Religious fanatics committed suicide because of a comet’s arrival in March 1997

Religious fanatics committed suicide because of a comet’s arrival in March 1997

The less knowledge, the more superstition. It is not surprising that previous generations treated “tailed stars” (comets) with great caution. But how to justify the inhabitants of the XX century? Today we will get acquainted with the most striking event - the arrival of comet Hale-Bopp.

Bright Guest from Heaven

For the first time, Comet Hale-Bopp was noticed in 1995. At that time, she moved at a distance of 7.2 a. e. from our star. Researchers assumed that its approach to the planet would be a bright event, so they even began to call it the “Big Comet”, which arrived in 1997.

Agree, modern people should more soberly consider space phenomena. However, the arrival of a comet caused a real panic among a large number of terrestrial populations. Scientists, although they advanced many unusual theories, but still did not see any danger.

They were more interested in unusual tail (from sodium), a large amount of deuterium (in the form of deuterium oxide), the presence of argon (not previously seen in comets), and the possible presence of a double nucleus. But there were very strange assumptions.

Who arrived with the comet?

Religious fanatics committed suicide because of a comet’s arrival in March 1997

Many believed that an alien spacecraft followed the comet. Almost everyone spoke about the comet. The Internet was filled with narrowly targeted sites where new pictures were posted every day. But photo Chuck Schramer from November 1996 was particularly remarkable. The fact is that in the image next to the comet a strange elongated object was viewed, as if flying nearby.

Of course, supporters of conspiracy theories and UFO researchers could not pass by. At first they thought that it was just a star, which appeared in the review due to incorrect settings in the equipment. Then suspicions arose that the comet was accompanied by spacecraft aliens.

The comet arrived to us in 1997, eclipsing even Sirius with a bright glow. She continued to move, and she could still be watched until 2020. Only the next distant generations in 4390 will be able to wait for a return. No ship with aliens has ever visited us, but this idea still sunk into the soul of someone.

The tragic case

Religious fanatics committed suicide because of a comet’s arrival in March 1997

Marshall Applewhite - preacher of the cult "Heaven's Gate"

Sometimes religious movements end up extremely tragic. This happened to the followers of the cult “Heavenly Gate”, where the Marshall Applewhite was a preacher. The community believed that in the past people had already contacted aliens who gave them knowledge. Moreover, the most enlightened and spiritual will be able to leave the Earth and join the higher intelligence. The story is pretty creepy and in this society a lot of strange and sad stories took place. But it all ended on the comet's arrival.

Appluite believed that with a comet a spacecraft would arrive, which would save the inhabitants of the community and destroy unbelievers. Therefore, he decided to organize mass death. In March 1997, members of the community were completely isolated and left a farewell note. But Applewhite himself recorded a video in which he explained the reason for leaving and expressed contempt for all who remain.

He managed to bring to the death of 38 people. They all took turns leaving their bags with their belongings and a small amount of money (most were poisoned).


Rumor has it that Applewhite decided to do this, because he suspected that he had cancer. But the forensic medical examination reported that he was completely healthy. Recall that special groups of scientists constantly monitor near-Earth space objects. Therefore, do not go into prejudice. Have you seen a comet?

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