How Nostradamus Predicted Drones. No, Really.

July 13, 2018

The world was supposed to dramatically end in flames in July of 1999, and here we are. Oops! Nostradamus can make mistakes too, right?   After reevaluating his work, scholars have pushed back Armageddon to the year 3797. Phew!  The French-born astrologer and physician may have been slightly off about the end of the world, but somehow, he got a lot of other things right.  These predictions included the rise of Napoleon, the death of Princess Diana, and even the modern use of drones.  In century V, quatrain 57 of his famous book Les Propheties, he cryptically described a flying drone used by the military to spy on enemy forces.





Drones aren’t just for freaking out your cat or recording your kid’s baseball game.  Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV,) are used for a number of functions in various industries and organizations. The most common recreational drone is the quadcopter and, until now, has been primarily used for aerial video and photography.  Enter, Amazon.  Amazon and other delivery companies like DHL are now using drones to complete their deliveries in a more efficient way a.k.a. removing the human from the equation.  Quadcopters are propelled by 4 rotors and can fly in straight lines, circles, and can even hover.  These devices also compete in a newly popular sport called “drone racing.”

The military has also taken advantage of these flying autonomous aircrafts.  Drones are used in situations where manned flight is considered too risky or difficult.  They provide troops with a 24-hour eye in the sky, seven days a week.  Each aircraft can stay aloft for up to 40 hours at a time, loitering over an area and sending back real-time imagery of activities on the ground.  Drones are also used in the military to deliver precision missile strikes without the need for more intrusive military action. Not everyone is a fan of that.  The military’s use for drones is exactly what Nostradamus predicted in the following quatrain:

“There will go from Mont Gaussier and ‘Aventin,’

One who through the hole will warn the enemy:

Between two rocks will be the booty be taken,

Of Sectus’ mausoleum the renown to fail.”

Some Nostradamians believe that he was writing about Mongolfier’s 1793 invention of the hot air balloon which resulted in the first successful human flight.  This happened 200 years after Nostradamus recorded his prediction.   The hot-air balloon was one of the great inventions of its time and was originally used as a military device to spy on enemy movements on the field of battle. During the Battle of Fleurus in 1794, Montgolfier used his new invention and a telescope to spy on enemy forces from the air. 

Other prophecy scholars disagree and say that the major typos and mythical locations make this nothing more than a mirky reference to some imagined incident from Nostradamus’ childhood.   

The hot air balloon may have been the hottest aerial spying device of the 1700’s, but the drone is the current flying phenomenon. Drones are autonomous and don’t require a human pilot to record enemy movements on the ground.  The “one who through the hole will warn the enemy” accurately describes how a modern drone works and how it’s used as a spying device by the military.  The hot air balloon was a good try by scholars of the 17th century, but clearly, they didn’t know the drone was coming 300 years later. 

Even though Nostradamus lived 500 years ago, the seer used judicial astrology to predict what would happen to the world over the next several centuries, and alarmingly, he nailed a few key events pretty accurately.  However, not everyone believes that he had special psychic powers.  Some of his oddly worded quatrains that make up Les Phopheties are generic and lack specific details. However, there are certain predictions that are written so specifically that no argument can be made about the realness of his vision.  Besides his accurate prediction of drones, let’s take a look at other monumental moments in history that he got right:


“The young lion (Gabriel Montgomery) will overcome the older one (King Henry),

On the field of combat in a single battle (jousting match;)

He will pierce his eyes through a golden cage (Montgomery lanced Henry in the face,)

Two wounds made one (lance splintered and penetrated his eye and throat,)

then he dies a cruel death (died 11 days later after heavy pain and suffering.)


“From the depths of the West of Europe,

A young child will be born of poor people,

He who by his tongue will seduce a great troop;

His fame will increase toward the realm of the East.”


“Beasts ferocious with hunger will cross the rivers,

The greater part of the battlefield will be against Hister.

Into a cage of iron will the great now be drawn,

When the child of Germany observes nothing.”

Hister?  Ok so he was a few letters off, but for predicting the rise of Nazi Germany 400 years before it happened, he’s allowed some slack.


“Near the gates and within two cities (Hiroshima and Nagasaki)

There will be scourges the like of which was never seen,

Famine within plague (food shortage crisis,) people put out by steel,

Crying to the great immortal God for relief (survivors suffered radiation poisoning.)”

ASSASSINATION OF JFK (and his brother Bobby)

“The great man (JFK) will be struck down in the day by a thunderbolt (gunshot,)

An evil deed foretold by the bearer of a petition (prior death threats.)

According to the prediction, another falls at night time (Bobby Kennedy.)

Conflict at Reims, London and a pestilence in Tuscany.”


“Earthshaking fire from the center of the Earth

Will cause tremors around the New City (New York City.)

Two great rocks (Twin Towers) will war for a long time,

Then Arethusa will redden a new river.”


500 years later, there is still controversy over the validity of Nostradamus’s famous predictions about the future of the world.  While some shockingly accurate descriptions are hard to ignore, his cryptic style opens up his work for interpretation.  Some accounts are more specific than others, and this includes his writing about the future use of drones in the military.  No other invention in history satisfies his specific description of drones and their use in modern society.  No matter what your beliefs are about Nostradamus, we can all breath easy since the world will be around for another 1779 years!

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