Nostradamus, a name shrouded in mystery.
He was featured in an episode of National Geographic several years back.
Can you guess what he did to deserve such honor?
A) He's an engineer who failed to deliver a proper design of the twin tower of New York which led to its eventual downfall on 11th September 2001.
B) He's one of the fire fighters that died saving people on 11th September 2001.
C) He predicted the 9/11
D) He's a terrorist.
E) None of the above.
National Geographic answered (C).
Michel de Nostredame was born on 14 December or 21 December 1503 (even his birth date remains a mystery).
At the age of 15 he went to the University of Avignon, but left when the university was closed due to the Bubonic Plague. After leaving Avignon, Nostradamus (according to his own account) traveled the countryside for eight years researching herbal remedies.
In 1529, after some years as an apothecary, he entered the University of Montpellier to study for a doctorate in medicine. He was expelled shortly afterward when it was discovered that he had been a pharmacist.
So that was his life as a student. After that he continued to be a medical practitioner, without a proper licence to do so I guess. Soon he tried numerous other jobs such as writing almanacs, as an astrologer, and a seer.
In fact he was quite successful in his endeavor as a seer that he got summoned by Catherine de Médicis, the queen consort of King Henri II of France. After reading his almanacs for 1555, which hinted at unnamed threats to the royal family, she summoned him to Paris to explain to them and to draw up horoscopes for her children. Catherine even made him Counselor and Physician-in-Ordinary to her son, the young King Charles IX of France.
Catherine de Médicis
To cut the long story short, he died in 1566 and left a handsome sum of inheritance for his family. Amen.
But he left us a legacy. His book, The Prophecies became a major hit and brought fame to this pitiful ole' man.
So what did he predict?
He predicted(allegedly) the French Revolution, Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolf Hitler, both world wars, the nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Apollo moon landings, the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997, the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster in 1986, and lastly, the 9/11.
The Challenger Disaster
The Atomic bomb that devastated Hiroshima
The late Princess Diana
IS IT REAL? (that's the name of the program that showcased Nostradamus on Nat Geo)
He's to me, a man who thought too much and tried in vain to convince people that his predictions were real. He was making numerous calculation errors when he was an astrologer, akin to an unskilled accountant handling your account and committing numerous errors.
Moreover, all his predictions were without dates, so how could one specifically link the prophesies to real happenings? What's more, the interpreting was always done after the fact, with the benefit of hindsight, and with the concerted aim of proving the relevance of a given passage to an actual event.
11th September 2001
In his prediction on 9/11, he wrote that a "great thunder" would be heard in the "City of God":
"In the City of God there will be a great thunder, Two brothers 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 1654
Let the interpreting begin!
Assuming the "City of God" as New York, then the "two brothers torn apart by Chaos" must be the fallen towers of the Word Trade Center. The "fortress" is clearly the Pentagon, the "great leader" succumbing to Chaos must be the United States of America, and "the third big war" can only mean World War III.
Well... all you Nostradamus' fans out there, it's good to know that he didn't even write this passage. The quatrain is nowhere to be found in his entire published oeuvre.
More precisely, its attribution to Nostradamus is a hoax. The passage was lifted from a web page (long since deleted from the server that originally hosted it) containing an essay written by college student Neil Marshall in 1996 entitled "Nostradamus: A Critical Analysis."
In the essay itself, Marshall admits inventing the quatrain for the purpose of demonstrating how a Nostradamus-like verse can be so cryptically couched as to lend itself to whatever interpretation one wishes to make.
So the same goes for all other predictions. They weren't real or became real because it was modified by some pranksters. There was no truth in Nostradamus' prediction. He's NOT A PROPHET. (Oh ya he even predicted 2012, but instead of an apocalypse he mentioned about World War III)
Sad but true.