Curse of the Omen?

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11thHeaven
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Curse of the Omen?

Postby 11thHeaven » Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:52 am

Hi all, new here :)

I'd guess that the majority of people on this board are aware of The Omen (1976) and the bizarre events surrounding its production and the people involved (if not, this wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_omen#Curse provides a summary). Would anyone interpret this as evidence for the paranormal?

The events seem interconnected and numerous enough that chalking it all down to "coincidence" would seem weak without a thorough debunking of each individual case, which AFAIK no one has yet done. I'm a great believer in the power of science and reason (I'm studying a Physics degree, after all), but in the absence of opposing evidence, this would appear to be about as legitimate a piece of evidence for the supernatural as I can think of. What would James Randi make of this, I wonder?

On the other hand, however, tf this curse was "real", then what are the implications? Is the Devil/Satan real? Is Christianity true (and how would this work with the other in-accuracies in the Bible)? Why Christianity as opposed to all the other religions that have flourished during human existence? And so on. It wouldn't seem to make sense.


I'm interested in hearing your thoughts!

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Re: Curse of the Omen?

Postby Daedalus » Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:09 pm

11thHeaven wrote:Hi all, new here :)

I'd guess that the majority of people on this board are aware of The Omen (1976) and the bizarre events surrounding its production and the people involved (if not, this wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_omen#Curse provides a summary). Would anyone interpret this as evidence for the paranormal?

The events seem interconnected and numerous enough that chalking it all down to "coincidence" would seem weak without a thorough debunking of each individual case, which AFAIK no one has yet done. I'm a great believer in the power of science and reason (I'm studying a Physics degree, after all), but in the absence of opposing evidence, this would appear to be about as legitimate a piece of evidence for the supernatural as I can think of. What would James Randi make of this, I wonder?

On the other hand, however, tf this curse was "real", then what are the implications? Is the Devil/Satan real? Is Christianity true (and how would this work with the other in-accuracies in the Bible)? Why Christianity as opposed to all the other religions that have flourished during human existence? And so on. It wouldn't seem to make sense.


I'm interested in hearing your thoughts!


Actually I'd never heard of it, and my thoughts are as follows:

1.) That whole piece has only one citation, which is another website with... no citations. For all I know, everything there could be fabricated, or exaggerated. Without confirmation of these events through reliable sources, I'd tend to dismiss this as an urban legend.

2.) Those flights struck (or nearly struck) by lightning... were they on the same day? If so, it's not exactly odd that flights passing through the same route, and the same storm would have similar outcomes. Moreover, how often is a flight struck by lightning at that time of year, on that route?
2.5) I'm curious also what a "near miss" by lightning is on a plane, and how that's determined.

3.) As for the IRA bombing... OK, maybe true, maybe not. In any case there were a LOT of such bombings. Beyond that, "were to eat at..."... they had reservations? They planned at one point? What exactly is meant by that, and would they have been there at the time of the bombing?

4.) Again, assuming they're not fabricated, animal trainers being killed by their charges, and stunt men dying from stunts are not exactly shocking occurrences, especially a few decades ago.

5.) The least surprising (again, if true, I can find no indication beyond the stories about 'The Omen') given the frequency of fatal automobile accidents. Moreover, decapitation in a time when safety glass was still not a requirement in windshields.

Still, this smacks of urban legend, and the total lack of any objective reporting makes me even more doubtful.
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Re: Curse of the Omen?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:23 pm

Curses require a supernatural mechanism. That's not likely at all.
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Re: Curse of the Omen?

Postby Daedalus » Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:24 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Curses require a supernatural mechanism. That's not likely at all.


I just instantly substitute, "Statistical Cluster", anytime I read, "Curse".
"Propaganda is a monologue which seeks not a response, but an echo." (W.H. Auden)
"Given time and plenty of paper, philosophers can prove anything." (Robert Heinlein)
"The map is not the territory." (Alfred Korzybski)
“You’re in the desert, you see a tortoise lying on its back, struggling, and you’re not helping — why is that?" (Bladerunner)

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Re: Curse of the Omen?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:38 pm

Daedalus wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Curses require a supernatural mechanism. That's not likely at all.


I just instantly substitute, "Statistical {!#%@}", anytime I read, "Curse".
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Re: Curse of the Omen?

Postby Poodle » Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:16 pm

Well, let's take a look at just one of the statements in that Wikipedia article, shall we?

(October 1975 to January 1976) ... A restaurant that Neufeld and Peck were to eat at in England was bombed by the IRA.

I can find no record of any such event (I'm saying that carefully - actually, I'd go as far as to say that no such event happened within the time period stated). A pub in London was attacked during that period, but that was perpetrated by the UDA, not the IRA. Apart from that, nothing even vaguely like what is described occurred anywhere in England.

Having disposed of that one, is there any reason you can think of why I should look any further before calling BS?

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Re: Curse of the Omen?

Postby Monster » Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:24 pm

If the crew of The Omen was cursed, does that mean that every single crew of every movie that doesn't involve multiple deaths is blessed? And then, are blessed crews proof for god/Satan/Pazuzu?

The events seem interconnected and numerous enough that chalking it all down to "coincidence" would seem weak without a thorough debunking of each individual case, which AFAIK no one has yet done. I'm a great believer in the power of science and reason (I'm studying a Physics degree, after all), but in the absence of opposing evidence, this would appear to be about as legitimate a piece of evidence for the supernatural as I can think of. What would James Randi make of this, I wonder?

You're "event mining". Why not consider all the times that no bad event happened for the Omen, or for crews of other movies. Maybe, if the crew for every single Satan movie, or the majority of Satan movies, had horrible accidents, then perhaps you might have something. But still, probably not.

And there's nothing to "debunk" here.

And why do you consider this evidence for the supernatural? Isn't this really evidence of aliens who don't like Satan movies that decided to do something about it when they were traveling near Earth that have weather modification technology? Yes, that statement is serious. Sort of. I'm trying to illustrate to you that you're making an argument from ignorance mistake. "I can't explain it; thus religion."

On the other hand, however, tf this curse was "real", then what are the implications? Is the Devil/Satan real? Is Christianity true (and how would this work with the other in-accuracies in the Bible)? Why Christianity as opposed to all the other religions that have flourished during human existence? And so on. It wouldn't seem to make sense.

It doesn't make sense.
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Gawdzilla Sama
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Re: Curse of the Omen?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:17 pm

I'm sure the IRA was doing contract hits for the Antichrist.
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Re: Curse of the Omen?

Postby Bart Stewart » Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:06 pm

I think Poodle put this one to bed by checking up on the bombing that never happened. I would add that even if the statement about the bombing was true, it wouldn't mean much in terms of a "curse" on that movie. I was also struck by the small number of events that is supposed to indicate this curse. That's a short list. One of the events happened a year after the making of the film. A lot of them are things that "almost" happened. This is really just some fundamentalist Christians and demonology buffs searching for a pattern. It ain't there.

I am a classic movie buff. There are constantly movies being said to have "curses" just because some cast members died, sometimes years later. These things never stand up to scrutiny. That said, coincidences do happen. Maybe some movie had a run of odd coincidences. It wouldn't mean much, and The Omen is not one of those movies.

It is a great horror movie, however! Rationalist skeptic that I am, I love tales of the supernatural -- as entertaining fiction! Nobody will ever get me to give up my old Bela Lugosi flicks.

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Re: Curse of the Omen?

Postby 11thHeaven » Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:26 am

Thanks for the responses, guys :)


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