The Greatest Predictors of the Future, Part I

Although I am not a believer in this spiritual hocus-pocus, these ten people no doubt left their mark on history: 

The Oracle at Delphi
The most important oracle in the classical Greek world, the Oracle at Delphi is the major shrine for Apollo, who he slew Python (God of the Naval of the Earth) on that side.  The priestess of the oracle at Delphi was known as the Pythia and Apollo spoke through this oracle. The sibyl sat on a tripod seat over an opening in the earth, fumes from which allegedly entranced her and caused her to predict in riddles. The Oracle survived under the Macedonians, Barbarians, and Romans before Emperor Theodosius I ordered to close it in 395AD.  

Robert Nixon (?)


A legendary figure, Robert Nixon is known more famously as Cheshire Prophet. In one legend, he served under Edward IV and Richard III, while another  conflicting story notes he lived during the reign of James I two centuries later. However, in the early 18th century, he is the claimed source of various prophecies widely circulated in the leaflet form. In those, he apparently predicted the rise and banishment of Napoleon, the invention of cigars, the Jacobite rebellions and the abdication of Edward VIII.  The story surrounding Nixon’s death was equally intriguing: summoned to the court of Richard III (because he foretold the Battle of the Bosworth Field), he predicted that he would be starved to death there. The puzzled king ordered him to be kept in the kitchen but, because he was always picking at food he was locked in the cupboard. The cook was called away and Nixon did starve to death.

Ursula Southiel (Mother Shipton)


There is no really trustworthy evidence as to her ever having existed, but Ursula Southiel (allegedly 1488-1561) apparently descended from a long line of witches. Ursula from her infancy was regarded as “the Devil’s child,” because of her sinister appearance. She got her gift of ability to foretell the future when she turned 24. Her predictions, typical of those of the time, were presented in riddles, often in verse, and dealt mainly and accurately with the the predictions of deaths of famous people, including Cardinal Wolsey. In the 1862 version of her life by Charles Hindley, Mother Shipton predicts the end of the world in 1881. In 1881 there was some panic in Britain as the prophecy had become accepted as true even though in 1873, Charles Hindley confessed that he had made up this prophecy.

William Lilly (1602-1681)


The famed English occultist William Lilly was a popular astrologer under King Charles I. Particularly adept at interpreting the astrological charts, he published his comprehensive Christian Astrology anthology, which has never gone out-of-print since, and which is now considered the textbook for the study of traditional astrology. After the Restoration, he quickly fell into disrepute because of his previous sympathetic predictions for the Parliamentarians. Lilly was at the centre of controversy in 1666 for predicting the Great Fire of London some 14 years before it happened. Many people believed that he started the fire,  and Lily was tried for the offence in Parliament but was found to be innocent. 

David Goodman Croly (1829–1889)


Although he is now remembered only for his anonymous pamphlet Miscegenation, which tried to discredit the Abolitionist movement, David Goodman Croly also left behind a legacy of predictions. He wrote a column of business, political, and social predictions for the New York Real Estate Record and Builder’s Guide. He made his reputation by predicting the Panic of 1873 two years in advance, even specifying the first bank (Jay Cooke & co.) and first railroad (Northern Pacific, above) to fail. He also made fifty-three concrete predictions “to be read now and judged in the year 2000,” of which forty are proved to be correct:  World War I; the Russian Revolution; women’s rights, aerial reconnaissance, etc. However, his other predictions include the United States drafting a new constitution and conquering North and Central Americas. 

Anton Johansson (1858 – 1909)


Known affectionately as the Christian Seer of Finnmark, Anton Johansson of Sweden is famous for the prediction of the sinking of Titanic. He also predicted the First World War in Central Europe, the Russian Revolution, the defeat of Germany in the First and the Second Wars. As an old man, Johansson was highly obsessed by what he termed a Third World War. He stated it would break out at “the end of July, beginning of August, I do not know the year”, but went on to detail a Russian invasion of Europe and Middle East. 

Evangeline Adams (1868-1932)


The best known astrologer of her day, Evangeline Adams was said to have “raised astrology to the dignity of an exact science,” by the end of her life. However, this did not prevent her from being arrested twice in New York for fortune telling. [Once, she was acquitted after recounting to the judge the details about the death of his son.] She predicted the Windsor Hotel fire, the stock market crash of ’29, World War II, the deaths of King Edward VII, Enrico Caruso, and even herself. Her books, now all out of print, are eagerly sought after by students, and even stolen from library shelves. 

Cheiro (1866-1936)


Self-described clairvoyant, and self-titled Count Leigh de Hamong, Cheiro (born WIlliam John Warner) took his name from the word cheiromancy, meaning palmistry. He read the hands of celebrities ranging from William Gladstone to Mata Hari. The skeptical Mark Twain wrote in Cheiro’s visitor’s book: “Cheiro has exposed my character to me with humiliating accuracy. I ought not to confess this accuracy, still I am moved to do so.” Cheiro predicted the date of Queen Victoria’s death, the year and month when King Edward VII would pass away, the grim destiny that awaited the late Czar of Russia, the assassination of King Humbert of Italy, the attempt on the Shah’s life in Paris, 

Homer Lea (1876-1912)


A hunchback, American mercenary Homer Lea served as the military advisor to Sun Yet-Sen in China. He wrote two seminal works on geopolitics:  The Valor of Ignorance which predicted the rise of Japanese militarist aggression and a Japanese Empire in the Pacific, while The Day of the Saxon, predicted the rise of a greater German Reich based on national supremacy and ethnic purity. His unfinished third book, The Swarming of the Slav predicted a Russian move to dominate Europe. In The Valor of Ignorance, he predicted a possible Japanese attack on the Pearl Harbor, and on the US mainland (using balloon bombs).  

Edgar Cayce (1877-1945)


An American psychic Edgar Cayce demonstrated abilities to answer questions while in a self-induced trance. Although many critics say Cayce exploited the contemporaneous newspaper articles, affidavits, anecdotes, and testimonials to gather information, many of his recorded predictions are proved to be accurate. He foresaw the Stock Market Crash and Great Depression, the existence of a ninth Planet, WWII, the independent India and the birth of Israel and noted that Hitler would remain in power until it will “come as an overthrow or an outside war.” His most famous prediction is on the existence of Atlantis, which he noted, populated ancient Egypt and pre Columbian America. During the height of World War II, he saw the possibility of a united world assembly but died before he had chance to see its fruition.   

(To be continued, with Nostradamus & co. in Part II)

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