Outside magazine, January 1997
Luckily, some do, and they can usually be found on late-night television on UHF channel 67. So as the new calendar blooms, Outside has convened a crackerjack team of psychic prognosticators from around the globe and the dial, and focused their prescience for our own selfish ends. All but one of these clairvoyants have graced our pages in past years, which should be comforting news for everyone--well, except for Newt Gingrich, Kevin Costner, and as usual, jumpy seismologists. Let's meet the seers!
On America's prospects in the Tour de France: "Minor details, my missing it last year. I meant this year."
On the outdoor lifestyle accessory most in demand this year: "Hot-air balloons. This is the year of the balloon."
On how Newt Gingrich will treat the environment: "Not well, I'm afraid. I don't think he loves the environment, and it does not love him. Nature has a way of showing its hatred."
On the weather: "It could be an extra-violent year. Florida will have it very bad. There will be a tidal wave in Florida the likes of which we have never seen. And earthquakes--there will be many earthquakes in Florida. One will be an earthquake the likes of which we have never seen. This will shake the country. I mean, a real whopper!"
On the fun and adventure of safariing: "Hmmm...I'm getting...lions. The lions will make their presence felt. They'll be eating people all over, one by one."
On the possibility that World War III will erupt by the holiday season: "Bill Clinton sent the troops into Bosnia. It will get worse. The prophecy has not been completed. It will be very bad, though. By the end of the century."
On whether another tragedy will mar Mount Everest: "Anyone who goes up there--they'll be cold. It'll be a cold climb."
On the likelihood that a massive hurricane will decimate Florida, as she predicted last year: "Yes, this is the year. It will be the worst ever recorded, this hurricane. It will hit NASA in...the place has a name...Cape Canaveral. Yes, that's it. NASA. Don't go there."
On those earthquakes: "Quakes will appear where they've never appeared before. They'll be in the United States--that's for sure, and they'll be mighty. The soil will run red with blood."
On the possibility that anything at all significant will happen in Canada: "I don't get anything from Canada. Nostradamus isn't getting anything on Canada."
On whether Bigfoot will make his debut on national television: "We'll see more of him. There will be more sightings. They're authentic, you know. Let's go out and look for him."
On whether nature will smite Newt Gingrich: "I'm seeing a lot of red around Newt. Red is the color of anger."
On the odds that Karch Kiraly will leave volleyball for Republican Party politics: "He'll flirt with politics, I think. He'll succeed there. But volleyball is his true love. You never forget your first love."
On the best places to be if you're an outdoorsy type: "Switzerland seems nice; Lake Tahoe does not. I'm getting real strong activity in--let's see--Las Vegas. I see unbelievable things there. I'm even seeing a Disneyland, and it's beautiful."
On those earthquakes: "And I'm feeling earthquakes. I'm feeling the worst will be in Baja California. Maybe up to San Diego. Prepare for the worst. Oh, and we're going to have a killer volcano. Yes, I'm feeling that the United States is going to see a lot of wild activity. Winds and storms, things like that."
On Picabo Street's downhill prospects: "She is going to do quite well, but there could be an accident. I see her...falling."
On UFOs landing somewhere in the vicinity of Detroit: "Very likely, I'd say. I'm sure we'll be seeing them more and more, particularly in the Midwest, with its wide-open spaces and people. Aliens can sense good people--people who will embrace them."
On Carl Lewis's fortunes: "He's going through a lot of obstacles, a lot of spiritual changes. He's not there yet. He needs to start focusing. But I see him in the movies and perhaps anchoring some sports show where you can see him every night."
On the environment: "It will be a good year. No big disasters. It's going to be a year of cleaning up. We'll see people getting more involved. They'll look around at the flowers and say, 'Hey, let's make it beautiful.'"
On the political future of our second-term president, Bill Clinton: "I'll tell you one thing: This will definitely be his last term as president."
On the coming Year of the Balloon: "Kevin Costner needs to be very careful. I see something bad happening to his hot-air balloon. If there's one thing I can say, it's that movie stars should stay out of balloons."
On--yep--those earthquakes: "Oh, and I'm getting earthquakes, on the West Coast and in Japan. I predict an eight [on the Richter scale]. I see a lot of rumbling."
On the simmering issue of wildlife revenge: "Whales, dolphins, even sharks. The fish...they know what's happening to them...they're going to start fighting back. Yes, there's going to be a lot of fish violence."
Ned Zeman is a writer based in Los Angeles, site of the coming apocalypse.
Copyright 1997, Outside magazine