Assassinations Foretold in Moby Dick!
The following challenge was made by Michael Drosnin:

When my critics find a message about the assassination of a prime minister encrypted in Moby Dick, I'll believe them.
(Newsweek, Jun 9, 1997)

Note that English with the vowels included is far less flexible than Hebrew when it comes to making letters into words. Nevertheless, without further ado, we present our answer to Mr Drosnin's challenge.

Prime Minister Indira Gandhi

President Rene Moawad

Soviet exile Leon Trotsky

The Reverend Martin Luther King

(The underlined words were found by Shannon Kohl)

Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss

The assassin Sirhan Sirhan

John F. Kennedy

President John F. Kennedy was shot in the head by an assassin who quietly waited in a concealed place. It was in Texas, November 1963, during a presidential motorcade.

Abraham Lincoln

President Abraham Lincoln was shot dead on April 14, 1865.

Yitzhak Rabin

Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin was shot dead on November 4, 1995. His assassin was Igal Amir, who fired three shots of which one hit Rabin fatally in the chest. Amir was a student at Bar-Ilan University, and associated with an underground group Eyal which modelled itself on a historical terrorist group called Lehi. Amir was angered by Rabin's role in the "Peace Process" and especially by the Oslo accords.

The text

You can verify the above messages, and find your own, using the public-domain text of Moby Dick. It can be downloaded as a gzipped text file (478KB, expanding to 1187KB).

Some more information about the pictures can be found here.

Princess Diana's death

The death of Lady Diana was also predicted by Moby Dick. See the Princess Di page for details.

A note to the credulous

It has come to my attention that some people have taken this page as claiming that Moby Dick really predicted the assassinations of famous people. Please be assured that none of these patterns happened by other than pure random chance.

No laws of probability are violated here, or even stretched a little. That is also true of Drosnin's book, which is the whole point of this page. Once you learn Drosnin's rules (none) and the method (a bit of messy programming) you can find things like this anywhere. The reason it looks amazing is that the number of possible things to look for, and the number of places to look, is much greater than you imagine.

Back to the Torah Codes page
Back to the Mathematical Miracles page

Copyright Brendan McKay (1997),