Image Source: NBTV Italia.The Italian internet is buzzing tonight with a prediction made by Raffaele Bendandi, a self-taught seismologist and astronomer who died in 1979, that Rome would be hit by a devastating earthquake on 11 May 2011. In fact, he did not predict this event so precisely and his theories were not validated by the scientific community. However, this omen is attributed to him via his theory that the conjunction of planets can lead to earthquakes. The fixation on the 11 May is internet-generated and dependent upon the current conjunction of planets (for my post on that conjunction, go here). According to Astrology of a Trainwreck:
Raffaele Bendandi was a self-taught astronomer born in 1893. While still a teen he predicted, a year in advance, a devasting quake that hit Italy before the First World War. This became a life-long obsession for him.
Bendandi also believed the pull of the Sun and Moon could cause major earthquakes (for my post on theories that the 2011 'Super Moon' influenced the Japanese earthquake, go here). He additionally thought that planetary shifts and Sun spots could cause a change in the geo-magnetic and even geographic Poles, which would also engender natural disasters (for my post on theories that Pole shift caused the mass deaths of birds and fish earlier this year, go here).As a young soldier, while out walking by the seaside, he came up with the theory that the movements and gravitational forces of the planets could cause the earth’s crust to swell up and settle in the same way it affects the tides and waves. He created a system using the planets’ masses and trajectories to predict the time and location of earthquakes with quite a lot of success. His most famous prophecy is of the earthquake that hit the Marche in January 1924. To prove his theory, he had his prediction notarized in advance. Over the course of his life, he forecast many other earthquakes.
Because Bendandi had some reasonable successes with earthquake predictions (specifically the one from 13 January 1915 and another from 6 May 1976), he gained some notoreity. These theories led him to predict the existence of additional planets beyond the then-known solar system. He was knighted by Mussolini in 1927. In short, Bendandi pretty much hit on all the 'usual suspects' when it comes to 2012 apocalyptic ideas: Pole shift; Planet X; massive natural disasters (storms, volcanoes and earthquakes, all arising from the assumed relationship between the Earth and her immediate cosmos); class X sun spots. The Repubblica reports (Hat tip: Armageddon Online) that people are taking the so-called Bendandania seriously and are demanding days off from work and taking their children out of school so that they can avoid the city on this date. Go here and here for other reports on people now fleeing Rome.
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