As your prophecy-buster for the day, I point you to the Nostradamus/World Trade Center Meme1.

    "In the City of God there will be a great thunder, Two brothers torn apart by Chaos, while the fortress endures, the great leader will succumb" , "The third big war will begin when the big city is burning"

This pair of 'Nostradamus quotes' being propagated via email and web pages, isn't what it appears to be at all. On one hand, by taking two separate brief prophecies, one can form any kind of after-the-fact prediction that one wants to, magnetic-poetry-style, but more importantly, the first quote wasn't written by Nostradamus at all but was written five years ago by Neil Marshall2, a Canadian high school senior in his Critical Analysis of Nostradamus3.

In his paper, Neil talks about the 'infinite monkeys principle'...

    "If I make say a thousand prophecies that are fairly abstract for example:

    'In the City of God there will be a great thunder, Two brothers torn apart by Chaos, while the fortress endures, the great leader will succumb'

and goes on to talk about all the ways his own example could be interpreted, basically saying that of 1000 random prophecies like the one he wrote, some are bound to come true. It's just amazing coincidence (or a great cosmic gift, you decide) that the single example he made up for his paper happened to be so appropriate today.

For those naysayers, note that (until today's blogs get indexed by Google) a search for 'brothers torn apart by chaos'4 retrieves only one entry, the paper mentioned above, while an actual Nostradamus prophecy segment such as 'that which is enclosed in iron and letter in a fish'5 retrieves nearly 40, all from Nostradamus sites, several of which have the full translated texts.

As for the other part, "The third big war will begin when the big city is burning," well that doesn't appear on the web at all6 (again, until google indexes the new blog entries).

It's just another urban legend, only operating on Internet time: Shaped, propagated, and publicly debunked, all on the very same day.


1: http://www.daypop.com/search?q="torn+apart+by+chaos"&s=1&c=10&t=a
2: http://www.ed.brocku.ca/~nmarshal/abauthor.htm
3: http://www.ed.brocku.ca/~nmarshal/nostradamus.htm
4: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q="brothers+torn+apart+by+chaos"
5: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q="which+is+enclosed+in+iron+and+letter+in+a+fish"
6: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q="The+third+big+war+will+begin+when+the+big+city+is+burning"

Debunking by Kevin Fox, noded with permission. http://fury.com/article/925.php

Based on an email I wrote for the Penn State Silver Circle group.

Of course, someone would modify it, this being a hoax and all. I received this last night:

"In the year of the new century and nine months,
From the sky will come a great King of Terror...
The sky will burn at forty-five degrees.
Fire approaches the great new city..."

"In the city of York there will be a great collapse,
2 twin brothers torn apart by chaos
while the fortress falls the great leader will succumb
third big war will begin when the big city is burning"

The second quatrain is obviously an edit of the one above to fix the problems of the original hoax form, mainly that it's hard to think of New York City as the City of God to many people. But what of the first? New York is kinda close to forty-five degrees latitude, or maybe the plane was angled at it, and it certainly sounds possible to interpret to fit it. It turns out to be pieced together from two other quatrains, along with a changed first line:
The year 1999 seven month,
From the sky will come a great King of terror:
To bring back to life the great King of Angolmois, (the Mongols),
Before after Mars to reign by good luck (Century X, Quatrain 72)

At forty-five degrees, the sky will burn,
Fire approaches the great new city,
Immediately a huge, scattered flame leaps up
When they want to have verification from the Norman (Century VI, Quatrain 97)

You might barely argue that the second quatrain is close, except that I don't see how the French (Normans) are involved. In my opinion, rather than blindly forwarding and saying "wow", people ought to check these things out first.

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