• Things that didn’t happen in 2012: Part Two

    Terrorist attacks, mudslides, superstorms, catastrophic fires, air crashes, earthquakes, murders.  One Joseph “Spiritman” Tittel predicted that a whole array of these dramatic events was fated to take place in 2012 – and Spiritman was right!  But how right was he?  

    In Part One, I took a look at some of Spiritman’s downright failed predictions; in this part, I’d like to examine the quality of a couple of his “hits”, as both he and his blog commentariat matched news events to the prophecies made on January 1st 2012 (but not published on his blog until January 21st).  Since he made many, many predictions, and I am not writing a book here, I’ll limit myself to the two that seemed strongest at first glance.

    Storm of the Century

    #9: One of the biggest headlines of the year reads “Storm Of The Century”. Storm causes fury like no other effecting several different states and/or countries. Storm leaves a path of destruction like never before. I can see aerial views that look like miles and miles of complete destruction. I can only imagine that this path of destruction would have been caused by many tornadoes at the same time and/or extremely strong winds. A summer storm I believe.

    Commenters said:

    The world now knows about “the Storm of the Century” – Sandy that hit multiple states on the east coast, especially the tri-state area. The miles of pictures were broadcast just like Joseph predicted!

    Joseph, you were right with the destruction from hurricane Sandy. Even calling it Super Storm. Wow!

    #9 has to be Hurricane Sandy !

    I would consider the situation in the Northeast with hurricane Sandy as
    the Storm of the Century. The flooding and storm surge has not been seen since the 1800’s, like one of your predictions mentioned.

     Hurricane Sandy was indeed a tragic, deadly, and destructive storm – but it was hardly the “Storm of the Century.”  So far, that would be 2005’s Katrina, measured by, for example, death toll (1200 vs 100), estimated costs ($126 billion vs $65 billion), and maximum storm surge (~27’ vs ~14’).   And, of course, the century has only just begun.

     But perhaps I’m being too picky; psychic visions probably do not include statistics, and maybe Spiritman should be forgiven for a bit of hyperbole.  He foresaw a major storm making the news, and along came Sandy.  He has a hit – or does he?

     No, he bloody well does not.  This kind of prediction is what I would call a safe bet, especially as global warming revs up the intensity of our weather.  If he were successfully to predict a hurricane season with no major storms and no damage, then I might begin to be impressed.  But as it is, his aerial visions of destruction make several visits a year to our tv news broadcasts.  (The photo above is from Katrina.)

    Note as well that Spiritman does not actually mention hurricanes, New York, the coast, flooding, or storm surges, leaving the way open for any kind of storm to fit the bill.  He even hedges his (safe) bet by suggesting either multiple tornadoes (which did not figure in Sandy) or extremely strong winds (which are kind of de rigueur for big storms). A bad tornado in the Midwest or Southwest would have served just as well, and would no doubt have been seized on by his fans as an exact match.  As for the weaselly addendum “A summer storm, I believe,” Sandy wrought her havoc in late October.

    Those in Peril on the Sea.

    51: In 2012 the deadly sea’s as they have called it is exactly what the oceans will be, very deadly. I see hijacking becoming a big issue and many ships will encounter pirates and hijackers stealing their freight and oil. I see one tanker that would carry oil on fire. I believe this is set by these pirate hijackers. Danger will be strong from April to December. The sea will claim so many lives in 2012, more then ever. There will be several major cruise line issues including an overturned ship. News will also report a group of people missing out at sea, possibly around the time of a serious storm. This may include a well know celebrity of sorts beings I see it being a big story.

    Match: Francesco Schettino, Costa Concordia Captain, Blamed For Italy Shipwreck
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/13/francesco-schettino-costa-concordia_n_1880338.html

     

    This is what I would call an omnibus prediction, a mish-mosh of dark prognostications.  Some deconstruction is in order. 

    In 2012 the deadly sea’s as they have called it is exactly what the oceans will be, very deadly. I see hijacking becoming a big issue and many ships will encounter pirates and hijackers stealing their freight and oil. I see one tanker that would carry oil on fire. I believe this is set by these pirate hijackers. Danger will be strong from April to December.

     Alas for Spiritman, but fortunately for the rest of us, 2012 saw a “a sharp reduction in successful piracy incidents off the coast of Somalia and in the Indian Ocean” – indeed, down by about 50% in those areas, and by about 35% worldwide.  No oil tanker was set on fire by its attackers.  The months of June to August were particularly uneventful.

    The sea will claim so many lives in 2012, more then ever.

    About 1000 souls were lost at sea in 2012, unchanged over the last five years.

    There will be several major cruise line issues including an overturned ship.

    This is the fragment of the prediction that was held to be a match for the Costa Concordia disaster, and it does sound quite impressive – assuming “overturned” means “turned on its side”, as opposed to overturned Poseidon-wise.  But the major problem with this one is the timing.  It did not appear on the broadcast made on New Year’s Day 2012.  It did appear on the blog published on January 21st.  The Costa Concordia mishap occurred on January 13th.  My nasty suspicious mind declines, therefore, to be overly impressed.

    News will also report a group of people missing out at sea, possibly around the time of a serious storm. This may include a well know celebrity of sorts beings I see it being a big story.

    As far as I could determine, no such Gilligan’s Island scenario was played out in 2012.

    There were more, so many more, many of them even more entertaining than these, but I have already wasted enough time for this year.  I will, though, make a miniproject of recording Spiritman’s 2013 predictions, and seeing how they turn out.  Perhaps he will surprise me – but my own prediction is that he will not.

    Category: Light Relief

    Article by: Rebecca Bradley

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    1. Hi Rebecca, I was perusing the Selkirk College booklet and saw your courses that you were giving. We have a little Centre for Inquiry group going here in Nelson you might be interested in. We meet once a month. We are bringing in David Eberth here in March for a Creationism vs Evolution talk. If you are interested in the group, email me. We would love for you to join. We do all sorts of fun stuff.
      Nina

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