Category Archives: 2012 Hoax

Mayan Apocalypse: ‘a fairly unremarkable day on planet Earth’

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A Mayan priest sits atop a pyramid as video game developer and former space tourist Richard Garriott addresses guests at his “End of the World Soiree” dress rehearsal in Austin, Texas Photo: REUTERS/Erich Schlegel

Across the globe there was relief that the apocalypse had failed to materialise and doomsayers, some of whom had partied like it was their last night on Earth, were left scratching their heads.

Telegraph | Dec 21, 2012

By Nick Allen, Henry Samuel in Bugarach

The dark planet Nibiru failed to knock Earth out of the sky and the promised solar storm never raged. The world is safe and we can breathe again.

The end of the 5,125-year Mayan Long Calendar had triggered predictions of a catastrophic end for mankind, but according to the US Geological Survey it was a “fairly unremarkable day on planet Earth.” There had been about 120 small earthquakes, including a moderate one in Japan, which was “very much a normal day.”

As dawn broke over the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza in Mexico, thousands of mystics, hippies, druids and pagans celebrated with crystal skulls, ceremonial fires, drums beating and conches blaring when the sun came up.

Genaro Hernandez, 55, an accountant wearing all white and an expression of bliss, said: “This world is being reborn as a better world.”

Mayan Apocalypse: as it didn’t happen

“We are in a frequency of love, we are in a new vibration,” added Ivan Gutierrez, 37, an artist, before a security guard ordered him to stop sounding his conch because he did not have a permit.

In Moscow 1,000 people who had packed into Josef Stalin’s bunker were able to go back home after Armageddon was averted.

Chinese authorities dismissed outright rumours that Jesus had reappeared as a woman somewhere in the middle of the country, and also denied that they had built an “ark” as a contingency plan.

At Pic de Bugarach, the French mountain some had believed to be a place of salvation, the sun came out from behind the clouds and a flock of birds flew past as the official end of the world struck after 11am GMT.

The mountain had been identified as an “alien garage” from where a vast intergalactic flying saucer would emerge to rescue nearby humans.

But the only paranormal activity to be seen was two spacemen in amateur-looking aluminium foil suits, and three green-faced ladies with antennae, ambling down the street.

The spacemen, Frédéric, 28, an unemployed waiter from Marseille and his brother Laurent, 35, said they had dodged gendarmes and spent the night in a cave to get to the mountain, from where they had hoped to be whisked away by an “interdimensional vortex.”

Will Hartley, 26, a photographer from London who also reached the summit at sunrise, reported seeing no UFOs.

Georges Tricoire, 72, a retired local construction worker, smiling from beneath his red beret, said: “For the past 50 years I have wandered over every single inch of that mountain, I know every rock, nook and cranny and everything that has been said about Le Pic de Bugarach is nothing but rubbish.

“Whoever started this rumour three years ago is a liar and all those who have followed him ever since are crooks.”

There had been confusion over the exact timing of the apocalypse, with some suggesting it would take place shortly after 11am, the time of the winter solstice, and others believing it would be at dawn in the Mayan heartland.

But as time zone after time zone reported nothing amiss it became clear that that Earth had been spared.

Modern Mayans, of whom there are six million, had repeatedly said the end of their calendar only meant the ushering in of a new era, not the end of the world. They were able to say “We told you so.”

However, Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History issued a warning. It suggested calculations to synchronise the Mayan and Western calendars may be off a few days, which would mean the calendar actually ends on Sunday.

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Mayans never predicted world to end in 2012: experts


A general view shows the exterior of the tomb of a Mayan ruler at the ruins of the Mayan city of Palenque in the hills of the southern Mexican state of Chiapas in this undated handout photo by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) released June 23, 2011. A tiny remote-controlled camera peered inside the tomb that has been sealed for 1,500 years, revealing red frescoes, pottery and pieces of a funerary shroud made of jade and mother of pearl. Archeologists had not been able to access the vault discovered in 1999 inside a pyramid among the ruins until now, the INAH said in a release on Thursday. Reuters Pictures

Reuters | Dec 8, 2011

By Pepe Cortes

PALENQUE, Mexico – If you are worried the world will end next year based on the Mayan calendar, relax: the end of time is still far off.

