Did Nostradamus Predict Osama Bin Laden?

by Eric W.W. Taylor

[Note: all quatrains I quote are from "Nostradamus: Life and Literature" by Edgar Leoni, Exposition Press, New York, 1961, republished as "Nostradamus and His Prophecies" by Bell Publishing Company, 1982, widely regarded as the most scholarly, accurate English translation available.]

Michel de Nostredame, more commonly known as Nostradamus, has intrigued the world for five centuries, considered by many to be the greatest prophet who has ever lived. While most prophets recorded vague visions of future events, Nostradamus pinpointed his predictions using specific dates, astrological configurations, climatic events and anagrams naming the villains hundreds of years before they appeared.

Some of the most remarkable involve the Three Antichrists depicted in scores of his prophesies. Nostradamus researchers unanimously agree that he accurately described Napoleon and Hitler as the first two Antichrists, even giving us their names. The first was Napoleon, which Quatrain 8:1 names "PAU, NAY, OLORON." This is an anagram for "Napaulon Roy" ("roy" meaning "king" in French.) The second was Hitler, which Quatrain 2:24 spells "Hister." Both of these Antichrists have been widely recognized and discussed in great length. However, the Third Antichrist, whom Nostradamus scholars have long identified as "Mabus" in Quatrain 2:62, has remained a mystery until very recently.

In 1990 some noticed that Mabus in a mirror spells sudaM. While I can't argue that Saddam Hussein isn't a great candidate for the Third Antichrist described by Nostradamus, there is a much better candidate. The first thing I saw, upon learning that Mabus is considered to be an anagram for the Third Antichrist, was Usam B. Researching anagrams I learned that Mabus is a perfect anagram for Osama -- how bin Laden's first name is commonly spelled. (An anagram is derived by rearranging letters of a word to form another word, and it is kosher to substitute one letter for another.)

"Terror from the Sky" Predicted at the Turn of the 21st Century

Watching those two planes crash into the World Trade Towers on September 11, 2001, the second thing I exclaimed was, "This is right out of the Quatrains of Nostradamus!" I had recently watched the 1981 Orson Welles movie, "The Man Who Saw Tomorrow," about the amazing life and prophecies of Nostradamus, born 1503 in Provence, France. A Catholic Jew said to be descended from the Hebrew tribe of Issachar (who "hath understanding of the times to know what Israel ought to do" according to "Genesis"), Nostradamus first gained widespread fame as a skilled physician who miraculously cured the black plague. Upon the death of his wife and son from the plague while he was abroad healing the sick, Nostradamus began seeing visions of the future which he composed into one thousand cryptic quatrains called "The Centuries."

Welles reenacted major historic events accurately foretold in the quatrains. Much of the film dealt with Three Antichrists: Napoleon, Hitler and a future Arab terrorist. In 1981 Welles said, "The Third Antichrist is yet to come. Nostradamus predicts that he will be here within the next twenty years - a villainous warlord who will start the third world war." He cites numerous quatrains describing the Third Antichrist as a Muslim fanatic who would launch a devastating strike on Manhattan in 1999. He emphasized how many scholars agree that "the new city" mentioned five times in "The Centuries" refers to New York City, pointing out that the northern border of New York State is 45 degrees latitude, alluding to Quatrain 6:97: "The sky will burn at forty-five degrees. Fire approaches the great new city." Welles comments, "experts agree that this could only mean New York." The film's depiction of an Arab terrorist targeting the Big Apple, sending skyscrapers crashing to the ground, is extremely ominous in light of 9-11!

Quatrain 10:72
The year 1999, seventh month,
From the sky will come a great King of Terror:
To bring back to life the great King of the Mongols,
Before and after Mars to reign by good luck.

The first line in French reads: "L'an mil neuf cent nonante neuf sept mois" which can likewise be translated "September, Twenty-first Century." Sept means "seven" in French but is also the abbreviation for September. 2001 was the first year of the Twenty-first Century. Nostradamus is famous for his word plays.

Edgar Leoni commented on this quatrain back in 1961: "Since this is the only dated one (not counting [astrological] configurations) with a date still to come it is of great interest. In September 1999 a 'King of Terror' will come... It must be noted that Angolmois is an anagram for Mongolois which would give us Genghiz Kahn."

