I suspect that some early prehistoric people were convinced that the invention of the bow and arrow was going to cause catastrophes. There are always people who don't like the latest changes in the world and subconsciously are willing to have it end. They spread their tales, and other people without a good grasp of science have panic attacks. The promised date passes, and nothing happens, and we go on to the next.
More than can be counted. Just about every shooting star or solar eclipse in the ancient world was perceived as an omen of doom. The world was going to end in the year 1000 AD. There's always been some crackpot croaking about the imminent apocalypse.