I believe as you do. Even though I have devoted my "about page" to the discussion of the rapture and the apocalypse, I have not given a date and time of when the rapture will occur. As I have stated: There is far too much debate over the meaning and scope of the rapture. This is not Gods intent. Rather, in regards to the rapture, God wants us to encourage each other with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:18).
That said, one only has to wonder just how close we are to this happening though. With all that is happening in the Mideast and the events that are being centered on Israel.
That is precisely why this story 'grew legs'. Each of us sense that there are forces at work beyond our control and those of us that have studied the bible see the various signs of prophecy being fulfilled with increasing intensity. Those people may have mocked this man and mock Christians in general, but this 'prediction' had just enough plausability to it that many probably believed it.
Those people may have been mocking and laughing at him yesterday but I bet some of the emotion was a 'whewww, we dodged a bullet' relief for some of them.