Fair warning: Bulgarian prophet predicted Obama would be last U.S. president

November 8, 2012

Vangelia Pandeva Dimitrova, better known as Baba Vanga, was born in remote European mountains then controlled by the Ottoman Empire. She was blind, believed she could predict the future, and eventually attracted a following in Russia. She died in 1996, but her predictions live on, particularly on the Russian web. A Russian documentary about the supposed clairvoyant is above. Even across the language barrier, it's pretty entertaining to click through.

According to the Baba Vanga folklore, her big breakthrough in Russia came after a Russian nuclear submarine sank in 2000, killing 118 sailors and allegedly fulfilling one of Vanga's prophecies. Since then, enthusiastic Baba Vanga fans in Russia have found "proof" that she foretold the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, the Sept. 11 attacks, you name it.

Her Russian fans also believe that Baba Vanga correctly predicted that the 44th president of the United States would be African American, a prophesy in which she apparently added that he would be the last U.S. president.

To be clear, it's difficult to determine what Baba Vanga actually said. And there's no reason to lend this prediction any seriousness whatsoever. Still, it's interesting for the degree to which many Russians seem to be at least aware of the prediction about America's "last" president, and possibly even believe. One Russian social media user even cited the prophesy in passing, reacting to the news of Obama's reelection: "It was clear that Obama would win... he and not Romney is the last president of the USA according to Vanga’s prophecy," according to a translation by Russia blogger Augis Barkov.

If that seems alarming to you, it's worth noting that Baba Vanga also says, according to a round-up of her predictions by Vice magazine, that the Earth's orbit will shift in 2013. And a number of conspiracy theory Web sites that I won't link to here also claimed she foretold a third world war to begin in ... 2010. Hopefully, then, her powers are on the decline.

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Max Fisher · November 7, 2012