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Thread: Don't Perpetuate Internet Hoaxes and Paranoia...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Scorpion's Avatar
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    Don't Perpetuate Internet Hoaxes and Paranoia...

    I posted this in the Cure section, but I thought more people might read it here.

    I've been receiving Internet Hoaxes since I've been online (since 1993), and I've learned to notice tell-tale signs of a hoax like incorrect facts, terrible grammar, phrasing similar to other hoaxes, etc. About.com has a whole section dedicated to debunking hoaxes and urban legends. Below is what was on the About.com Urban Legends & Folklore section...
    ------------------------
    By David Emery

    Rumor Watch: Terrorist Attacks on U.S.
    Part 2: Did Nostradamus Predict the Tragedy?


    I have no doubt that some will seriously claim that the 16th-century prophet Nostradamus predicted the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks in his writings - such claims follow virtually every modern disaster - but various "quatrains" already being circulated under Nostradamus' name are demonstrably bogus.

    First example:


    "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

    ----
    Unfortunately, Nostradamus died in 1566, so it's rather unlikely he wrote this passage in 1654. The quatrain is not to be found in his published oeuvre. It's a hoax.

    The text apparently originated on a Web page entitled "A Critical Analysis of Nostradamus," written several years ago by a student named Neil Marshall. Marshall made up the quatrain to demonstrate - quite ironically, in light of how it is now being misused - that the writings of Nostradamus are so cryptic that they can be interpreted to mean almost anything.

    Two metal birds?

    An interesting variant of the faux prophecy was posted in the newsgroup soc.culture.palestine under the heading "They followed his prediction":

    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 ...on the 11 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 after" "From the book of Nostradamus"

    ----
    Again, this text cannot be found in Nostradamus' writings. It's a hoax.

    Third variant, circulating by email:

    Subject: Re: Nostradamus

    Century 6, Quatrain 97

    Two steel birds will fall from the sky on the
    Metropolis. The sky will burn at forty-five degrees
    latitude. Fire approaches the great new city

    [New York City lies between 40-45 degrees] Immediately
    a huge, scattered flame leaps up. Within months,
    rivers will flow with blood. The undead will roam
    earth for little time.

    -----
    This is a revision of an actual verse by Nostradamus. The original is typically translated this way:

    The sky will burn at forty-five degrees latitude,
    Fire approaches the great new city
    Immediately a huge, scattered flame leaps up
    When they want to have verification from the Normans.
    Nostradamus never mentioned "two steel birds," nor did he write that "the undead will roam the earth." New York City lies at exactly 40 degrees, 42 minutes, 51 seconds north latitude. While it isn't false to say it lies "between 40-45 degrees," it's imprecise, misleading and an obvious ploy to make the prophecy seem relevant.

    A third big war?
    Variant #4, circulating by email:


    Nostradamus' prediction on WW3:

    "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"

    - NOSTRADAMUS

    He said this will be bigger than the previous two. 2001 is the first year of the new century and this is the 9th month. New York is located at the 41st degree Latitude.

    ----
    In this case, a very few words actually written by Nostradamus have been creatively enhanced by person(s) unknown. Notice the addition of a reference to a "third big war" to the passage already circulating. Pure bunk.

    Anyone else want to have a go?
    ------------------------

    ~Rus

    "Because you're not promised tomorrow." ~ Stuck Mojo

  2. #2

    Urban legends

    Hi Rus~

    Good for you! I applaud your voice of reason in this madness. Another good site for urban legends is www.snopes.com.

    Sci Mom

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