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The Honest Truth: Boom time? How Nostradamus gazed into the future and saw the end of the world

© Shutterstock / Lukasz Pawel SzczNostradamus predicted the end of the word would happen by meteors.
Nostradamus predicted the end of the word would happen by meteors.

Living through a global pandemic has felt like the lead-up to doomsday at times. Yet no one predicted the end of the world quite like Nostradamus.

Bobby Shailer, who contributes to the documentary Nostradamus: End Of Days, tells Laura Smith the Honest Truth about the mysterious prophet.

Who was Nostradamus?

Nostradamus was a prophet and seer from southern France, born in 1503. He started having precognitive visions as a child.

After studying medicine at the University of Montpellier, he travelled around Europe treating victims of the Black Death. After his wife and two children died (probably from the plague) he had a spiritual awakening and got into the occult.

From 1550, aged 46, he published almanacs forecasting the year ahead using astrology, mostly for farmers.

He consulted for the queen of France and gave future readings for her seven sons. He became the personal physician for both King Henry II and his son King Charles IX. He published the quatrains (his predictions) in 1555, 1557, 1558, and 1568. He died in Salon-de-Provence in 1566, aged 62.

How many prophesies did he make?

Possibly over 1,000. After he started publishing his almanacs, he was seen as a wise forecaster.

He predicted the death of King Henry II and, after the monarch was killed in a jousting event, many called for the execution of Nostradamus as an evil sorcerer. However, he was favoured by the queen, Catherine de’ Medici, and escaped execution.

What are his most famous predictions?

His supposedly fulfilled prophecies include the deaths of Henry II, his wife and four sons, the Great Fire of London, the coronation of Felice Peretti as Pope Sixtus V, the French Revolution (and the executions of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette), the Napoleonic Wars, Hitler and the Second World War, the assassination of President John F Kennedy and, possibly, the moon landing and the terror attacks of 9/11.

Bobby Shailer
Bobby Shailer

Do any remain unfulfilled?

Nostradamus predicted several destructive fires, wars that would decimate the world, three Antichrists, and flooding that will leave few lands above water. I think the worldwide flooding and wars stand a good chance of being fulfilled within the next 20-50 years.

Can any of his predictions be linked to the coronavirus pandemic?

Nostradamus did make many references to future plagues and pestilences, but none that I’ve found seem to fit the pandemic.

What is The Third Antichrist?

Nostradamus predicted three (I’d argue four) “Antichrists”.

He used the term to refer to tyrannical world leaders who were also warmongers; who started the wars that they were involved in, caused millions of deaths, and were noteworthy to history. His third Antichrist is the worst. Nostradamus predicted him as someone who would “rise over all the kings of the east” and start a world war (perhaps World War Three) which would last for 25 to 29 years. Nostradamus associated his third Antichrist with the biblical Antichrist.

Do you think Nostradamus was psychic?

If by psychic you mean intuitive, clairvoyant and precognitive, then yes; at least all of the accounts describe him as naturally having those abilities. But he wasn’t said to be telepathic or a mind-reader.

According to Nostradamus, when and how will the world end?

He predicted “the final conflagration”, a massive meteor storm bombardment, perhaps including one or more catastrophic, extinction-level event. When is trickier. In his preface, Nostradamus explained to his son that his prophecies spanned from his present time (1555) until 3797. He didn’t state the year of the final conflagration, merely that was when his prophecies would end.

Nostradamus: End of Days is available to stream on discovery+ now