Well, that’s it for 2012. Once again, Earth has passed an arbitrary point in its orbit that, for historical and cultural reasons, is considered significant; our chronological odometer has clicked again, to put us 2013 years from an event that almost certainly did not take place. Happy New Year, everybody.
This is the season when psychics confidently trot out their predictions for the coming twelvemonth, and skeptics get to snark about the failed predictions from the one just finished. Perhaps the best snarking is to be found at http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/2012-failed-psychic-predictions/ – but this is a game that anyone can play. I wanted, though, to look not just at the failed predictions, but the ones that were considered successes.
So I set out looking for a psychic who had made at least a minimal effort to document his hits. Enter one “Spiritman” Joseph Tittel, who bills himself as a spiritual medium, psychic clairvoyant, and medical intuitive – whatever that means. He comes out annually with a long list of predictions, subdivided into categories like a game of Trivial Pursuit; these are generated on his live blog radio spot on January 1st, transcribed onto his blog thereafter, and updated as each prophecy is fulfilled. The helpful commentariat on his blog and FB page also contribute suggested confirmations as they come up. I looked only at his blog.
It was a massive list for 2012: seventeen weather predictions, seventeen for celebrities, seven for the US economy, one long screed about Obama, and no fewer than sixty-seven “world” predictions, including natural disasters. Of the 109 itemized prophecies, either Tittel or his commentariat suggested “confirmations” for all of 32. As well, many items ramblingly included several different parts, each of which could be treated as a separate prediction. Even I, however, am not obsessive enough to tease them out and count them individually. What, for example, would one do with the following?
2: Major controversy erupts out of Alaska. Something to do with the political movement in Alaska. It involves the government & possibly the FBI. Alaska came to me several time which makes me believe they will have several major incidents that hit news headlines including weather related issues. Bizarre unexpected and unusual storms here and throughout the world.
12: Japan hit once more by large earthquake up to 8.1. This time I feel it hits more toward the northern west part of Japan. I feel that Japan will endure several major issues, including issues with China, along with several earthquakes. Most likely floods. Also many issues with water, floods. I see people boiling water. May be a total of three earthquakes that measure high on the scale…
48: Pakistan will cause the world great trouble as will other middle eastern countries like Iran and even problems with Russia. Russia & China buddy up and make it difficult for other surrounding countries as time progresses.
W2: Extremely large and very unusual and unexpected dust storms begin to take place, especially during the summer and early fall months, one out of Arizona and/or New Mexico. Injures several and 7 causalities. India, China, Europe and Australia.
A quick summary will do for the failed prophecies that were specific enough to judge. The year 2012 did not see:
- the assassination of a Norwegian or Cuban leader
- the shooting of President Obama
- another terrorist attack on a Russian subway system
- a major volcanic eruption in July (“one of the largest we have ever seen”)
- chaos and a new war in Cuba
- a huge undersea earthquake resulting in one of the largest tsunamis ever seen
- an American Airlines crash on a runway
- the discovery of life on a new planet
- three major accidents in space exploration
- nuclear explosions in Iran or Israel
- a change of leadership in Australia
- two Chicago policemen charged with the murder of a boy
- a small fire in the White House (unless he meant the White House Restaurant in Bucks, Alabama)
- a new pope and a severe decline in the fortunes of the Catholic church
- serious health issues for Queen Elizabeth (up to and including surgery and death) and Donald Trump
- the FBI capture of a massively prolific serial killer (biggest since Manson and Dahmer)
- the death of Jerry Sandusky by suicide or murder
- a huge announcements by Elton John
- a stroke for Regis Philbin
- crutches for the unsinkable Betty White.
Another class of prophecies can be considered automatic fails – vague extrapolations about ongoing situations: the melting of the Arctic, Hulk Hogan’s health and legal issues, oil in the Gulf of Mexico, Lindsay Lohan’s train wreck of a life, nonspecific earthquakes in the Ring of Fire, the Brangelina soap opera, unrest in the Middle East, hurricanes in hurricane season, or tornadoes in tornado season. Duh. A power outage in Las Vegas? There were at least ten in 2012, none of them major, about the same as previous years. A major derailment in China or Japan, with a death toll of 101? There were twenty-seven derailments worldwide in 2012, none of them in China or Japan, and the total death toll was thirty-six. Etc.
And then there’s this:
W6: 2012 will mark off the year of one of the largest natural disasters that has ever been seen. I think this is weather related combined with the outbreak of some disease or bacteria. Not only will the impact of this disaster kill thousands, the aftermath will kill hundreds more due to disease. I cannot seem to pinpoint where this disasters takes place but feel the U.S. and Canada are safe from this one. Many get involved in trying to reach out and help the people impacted by this huge disaster. This would effect more then a hundred thousand people and possible even more like a half a million or more people. [Note: in a different version of this prediction, the figure is “millions”] It is possible that Africa will be effected by this and if not this they will also endure some major tragedy in 2012 that takes out many people at one time.
That’s a mighty big prediction – and could equally well be applied to flooding, drought, hurricane or monsoon, earthquake (Tittel elsewhere refers to earthquakes as weather phenomena), volcano, meteor impact, or something else entirely, followed by epidemics, as disasters often are. But, while 2012 had its full share of catastrophe and human misery, nothing approached being “one of the largest natural disasters that has ever been seen.” Fail, fail, fail. And even if such a calamity had taken place, what practical use would this remarkably silly prediction have been – except to allow Spiritman the pleasure of saying “I told you so.”
So much for the failures. Next up, I will take a wide-eyed and breathless look at Spiritman’s successes.