coming destruction.
Mar 31, 1998 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." (Shermer p.204, McIver #2199)
May 31, 1998
  • Author Marilyn J. Agee used convoluted Biblical calculations to predict the date of two separate Raptures. In her book The End of the Age, she boldly proclaimed, "I expect Rapture I on Pentecost [May 31] in 1998 and Rapture II on the Feast of Trumpets [September 13] in 2007." (Agee) Her homepage is worth a visit just to see can I put this politely?...interesting these doomsday prophets can be. She just may have another doomsday prediction posted.
  • The Rapture, as per Tom Stewart's book 1998: Year of the Apocalypse. (McIver #3226)
Jun 6, 1998 Eli Eshoh uses all sorts of numerical games to show that the Rapture was to take place in 1998. On this page he explains away the apparent failure of the June 6 Rapture, claiming that it did indeed occur, but the number of raptees was small enough not to be noticed.
Jun 7, 1998 Marilyn J. Agee's Rapture prediction #2, which she made on her website after the failure of her original prediction. A record of her date revisions can be seen at The Doomsday List, since they're no longer on her site.
Jun 14, 1998 Marilyn J. Agee's Rapture prediction #3.
Jun 21, 1998 Marilyn J. Agee's Rapture prediction #4.
Jul 5, 1998 The Church of the SubGenius, the only religion worthy of calling itself the One True Faith, designated this day X-Day. Xists from Planet X would arrive in flying saucers and destroy humanity on this day, and only ordained clergy who have paid their dues to the Church would be "ruptured" to safety! When that didn't come to pass, XX-Day (July 5, 1999) was declared the true end of the world. Praise Bob!
Sep 20, 1998 Marilyn J. Agee's Rapture prediction #5.
Sep 30, 1998 Using Edgar Cayce's prophecies, Kirk Nelson predicted the return of Jesus on this date in his book The Second Coming 1998.
Oct 10, 1998 Monte Kim Miller, leader of the Denver charismatic cult Concerned Christians, was convinced that the Apocalypse would occur on this date, with Denver the first city to be destroyed. The cult members mysteriously disappeared afterwards; but later resurfaced in Israel, where they were deported on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack at the end of 1999. Miller had also claimed he will die in the streets of Jerusalem in December 1999, to be resurrected three days later. (Sources: Watchman Fellowship, Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance)
Nov 1998 The Second Coming and the beginning of the Tribulation, according to Ron Reese. He wrote that he had "overwhelming evidence" that this was true. (McIver #3081)
Dec 12, 1998 The beginning of the end, according to Linda Newkirk of On her comical site, in which she transcribed dialogs she supposedly had with God, God told her that the "USA will be invaded by Russia, China, an Arab Alliance, and even the UN and NATO. It will take place at around 1:45 AM on this date, and 75 million people will die immediately. Huge cities will be nothing more than potholes. Places like San Francisco will be eradicated immediately. Millions more will die of starvation and all kinds of diseases brought about by chemical, nerve and biological warfare." This quote disappeared from her site soon after the failure of the prophecy, whereupun she jumped onto the Y2K doomsaying bandwagon. I suppose it shouldn't be a surprise to find her site dead.
  • End of the world according to some Seventh Day Adventist literature. (Skinner p.105, Mann p.xiii)
