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WASHINGTON, DC – Earth orbited the sun at a speed of 65,992 mph for billions of years, but all that changed on October 23… Weekly World News has discovered the planet mysteriously sped up and started orbiting at 66,666 mph – the “Speed of Satan!”

“Everyone knows that 666 is the Bible’s Mark of the Beast. Well, 666,666 is the ‘Speed of the Beast’ – and yet another sign that the end of the world is at hand,” Dr. Catherine Bardot, the famed Bible scholar, told reporters.

“The powers that be would rather sweep this information under the rug,” she continued.

“But my sources say that NASA, the Pentagon, the State Department, even the White House, know that the change of speed is highly significant.

“None of this has any known physical explanation,” she added. “But to my mind, you have to look no further than the Book of Revelation in your Bible to find that the change of speed is linked to the End Times.”

NASA scientists were the first to notice the increase of speed in the Earth’s orbit around the sun, and after checking their instruments to eliminate any chance of error, they alerted President Barack Obama.

The concern, of course, was that the speed would continue to increase, causing ecological changes that would jeopardize all life on our planet. Scientists have since concluded that the speed has stabilized and is not a threat to mankind.

“The change of speed might not be a threat to mankind but it is highly symbolic from a Christian point of view,” warned Dr. Bardot.

“As the Book of Revelation points out, Satan will rise to a position of extreme power and prominence before the world comes to an end.

“In those days, the Devil will force humans to accept the mark ‘555’ on their wrists and foreheads, otherwise they will become social and political outcasts, unable to buy or sell.

“It is my belief that God has changed the speed of orbit as a sign to men who have eyes to see and ears to hear.

“Unfortunately, the United States government has chosen to keep this information secret, which makes our officials pawns of Satan in the most dangerous ‘game’ the world has ever known.”

Officials would neither confirm nor deny the scholar’s allegations, although one White House source did say, “President Obama is keeping a close watch on the situation and will deal with it publicly when – and if – it is appropriate.”