Apocalypse Now? Well, in May, Anyway

You might want to think twice before making that down payment on this summer’s shore house. Why? Because—duh—the world is going to end on May 21. At least that’s what one South Jersey resident claims, and he wants everyone to know about it.

For the last several months, Edwin Ramos of Vineland has been covering billboards around Cumberland County with the following message: “Judgment Day, May 21, 2011, The Bible Guarantees It.”

At last count there are three of these billboards, one in front of Ramos’s home, one on Delsea Drive in Vineland and another in front of the Dollar & Up store on Route 49 coming into Bridgeton from Millville. According to news reports, Ramos says he has plans to lease six more.

The billboards appear to be inspired by the Family Radio Network, which is led by a man named Harold Camping. In the early 1990s, Camping predicted the world would come to an end in 1994. (Okay, bad guess.)

“About three months ago, it hit me,” Ramos told The News of Cumberland County in December. “Camping had kept talking about the end of the world, but I didn’t really understand it until then. That was when I knew I had to start to warn people.”

Ramos has made a significant financial sacrifice for his apocalyptic campaign. The billboards cost $150 per month with a $375 charge to install the artwork. What’s more, according to a local news story, Ramos used to own a company called American Industrial Electrical Contracts. Late last year—when he decided that he had to warn everyone about the end of the world—he outfitted his work trailer with the same message as his billboards. Business quickly declined. He sold his truck in order to purchase an RV, which—you guessed it—will bear the same apocalyptic message.

According to reports, most of Ramos’s friends and family have begun to distance themselves from him. The only support he has comes from his wife, Jessica, who apparently shares his apocalyptic view.

In less than two months, I guess we’ll all find out if they are right.

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