Prophets of doom
December 31, 2001 5:06 AM   Subscribe

Prophets of doom In June 2000, Lynne Palmer, a 69-year-old Las Vegas resident, published her Astrological Almanac for 2001... On page 95 of the book, buried among advice on the best days to go to the movies and worst days to lend people money, Palmer had written, in an odd combination of the obvious and the prophetic: "Avoid terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001."
posted by raaka (23 comments total)
I think we can safely file this under the Infinite Monkeys Theorem.
posted by RavinDave at 5:12 AM on December 31, 2001

It's just interesting that somebody wrote the words before they happened. Interesting trivia is all.
posted by raaka at 5:22 AM on December 31, 2001

I like the avoid. Terrorist attacks, fatty foods, double posts. Like if it's not too much trouble.

The article is very interesting, though. Thanks, raaka. I think astrology's a load of twaddle but there are enough intelligent astrologers to plump it up with all sorts of other information. I didn't understand if the high-brow guy was dissing Lynne Palmer when he said he couldn't figure out how she did it.

And the probability of predicting terrorist attacks(plural)and September 11 has to be extremely low. Oh gleuschk and mattpfeff, where are you when you are needed?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:27 AM on December 31, 2001

ooooh. creepy.
posted by presto at 5:33 AM on December 31, 2001

As long as we are limiting ourselves to the weird and wacky, the 'numerological analysis' of 9/11 comes to us from Lauren Rubin's piece in the Sept. 18 issue of the New York Daily News, scanned in by Adrienne Smalls.

[Adrienne Smalls, once an inmate herself, is now realizing her American DreamTM, one dollar-bill at a time; by being the personal shopper for prisoners and their visitors with the aid of her website. She is putting a kind and caring face and taking her piece of the pie from the American prison system, that is a billion dollar business for faceless and heartless corporations, not to mention lawyers.]

In case the scanned photo goes away, here is the analysis:
  • Sept.11, or 9/11 -- 9+1+1 = 11.
  • Sept. 11 is the 254th day of the year -- 2+5+4 = 11.
  • After Sept. 11, there are 111 days left in the year.
  • The Twin Towers, standing side by side, always looked like the number 11.
  • The first plane to hit the towers was American's Flight 11.
  • New York was the 11th state to join the Union.
  • There are 11 letters in New York City, Afghanistan and The Pentagon.
  • There were 92 people aboard Flight 11 -- 9+2 = 11.
  • There were 65 people on American's Flight 77 -- 6+5 = 11.
  • . . . the ground breaking for the Pentagon is said to have occurred on Sept. 11, 1942.
posted by tamim at 6:11 AM on December 31, 2001

hmm....I would not classify this in the same regards to the flood of numerological 'relationships' of many of the events of that day. I for one tend to think that we can find numbers in anything if we start to do arithmetic operations on them, and more often that not we WILL find the number we 'fear' or 'hope' to get.

As far as this prediction....well its certainly interesting. I personally believe that things as these are possible. But then again I am probably biased in this in that I myself have had quite a handful of experiences in the realm of the esoteric (and as critical as I can be, many questions about my personal experiences remain). Note that I'm not saying to go out buy those books cause everything in them is true, far from it. I think for the most (read: 99%) part they are a load of crap.

Yes, it probably is simply coincidence, but some would argue about the nature of that coincidence ;)
posted by oneiros at 6:34 AM on December 31, 2001

I agree with oneiros, I mean, come on, has anyone seen Pi? Since when has MetaFilter become the hotspot for astrology and numerology?
posted by insomnyuk at 6:47 AM on December 31, 2001

just for fun, read 'The Illuminatus! Trilogy' and look at how numbers can add up to anything. the truth is indeed out there... because addition told me so...
posted by krewson at 6:49 AM on December 31, 2001

'The obvious'? What was so obvious about this before it happened?
As far as conspiracy theories go, I prefer the Foucault's Pendulum Principle: the only conspiracies are the ones you create.
posted by darukaru at 6:56 AM on December 31, 2001

What a wonderfully vague warning. Just enough to get the nutjobs all excited.
posted by fleener at 7:49 AM on December 31, 2001

Let me read your palm...yes, your gullibility line is very strong.
posted by quercus at 8:24 AM on December 31, 2001

ooooh, and there are 11 comments in this thread!!

oh wait. not anymore. oops.
posted by Sapphireblue at 8:28 AM on December 31, 2001

Neil Sencer in the Observer also claims great prescience and suggests May 26 next year will be a bad day for someone.
posted by Fat Buddha at 8:30 AM on December 31, 2001

you could read it another way: (terrorists,) avoid terrorist attacks on september 11th (or you'll piss off the US and have your entire network destrioyed).

If only they'd read their horoscope.
posted by Mick at 8:31 AM on December 31, 2001

The weirdest thing happened to me this morning: as I walked past a gas station, I actually saw a car with the license plate "C09 HT6." I mean, isn't that fucking freaky? Out of the hundreds of millions of license plates in the world, I saw that one. I'm still kind of shaky.
posted by Skot at 8:31 AM on December 31, 2001

Great.. did they find a copy of the Astrological Almanac for 2001 in any of the terrorist's supposed posessions? You know, since it helps to plan ahead..
posted by krux at 8:45 AM on December 31, 2001

Palmer did not claimed that she "predicted" the attack but only that September 11 was one of 16 for the month (>53% chance) and one of the 130 days in 2001 that she considered best for "avoiding" terrorist attacks. She also listed 13 dates in September to “Avoid Travel by Air” – September 11 was not one of them.

posted by marc-hamilton at 9:13 AM on December 31, 2001

btw isn't avoiding terrorist attacks something one should strive for every day of the year?
Is there a good day in 2002 to "embrace terrorist attacks"?
posted by quercus at 9:43 AM on December 31, 2001

The most significant ooh-ooh-ooh moment for many astrologers in the months preceding September 11 came when they noticed a relatively rare opposing alignment of two fundamentally opposed planets: Pluto and Saturn

This is nonsense—I get the ooh ooh feeling all the time.
posted by rschram at 10:14 AM on December 31, 2001

Whenever a self-proclaimed psychic makes a prediction he is essentially buying a lottery ticket. And sometimes, despite staggering odds, someone wins. This guy wrote "Avoid terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001" and wound up winning Powerball.

Great link, though -- as a hardcore skeptic, I love stuff like this. Revel if the jawdroppingly improbable, folks -- after all, that's the basis for the evolution which got us from single cells to opposable thumbs.
posted by Shadowkeeper at 10:54 AM on December 31, 2001

Amazing that all those people wrote articles about her "prediction" apparently without looking at the book at all, as they'd have noticed that "avoiding" terrorist attacks is recommended more than a third of the days of the year (according to the truth or fict site referenced above - don't see anything at snopes...)
posted by mdn at 1:04 PM on December 31, 2001

I forsee a DEATH of a PERSON in the future...

Look! I'm clairvoyant!
posted by Down10 at 2:09 AM on January 1, 2002

i predict that there will be many more cynical and witty posts on meFi in 2002.
posted by elphTeq at 4:20 PM on January 1, 2002

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