It is “the most important date of this century or millennium,” Meade wrote on his website. The action starts that day, he claimed, when the world will enter what’s called a seven-year tribulation period, a fairly widespread evangelical belief that for seven years, catastrophic events would wreak havoc on Earth.
“Hold on and watch — wait until the middle of October and I don’t believe you’ll be disappointed,” Meade wrote, before going on to promote his book, which he claims has all the details.
“You don’t have long to read it,” he added.
Meade has earned a fair amount of publicity online for peddling a widely debunked claim that a planet called Nibiru is on a course toward Earth. When it passes the planet later this year, Meade said, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tidal waves and other catastrophes would ensue. Other predictions claimed that Nibiru would collide with Earth on Sept. 23, though Meade clarified that he never said that would happen.
NASA has repeatedly dismissed such claims as a hoax.
“The planet in question, Nibiru, doesn’t exist, so there will be no collision … the story of Nibiru has been around for years (as has the ‘days of darkness’ tale) and is periodically recycled into new apocalyptic fables,” NASA said on its website.
Meade previously had drawn attention to Sept. 23, saying that a constellation — a sign prophesied in the Book of Revelation — would reveal itself in the skies over Jerusalem, signaling the beginning of the end of the world as we know it. He claimed on his website that there were “major signs” in the skies that day, though he did not elaborate.
Robert Joustra, an international studies professor at Redeemer University College in Ontario, said that those who engage in apocalyptic claims often rely on mainstream information, such as the Book of Revelation. But many also find obscure references in the Bible to make predictions.
Meade, for instance, said he bases his predictions on biblical verses and numerical codes. A short biography on a website called Planet X News says Meade enjoys “relating science and the Bible,” and he believes Nibiru, which he also calls Planet X, is a “perfect marriage of the two.”
Ed Stetzer, a professor and executive director of Wheaton College’s Billy Graham Center for Evangelism, said earlier that while numbers do have a significance in the Bible, they shouldn’t be used to make sweeping predictions about planetary motions and the fate of Earth.
“We do believe some odd things,” Stetzer told The Washington Post last week. “That Jesus is coming back, that he will set things right in the world, and no one knows the day or the hour.”