Afghanistan was conquered by Genghis Khan in 1220 AD and was part of the Mongol empire until the 18th Century. On September 21st MSNBC reported that "the Taliban has reintroduced sports from the original Mongol invaders of Afghanistan." CNN's documentary, "Beneath the Veil," adds: "The Taliban has turned sports stadiums into execution grounds."

"To bring back to life the great King of the Mongols?"

Quatrain 10:72 is certainly relevant to the recent terrorist strike on the World Trade Center. Significantly the preceding quatrain 10:71 describes a meteorological event which occurred in New York on Thanksgiving 2000.

Quatrain 10:71
The earth and air will freeze a very great sea,
When they will come to venerate Thursday;
That which will be, never was there one so fair,
From the four parts they will come to honor it.

Edgar Leoni commented upon this quatrain: "One interpretation points the finger at the United States with its unique national holiday of Thanksgiving Thursday." The day before Thanksgiving 2000 Buffalo, NY was inundated with a record 25 inches of snow, ushering in the coldest winter ever recorded in U.S. history. On January 6, 2001, CNN.com ran the headline: "Record cold spell brings big freeze to Great Lakes," reporting that "frigid temperatures in November and December 2000 resulted in the coldest two-month period in U.S. history."

"The earth and air will freeze a great sea when they come to venerate Thursday."

The Great Lakes comprise the largest inland sea on Earth. Very rarely do they freeze. The freeze of 2000-2001 was the worst ever recorded. The next two lines of the quatrain are a very good description of Ellis Island, NY.

"That which will be [in the future], never was there one so fair, from the four parts [of earth] they will come to honor it."

Quatrain 10:71 identifies a unique event which occurred in New York in 2000. Was this Nostradamus' way of pinpointing what was about to happen in New York in 2001, prophesied in the following Quatrain 10:72 about terror in the sky over the new city?

In "The Man Who Saw Tomorrow" Orson Welles interprets a quatrain as referring to "an unlikely alliance" of the United States and Russia to defeat this "King of Terror."

Quatrain 6:21
When those of the arctic pole are united together,
Great terror and fear in the East:
The newly elected one upheld, the great one trembles,
Rhodes, Byzantium stained with Barbarian blood.

Siberia and Alaska connect at the Arctic Circle. Could "the newly elected one upheld" be George W. Bush, whose disputed election was upheld by the Supreme Court in January 2001?

Rhodes is a Greek Isle. Rhode Island, on the other hand, is a State bordering Long Island, New York, which includes Manhattan. The term Byzantine comes from Byzantium, ancient name for the city Bosporus, later called Constantinople, today known as Istanbul, Turkey. The Byzantine Empire encompassed the shores of the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea from 330 AD to 1453 AD and it's religious tradition survives today in the Eastern Orthodox Church, presently enjoying a major resurgence in post-Soviet Russia.

Did Nostradamus Predict the Coming of Christ in 2002?

Nostradamus gives an astrological configuration relating to the Messianic Millennium which numerous researchers think could occur near the Summer Solstice of 2002.

Quatrain 6:24
Mars and the scepter will be found conjoined
Under Cancer calamitous war:
Shortly afterwards a new King will be anointed,
One who for a long time will pacify the earth.

Edgar Leoni interprets this quatrain as "Mars and Jupiter conjoined in Cancer." A scepter is the staff of a king. Astrologically Jupiter is the King of the planets. Leoni cites the German astrologer, Dr Christian Wollner, who in 1926 identified this conjunction of Mars and Jupiter in Cancer as occurring on June 21, 2002. Another prominent Nostradamus scholar, Erica Cheetham, also proposed the Summer Solstice 2002 as the date prophesied in this quatrain.

Calamitous war? A new anointed King who for a long time will pacify the earth? "Anointed" means "Messiah" in Hebrew and "Christ" in Greek. "Who for a long time will pacify the earth" is a good description of the thousand year reign of Christ. Apparently Wollner and Cheetham recognized the Messianic significance of this quatrain in relation to the 1999 King of Terror - the Third Antichrist, Mabus.

The exact date of Mars and Jupiter conjoined in Cancer is July 3, 2002. Mars and Jupiter become conjunct in the sign of Cancer about once every 25 years. The last conjunction of Mars and Jupiter in Cancer was September 1977. Significantly, in the Fall of 1977, Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat became the first Arab leader to visit Israel and sign a peace treaty. 1977 is the year Osama bin Laden began his jihad according to Yossef Bodansky in "Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War On America" (Prima Publishing, CA, 1999). Astrologically, the recurrence of a planetary conjunction in the same House signifies a continuation of events which occurred the last time the conjunction took place.

