Sunday, February 03, 2008

"Countdown to Armageddon" on History Channel: A summary of "mega disasters"

In late January 2008, the History Channel aired its “Countdown to Armageddon” (2004, produced by Craig Haffner and Glenn Kirschbaum, narrated by Edward Herrmann). Actually, there is a separate site.

The film does cover the various religious contexts for Armageddon, including the place in the Holy Lands, the Book of Revelations, the Mark of the Beast (“666”), as well as lore of other cultures, such as the year 2012 in the Mayan Calendar, and the predictions of Nostradamus. But the main thrust of the film is to cover many of the scenarios that the History Channel covers in separate one hour “Mega-Disaster” films, such as asteroid and comet hits, supervolcanoes, tsunamis, and pandemics. There is history of the Tunguska strike on Siberia in 1908, but this film does not have time for critical evaluation of all of the theories; but if it happened today near a major city it would produce a mega-disaster.

One particularly grisly possibility would be a huge East Coast tsunami were the Cumbre Vieja volcano in the Canary Islands (east of Africa) to erupt and provoke a huge landslide that has already started. The tidal wave could be hundreds of feet high and reach the Atlantic Coast in about eight hours and obliterate everything to the Blue Ridge or at least through much of the Piedmont. (Actually, there are some gaps in the Blue Ridge and the Appalachians end in northern Georgia and Alabama.) The CNN link is here.

The film is unrelated to the Michael Bay film “Armageddon” (1998) about an asteroid approach to the Earth.

Give me that Old Time Religion. But it’s not good enough for me. Particularly if a mega-disaster like Cumbre Vieja forces The Purification.

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