Mayan doomsday ‘safe zone’ shut down

2291801787Citing fears that doomsday believers, curiosity seekers, and “above all” journalists, will flood a French mountaintop on Dec. 21, the supposed day of the Mayan apocalypse, local officials are banning access to the mountain.

The spot, Pic de Bugarach, is rumored to be one of the only safe places on the planet on Dec. 21, according to Raw Story. On that date, a major cycle of the Maya Long Count calendar ends. The calendar is split into several chunks, including 400-year spans called b’ak’tuns. Dec. 21, 2012 on our calendar marks the end of the 13th b’ak’tun and the beginning of a new cycle.

The calendar change would not have been seen as the end of the world by the ancient Maya, scholars agree. But in New Age and other online subcultures, believers have come to expect something major on that day, with predictions ranging from a new dawn of peace and harmony to an explosive doomsday.

One online rumor holds that on this day of destruction, Pic de Bugarach will open up to reveal an alien spacecraft, which will save believers nearby. That has local officials worried.

“We are expecting a few visionaries, a few people who believe in this end of the world, but in extremely limited numbers,” state official Eric Freysselinard told Raw Story. “We are expecting greater numbers of people who are just curious, but in numbers we cannot determine. Above all, we are expecting lots of journalists.”

In response, officials will call in 100 police and firefighters on Dec. 21 to seal off approaches to the mountain, Freysselinard told Raw Story.

Other areas are welcoming the doomsday attention. In Belize, the Chaa Creek resort is trying to lure tourists with a seven-day, all-inclusive “Maya Winter Solstice” package, which includes workshops on Maya crafts, traditional Maya garb and names of guests inscribed into a giant stele that will be erected on Dec. 21.

In Guatamala, the national tourism bureau is organizing all sorts of festivities, including a “New Dawn for Humanity” summit in Tikal, a major ancient Maya city. Elton John, Bruce Springsteen and U2 will provide entertainment.

Mexico is aiming for the action, too, launching a tourism campaign called “Mayan World 2012” and encouraging visitors to seek out sites in southern Mexico, where the ancient Maya once built complex cities. In Cancun, the National Institute of Anthropology and History has opened the enormous “Museo Maya de Cancun,” a museum dedicated to Maya history.


Doomsday hysteria grips Russia

349Doomsday hysteria has gripped Russia and some of its neighbors. Travel agencies are selling tours to either heaven or hell and people are stocking up on food and fuel. Officials are publicly denying the apocalypse, hoping to calm the hype.

Those awaiting Doomsday have three weeks to finish their preparations before the date of the much publicized apocalypse allegedly predicted by Mayan calendar, that is going to happen on December 21, 2012.

Thousands of people across Russia keep stocking up their back rooms and balconies with food, fuel and other supplies they might need when disaster strikes. Some are even moving outside of cities because of the widely spread rumors that cities would be impossible to survive in after an apocalypse on Earth.

According to one of the most popular scenarios, on December 21 the sun is going to line up with the center of our Milky Way galaxy which will cause an entire blackout on Earth and a wave of different natural disasters.

Doomsday merchandize offered in Russia and Ukraine include survival kits. In the Siberian city of Tomsk such items for “meeting the end of the world” include ID cards, notepads, canned fish, a bottle of vodka, rope, a piece of soap, among other items. The packages are said to be popular among customers, more than 1,000 kits have been already sold, the company says.

Ukrainian entrepreneurs also offer a version of a doomsday kit. Just like Tomsk package, the Ukrainian one also includes alcohol: champagne for ladies and vodka for gentlemen. The rest of the kit consist of jack-knife, two-minute noodles, shampoo, soap, rope, matches and condoms.

Not all doom and gloom

Survival Kits

© RIA Novosti/Yakov Andreev
Marina Mendelson wedding agency sells Last Day sets in Tomsk.

An apocalypse kit is not the only way for the entrepreneurial minded to cash in on the end of the world hype.

One Ukrainian enterprise is selling tours to heaven and hell for December 21 promising full return of money in case of “not getting to heaven or hell.” A trip to heaven would cost about $15, while trip to the underworld is more expensive at around $18. The agency explains difference in price by saying that Hell should be more fun.

While Ukrainian trips are even said by the firm behind to be just for fun, some individuals in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod offered far more expensive doomsday fair – one being a salvation trip in an arc. An internet ad offered seats in the arc for just 80,000-150,000 rubles, which is approximately $2,600-5,000.

