Camping: Oh, Wait. Rapture Is Actually Oct. 21

Rest assured, the earth will still be consumed by a fireball
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2011 9:28 PM CDT
Updated May 24, 2011 7:56 AM CDT
Not to gloat, but... In this Saturday, May 21, 2011 photo, people in a partying mood gather in front of the closed Family Radio station offices of radio evangelist Harold Camping.   (AP Photo/Dino Vournas, File)
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(Newser) – Harold Camping's new favorite phrase: Better late than never. The California preacher has an easy explanation for why the rapture never came to pass on Saturday: He was five months off. Doh! The actual rapture will be Oct. 21. He had originally said that was the day on which the planet would be consumed by a fireball. It turns out Saturday was "an invisible judgment day" in which a spiritual judgment took place, he said. But the timing and the structure is the same as it has always been, Camping added in a statement to the press tonight.

"We've always said May 21 was the day, but we didn't understand altogether the spiritual meaning," he explained. "May 21 is the day that Christ came and put the world under judgment." He added that he felt so horrible when his doomsday prediction did not come true that he left home and took refuge in a motel with his wife. AP notes that this is the second time he hasn't gotten it right; Camping previously predicted the Apocalypse would come in 1994, but said it didn't happen then because of a mathematical error. (Click for the sad tale of a teen who died celebrating the non-rapture.)

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