Arthur Clarke, a well-known forward-thinker had once said, "If by some miracle, a prophet could describe the future exactly as it was going to take place, his predictions would sound so far-fetched, so absurd, that everyone would laugh him to scorn". Science says that it is not possible to predict future in any way, shape or form. But throughout history, writers, astrologers, and intellectuals have prognosticated about the future. While most of them are insane, some have definitely hit the nail in the head. Let us have a look at some of the most insane predictions that actually turned out to be true.
1. Sinking of Titanic
Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan is an 1898 novel written by Morgan Robertson which has some uncanny similarities with the sinking of Titanic. The novel was published even before RMS Titanic was conceptualized. The story is about a fictional ocean liner- Titan, which sinks in the North Atlantic after striking an iceberg in the month of April exactly the way Titanic sank. Both the fictional Titan and Titanic had Triple propellers, both were considered ‘Unsinkable”, carried almost same number of passengers and had shortage of life boats. Even the location and the speed at the time of impact were precisely documented, all this 14 years before the disaster occurred. Following the Titanic's sinking, some people credited Robertson with clairvoyance which the author denied.
2. The Rise and Fall of Hitler
Nostradamus, the famous 16th century oracle, had predicted the rise and fall of Hitler. He wrote- “From the depths of the West of Europe, A young child will be born of poor people. He who by his tongue will seduce a great troop; His fame will increase towards the realm of the East. Beasts ferocious with hunger will cross the rivers. The greater part of the battlefield will be against Hister. Into a cage of iron will the great one be drawn, when the child of Germany observes nothing”. Coincidently, Hitler was born in a poor family in Western Europe, his parents were poor. He was able to convince a significantly large number of people through his oratory skills. Finally, Hitler had a formidable influence over Japan, the Kingdom of the East. The second half of his prediction talks about the fall of Hitler. Hister in this quatrain may be referred to as Hitler. The German army (breasts ferocious with anger) indeed crossed rivers and borders, large part of the battlefield (French army and its allies) were against Hitler. The final line predicts the death of the Nazi Leader.
3. Attack on Pearl Harbor
In a 1924 report, American General Billy Mitchell accurately predicted the time and locations of Japan’s 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. He wrote- “Bombardment, attack to be made on Ford Island (Hawaii) at 7:30 am, Attack to be made on Clarke Ford at 10:40 am”. Mitchell was so certain about the attacks that he was court-martialed for railing against Military leaders, accusing them of “almost treasonable administration of the national defense” for not investing in the aircraft carriers. The navy dismissed his predictions, leaving Pearl Harbor vulnerable to Japan’s air strikes from the sea. What followed is history.
4. World War 1
In 1888, German Philosopher Friedrich Engels predicted the extent, destruction and occurrence of First World War. In a letter to his colleague, Friedrich wrote, “Finally, no war is any longer possible for Prussia-Germany except a world war and a world war indeed of an extent and violence hitherto undreamt of. The devastations of the Thirty Years’ War compressed into three or four years, and spread over the whole Continent; famine, pestilence, general demoralization both of the armies and of the mass of the people produced by acute distress; hopeless confusion of our artificial machinery in trade, industry and credit. Germany would put about five million armed men into the field, or ten per cent of the population, the others about four to five per cent, Russia relatively less. But there would be from ten to fifteen million combatants. I should like to see how they are to be fed; it would be devastation like the Thirty Years’ War. And no quick decision could be arrived at, despite the colossal fighting forces. “ All these predictions turned out to be precisely correct.
5. Nuclear Attack
Just prior to the start of World War 2, science fiction writer Robert Heinlein wrote a short story titled “Solution Unsatisfactory” in which the United States develops a nuclear weapon and kicks off a nuclear arms race among the competing superpowers. The story talked about a nuclear dust that would kill all people exposed and end the WWII in US’s favor. It also proposed the idea of cold war because of second strike capability and assured mutual destruction. The story was published when US had not even started the ‘Manhattan Project’ and the world war was still to begin.
All these predictions turned out to be precisely correct and hence feature in our list. Which prediction according to you is the best? Do let us know through your comments in the comment section.