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Sunday
Nov222009

Doomsday 1999 A.D. (1981)

While perusing the shelves of a great Portland bookstore (Portland, OR really has the best used book stores in the country) I stumbled across the book Doomsday 1999 A.D. by Charles Berlitz and immediately flipped to the last chapter.

In the "apocalypse porn" genre you'll find that the final chapter is where the author either hedges his bets (maybe we won't all die, after all...) or offers an absurd possibility for the survival of mankind (let's spike foreign food aid with anti-fertility drugs!). Berlitz chooses to do a bit of both with a chapter called "The Arks of the Future."

Below is an excerpt from the final chapter of the book.

Although the idea of piloted UFOs and intelligent life in space is usually considered with a certain amount of sardonic humor, it nevertheless remains a possibility and should be considered as an added opportunity for Earth's peoples, through knowledge of its drive and methods, to develop another means of escape from our environment if or when it becomes untenable.

Our legends from an earlier world tell us of a great ship or ships which provided a refuge in far places of the earth, but perhaps after the next catastrophe Earth itself may become inimicable to humanity. Our survival plans should therefore be predicated on an intensified exploration of space; not only to find a refuge but also to expand our observation of the universe, to be able thereby to avoid or control dangers within the cosmos which may even now be drawing closer to Earth.

 

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

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Reader Comments (9)

So weird -- this guy was a respected language teacher and textbook author -- who knew he was nuts as well?

November 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Badger

Not nuts, just in debt. These insane books can be squirted out pretty fast as they need no logic or coherence. Just type away until you reach the required number of pages, have the editors go through for spelling and grammar, and in one week you've written a book.

November 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteryaos

Charlie makes a good point about exploring space being vital to the salvation of humanity. However, it's too bad he had to couch it in woo.

Carl Sagan said it better, though.

November 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLucario

Charlie makes a good point about exploring space being vital to the salvation of humanity. However, it's too bad he had to couch it in woo.

Carl Sagan said it better, though.

November 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLucario

Fringe Christian kooks have written and preached about the imminent "last days" for generations. Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye, now both in their 80's, and Pat Robertson, who turns 80 next year, have organized their lives around hustling this nonsense, as did the late Jerry Falwell.

Berlitz just tried to get a piece of this action by packaging doom in less overtly religious ways.

November 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMark Plus

He was nut for sure, mad guy. I liked the way he has expressed it, not everything but the thing beneficial here was we can go for the book we are searching for at this place without wasting our time.

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November 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHoly

It's perfectly clear that Tim knows how to make LaHay while LaSun is shining and before the San Andreas Fault gets a big jolt out of his theological skullduggery. And Blundervan Publishers up in Grand Rapture, Me-Itch-Again, knows which multi-millionaire to team up with for more of that "cankered" stuff they've been "wanton" for their "last days," according to James, chapter 5!

November 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRhianna

I never realized until just now that the Berlitz who wrote all those books about UFOs and other fringe phenomena was the same guy who developed the language course.

December 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMatt McIrvin

This guy appears to be actually the grandson of the Berlitz Language Schools founder, who was fluent in eight languages by his teens. I remember seeing his Bermuda Triangle book on the paperback rack at my old-time, independently owned drugstore back in the mid-1970s.

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria

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