  • End of the world according to the Jehovah's Witnesses. (Skinner p.102, Mann p.xiii)
  • Apocalyptic battle, followed by peace, as per a vision of George Washington. According to this apocryphal tale, the apparition of a beautiful woman appeared before George saying, "Son of the Republic, look and learn." Thereupon he saw the world as it would be in 1999. Black clouds with red lights in the center, representing invading armies, spewed forth from all around the world and poured into America. After a massive battle, an angel sprinkled water on the world and peace is restored. (Uncle John p.2092)
  • The height of the Antichrist's power, when a terrible holocaust will occur, as foreseen by astrologer Jeane Dixon. In The Call to Glory, Dixon wrote, "As the [Russian] armies begin to move on the Middle East about 1999, Russian MIRVs and FOBSs will rain down a nuclear holocaust upon our coastal cities, both east and west." Dixon also claimed the Antichrist was born on Feb. 5, 1962. Could actress Jennifer Jason Leigh be the Antichrist? That is her birthday, after all. (Kyle p.153, Dixon p.168)
  • A pole shift will cause natural disasters and World War III, or so the "Sleeping Prophet" Edgar Cayce claimed. (Skinner p.127)
  • The end of the world according to linguist/credophile Charles Berlitz, as predicted in his book Doomsday: 1999 A.D. Any of a number of scenarios could happen, claimed Berlitz, including nuclear devastation, asteroid impact, pole shift or other earth changes. (Kyle p.194)
  • Internut Dore Williamson, who spams various Usenet groups with claims that she is the incarnation of Christ, claimed repeatedly that the world would end in 1999, due to varying causes such as a biological war unleashed by Clinton. She also claimed that Clinton is the Antichrist. She is still an active Usenet participant. In this post, Dore is taken to task for her failed prophecy.
Mar 25, 1999 On September 25, 1997, Hal Lindsey predicted on his TV show International Intelligence Briefing that Russia would invade Israel within 18 months. Many fundamentalists believe from highly questionable scriptural interpretation that Russia's invasion of Israel is predicted in the Bible and that it will lead to Armageddon. (Abanes p.286)
Apr 3, 1999 The Rapture, according to H.J. Hoekstra. Unfortunately, his entertaining website is no longer in existence. He believed we live on the inside of a hollow Earth, and used numerology to calculate the date of the Rapture. The existence of his website is attested at Alma Geddon's site.
May 8, 1999 According to an astrological pamphlet circulating in India, the world was to meet its doom by a series of severe natural disasters on this date. This prediction caused many Indians to panic. (Source: BBC News)
May 22, 1999 Marilyn Agee's Rapture prediction #6.
May 30, 1999 Marilyn J. Agee's Rapture prediction #7. This is "Orthodox Pentecost."
Jun 20, 1999 Marilyn J. Agee's Rapture prediction #8. This is "astronomical Pentecost."
Jun 30, 1999 "Father" Charles L. Moore appeared on the Art Bell show November 26-27, 1998, claiming he knew the Third Secret of Fatima. According to Moore, the prophecy said that an asteroid would strike the Earth on June 30, bringing about the End.
July 1999 The month made famous by 16th century soothsayer Nostradamus, the month that people have wondered about for over four centuries, is now at long last a part of history. And guess what? No King of Terror! Bummer, eh?

