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William Branham claimed to have been given a vision by God concerning the construction of the Clark Memorial Bridge that joins Southern Indiana to Louisville Kentucky over the Ohio River. In his descriptions of this vision, Branham claimed to have seen the deaths of sixteen men as they fell from the bridge and drown. It was a prophecy of destruction, similar to other prophecies given by Branham to his followers; a proclamation of death from God through this prophet without reason or a plea for repentance.
The George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge began construction in June 1928, and was finally opened to the public on October 31, 1929 as a toll bridge. According to government records, William Branham was 20 years old during the final stages of the bridge's construction. This would have given plenty of time to warn the authorities of the men whose lives would otherwise be lost and their families. But we find no record warning, only the description of what he claimed to have been a vision from God.
But history tells a much different story. During its construction, the operations were monitored by the United States Coast Guard. Their observation of the construction is recorded in a series of log books. The logs were entered every two hours of every day, and those logs recorded everything from the daily barometric pressures to the groceries and other supplies used by the men at work. While the logs do record deaths,none of them were caused by drowning. Instead, they describe several rescue operations and and only two fatalities. History does not record sixteen men falling from this bridge.
It is common knowledge that several men died by falling from a bridge that spans the Ohio River from Kentucky into Indiana, however, events which have been recorded in the historical records of Jeffersonville. There were over thirty fatalities during the construction of the Big Four Bridge. Twenty of these fatalities occurred in a single incident. The Big Four bridge was built in sections placed upon pillars, and during severe winds one section was damaged. Forty-one workers were standing on this section when it fell. New construction came to a halt when the bridge was repaired with additional support.
The subject of William Branham's vision, Clark Memorial Bridge, was not constructed in this manner. According to the local bridge authorities, the method used during its construction is the same method used today, and this type of bridge construction has endured due to its increased safety. The Clark Memorial bridge was seen as a huge success with a limited number of fatalities, none of which were a result of drowning.
This prophecy is clearly the result of the words of a man, not the Word from the Lord. Some have claimed that he was mistaken about which bridge the prophecy described, but the Big Four Bridge ended construction in 1895, long before William Branham was born. In addition, there is no record that this prophecy was given before the event. It would seem as though William Branham claimed an event in the history of the city as a new 'prophecy,' but like the other prophesies we will examine, the facts do not match its declaration. The prophet has spoken presumptuously.
More information on the bridge prophecy may be found at www.searchingforvindication.com.
Detailed coast guard logs can be found here