(Newsweek, Jun 9, 1997)
Note that English with the vowels included is far less flexible than Hebrew when it comes to making letters into words. Nevertheless, without further ado, we present our answer to Mr Drosnin's challenge.
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi
President Rene Moawad
Soviet exile Leon Trotsky
The Reverend Martin Luther King
(The underlined words were found by Shannon Kohl)
Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss
The assassin Sirhan Sirhan
John F. KennedyPresident John F. Kennedy was shot in the head by an assassin who quietly waited in a concealed place. It was in Texas, November 1963, during a presidential motorcade.
Abraham LincolnPresident Abraham Lincoln was shot dead on April 14, 1865.
Yitzhak RabinIsraeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin was shot dead on November 4, 1995. His assassin was Igal Amir, who fired three shots of which one hit Rabin fatally in the chest. Amir was a student at Bar-Ilan University, and associated with an underground group Eyal which modelled itself on a historical terrorist group called Lehi. Amir was angered by Rabin's role in the "Peace Process" and especially by the Oslo accords.
The textYou can verify the above messages, and find your own, using the public-domain text of Moby Dick. It can be downloaded as a gzipped text file (478KB, expanding to 1187KB).
Some more information about the pictures can be found here.
Princess Diana's deathThe death of Lady Diana was also predicted by Moby Dick. See the Princess Di page for details.
A note to the credulousIt has come to my attention that some people have taken this page as claiming that Moby Dick really predicted the assassinations of famous people. Please be assured that none of these patterns happened by other than pure random chance.
No laws of probability are violated here, or even stretched a little. That is also true of Drosnin's book, which is the whole point of this page. Once you learn Drosnin's rules (none) and the method (a bit of messy programming) you can find things like this anywhere. The reason it looks amazing is that the number of possible things to look for, and the number of places to look, is much greater than you imagine.