I realized why Nostradamus used the horoscope instead of a calendar to identify future dates when I looked up his birthday. He was born at noon on December 23, 1503 according to the Gregorian calendar of his day. But according to our Julian calendar Nostradamus was born December 14, 1503. Was Nostradamus a Capricorn or a Sagittarius? Solar and lunar calendars can be off by weeks, months and even years when spanning centuries. Yet the Zodiac is relatively consistent throughout the millennia.

Who Is The Third Antichrist?

Quatrain 8:77
The antichrist very soon annihilates the three,
Twenty-seven years his war will last:
The unbelievers dead, captive, exiled,
With blood, human bodies, water and red hail covering the earth.

Could the three annihilated be the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon? Are "the unbelievers dead" the infidels targeted by bin Laden? The imagery of "blood, human bodies, water and red hail covering the earth" certainly describes the scene at the World Trade Center on 9-11.

"Twenty-seven years his war will last."

Osama bin Laden began his jihad in 1977 when Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel. He moved to Afghanistan in 1979 to lead the battle against the Soviets. The September 13, 2001 Newsday reported: "In the Middle East, bin Laden is a complex figure who has had tremendous influence on the course of radical Islamic movements in the past two decades. These movements began to flourish in the 1970s, starting in Egypt and spreading to countries like Jordan, Syria and the Palestinian territories."

Identifying 1977 as the beginning of Osama bin Laden's "twenty-seven year war" it could end in 2004. However, in Epistle 55 (from "The Centuries") Nostradamus writes: "After that Antichrist will be the infernal prince again, for the last time. All the Kingdoms of Christianity will tremble, even those of the infidels, for the space of twenty-five years." This is significant for two reasons. It shows a two year discrepancy in Nostradamus' prophecies about the Third Antichrist. And it indicates the end of bin Laden's war in 2002.

Epistle 26 continues: "After this has endured for a long time, there will be almost renewed another reign of Saturn, and golden age. Hearing the afflictions of his people, God the Creator will command that Satan be cast into the depths of the bottomless pit, and bound there. Then a universal peace will commence between God and man."

"There will be almost renewed another reign of Saturn, and golden age." Saturn orbits the Sun once every 29.7 earth years, auspicious to astrologers as the "Saturn Return," signifying rebirth. According to Nostradamus, when the "reign of Saturn" is "almost renewed" during the Third Antichrist's jihad, there will come a golden age of universal peace.

Yet another quatrain referring to this Saturn return has been identified by many as describing the Third Antichrist.

Quatrain 9:73
The Blue Turban King entered into Foix,
And he will reign less than an evolution of Saturn:
The White Turban King Byzantium heart banished,
Sun, Mars and Mercury near Aquarius.

In "The Man Who Saw Tomorrow" Orson Welles proposed that this conjunction of the Sun, Mars and Mercury in Aquarius could refer to the one in 1994, portraying the "Blue Turban King" as the Third Antichrist who would attack New York City at the turn of the 21st Century.

Foix is a county in France. According to Yossef Bodansky, bin Laden lived in the London suburb of Wembley from 1993 to 1994 in order to establish terrorist cells in Western Europe. In May 1993 he convened a summit of terrorists in Ferney-Voltaire, France. Bodansky writes: "The real importance of bin Laden's activities in 1994 is their relation to the surge of the Islamist international terrorist movement in the aftermath of its triumph in Somalia."

Bodansky points out that bin Laden likes to be called "Emir," which is a Muslim title of nobility meaning ruler or king. Emir Osama occasionally wears a light blue turban in footage I've seen on CNN. The actual word used by Nostradamus is ceiulee, which is most accurately translated "cerulean," the color of a cloudless sky.

Is Mabus An Anagram For Osama?

Nostradamus researchers cite a quatrain believed to pertain to the Third Antichrist.

Quatrain 2:62
Mabus then will soon die, there will come
Of people and beasts a horrible rout:
Then suddenly one will see vengeance,
Hundred, hand, thirst, hunger when the comet shall run.

