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Bad Science

Oops! 11 Failed Doomsday Predictions

Harold Camping, 2011


Radio preacher Harold Camping predicted that May 12, 2011 would mark the beginning of the end of the world (Image credit: Karl Tate, TechMediaNetwork)

In May 2011, radio preacher Harold Camping drew international media attention with his predictions that Judgment Day would come on May 21, kicked off by earthquakes around the global and a rapture of the faithful. According to Camping, this dreadful day would be followed by months of torment and the end of the world on Oct. 21.

When May 21 passed quietly, Camping retreated from the limelight for a brief time before announcing that Judgment Day had, in fact, come and gone on that date. Instead of physical earthquakes, Camping wrote on the website of his radio station, Family Radio, May 21 brought spiritual earthquakes, and God completed judging souls. Now Camping contends that the end of the world will indeed come on Oct. 21, albeit quietly and without fire and brimstone. [Read: When Doomsday Isn't, Believers Struggle to Cope]