Nation & World

Days before predicted biblical doomsday, a bizarre end-times message slipped onto TV

David Meade is planning to head to the Arkansas Ozarks — not for a casual outdoor getaway or any other typical reason, but to hunker down for what he predicts is the coming apocalypse.

Meade, who claims to be a “specialist in research,” predicts that on Saturday, a sign of an imaginary planet, Planet X, will form in the sky. Two days before the sign is said to appear, a bizarre end-of-days message sounded on TVs in Orange County, California. The message scared some viewers on Thursday, enough that they checked social media to find out if everything was right with the world.

People reported that an emergency alert flashed across their TV screens about 11 a.m. Then the volume went up and a man’s voice boomed: “Realize this, extremely violent times will come.”

Meade said Saturday’s sign “fits the requirements of Revelation 12.” The Book of Revelation predicts a 7-year tribulation period in which the pious will be spared and sinners will face an end-times wrath.

Meade is the same self-professed apocalypse clairvoyant who told The Star in August that the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse would reveal Planet X, serving as a portent for the end times.

Benedictine College assistant professor of physics and astronomy, Ryan Maderak, uses science and theology to explain the biblical accounts of darkened skies during the crucifixion. A solar eclipse is one possible cause.

The planet did not appear, and NASA says claims of its existence are untrue. Rogue planets heading toward Earth would have long ago been detected, and if one was out there, it would have drastically altered the balance of the planets in our solar system, according to NASA senior space scientist David Morrison.

Meade said escalating tensions with North Korea — “the groundwork for World War III” — is yet another sign of the coming 7-year tribulation period.

Meade, who says he studied astronomy, declined to reveal which university he attended last month. He did not return a message seeking comment on Friday.

Planet X, also known as Nibiru, was invoked ahead of the Mayan calendar doomsday of 2012, according to NASA’s website.

Meanwhile, some Orange County viewers said the man who gave a doomsday message on TV spoke of the second coming.

Stacy Laflamme in Lake Forest, Calif. heard it while she was watching HGTV.

“It almost sounded like Hitler talking,” she told the Orange County Register. “It sounded like a radio broadcast coming through the television.”

It’s unclear if the message was related to Meade’s doomsday predictions.

Cable customers of Cox and Spectrum in Orange County heard the message.

The cable companies said it was a big oops caused by one or more radio stations conducting a standard emergency test that was picked up by the cable stations, Cox spokesman Joe Camero told the Register.

“With these tests, an emergency tone is sent out to initiate the test,” Camero said. “After the tone is transmitted, another tone is sent to end the message. It appears that the radio station (or stations) did not transmit the end tone to complete the test.”

Then somehow audio was added to the alert, which could have been programming from the radio, cable officials suggested. Cox shut down the emergency test as soon as they found out about it.

“We don’t want to alarm anyone with any false emergency alerts,” Camero said.

The cable companies don’t know who sent out the alert, where the audio came from or whether it was intentional. They’re investigating.

Creeped out by the message, people compared notes on Reddit.

“My sister recorded it on her phone and brought it over for me to hear and it was the most unsettling thing I have ever heard in my life,” wrote one user.

“I heard music playing and a man talking but his tone was scary and oddly went with the music. I couldn't make out any words because the quality was bad.”

Reddit user 6andahalfGrapples did their own investigation, matching the words to a broadcast from a Christian radio station.

“I feel like I’m the only one that experienced that. I need some validation that that happened to everyone else? Felt like a scene ripped right out of Fahrenheit 451,” they wrote.

Then they tried to transcribe the garbled words coming from the TV:

0:12: “... to remind us that God is still in control.”

0:27: creepy piano.

0:32: “... (unintelligible) extremely violent times (to come/for us/for cops) ...”

0:39: “... hard, harsh, hard to deal with, vicious, dangerous, menacing ...”

Some people just assumed it was a prank, like in 2013 when hackers attacked the emergency alert system in Great Falls, Montana to send out a message that “dead bodies are rising from their graves.”

“I was definitely startled, ’cause the volume increased exponentially,” Erin Mireles of Diamond Bar, Calif. told the Register about the Thursday incident.

“I wasn’t alarmed in the sense of thinking something was wrong, ’cause I assumed it was some sort of hack. My channel changed back to Bravo after a couple minutes.”