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Well, radio broadcaster and religious wing nut Harold Camping almost had egg on his face. Not so fast! He’s whipping it up into an omelet.

“I can tell you very candidly that when May 21 came and went it was a very difficult time for me, a very difficult time,” said Mr. Camping, 89, a former civil engineer. “I was truly wondering what is going on. In my mind, I went back through all of the promises God has made, all of the proofs, all of the signs and everything was fitting perfectly, so what in the world happened? I really was praying and praying and praying, oh Lord, what happened?”

What he decided, apparently, was that May 21 had been “an invisible judgment day,” of the spiritual variety, rather than his original vision of earthquakes and other disasters leading to five months of hell on earth, culminating in a spectacular doomsday on Oct. 21 — something he had repeatedly guaranteed. On Monday, however, Mr. Camping seemed satisfied with his new interpretation, which apparently spared humankind its months of torture for a single day of destruction.

But his shifting soothsaying led to a barrage of questions from reporters, something Mr. Camping seemed to wave off with a wan smile and occasional flashes of emotion.

“The world has been warned,” said Mr. Camping, who said this would be his last interview. He added that his company — which had bought billboard space nationwide to promote the May 21 date — would not promote his new prediction, Oct. 21.

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