QAnon followers, apocalyptic conspiracy theorists and various content creators have fixated on the date, sharing baseless theories across social media that have received millions of views. Each has come up with convoluted explanations for why the day has some hidden meaning.
The online fascination with September 24 stems in part from a speech given by Friedrich Merz, leader of Germany’s Christian Democratic Union party. In a speech earlier this month addressing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Merz misspoke and said September 24 (instead of February 24, the first day of the invasion) would be a day that people would remember, according to a German far-right researcher.
Merz’ “September 24” comment was then clipped and spread around German QAnon Telegram channels, according to Vice, stripping it of context and framing it as having some outsized significance. The clip gained traction and proliferated around social media as many baselessly speculated that something big will happen on the day, while some QAnon believers used it as fodder to promote their movement. The reasons given for why the date is significant tend to rely on outlandish connections or numerology — some users have cited as proof the fact that The Simpsons’ ninth episode in its 24th season (which could abbreviate to 9/24) included survivalists preparing for the end of the world.
There is now a plethora of speculation about what catastrophic or seismic changes could take place on September 24, and the conspiracy theory has gained attention outside of the fringe forums where it initially grew.
A British TikToker with around 200,000 followers posted a video on Tuesday of Merz’ comments and shared various theories that he had seen online, from Donald Trump announcing his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election to a solar flare and the end times. The video contained no evidence for any of these theories, but received 3.9 million views on the platform. (A following post from the same TikToker debunking these claims received only 77,000 views.)
A right-wing Twitter user amassed over 32,000 views sharing a clip about the audio wrote “something is amiss” in the caption and speculated about a “major event” happening on the date. Meanwhile, one QAnon-affiliated Telegram user with over 13,000 followers on the platform cited Germany’s “ominous warning” about September 24 to baselessly claim there would be a “false flag attack” on the day.
Another QAnon conspiracist with thousands of followers wrote a timeline of events they believed would happen, including “mass cyberattacks” and the beginning of “10 days of darkness” on September 24. Their prediction included the common QAnon conspiracy that John F. Kennedy Jr., who died in 1999, would be revealed to be alive and return as Trump’s Vice President. Fringe forums for QAnon and Trump supporters are rife with posts about the date.
There has also been significant chatter about September 24 on Truth Social, Trump’s social media platform, and YouTube videos speculating that a “massive event” will soon happen worldwide.
The far-right conspiracy theory movement QAnon has a long history of deploying numerology and arbitrary dates to claim without evidence that something huge is about to happen. The movement’s adherents have previously made claims about fictional events which never came to pass where so-called “deep state” officials and Democrat leaders would be arrested en masse, and Trump would be reinstated as President.