The Vengeance Of Timur
Just about everyone has heard of Genghis Khan – the great leader of the Mongols. He was such a proficient conqueror that in 2003, it was discovered that one in every 200 men on the planet were related to him.
However, the life of the great 14th century Turco-Mongol ruler Timur (who claimed to be the heir of Genghis) is just as fascinating. Despite being crippled by arrows in boyhood (hence being known in the west as Tamerlane or Timur-The-Lame), Timur conquered many regions, including Delhi, Baghdad and large parts of Turkey and Persia. He left pyramids of skulls in his wake, as well as some of the world’s most stunning palaces.
Before Timur died in 1405, he ordered that the words “Whoever disturbs my tomb will unleash an invader more terrible than I” be inscribed on his tomb. Like something out of Indiana Jones, just two days after Soviet scientists discovered Timur’s tomb, Germany invaded Russia.
The Prophecies of Baba Vanga
Although the blind Bulgarian prophetess Baba Vanga passed away in 1996, her alarming and accurate prophecies have amassed a significant cult following. This 20th century “oracle” was sought after by both everyday citizens and dignitaries. Even Tsar Boris III of Bulgaria sought her out in the 1940s, and given the alarmingly accurate news that his kingdom would fall to the socialists.
Some of Vanga’s alleged predictions that came true include the fall of Stalin (a prediction that landed her in jail), the 44th president of the USA being African American as well as the death of Princess Diana. A few of Vanga’s most compelling prophecies occurred in the 1980s. She spoke of “Kursk being covered with water and the whole world weeping” just before the Kursk submarine disaster. In 1989, Vanga spoke of the “American brethren falling after being attacked by two steel birds” in the year 2001.
Of course, just like Nostradamus, criticism has been levelled at Baba Vanga, due to her prophecies being obscured with mystical and poetic language that is open to interpretation. What’s more, her predictions for the future involve cyborgs and animals being turned into humans. However, her predictions thus far are living proof that truth is often stranger than fiction.
John Elfreth Watkins
In the year 1900, a former civil engineer and curator at the Smithsonian institute John Elfreth Watkins wrote an article for the Ladies Home Journal entitled “What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years”. In it, he wrote of warships flying in the air, tanks, automobiles being cheaper than horses, colour photographs being transmitted from immense distances, wireless telephones and many more technological leaps seen today. Watkins also predicted “ready-cooked meals being bought from establishments similar to the bakeries of today”, and shorter travel times between America and England.
Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan
An ocean liner, said to be “unsinkable”, strikes an iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland. This was the premise of a novella, written in 1898 by former sailor Morgan Robertson, entitled Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan (the name of the liner in the book). 14 years later, the Titanic would sink after hitting an iceberg just south of Newfoundland. There are numerous similarities between the fictitious Titan and the Titanic, including both ships carrying very similar lifeboats and the wrecks causing just over 2000 casualties. The sizes of the two ships are also eerily similar, with the Titan being 800ft and the Titanic being 882ft.
Robertson lived to see the Titanic sink, though he denied rumours that he had clairvoyantly predicted the disaster. However, this incident makes the list as an example of an inadvertent prophecy of amazing accuracy.