Harold Camping emerged from his Alameda, California home yesterday to face reporters for the first time since the Rapture that never happened. Wearing a light jacket and speaking over chirping birds, Camping told the San Francisco Chronicle he was "flabbergasted" that the world did not end on Saturday. "I'm looking for answers," he told the reporter. "But now I have nothing else to say. I'll be back to work Monday and will say more then." Camping followers are similarly perplexed. "I don't think I am going to stop listening to him," one man added, heaving a deep sigh before continuing: "I don't know, I gotta listen to him on Monday, see what he says on the radio.
"Somewhat bewildered" and "mystified is how Camping's wife described her husband, before he finally emerged from his home yesterday afternoon. The International Business Times managed to capture Camping on camera, refusing to surrender any more than a few words and promising. "Give me a day, no interviews at all today -- sorry," Camping said. "You know this is a big deal, big deal, and I've got to live with it and I've got to think it out. So no interview."
Camping's relative silence since Saturday's anti-climactic continuation of life on Earth weighs heavy on his followers' confidence. Robert Fitzpatrick, the 60 year-old retired New York transit worker who spent $140,000 on billboards for the coming apocalypse, responded with bewilderment as well. "I can't tell you what I feel right now," he told a crowd of reporters and tourists in Times Square Saturday evening. "I haven't understood it correctly because I'm still here."
At least one person may benefit from Camping's failure. As we pointed out last week, author and would-be Doomsday prophet Tim Lahaye is next in line to announce his prediction for the end of the world.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.