Nostradamus is probably the most well known prophet outside of the Bible. His success rests on two basic facts. First, Nostradamus wrote a very large number of prophecies; and second, most of them are so vague in nature that they can be easily applied to nearly any situation.
Nostradamus is also greatly helped by modern-day translators adjusting the meaning of his writings to fit predetermined historical events. One popular verse mentions a certain “Hister,” which some folks claim refers to Adolf Hitler. Hister is simply common name for the Lower Danube, and Nostradamus uses it as such several times.
The few times that Nostradamus spoke plainly about something, the predictions failed miserably. He foresaw 1999 as being a cataclysmic year of global destruction, and as we all know, it was pretty much an uneventful year.