15 famous failed predictions

Sometimes predictions are made that are hilariously, outstandingly wrong.  Here are fifteen of the most famous ones.

It will be years –not in my time– before a woman will become Prime Minister.” –Margaret Thatcher, October 26th, 1969.

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
–Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943.

“That virus [HIV] is a pussycat.”
–Dr. Peter Duesberg, molecular-biology professor at U.C. Berkeley, 1988,

“Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You’re crazy.” –Associates of Edwin L. Drake refusing his suggestion to drill for oil in 1859.

“A rocket will never be able to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.”
–New York Times, 1936.

“Reagan doesn’t have that presidential look.”
–United Artists Executive, rejecting Reagan as lead in 1964 film The Best Man

“The singer [Mick Jagger] will have to go; the BBC won’t like him.”
— First Rolling Stones manager Eric Easton to his partner after watching them perform.

“Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.”
–Dr Dionysys Larder (1793-1859)

“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.”
–Lord Kelvin, 1895.

“There will never be a bigger plane built.”
–A Boeing engineer, after the first flight of the 247, a twin engine plane that holds ten people.

“Taking the best left-handed pitcher in baseball and converting him into a right fielder is one of the dumbest things I ever heard.”
– Tris Speaker, baseball hall of famer, talking about Babe Ruth, 1919.

“Ours has been the first [expedition], and doubtless to be the last, to visit this profitless locality.”
—- Lt. Joseph Ives, after visiting the Grand Canyon in 1861.

“If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one.”
–W.C. Heuper, National Cancer Institute, 1954.

“You better get secretarial work or get married.”
–Emmeline Snively, advising would-be model Marilyn Monroe in 1944.

“Read my lips: No new taxes.”
–George Bush, 1988

6 responses to “15 famous failed predictions

  1. Like the IBM one about global demand for 5 computers.

    “According to the laws of the aerodynamics the bumble bee cannot fly” – Professor Heinkel in blissful ignornace of this the bumble bee does in fact fly

  2. “Drill for oil? You’re crazy!”

  3. Someone predicted Ken would return as Mayor. Like that will ever happen!

  4. The ones about drilling for oil, smoking and the HIV virus are just unbelievable.

  5. Ronald Reagan didn’t look presidential, hahahahaha

  6. Then there’s the one about Simon Cowell auditioning the boy band Take That and saying dump the fat one (Robbie Williams).

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