7 July 1939|
|Died||3 May 1998
|Other names||Erika McMahon-Turner|
|Occupation||Writer, linguist, medieval scholar|
Erika Cheetham (7 July 1939 – 3 May 1998) was an English medieval scholar best known for her controversial interpretations of Nostradamus' writings. One source of controversy being her translations into English in her bestseller The Final Prophesies of Nostradamus containing some obvious errors.
She was born Erica Christine Elizabeth McMahon-Turner in London. Her parents enrolled her in a convent school, from which she was expelled for positing the non-existence of God. Later while attending St Anne's College, Oxford, she married James Nicholas Milne Cheetham.
After earning her doctorate (in medieval language) at Oxford she worked as a staff writer for the Daily Mail, a London tabloid. She began translating Les Prophéties de M. Nostradamus in 1963, which culminated in the publication of her first book The Prophecies of Nostradamus: The Man Who Saw Tomorrow in 1965. This was the basis for the 1980 Orson Welles film of the same title.
Positions on specific prophecies
Prophéties 10:72 is one of Nostradamus' most infamous quatrains:
- L'an mil neuf cens nonante neuf sept mois,
- Du ciel viendra vn grand Roy d'effrayeur:
- Resusciter le grand Roy d'Angolmois,
- Avant que Mars regner par bonheur.
Cheetham interpreted Angolmois as a cryptic anagram for "Mongols", predicting the rise (circa mid-1999) of an Antichrist—ostensibly the third such figure (after Napoleon and Hitler)—a tyrant ("king of terror") of Genghis Khan's caliber. However, other scholars have argued that this is merely a variant spelling of Angoumois, a province of western France now known as Charente, and that d'effrayeur was actually supposed to be deffraieur, i.e. one given to appeasement.
The first word of the third line of Prophéties 6:5 has been variously interpreted as a reference to the U.S.S. Sam Rayburn, a ballistic missile submarine, or even to individual SAMs, i.e. surface-to-air missiles:
- Si grand Famine par unde pestifere.
- Par pluye longue le long du polle arctique:
- Samarobryn cent lieux de l'hemisphere,
- Vivront sans loy exempt de pollitique.
However, Cheetham dissents again from other Nostradamian scholars—and from herself—by proposing that Nostradamus derived the word samarobryn either:
- From the Russian words само and робрин—meaning something to the tune of "self-operated", i.e. a self-operating machine in space, 100 leagues from the hemisphere (or atmosphere), "living without law [and] exempt from politics", or:
- From the trade names of wonder-drugs Suramin and Ribavirin. Pondered Cheetham: "Perhaps the remedy for AIDS will be produced in a sterile laboratory circling the Earth?"
"Pau, Nay, Loron"
Cheetham cited quatrains 1:60 and 8:1 of Nostradamus' Prophéties as a cryptic reference to Napoleon Bonaparte.
- Un Empereur naistra pres d'Italie,
- Qui à l'Empire sera vendu bien cher,
- Diront avec quels gens il se ralie
- Qu'on trouvera moins prince que boucher.
- PAU, NAY, LORON plus feu qu'a sang sera,
- Laude nager, fuir grand aux surrez:
- Les agassas entree refusera,
- Pampon, Durance les tiendra enferrez.
Whilst the uppercase letters (preserved from Nostradamus' original) may suggest a deeper meaning, skeptics will note the mutual proximity of the Aquitainian villages Pau, Nay, and Oloron (in southwestern France), which form a small triangle not 70 kilometres (43 mi) about. Though more esoteric interpretations have pegged this region "more fire than blood" as a future nuclear waste site, Cheetham's observation was that the capitalized letters can be arranged to spell something like "NAYPAULORON", i.e. Napoleon. Singer-songwriter and hist-rock pioneer Al Stewart also favored this interpretation in his 1974 song "Nostradamus", wherein he deliberately pronounces and spells Bonaparte's name in a similar idiosyncratic manner.
- An emperor of France shall rise who will be born near Italy
- His rule cost his empire dear, Napoloron [sic] his name shall be
- Bestes farouches de faim fleuves tranner :
- Plus part du champ encontre Hister sera,
- En caige de fer le grand fera treisner,
- Quand rien enfant de Germain observera.
Cheetham interpreted this as a reference to Adolf Hitler, the "child of Germany [who] obeys [no law]". This conclusion disregards Hitler's Austrian heritage and the Latin use of Hister (derived from the Milesian–Greek settlement of Histria in ancient Thrace, and in turn from the Scythian river-god Ίστρος/Istros) to refer to the Lower Danube. Nonetheless this too is preserved in Stewart's lyrics:
- One named Hister shall become a captain of Greater Germany
- No Law does this man observe and bloody his rise and fall shall be
- Nouvelle loy terre neufve occuper,
- Vers la Syrie, Judée et Palestine:
- Le grand empire barbare corruer,
- Avant que Phoebus son siecle determine.
- Cheetham, Erika (1965). The Prophecies of Nostradamus: The Man Who Saw Tomorrow. Corgi Books. ISBN 0-399-50345-5.
- Cheetham, Erika (1985). The Further Prophecies of Nostradamus: 1985 and Beyond. Perigee Press. ISBN 0-399-51121-0.
- Cheetham, Erika (1989). The Final Prophecies of Nostradamus. Perigee Press. ISBN 0-399-51516-X.
- Noble, Holcomb B (June 8, 1998). "Erika Cheetham Dies at 58; An Expert on Nostradamus". The New York Times. p. B-11. Archived from the original on June 20, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-19.
- Wilson, Ian (2007). Nostradamus: The Man Behind the Prophecies. Macmillan & Co. p. 282. ISBN 0-312-31791-3.
- Prophet, Elizabeth Clare; Spadaro, Patricia R.; Steinman, Murray L. (1999). Saint Germain's Prophecy for the New Millennium: Includes Dramatic Prophecies from Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce and Mother Mary. Summit University Press. pp. 56–57. ISBN 0-922729-45-X.
- "КЛЮЧИ К СПАСЕНИЮ ЯВЛЯЮТСЯ С "НЕБА"". nostradam.ru. January 7, 2009. Archived from the original on June 21, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-19.
- Cheetham, Erika (July 1, 1989). The Final Prophecies of Nostradamus. Perigee Press. p. 263. ISBN 0-399-51516-X.
- Welch, R.W (2000). Comet of Nostradamus: August 2004 – Impact!. Llewellyn Worldwide. p. 232. ISBN 1-56718-816-8.
- See also Google Maps
- Webber, Allan (July 6, 2007). "Anagrams, Code in Nostradamus Prophecies + nuclear disaster predictions". Adelaide. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
- Stewart, Al (1974). Nostradamus (Media notes). Stewart, Al. Arista Records.
- Carroll, Robert Todd (2003). The skeptic's dictionary: a collection of strange beliefs, amusing deceptions, and dangerous delusions. John Wiley and Sons. p. 261. ISBN 0-471-27242-6.
- Ovason, David (2002). The Secrets of Nostradamus: A Radical New Interpretation of the Master's Prophecies. HarperCollins. pp. 113–115. ISBN 0-06-008439-1.