Late September: Doomsday or another Great Disappointment

As we count down to the end of August and the beginning of September there are those on this planet who believe the end of the world is approaching. End time scenarios have been advocated and believed since the dawn of humans on this planet traversing the cosmos.

According to various ancient sources, the Tower of Babel was a ziggurat attributed to the great hunter Nimrod who wanted to reach beyond the clouds to ensure that humans would survive another Great Deluge: this etiologic story had been passed down to him by his progenitors. Of course there are those who believe that Nimrod wanted to reach the very Gate of God where in his arrogance he believed his compatriots would wage a successful campaign against the forces of the Elohim.

What happened to the ziggurat? According to ancient Jewish sources, the massive weight of an 8,000-foot-high structure caused it to sink and lightning destroyed the pinnacle of the structure. Over time it decayed. This origin story explained the nature of the diversity of language.

The oral history of the great cities of the plains—Sodom and Gomorrah—is another tragic tale of utter destruction where only a father and his two daughters survived the fire and brimstone from heaven. Of course this story explains the origins of two nations—Moab and Ammon.

In the first century Mount Vesuvius erupted and buried Pompeii and its denizens. It is estimated that two thousand men, women, and children perished.

On November 1, 1755 Lisbon and surrounding area were destroyed by an earthquake which caused a tsunami, together they killed tens of thousands. This earthquake was the most powerful event recorded at the time.

In 1816 the Northern Hemisphere saw a summer unlike any recorded before. Temperatures were like winter, and the impact on agriculture was devastating. The year was aptly called the Poverty Year, for many people hunger was the specter on many dining room tables. Floods and disease visited other communities with unrelenting fury.

Like Lord Bryon in his poem DARKNESS wrote

“I had a dream, which was not all a dream.
The bright sun was extinguish’d, and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth
Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air;
Morn came and went—and came, and brought no day…”

November 13, 1833
November 13, 1833

November 13, 1833 was the night the “stars” fell from heaven. Actually, it was a combination of the comet Tempel Tuttle and the Leonid Meteor Shower, but it was such a celestial display that many saw it as a harbinger of things to come.

It helped to give rise to the Millerite Movement of the early 1830s since they believed that the Lisbon Earthquake, the falling stars and other events of the last 100 years was predicted in the Book of Revelation and the Parousia (Second Coming of the Messiah) was at hand. William Miller created a hermeneutical patchwork of texts, especially from the Book of Daniel and Revelation, and began to preach.


He came to the erroneous conclusion that he knew the precise day of the Parousia. Tens of thousands accepted the message of this war hero of 1812—his logic was sound and his ravishing passion was contagious.

After a series of dates failed to see the Parousia, the final date of October 22, 1844 was finalized, but this day passed into history, and the Millerite Movement fell apart leaving many cold, hungry, ashamed, disillusioned, ridiculed and seeking answers about their Great Disappointment. The end had not come.

1910: Close view of Halley's comet streaking past stars in the night sky. (Photo by Lambert/Getty Images)
1910: Close view of Halley’s comet streaking past stars in the night sky. (Photo by Lambert/Getty Images)

Haley’s Comet: May 19, 1910 was to be the end of the world. In February, using spectroscopy, Yerkes Observatory at the University of Chicago determined that the comet tail was composed of cyanogen, a lethal gas.

The French astronomer Camille Flammarion was quoted in the New York Times as saying: “cyanogen gas would impregnate the atmosphere and possibly snuff out all life on the planet.” The tail of the death star was to touch the earth on May 19, 1910.

The French astronomer Camille Flammarion was quoted in the New York Times as saying: “cyanogen gas would impregnate the atmosphere and possibly snuff out all life on the planet.” The tail of the death star was to touch the earth on May 19, 1910.

Talk about global fear. Many attempted to assuage the populace by saying there was no real danger, but once people embrace a doomsday scenario rationality and logical deduction are cast to the solar winds.

The comet passed by the earth. The end had not come.

World War I had its share of doomsday predictions which is understandable with its death toll of millions. However, it would be the Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919 when between 50 and 100 million people died which would feed the doomsday fire. With whole communities affected and your friends and family members dying, it would seem like the end of the world.

The hawkers of doom did not do much to alleviate the suffering. They only added to the growing misery.

As we know, the end did not come. Other events of the 20th Century would give rise to speculation about the end times—which, from the viewpoints of many, seemed valid.

We survived the Schwarzwald (Black Forest) dance of the USA and USSR. The war with its nuclear winter did not come and the end was once again delayed for some other generation to embrace.

We survived December 2012 when the Mayan calendar ended. Now, in September 2015, many sincere people believe a series of events usher the end of the world.

With the global economy in free fall (it has done before) and the Middle East in the throes of barbarism, people are afraid. Unfortunately, unscrupulous individuals and the many who truly believe their constructs of eschatology are counting down to doomsday.

The LHC is the largest machine in the world. It took thousands of scientists, engineers and technicians decades to plan and build, and it continues to operate at the very boundaries of scientific knowledge.

Many believe that European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) will in September create a strangelet (a cosmic particle) which will destroy the earth or, by creating a black hole or worse, open the dimensional gate to Hades where the hordes of hell would run rampant across the planet. Others believe an asteroid will be an ELE (extinction level event).

Of course, the global village is due for a pandemic. Last year many thought the Ebola outbreak was it, but whatever natural or human pathogen waits in the cloudy future for humans, it will come when it comes.

The volcano under Yellowstone National Park is a favorite topic of conversation. What If scenarios are discussed and debated.

Many self-appointed prognosticators will fill the airways or your mailbox with their dire predictions about the end of the world. Many men, women and children will continue living their daily existence on whatever level they were born.

Many women and children will suffer abuse and death in September just as they have for so many previous Septembers. They will die as well from disease, malnourishment, and war.

The economy and its interlaced markets will do a dance which even Chubby Checker never imagined. It will not be a fun twist for investors.

Come on everybody!
Clap your hands!
All you looking good!

I’m goona sing my song
It won’t take long!
We’re gonna do the twist
And it goes like this:

Come on let’s twist again,
Like we did last summer!
Yeaaah, let’s twist again,
Like we did last year!

Do you remember when,
Things were really hummin’,
Yeaaaah, let’s twist again,
Twistin’ time is here!

Let’s Twist Again

The dance of life on this orb hanging in infinite majesty is a finely crafted song. Enjoy your time on the ballroom floor as if you were dancing a waltz; remember your last dance will be the capstone on which your legacy will be based.

In September embrace life and help those that you meet on the road. If the end comes, and it will come for all of us eventually, at least you will have done what you could to make this place in space a little better for those who will come after.

September will come. Doomsday will be postponed once again, but doomsday is so integrated into our collective consciousness that it is always over the horizon of a new day and the darkest night.

G. D. Williams © 2015

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Darkness by Lord Bryon

Leonid Meteor Shower History-NASA…68..311H

Lisbon Earthquake


The Millerites

Yellowstone Volcano Observatory


Haley’s Comet,%E2%80%9D&source=bl&ots=Nr_Zn_Z8RJ&sig=D1LO8mhOV2z26hU_imWsUZsOy0c&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCYQ6AEwAWoVChMIjv3o7vO8xwIVA3c-Ch38nQSx#v=onepage&q=%E2%80%9Ccyanogen%20gas%20would%20impregnate%20the%20atmosphere%20and%20possibly%20snuff%20out%20all%20life%20on%20the%20planet%2C%E2%80%9D&f=false


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