Thirty-nine members of the Heaven's Gate cult in California begin committing mass suicide in anticipation of the arrival of comet Hale-Bopp. The suicides will take place in three groups over the course of three days.
Heaven's Gate is a UFO religion in San Diego, California. It was founded and led by Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles. The two teach that Earth will soon be recycled and the only way to survive the process is to leave the planet entirely. They believe this is possible through suicide. Fortunately, a UFO hidden behind the comet Hale-Bopp will transport their spirits away.