William Tapley, known on youtube as thirdeaglebooks, is a retired furniture engineer, conspiracy theorist and self-declared prophet (“co-prophet of the end times”) who has received some attention for being extraordinarily unhinged and incoherent even by self-declared-prophets-on-youtube standards. A typical example (no link provided) is his 2014 claim, based on a commercial for the iPad, that there will be a “false flag” event at the Super Bowl, in a rant partially concerned with an image of a sunrise that he claims to be of a woman giving birth to the Antichrist. (Elsewhere, Tapley has argued that Danny DeVito is, in fact, the Antichrist – it seems to be an open question whether it is one or more antichrists.) In general, most of his videos seem to be devoted to pointing out symbolism the rest of us might, for obvious reasons, have missed related to the end times in otherwise mundane-looking things, such as information about the nefarious plans of the Illuminati in a Miracle Whip commercial.
If you wondered about the “thirdeaglebooks” alias or the “co-prophet” designation, Tapley is ready to explain: God has told him he, Tapley, is the Eagle of the Apocalypse, and his own research revealed two previous “eagles”, which meant that he was no. 3; the previous two were the 15th-century Saints Vincent Ferrer and Bernardino of Siena, who sounded the alarm about the church’s first great enemy Martin Luther, precursor of the false prophet. As for the “Co-Prophet” title, Tapley believes his partner to be none other than Daniel of Old Testament.
Though unwilling to put an exact date on Armageddon, Tapley at least provided an estimate back in 2014: between October 13 and November 29, 2017. We don’t know about any updates, but an indication of what such updates would have involved can perhaps be gleaned from his 2014 response to the fact he had “predicted several events that had to occur 7 years earlier between October 13 and November 29, 2010, including: the fall of Israel, the fall of the Catholic Church, World War 3, and the return of Enoch and Elijah.” His response: These things did happen; you just might not have noticed.
Among his most notable successes are a 2012 analysis of the infamous Gangnam Style video, which Tapley concluded was a message directly from God about the nature of the Anti-Christ – telling us in particular that the Anti-Christ had a gay relationship with the False Prophet. Let us just say that if this was God’s message, and that was his means of delivering it, we should be seriously concerned about a lot of things. In fact, by applying the same methodology (i.e. free association) Tapley has established that God is sending all kinds of warnings to the world, contained in “music videos, television commercials, even sporting events.”
Before coming up with the Gangnam Style analysis, however, Tapley gained some attention for writing and recording the ditty “Mitt Romney, A Hero In My Mind,” that he hoped would become the Romney campaign theme. (The ditty is, to be honest, probably better described as “anti-Obama” than “pro-Romney”.)
In 2013 Tapley argued that Margaret Thatcher’s death was a warning to Obama. Among the pieces of evidence for that claim is a verse in Daniel that refers to a lion but Tapley claims is really talking about a lioness and is therefore Thatcher – and if you wonder why the Bible talked about a lion and not a lioness, Tapley has the answer: it is because “she comes up out of the sea.” The purported explanation is rather telling at least in some ways. He also produced a response to Obama’s speech to Planned Parenthood in which he mostly lied about abortion rights but also claimed that the speech was proof that Obama is possessed by demons. Other things argued by Tapley include the claim that Prince’s death is a fulfillment of prophecy; Tapley compared him to Jesus, who you should remember (if you doubted his claim), was the Prince of Peace.
Last, but not least, Tapley is probably one of the most colorful proponents of the Denver airport conspiracy, which is already one of the more fascinating conspiracy theories out there. Tapley’s version is predictably concerned mostly with hidden and at the same time prominently displayed Satanism, but his take raised to some notability after being featured by Stephen Colbert. In 2011 Tapley also received the honor of becoming the first “three-peat” designee of Anderson Cooper 360’s “RidicuList”; Tapley, on his side, claims that he doesn’t think Cooper actually considers him a joke: “Well, he laughs at me, but I think it’s more of a nervous laughter,” said Tapley.
Diagnosis: Yes, he is belligerently insane. But he is also a happy, content eccentric who enjoys his retirement in an interestingly colorful way. Probably completely harmless.