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Entries in doomsday (2)

Sunday
Nov222009

Doomsday 1999 A.D. (1981)

While perusing the shelves of a great Portland bookstore (Portland, OR really has the best used book stores in the country) I stumbled across the book Doomsday 1999 A.D. by Charles Berlitz and immediately flipped to the last chapter.

In the "apocalypse porn" genre you'll find that the final chapter is where the author either hedges his bets (maybe we won't all die, after all...) or offers an absurd possibility for the survival of mankind (let's spike foreign food aid with anti-fertility drugs!). Berlitz chooses to do a bit of both with a chapter called "The Arks of the Future."

Below is an excerpt from the final chapter of the book.

Although the idea of piloted UFOs and intelligent life in space is usually considered with a certain amount of sardonic humor, it nevertheless remains a possibility and should be considered as an added opportunity for Earth's peoples, through knowledge of its drive and methods, to develop another means of escape from our environment if or when it becomes untenable.

Our legends from an earlier world tell us of a great ship or ships which provided a refuge in far places of the earth, but perhaps after the next catastrophe Earth itself may become inimicable to humanity. Our survival plans should therefore be predicated on an intensified exploration of space; not only to find a refuge but also to expand our observation of the universe, to be able thereby to avoid or control dangers within the cosmos which may even now be drawing closer to Earth.

 

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Sunday
Nov162008

The Millennium Bug (1998)


The 1998 book The Millennium Bug by Michael S. Hyatt is pretty pessimistic about mankind's future, given the "Y2K problem." Ironically, Mr. Hyatt blogged more recently about cynics who are pessimistic about the future. He says that real leaders "look on the sunny side." Priceless turnaround.

As ridiculous as the hysteria over Y2K may have been, it was certainly more palatable than the current "2012" nonsense. Whatever happened to being afraid of a good, old-fashioned robot uprising?

My favorite warning from the front cover of the book says that the "illusion of social stability is about to be shattered . . . and nothing can stop it." If this is even remotely true, why buy this book? Do you feel as if you're living with the "illusion of social stability"? Might we all crack in a moment's notice? Does every generation feel so special as to believe they live in the End Times?

The rest of the supposed "catastrophic results" of the Y2K bug were outlined on the book's back cover:

  • Social security checks will stop coming.
  • Planes all over the world will be grounded.
  • Credit card charges will be rejected.
  • Military defense systems will fail.
  • Police records and emergency communications will be inaccessible.
  • There will be massive, long-term power failures.
  • Bank funds will be inaccessible.
  • Insurance policies will appear to have expired.
  • Telephone systems will fail to operate.
  • IRS tax records and government funds will be unavailable.
  • The Federal Reserve will be unable to clear checks.
  • Time security vaults will fail to open or close on time.
  • Traffic signals will fail to function.
  • Office systems will fail and your employer will go out of business. [ed. note: This seems rather specific. My employer will go out of business? It's as if you're pointing directly at me through this book. How did you do that, magic book?]

Read more:
The Robot Rebellion (1982)
Final Date of the Earth: August 18, 1999 (1973)
The Prophetic Year 2000 (1968)
The 1980s: Countdown to Armageddon
Nucelar War to Start September 12, 2006
Nuclear War Revisited (2006)
Apocalypse Soon (1980)