In the following quatrain, Nosty made a grim-sounding prediction (Source: The Mask of Nostradamus by James Randi):

L'an mil neuf cens nonante neuf sept mois
Du ciel viendra un grand Roy deffraieur
Resusciter le grand Roy d'Angolmois
Avant apres Mars regner par bon heur.

The year 1999, seven months,
From the sky will come a great King of Terror:
To bring back to life the great King of the Mongols,
Before and after Mars to reign by good luck.
(Quatrain X.72)

But it was not to be. When July passed, the inevitable date postponement began. The folks on the alt.prophecies.nostradamus newsgroup and the webmasters of various Nostradamus fan sites extended the deadline of fulfillment to August 13 (the end of July according to the Julian calendar used in Nostradamus' day), then September 30 ("sept mois" must have meant "September" after all!), then October 10 (the end of the 7th month of the Hebrew calendar), and finally October 22 (the end of the seventh month of the Zodiac). Now some people are saying Nosty meant the whole year of 1999 plus 7 months, i.e. July 2000! There is no end to the denial!!

Of course, there are those who claim the prophecy was fulfilled. Some said that the prophecy referred a meteor that exploded over New Zealand in early July or perhaps the total eclipse of August 11. But did these events resuscitate the King of the Mongols?

Jul 4, 1999 Despite the fact that Nostradamus never specified a day for the King of Terror's arrival, rumors circulated through the Internet and popular culture that the world would end on July 4. This caused a lot of speculation and apprehension in certain circles of the Internet.
Jul 5, 1999 XX-day, according to the Church of the SubGenius. But the Xists and their saucers once again postponed their visit. Now all eyes are on XXX-day: July 5, 2000. The End has become an annual event!
Jul 7, 1999 The Earth's axis was to shift full 90 degrees at 7:00am GMT, resulting in a "water baptism" of the world, according to Eileen Lakes. Her site is still there, but she's deleted all references to July 7, 1999. The caption above the picture of the Earth originally read:

    7:00 a.m., on Wednesday, July 7, 1999
    at the World Greenwich Mean Time
    The earth will turn right by 90 degrees very instantly.

Jul 24, 1999 According to a book published in February by the Japanese author Akio Cho, Nostradamus' "Great King of Terror" was supposed to descend from the sky at 5:00pm on this date (some sources say July 26). (Source: Rick Ross)
Jul 28, 1999 A lunar eclipse would signify the end of the Church Age and the beginning of the Tribulation, according to Gerald Vano. (Source: The Doomsday List.)
Aug 1999 A cult calling itself Universal and Human Energy, also known as SHY (Spirituality, Humanity, Yoga), predicted the end of the world in August. (Source: FACTNet)
Aug 6, 1999 The Branch Davidians believed that David Koresh would return to Earth on this day, 2300 days (Daniel 8:14) after his death. Sorry, guys! (Source: Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance)
Aug 11, 1999 During the week between August 11 and August 18 a series of astronomical events took place: the last total solar eclipse of the millennium (Aug 11), the Grand Cross planetary formation (Aug 18), the Perseid meteor shower (Aug 12), the swingby of NASA's plutonium-bearing Cassini space probe (Aug 17-18), and Comet Lee's visit to the inner solar system. Add to this the fact that some of these events are taking place before the end of July according to the Julian calendar, and you have a recipe for rampant apocalyptic paranoia. Fashion designer Paco Rabanne claimed that Mir would crash into Paris on August 11. It didn't. Others said that a monstrous asteroid or comet, previously unseen, would become visible during the eclipse and strike the Earth thereafter. Nothing happened.
Aug 14, 1999 originally proclaimed on their website that a doomsday comet would hit Earth between August 11-14. (McIver #3362).
Aug 18, 1999
  • The end of the world, as foreseen by Charles Criswell King (aka The Amazing Criswell) in his 1968 bestseller Criswell Predicts: From Now to the Year 2000. As he wrote:

    "The world as we know it will cease to exist...on August 18, 1999.... And if you and I meet each other on the street that fateful day...and we chat about what we will do on the morrow, we will open our mouths to speak and no words will come out, for we have no future."

    Why August 18? I'm not certain, but it does happen to be Criswell's birthday. (Abanes p.43)

