Heaven’s Gate was a religious cult movement started in San Diego, California by Marshal Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles in 1974. Both believed that they had been called to live out certain biblical prophesies and that they could transcend conciseness. They also believed that they were the ones who were the witnesses mentioned in the Book of Revelation. They told others that they believed they needed to die so that they could come back and be transported by a spaceship. They went about trying to reach out to extraterrestrials and find other followers. They called this group “the crew”.
In 1975, the group met in a hotel in Oregon. They were told they needed to sell all of their processions and say goodbye to their family and friends. The group went underground. Their disappearance made the national news. During this time, the group moved across the country living in tents. During this time Applewhite and Nettles went by the names “Bo and Peep” and “Do and Ti”. The group also went by several different names including the Human Individual Metamorphosis before landing on the name Heaven’s Gate. As they traveled across the county, they recruited other members and the movement became somewhat popular.
On March 19th and 20th of 1997, the group participated in a mass suicide. According to Applewhite this was done because “it was the only way to evacuate this Earth.” 38 followers killed themselves that night so that they could board a UFO that they believed was traveling behind the Hale-Bopp Comet. Police found all of the members dead on their bunks.