Dec. 12, 2002: Harold Camping speaks while holding the Bible, in San Leandro, Calif. A loosely organized Christian movement has spread the word around the globe that Jesus Christ will return to earth on Saturday, May 21, 2011, to gather the faithful into heaven. While the Christian mainstream isn't buying it, many other skeptics are believing it. The prediction originates with Camping, the 89-year-old retired civil engineer, who founded Family Radio Worldwide, an independent ministry that has broadcasted his prediction around the world.
So it seems Harold Camping's latest prediction that the world will end Saturday, May 21, 2011, is proving to be false.
The deadline for the apocalypse passed in the Pacific islands, New Zealand and Australia without a bang.
According to the Christian broadcaster, Judgment Day was supposed to bring a massive earthquake, powerful enough to throw open graves, followed by a slow death for all non-believers over the next five months across the globe. He went on to say only 200 million people will be saved and those left behind will die in earthquakes, plagues, and other calamities until Earth is consumed by a fireball on October 21.
This wouldn't be the first time Camping was wrong.
In 1992, Camping wrote a book titled "1994?" about the world coming to an end that year.
He wrote, "When September 6, 1994, arrives, no one else can become saved. The end has come."
He said this earlier apocalyptic prediction didn't come true because of a mathematical error.
"I'm not embarrassed about it. It was just the fact that it was premature," he told The Associated Press last month. But this time, he said, "there is...no possibility that it will not happen."
Camping says his predictions are based on taking direct quotes and stories from the Bible and applying them to numerological formulas. May 21, 2011 is exactly 7,000 years since the flood in the biblical story of Noah's Ark.
The doomsday message has been sent far and wide via broadcasts and web sites by Camping, an 89-year-old retired civil engineer who has built a multi-million dollar nonprofit ministry based on his apocalyptic prediction.