So say Mayan experts who want to dispel any belief that the ancient Mayans predicted a world apocalypse next year.

The Mayan calendar marks the end of a 5,126 year old cycle around December 21, 2012, which should bring the return of Bolon Yokte, a Mayan god associated with war and creation.

Author Jose Arguelles called the date “the ending of time as we know it” in a 1987 book that spawned an army of Mayan theorists, whose speculations on a cataclysmic end abound online. But specialists meeting at this ancient Mayan city in southern Mexico say it merely marks the termination of one period of creation and the beginning of another.

“We have to be clear about this. There is no prophecy for 2012,” said Erik Velasquez, an etchings specialist at the the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). “It’s a marketing fallacy.”

The National Institute of Anthropological History in Mexico has been trying to quell the barrage of forecasters predicting the apocalypse. “The West’s messianic thinking has distorted the world view of ancient civilizations like the Mayans,” the institute said in a statement.

In the Mayan calendar, the long calendar count begins in 3,114 BC and is divided into roughly 394-year periods called Baktuns. Mayans held the number 13 sacred and the 13th Baktun ends next year.

Sven Gronemeyer, a researcher of Mayan codes from La Trobe University in Australia, who has been trying to decode the calendar, said the so-called end day reflects a transition from one era to the next in which Bolon Yokte returns.

“Because Bolon Yokte was already present at the day of creation … it just seemed natural for the Mayan that Bolon Yokte will again be present,” he said.

Of the the approximately 15,000 registered glyphic texts found in different parts of what was then the Mayan empire, only two mention 2012, the Institute said.

“The Maya did not think about humanity, global warming or predict the poles would fuse together,” said Alfonso Ladena, a professor from the Complutense University of Madrid. “We project our worries on them.”

2012 isn’t the end of the world, Mayans insist

Mexico Apocalypse 2012

In this photo taken Oct. 3, 2009, Guatemalan Mayan Indian elder Apolinario Chile Pixtun poses for a portrait at the Iximche ceremonial site in Tecpan, Guatemala. Archaeologists, astronomers and modern-day Mayas shrug off the popular frenzy over the date of 2012, predicting it will bring nothing more than a meteor shower of new-age ‘consciousness,’ pseudo-science and alarmist television specials. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

Associated Press | Oct 11, 2009

by Mark Stevenson

MEXICO CITY – Apolinario Chile Pixtun is tired of being bombarded with frantic questions about the Mayan calendar supposedly “running out” on Dec. 21, 2012. After all, it’s not the end of the world.

Or is it?

Definitely not, the Mayan Indian elder insists. “I came back from England last year and, man, they had me fed up with this stuff.”

It can only get worse for him. Next month Hollywood’s “2012” opens in cinemas, featuring earthquakes, meteor showers and a tsunami dumping an aircraft carrier on the White House.

At Cornell University, Ann Martin, who runs the “Curious? Ask an Astronomer” Web site, says people are scared.

“It’s too bad that we’re getting e-mails from fourth-graders who are saying that they’re too young to die,” Martin said. “We had a mother of two young children who was afraid she wouldn’t live to see them grow up.”

Chile Pixtun, a Guatemalan, says the doomsday theories spring from Western, not Mayan ideas.

A significant time period for the Mayas does end on the date, and enthusiasts have found a series of astronomical alignments they say coincide in 2012, including one that happens roughly only once every 25,800 years.

But most archaeologists, astronomers and Maya say the only thing likely to hit Earth is a meteor shower of New Age philosophy, pop astronomy, Internet doomsday rumors and TV specials such as one on the History Channel which mixes “predictions” from Nostradamus and the Mayas and asks: “Is 2012 the year the cosmic clock finally winds down to zero days, zero hope?”

It may sound all too much like other doomsday scenarios of recent decades — the 1987 Harmonic Convergence, the Jupiter Effect or “Planet X.” But this one has some grains of archaeological basis.

One of them is Monument Six.

Found at an obscure ruin in southern Mexico during highway construction in the 1960s, the stone tablet almost didn’t survive; the site was largely paved over and parts of the tablet were looted.

