Harold Camping 'Bewildered' After Apocalypse Comes and Goes Quietly

Harold Camping's wife says preacher is "mystified" that the world did not end.

ByABC News
May 22, 2011, 11:50 AM

May 22, 2011— -- Harold Camping is "mystified" and "a little bewildered" today that the Rapture did not go as he predicted, an associate of the California preacher told ABC News.

Tom Evans, a board member of Camping's Family Radio International, said today that Camping's wife told him her husband is at their home in Oakland and has no intention to speak or issue any statement today or Monday.

Camping's wife described him as being "somewhat bewildered" and "mystified" that events did not unfold on May 21 as Camping had predicted, Evans said.

Evans said his personal position is that the public is owed an apology and he wants the board -- and Camping -- to meet on Tuesday to figure out what to say and do next.

Camping, 89, had pinpointed May 21, at 5:59 p.m. as the exact time the Rapture would occur, when those chosen by God would ascend to heaven while cataclysmic earthquakes would begin to rock earth. He spread the word on billboards, posters, fliers and digital bus displays across the country.

"I am utterly absolutely, absolutely convinced it's going to happen," Camping said earlier in the week.

Robert Fitzpatrick of New York had put his money where his faith is: The 60-year-old retiree spent $140,000 -- almost everything he had -- on hundreds of billboards proclaiming the Armagedon that Camping predicted.

When it didn't come, he was standing in New York's Times Square, surrounded by jeering tourists in a drizzling rain.

"I can't tell you what I feel right now," he said. "Obviously, I haven't understood it correctly because we're still here."

While Camping has his followers, his preaching also drew criticism from many Christians, who pointed out that the Bible says no person can know when the end will come.

"I would classify myself as a skeptic," said Camping's neighbor Robert Minot told San Francisco ABC News affiliate KGO-TV. "It's going to end sometime, but I think his pages must have stuck together in his copy of the Bible where it says we are not to know the hour or the moment."

"I hope there are no bad repercussions from it because everybody reacts a different way to these types of things," neighbor Sheila Doan told KGO-TV.

This is not the first time Camping was mistaken about the end of the world. He once predicted the End of Days to be Sept. 6, 1994, but later said that date was a result of a mathematical error.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.