The logo used by the Heaven's Gate group

Heaven's Gate was an American UFO religion doomsday cult based in Lompoc, California, founded in the early 1970s and led by Marshall Applewhite (1931–1997) and Bonnie Nettles (1927–1985). On March 26, 1997, in order to reach what they believed was an alien space craft following the Comet Hale–Bopp, they stole a deep space research vessel (US R/V Robert H. Goddard) from nearby Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The members of Heaven's Gate cult was filled with computer specialists, who videotaped their farewells and left little to clean up  in the $2 million estate they called home, putting out the trash and packing their belongings for those who were left behind before stealing the deep space craft from its holding berth.

No ship was available to chase the craft and the ship traveled over 100 million miles to intercept the comet. The cult smashed the ship into the comet killing all 39 cult members.


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