Bars and nightclubs are getting ready for apocalypse day in their own way announcing theme parties and inventing special cocktails like “Total Recall” – an extremely alcoholic drink that makes you “recall your entire life.”

But doomsday hysteria isn’t isolated to just the former soviet Republic. In France authorities had to ban access to a mountain that doomsday theorists believe will be the only safe spot during the apocalypse on December 21.

At the birthplace of Mayan calendar, Mexico and Guatemala agencies offer tours “The end of the world with Maya” and “The world of Maya 2012.”

Ticket to Heaven!

© Images taken from
Pictures advertizing tickets to heaven sold for $15.

Russian officials cancel apocalypse

Meanwhile, in Russia rapidly growing doomsday hype has sparked a negative reaction from authorities.

Russia’s Emergency Ministry is not expecting any global cataclysms in the near future, the head of EMERCOM Vladimir Puchkov said on Friday, adding that those worried are free to call the Ministry hotline to talk about their concerns.

Another senior official took a more emotional stance about doomsday speculations. Russia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Gennady Onishenko lashed out at those publicizing the apocalypse warning that they would end up in court.

“This directly influences people’s health. When they depress you and say that in less than one month everything is going to end, there are many people, who believe this,” he said.

Russian State Duma deputies wrote an open letter urging media to stop speculating about the doomsday. The deputy head of the Duma committee on Science and Technology publicly promised that no apocalypse is happening on December 21.

“In our committee there are academics and scientists, and with all responsibility we state that there will be no doomsday. Who made that up and circulates this around?” he asked.
Sat, 01 Dec 2012 02:11 CST

Did aliens or God create the human race, asks Ridley Scott in ‘Prometheus’

Sci-fi fans are eagerly awaiting Sir Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, a quasi-prequel to his 1979 blockbuster film, “Alien” that lands in theaters Friday, June 8.

In the film, an Earth-based crew is sent on a long journey to a near-by star system to explore a planet believed to host an advanced civilization. The film asks not just how realistic such a premise is, but more complex questions: Did aliens create the human race? If so, does that negate the existence of God? Or, did God create the aliens?

Ridley Scott, it seems, is a believer.

“The more you go into it, the more you realize that it kind of makes sense,” Scott told “You stand outside at night, you look at the galaxy, and think, ‘The fact that we think we’re the only ones here is entirely ridiculous.’ It’s an arrogance to believe that we’re the only ones here.”

“Prometheus” scientist Elizabeth Shaw (played by actress Noomi Rapace) agrees. After discovering a series of mysterious symbols written inside a cave, a deeply religious Shaw sets on a intergalactic quest to prove her theory that humans were created by alien life forms.

Shaw sees no conflict between her faith in God and evidence that extra-terrestrials were responsible for mankind’s existence on earth.

“I love that contradiction in her, to be a scientist and religious at the same time,” Rapace told “It just like a constant war zone in her between those two sides. But I do think it’s because she chose to believe and she is connected with something — her God — that makes her strong in the most destructive, dark and crazy moments when everything is falling apart.”

“Because she has that faith — that’s what makes her a survivor. It’s her faith that saves her, not the science. It’s not the brain, but the heart, and I find that quite beautiful,” Rapace said.

Scott explained that Shaw’s religious faith was based in part on dinner he shared with nine astrophysicists, including three scientists from NASA.

“Scientist who are believers — that’s not unique,” Scott said. “I asked, ‘Who in this room believes in God?’ And four put their hands up. It’s kind of odd that somebody working with such specific clarity will say, ‘Well, actually, you know, I hate to tell you — but I believe in God.’ So, that’s an abstract thing called faith.”

David, an android who joins the scientists and crew on their mission to find their alien creators, is intrigued by Shaw’s faith.

“He’s definitely taken a specific interest in Elizabeth,” Michael Fassbender, who portrayed David, told “I think he finds something very interesting in her. He’s curious about her — her determination, her faith, her work ethic. He’s all about gathering information.”

David, who Fassbender modeled after David Bowie, Peter O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence in “Lawrence of Arabia,” Dirk Bogarde in “The Servant” and Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis, takes away Shaw’s cherished silver cross necklace — a very curious thing for an android to do.

“It’s all about, ‘What would happen if I took this away, what sort of reaction would I get?’” explained Fassbender. “But yes, there’s a little bit of something else going on in there. Is he getting his own motivations? Is he getting some sort of pleasure out of things? Or, is there jealousy or vengeance there — very sort of human traits?”

