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Calif. preacher Harold Camping insists world will end Oct. 21, 2011

May 23, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Oakland-area radio evangelist who predicted the apocalypse would begin Saturday, May 21, faced his followers Monday night to say his understanding of God's plan was just a little off.

Harold Camping says while his prediction of the beginning of the rapture was wrong, he stands by his prophecy that the world will come to end on Oct. 21 of this year.

As the former engineer's doomsday deadline passed without any signs of Armageddon, a tidal wave of jokes flooded the Internet, particularly on social networks like YouTube and Twitter, ridiculing the rapture when a select few Christians were supposed to ascend to heaven and leave their clothes behind.

Robert Fitzpatrick, who was expecting to go to heaven Saturday, found himself face to face with a jeering crowd in New York's Time Square.

"I don't understand what happened," he said. "This is the year. All the calculations indicate this is the year."

Fitzpatrick, a retired transit worker, spent most of his savings - $140,000 - on posters warning of the apocalypse. He says he'll leave them up.

"The warning on those signs is valid," said Fitzpatrick, seemingly still in disbelief. "Judgment Day is coming."

That day is Oct. 21, if you believe Camping.

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