  • Many alarmists were convinced that the Cassini space probe would crash into the Earth on August 18. Some even went so far as to say it would poison a third of the world's population with its plutonium, fulfilling the prophecy of Revelation 8:11 concerning a star named Wormwood -- supposedly a metaphor for radiation poisoning ("Chernobylnik" is the Ukrainian word for a purple-stemmed subspecies of the wormwood plant). But as expected, Cassini passed by the Earth without a hitch.
Aug 19, 1999 The end of the world, according to Prof. Hideo Itakawa. (Mann p.xi)
Aug 24, 1999 In 1996, Valerie James wrote in The European Magazine, "The configuration of planets which predicted the coming of Christ will once again appear on Aug 24, 1999." I'm assuming she pinpointed this date for the Parousia. (Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance)
Sep 1999
  • The End, according to Jack Van Impe. (Shaw p.131)
  • According to, Nostradamus's King of Terror was to descend on Earth in September, heralding the beginning of the Tribulation and the Rapture. Escape666 said, regarding Nostradamus's infamous quatrain X.72: "now we know EXACTLY when he meant: SEPTEMBER 1999." However, as the end of September approached, they changed their date to October 12.
Sep 3, 1999 Judgement Day was to be on September 2 or 3, according to the notorious Japanese doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo. Only members of Aum were to survive. Well, they did survive, but so did the rest of us. Perhaps this means we're all members of Aum? Thankfully, no sarin gas attacks occurred.
Sep 9, 1999 9/9/99, touted by some Y2K paranoiacs as a possible day that computers would crash and bring modern civilization to its knees. Apparently, some old programs used 9999 as a "terminate" flag. Not a single computer crashed due to this problem. Fact is, using 9999 to denote September 9, 1999 is an exceedingly inefficient way to represent this date. It's more efficient to use 090999, 990909, or something similar. (Source: SF Gate)
Sep 11, 1999
  • Bonnie Gaunt used the Bible Codes to prove that Rosh Hashanah 5760 (September 11, 1999) is the date of the Rapture. Not surprisingly, her web page promptly disappeared on Sep. 12. However there is still a newspaper article available online about her prediction.
  • Jason Hommel spammed Usenet with claims that the Rapture was to take place on this date, and used a plethora of over-imaginitive numerology and unorthodox scriptural interpretation to arrive at this conclusion. He used the famous "know not the day nor the hour" verse to paradoxically pinpoint the date of the Rapture. But in a bit of honesty rare among doomsayers, Hommel actually admitted he was wrong and apologized.
  • Michael Rood also jumped on the Rosh Hashanah bandwagon. He claimed that this day is the first day of the Hebrew calendar year 6001, and after it failed, he changed the date to April 5, 2000. In reality, this day was the first day of 5760, but Michael claimed that there was a mistake in the calendar.
  • Jan Weaver Gindorf posted an email to the webmaster of The Doomsday List, in which she predicted the Rapture would occur on or around this date. Please see The Doomsday List for more details.
Sep 23, 1999
  • Author Stefan Paulus combines Nostradamus, the Bible and astrology to arrive at September 23 as the date that a doomsday comet will impact the Earth. (Paulus p.57)
  • A Nostradamus aficionado named SmaKYadowN picked September 23 as a possible date of impact of an asteroid. His website has disappeared, unfortunately, but a reference to him is preserved at Alma Geddon's site.
Oct 1999
  • Apparently, there are still some active members of the Korean Hyoo-go (see Oct 28, 1992) movement left. These Tami Sect proponents predict the demise of this earth in October 1999. (Source: Korea Times)
  • Jack Van Impe, one of the more crazed and entertaining end-times screechers, predicted the Rapture and the Second Coming for October 1999. (Wojcik p.212)
Oct 12, 1999 rescheduled the arrival of the King of Terror by this day.
Nov 1999 Armageddon to culminate with "wholesale obliteration" as foreseen by Richard Kieninger in his 1963 book The Ultimate Frontier. (Abanes p.68)
Nov 4, 1999 Using Nostradamus's famed Quatrain X.72, KingOfTerror, a regular on alt.prophecies.nostradamus, touted a window within which the King of Terror (possibly an asteroid) would come from the sky. The window was from July 1 to November 4, 1999.
Nov 7, 1999 Internet doomsday nut Richard Hoagland, whose homepage is another that has to be seen to be believed, claims that an "inside source" called him anonymously and warned of three objects that will strike the earth on this day. The objects were supposedly seen during the August 11 eclipse.
Nov 29, 1999 According to a vision he received in 1996, Dumitru Duduman claims that the destruction of America (i.e. Babylon) will occur around November 29, 1999.
Dec 1999 Second Coming: Monte Kim Miller of the cult Concerned Christians claimed he would die in the streets of Jerusalem during a violent confrontation, and be resurrected three days later. No word on whether or not he's still alive. (Source: Watchman Fellowship)
Dec 21, 1999 Sometime between November 23 and December 21, 1999, the War of Wars was to begin, claimed Nostradamus buff Henry C. Roberts. (Skeptical Inquirer, May/June 2000, p.6)
Dec 25, 1999 The Second Coming of Christ, according to doomsday prophet Martin Hunter. (Oropeza p.57)
Dec 31, 1999
  • 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. (Source: the Religious Movements Page)
  • Joseph Kibweteere's doomsday prediction #1. See Dec. 31, 2000 for more details.

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