In 1961 Edgar Leoni commented that Mabus was "a still-unsolved anagram." The Encyclopedia Britannica defines anagram: "the result of transposing the letters of a word or words in such a manner as to produce other words that possess meaning... The pseudonyms adopted by authors are often transposed forms, more or less exact, of their names."

Thus an anagram of Mabus is Osama! Another anagram of Mabus is Usam B. His name appears as Osama Bin Laden on the FBI's Most Wanted List. That Nostradamus would be off by one letter in this anagram for Osama brings to mind Quatrain 2:24 which names "Hister." Few who have actually read the Quatrains doubt that Hister doesn't refer to Hitler.

In "The Man Who Saw Tomorrow," Orson Welles wondered if "when the comet shall run" referred to Halley's comet in 1985. Given the current situation, a much better candidate would be comet C/2000 WM1, expected to become visible with the naked eye from December 2001 through January 2002. It is rare for a comet to be seen with the naked eye. Another possible candidate is Hale-Bopp which was visible without a telescope in 1997. Halley's comet was a disappointment in 1985, requiring binoculars to see. The last comet visible to the naked eye before Hale-Bopp was Humason's comet back in 1961.

If C/2000 WM1 is the comet foreseen in this quatrain and Osama is the meaning of Mabus, bin Laden "will soon die." But if he is truly the Third Antichrist, Osama will be defeated by the anointed King, Christ, and not by some smart bomb. Here all scripture is clear.

Poison From New Jersey?

A quatrain mentioned in Welles' film deserves closer scrutiny.

Quatrain 10:49
Garden of the World near the new city,
In the road of the hollow mountains,
It will be seized and plunged into the Tank,
Forced to drink water poisoned with sulphur.

Damon Wilson writes in "The Mammoth Book of Nostradamus" (Carroll & Graf Publishers, NY, 1999): "The phrase 'new city', in line one, has convinced many people that this quatrain describes the poisoning of New York... Francis King points out that New York's neighbor, New Jersey, has dubbed itself 'the Garden State.'"

"Hollow mountains" certainly sound like skyscrapers. Could the "water poisoned" refer to the next terrorist attack? Or could it refer to bioterrorism originating from the Garden State? Sulphur is biblically associated with hellfire. There were no words for anthrax or germ warfare in Nostradamus' day.

Two consecutive quatrains speak of horrible letters ruining blood, America, and the Antichrist.

Quatrain 10:65
O vast Rome, thy ruin approaches,
Not of thy walls, of thy blood and substance:
The one harsh in letters will make a very horrible notch,
Pointed steel driven into all up to the hilt.

Quatrain 10:66
The chief of London through the realm of America,
The Isle of Scotland will be tried by frost:
King and Reb will face an Antichrist so false,
That he will place them in the conflict all together.

"Vast Rome" implies nations peopled by Catholics. America is comprised of more Catholics than any other country on earth and this is the only quatrain Nostradamus mentions America by name. "Thy ruin approaches, not of thy walls [but] of thy blood and substance" suggests germ warfare. "One harsh in letters will make a very horrible notch" indicates the method of attack - letters laced with anthrax which infect the blood.

"The chief of London through the realm of America" could be British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has been America's staunchest ally in the war against terrorism. Is "the Isle of Scotland will be tried by frost" Nostradamus' way of pinpointing the date of this quatrain as also seen in Quatrain 10:71?

On December 31, 2000, the British newspaper, "The Guardian," ran the headline: "Sleet and Bitter Frost to Greet the New Year," reporting "Scotland was the worst area hit." On February 6, 2001, "The Guardian" ran the headline: "Blizzards Ravage Scotland," reporting "The east coast and northern isles of Scotland were particularly badly affected." The British government website, Open Road News, posted on November 11, 2001: "What an extraordinary Winter we had in 2000/1... The wettest autumn of all time in England and Wales... Two record-breaking blizzards in Scotland."

It is extremely significant that 2000-01 broke all rainfall and blizzard records in the British Isles since they first began recording the weather back in 55 BC!

"King and Reb will face an Antichrist so false that he will place them in the conflict all together." Many think that King refers to the Messiah. Reb is speculated to be short for rebel, although in this context it could well mean Rebbi - a common Jewish spelling for Rabbi. "Antichrist so false" has been speculated to mean that King and Reb will face the wrong antichrist. What if Osama bin Laden isn't the true antichrist? After all, Saddam Hussain is often pictured wearing a blue beret and is known to have stockpiled enough bioweaponry to kill every human on the face of Earth several times over!

