World Trade Center, New York -- Off topic
danshane at bellsouth.net
Thu Sep 13 14:47:07 CEST 2001
BOB FOSTER WROTE:
> I just received this and thought I should pass it on without comment:
> Are you guys familiar with Nostradamus? This is a quote from one of his
> "In the year of the 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 great collapse,
> twin brothers torn apart by chaos while the fortress fall,
> the great leader will succumb,
> the third big war will come when the big city is
AND I RESPECTFULLY REPLY:
Before everyone gets excited about this "prophecy", I thought I would point
out that it is an example of a quatrain written by a student in a Canadian
university in imitation of similar writings attributed to Nostradamus.
I certainly don't mean to be insensitive or to belittle the importance of
the actual event that inspired the thousands of emails that are currently
flooding inboxes of readers worldwide. I have my own Biblical beliefs that
see the attack as evidence we are living in what the Scriptures call "the
last days." But we don't want to start a hysterical notion that World War
III is upon us based on a spurious quotation.
For those interested in the source of the quatrain, read on. The rest can
hit the "delete" key.
Claim: A 1554 Nostradamus prediction said World War III would begin with
the fall of "two brothers," a reference to the destroyed World Trade Center
"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
Origins: The turmoil of recent events has us all scrambling, some to look
for solace and meaning, others for the terrorists responsible, and yet
others for signs that what happened could have been prevented or at least
foreseen. The 11 September 2001 attack on America destroyed not only the two
World Trade Center towers in New York City, a chunk of the Pentagon in
Washington, and caused untold loss of life, it also shook America's sense of
invulnerability. No longer do Americans presume safety in an unsafe world.
For some, that realization is an eye-opener, unsettling but necessary, in
that a child's blissful unawareness has been replaced (at great cost) with
an adult's more clear-eyed view of the world and its sometimes horrifying
ways. For others, it spells the beginning of the end, in that they equated
an illusion of safety with its reality and thus now feel their world is
ending. It is the fears of that second group that are given voice in the
Nostradamus prediction circulated on the Internet even before the dust had
settled in New York.
The French physician and astrologer Nostradamus (1503-1566) penned numerous
quatrains populated by obscure imagery that the credulous have ever after
attempted to fit to the events of their times. These predictions can often
ring somewhat true in that the images employed are so general they can be
found in almost every event of import, but by the same token, the prophesies
are never a dead-on fit because the wordings are far too general. Not that
this stops anyone from believing in them; our society's need for mysticism
runs far too deep to ever allow for that.
Those looking for the certainty of a Nostradamus prophesy come true have
been known to sledge hammer the results to force a fit by inventing fanciful
translations from the original French, bend over backwards to assert one
named term is really another, and (as in this case) outright fabricate part
or all of the prediction.
Nostradamus did not write the quatrain now being attributed to him. (One
wonders how a guy who died in 1566 could have written an item identified as
being penned in 1654 anyway.) It originated with a student at Brock
University in Canada in the 1990s, appearing on a web page essay on
Nostradamus. That particular quatrain was offered by the page's author, Neil
Marshall, as a fabricated example to illustrate how easily an
important-sounding prophecy can be crafted through the use of abstract
imagery. He pointed out how the terms he used were so deliberately vague
they could be interpreted to fit any number of cataclysmic events.
It appears someone mistook Marshall's illustrative example for an actual
Nostradamus prophecy and, not content to let well enough alone, added "The
third big war will begin when the big city is burning." A fabrication was
thus further fabricated.
But that wasn't the end of it. More fakery was piled on in later versions
that now included all of the text quoted in the Example section above but
now concluded with:
"on the 11th day of the 9 month that...two metal birds would crash
into two tall statues...in the new city... and the world will end soon
Similarly, another enhanced version incorporates the Example text into a
more detailed prophecy:
And Nostradamus predicted this (who knows how long ago):
"In the year of the 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,
2 twin brothers torn apart by chaos
while the fortress falls the great leader will succumb
third big war will begin when the big city is burning"
Needless to say, these versions are as fake as the first was.
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