Phony Predictions – Nostradamus and the World Trade Center

Phony Predictions - Nostradamus and the World Trade Center

Phony Predictions

Here we go again!

Another catastrophe, another phony prediction by the still famous sixteenth-century prognosticator Michel de Nostredame – Nostradamus by common usage.


The computer web is agog over a “quatrain” said to have been written by him in “1654.” Supposedly it predicted the attack on the World Trade Center towers and the start of World War III. There are several versions floating around.

The prevalent one follows:

In the year of new century and nine months.

From the sky will come a great king of terror.

The sky will burn at forty-five degrees.

Fire approaches the great new city.

In the city of york there will be a great collapse.

Two twin brothers torn apart by chaos.

While the fortress falls the great leader will succumb.

The third big war will begin when the big city is burning.

Some versions add even more dramatic prophecies:

On 11 day of 9 month, two metal birds will crash into

Two tall statues in new city, and world will soon end.

Let’s overlook the fact that Nostradamus died in 1566. Consider, instead, the more brazen fabrications designed to titillate excitement-starved web browsers.

Fortunately, there are a few web sites – such as hosted by Barbara Mikkelson — that surf the web to expose hoaxes.

The 1654 hooey is rooted in an essay by Neil Marshall, a student at Brock University in Canada in the early 1990s. He composed the bogus quatrain and date as an announced example of how forgers could mangle a Nostradamus quatrain for mischievous effect:

In the city of God there will be a great thunder.

Two brothers will be torn apart by Chaos.

While the fortress endures, the great leader will succumb.

The third big war will begin when the big city is burning.

Nostradamus composed 942 four-line poems (quatrains) during his lifetime. He published them in little books of 100 called “Centuries.” The title was a common, poetic device then of one-hundred anything – not to a century of years.

However, his quatrains – couched in riddles employing obscure words and a mixture of ancient languages – did purport to predict a millennium of France’s future. The only pacific date he ever mentioned was July 1999 for the end of the world, and that came early in his quatrain series.

Mikkelson points out the only thing resembling Nostradamus in the present hoax is the second two lines lifted from his Century 6, Quatrain 97. I confirm from my own collection of original Nostradamus quatrains in French that the translations into English are close enough for government work:

Five and 40 steps the sky will burn.

Fire approaching the large new city.

Instantly a great thin flame will leap.

When someone will want to test the Normans.

The second and third “prophecies” of today’s hoax are a mixture of the 1990s example and new lines dreamed up to fit the World Trade Center catastrophe.

* * *

Nostradamus was born in 1502 to Jewish parents at the height of the Inquisition. The family converted to Catholicism when he was nine to avoid persecution, torture or death. Thus, he was reared in the Roman Catholic faith and became a devout adherent.

As a child, Michel was a brilliant student. He was enrolled in the best schools where at an early age be earned a doctorate degree as a physician. He built a large practice and was renowned for his innovative approach to patient care. For example, he refused to bleed his patients. The drastic technique then was a popular remedy for many health problems.

Nostradamus married a young woman whose name is not recorded. She bore him two children. During the black plague epidemic, his wife and children died. He became inordinately despondent and took to wandering from town, earning money by casting horoscopes.

A few of his astrological predictions – with generous interpretations – seemed to have foretold dire events. His fame spread. Kings and popes consulted him.

He settled down at Salon, France, and married a wealthy widow. Their home still stands as a popular tourist attraction. He devoted the rest of this life to “telling fortunes” for distinguished clients and writing his best-selling booklets.

Nostradamus died in 1566, seemingly having predicted his own death. He was buried upright in a wall of the Church of the Cordeliers at Salon. His widow, Anne, erected a splendid marble plaque to his memory.

In 1700, Nostradamus’ coffin was moved to a more prominent wall of the church. The coffin was opened to see if it also contained a secret document. It is alleged that on the breast of his skeleton there was a plaque on which was inscribed the date 1700.

* * *

Of Nostradamus’ prophesies, about 30 have been most often cited to substantiate important events. These are supposed to identify three “anti-Christ” figures who have – or will – bedevil the world.

Will McWhorter, a neutral interpreter of Nostradamus mysteries, identifies two of the three evil characters that might fit. The first is Napoleon – perhaps disclosed by a dozen quatrain lines wrenched out of context. A few follow:

An Emperor shall be born near Italy.

He shall cost the Empire dear.

He shall be found less a prince than a butcher.

A great group shall come through Russia.

The exhausted ones will die in the white territory.

By great effort of foreign forces he is overcome.

The captive prince, conquered, is sent to Elba.

Nostradamus’ second anti-Christ, and World War II, is identified by McWhortrer as Hitler. As will be seen, Hitler’s name must be exchanged with the Latin word for Danube – but close is OK in the prophesy business:

He shall come to tyrannize the land.

He shall raise up a hatred long dormant.

The child of Germany observes no law.

Cries, and tears, fire, blood and battle.

Beasts wild with hunger will cross the rivers.

The battlefield will be against Hister.

Aficionados of Nostradamus are wrestling with the identity of the third anti-Christ who will be followed by World War III. Bets are heavy on this quatrain:

Out of the country of Greater Arabia.

A strong master of Mohammed shall be born.

He will enter Europe wearing a blue turban.

He will be the terror of mankind.

Never more terror.

Folks who believe in prophesying can pay their money and make their choice.

September 23, 2001


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