Back in 1990 Charlton Heston made a propaganda film for the Gulf War troops identifying Saddam Hussein as the Third Antichrist foretold by Nostradamus. Similarly, during World War II, Hollywood made numerous "shorts" identifying Hitler as the Second Antichrist prophesied by Nostradamus. Entitled "Nostradamus Says So" these shorts played before main features and singlehandedly introduced Americans to Nostradamus, interpreting his quatrains to show how America was destined to defeat the Nazis. "Nostradamus Says So" quotes a quatrain I have not yet been able to find in several translations of "The Centuries": "The chosen protector of the great country / for endless years will hold the famed torch / It will serve to guide this great people / and in its name they will struggle and triumph."

"Can the Future Be Changed?"

This is an important question raised by Orson Welles in "The Man Who SawTomorrow." Is prophecy written in stone? Or is it rather a warning of what will happen if we don't change our stupid ways? Is the future predestined? Or do we have some choice in our destiny?

When a prophecy of doom fails to occur, it is regarded as a failure -- a hoax. Yet, if the purpose of prophecy is to prevent potential disasters, then their lack of fulfillment should be seen as a sign of success.

The Gospel of Matthew records how Jesus fulfilled numerous biblical prophecies, not recognized until many years after he came and went. Skeptics argue that Jesus merely took advantage of the Messianic zeal of his time, force-fulfilling scriptures in order to make himself into a god. Likewise skeptics wonder if Osama bin Laden didn't merely take advantage of Nostradamus' turn-of-the-21st Century prophecy in order to claim his 15 minutes of fame.

Conspiracy theorists suspect that George W. Bush took advantage of Osama, actually allowing him to carry out the strikes on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, justifying a war to establish the "New World Order" proclaimed by his father at the end of the Gulf War. They cite ample warning of "an imminent, unprecedented attack on America" by bin Laden in August 2001; prior knowledge that Zacarias Moussaoui planned to use a 747 as a weapon of mass destruction; notification at 8:30 AM by the FAA on September 11th that three planes had turned off their transponders and diverted course; and, unbelievably, a third plane being able to strike the Pentagon at 9:40 PM - 70 minutes after the FAA notified the State Department that planes were being hijacked and 55 minutes after the first WTC strike. Langley Air Force Base, supposedly on guard 24/7 to defend the Capital against such attacks, is five minutes flying time from the Pentagon. Why weren't they deployed?

Contemplating Mabus it occurred to me that, if you turn the "M" upside down and substitute the "a" for an "h," Mabus is an anagram for W Bush. During the 1980's many noticed that Ronald Wilson Reagan is numerologically 666 (six letters in each name). They point out that Reagan introduced Performer Q, the Hollywood Who's Who, when President of the Actors Guild, which is constantly maintained at exactly 666 stars ("Parade Magazine," March 11, 1979). When Governor of California, Reagan introduced the Universal Price Code (UPC) which all contain three sixes, at the beginning, middle and end of each mark, according to "The New Money System" by fundamentalist Christian, Mary Relfe, 1984. The April 30, 1987 "San Francisco Chronicle" ran the headline: "Is 666 St. Cloud a Presidential Address? A Visit to Mr. Reagan's Neighborhood" (Section B, page 1). The Reagans moved to 666 St. Cloud Drive in 1989 and made headlines again when Nancy had the address changed to 668 to avoid the Antichrist stigma. John's Revelation, Chapter 13, states that this Antichrist, whose name numbers 666, "will cause all, both rich and poor, to receive a mark with the number of his name in their right hand and between their eyes." This is called "the image of the beast."

History is replete with people accusing political foes of being the Antichrist. Yet how could Nostradamus possibly have foreseen "Mabus" being an anagram for the Third Antichrist some 500 years ago?! Was Nostradamus just lucky to have likewise predicted the names and atrocities of Napoleon ("Pau Nay Oloron") and Hitler ("Hister")?

I don't claim to know the answers. I've been working on this article for three months since September 11th and the only thing I can say for sure is that Nostradamus and Orson Welles are extremely fascinating characters. Did they really see the future? Or are tyrants merely force-fulfilling their terrifying visions in order to conquer the world? Only time will tell.

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