Logan Marshall-Green, who portrayed Shaw’s agnostic personal and professional partner, Charlie Holloway, doesn’t see a conflict between having faith in God and practical science. “I believe in evolution and Darwinism, but do I believe there’s a power greater than ourselves? Absolutely, and it’s out there somewhere. Do I believe that there’s intelligent life out there? Totally.”

“I really do believe that it’s ridiculous for us to think that we’re the only intelligent life in the universe,” adds Marshall-Green. “I don’t expect people to abandon religion or science after seeing this, but I certainly expect them to look up to the skies.”

Despite the advancement of science and technology, Marshall-Green believes that humans will always have faith — even if it’s one day proven that aliens were our creators, not God. 

“I absolutely think that religion will always be a part of humanity, because it was one of the first inventions of man,” he said.

Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good! Psalm 14:1

Mayan Skull Believed Magical Takes a Tumble in German Lab

German scientists dropped an ancient Mayan skull — one that perhaps resembled this relief sculpture from the “wall of skulls” at the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza — and broke off a piece of its chin.

If the world ends this year, one German scientist just might feel a little guilty about it.

An ancient Mayan skull made of volcanic rock and believed to have magic powers to protect humanity on Dec. 21, 2012 — the date widely interpreted by modern scholars to be that of the end of the world according to the Mayan calendar — somehow took a tumble and broke, UPI reported.

It was unclear whether the skull, named Quauthemoc, was dropped or simply fell. A piece of its chin chipped off in the accident. “It was probably put down somewhere a bit wobbly,” a witness told German tabloid Bild. “It’s really tragic.” Quauthemoc, one of 13 allegedly magical skulls, is owned by an amateur historian, but it previously belonged to a monastery in Tibet before it was stolen by the Nazis and wound up in the hands of Gestapo chief Heinrich Himmler. After Himmler’s arrest following the war, it eventually wound up in the hands of Thomas Ritter, who fortunately isn’t too worried about the skull’s new damage. “The damage was fairly marginal, so I was quite relieved,” Ritter told The Local. “I don’t think it’s a bad omen.” Ritter’s cavalier attitude could be reinforced by the recent discovery of the oldest-known Mayan astronomical tables, as well as revelations by experts that suggest modern understandings of Dec. 21, 2012, as the date Mayans thought the world would end could be misguided.

“The ancient Maya predicted the world would continue, that 7,000 years from now, things would be exactly like this,” one expert on the ancient civilization told BBC News. “We keep looking for endings. The Maya were looking for a guarantee that nothing would change. It’s an entirely different mindset.” Ritter will still be bringing his now-chipped volcanic skull to an ancient Mayan site in Mexico on the fateful date to meet with the owners of the other skulls. “The prophecy says the skulls will reveal a secret knowledge to humanity on that day,” he said. “The skulls might start speaking or something, but I have no idea.”

Apocalypse 2012? Newly discovered Mayan calendar further disproves doomsday myth

Scientists have uncovered the oldest-known Mayan calendar ever discovered — and it further shows that all this December 21, 2012, apocalypse talk is a bunch of hooey.

The world is not going to end on December 21. No, not even according to the Mayan calendar. And especially not according to the awesome newly uncovered Mayan calendar — the oldest known Mayan calendar in existence — which was recently discovered by Boston University archeologist William Saturno.

First glimpsed by an undergraduate student of Saturno’s in 2010, this new Mayan calendar was found buried at a well known Mayan archeology site in Guatemala. After first dismissing the value of the bit of paint spotted by his student, Saturno later went back to record the discovery, regardless of whether it had value.

What Saturno found turned out to be a well-presevered mural that includes the oldest known Mayan calendar to date. And just like the Maya Long Count calendar, which serves as the basis for the apocalypse myth, this calendar extends indefinitely into the future.

“The Mayan calendar is going to keep going for billions, trillions, octillions of years into the future,” University of Texas archeologist, author, and Maya expert David Stuart told LiveScience. “Numbers we can’t even wrap our heads around.” In case you’re stumbling upon the Mayan doomsday nonsense for the first time, here’s the gist of it: The Mayan calendar is broken down into “baktuns” (or “b’ak’tun”), each of which equals 400 years, or about 146,000 days. According to Mayan legend, the current world — the one in which we are all currently living — was created over 12 baktuns ago. At the end of the 13th baktun, the world as we know it will cease to exist. December 21, 2012 — the winter solstice — is that day.