It’s unique in that the remaining parts contain the equivalent of the date 2012. The inscription describes something that is supposed to occur in 2012 involving Bolon Yokte, a mysterious Mayan god associated with both war and creation.

However — shades of Indiana Jones — erosion and a crack in the stone make the end of the passage almost illegible.

Archaeologist Guillermo Bernal of Mexico’s National Autonomous University interprets the last eroded glyphs as maybe saying, “He will descend from the sky.”

Spooky, perhaps, but Bernal notes there are other inscriptions at Mayan sites for dates far beyond 2012 — including one that roughly translates into the year 4772.

And anyway, Mayas in the drought-stricken Yucatan peninsula have bigger worries than 2012.

“If I went to some Mayan-speaking communities and asked people what is going to happen in 2012, they wouldn’t have any idea,” said Jose Huchim, a Yucatan Mayan archaeologist. “That the world is going to end? They wouldn’t believe you. We have real concerns these days, like rain.”

The Mayan civilization, which reached its height from 300 A.D. to 900 A.D., had a talent for astronomy

Its Long Count calendar begins in 3,114 B.C., marking time in roughly 394-year periods known as Baktuns. Thirteen was a significant, sacred number for the Mayas, and the 13th Baktun ends around Dec. 21, 2012.

“It’s a special anniversary of creation,” said David Stuart, a specialist in Mayan epigraphy at the University of Texas at Austin. “The Maya never said the world is going to end, they never said anything bad would happen necessarily, they’re just recording this future anniversary on Monument Six.”

Bernal suggests that apocalypse is “a very Western, Christian” concept projected onto the Maya, perhaps because Western myths are “exhausted.”

If it were all mythology, perhaps it could be written off.

But some say the Maya knew another secret: the Earth’s axis wobbles, slightly changing the alignment of the stars every year. Once every 25,800 years, the sun lines up with the center of our Milky Way galaxy on a winter solstice, the sun’s lowest point in the horizon.

That will happen on Dec. 21, 2012, when the sun appears to rise in the same spot where the bright center of galaxy sets.

Another spooky coincidence?

“The question I would ask these guys is, so what?” says Phil Plait, an astronomer who runs the “Bad Astronomy” blog. He says the alignment doesn’t fall precisely in 2012, and distant stars exert no force that could harm Earth.

“They’re really super-duper trying to find anything astronomical they can to fit that date of 2012,” Plait said.

But author John Major Jenkins says his two-decade study of Mayan ruins indicate the Maya were aware of the alignment and attached great importance to it.

“If we want to honor and respect how the Maya think about this, then we would say that the Maya viewed 2012, as all cycle endings, as a time of transformation and renewal,” said Jenkins.

As the Internet gained popularity in the 1990s, so did word of the “fateful” date, and some began worrying about 2012 disasters the Mayas never dreamed of.

Author Lawrence Joseph says a peak in explosive storms on the surface of the sun could knock out North America’s power grid for years, triggering food shortages, water scarcity — a collapse of civilization. Solar peaks occur about every 11 years, but Joseph says there’s evidence the 2012 peak could be “a lulu.”

While pressing governments to install protection for power grids, Joseph counsels readers not to “use 2012 as an excuse to not live in a healthy, responsible fashion. I mean, don’t let the credit cards go up.”

Another History Channel program titled “Decoding the Past: Doomsday 2012: End of Days” says a galactic alignment or magnetic disturbances could somehow trigger a “pole shift.”

“The entire mantle of the earth would shift in a matter of days, perhaps hours, changing the position of the north and south poles, causing worldwide disaster,” a narrator proclaims. “Earthquakes would rock every continent, massive tsunamis would inundate coastal cities. It would be the ultimate planetary catastrophe.”

The idea apparently originates with a 19th century Frenchman, Charles Etienne Brasseur de Bourbourg, a priest-turned-archaeologist who got it from his study of ancient Mayan and Aztec texts.

Scientists say that, at best, the poles might change location by one degree over a million years, with no sign that it would start in 2012.

While long discredited, Brasseur de Bourbourg proves one thing: Westerners have been trying for more than a century to pin doomsday scenarios on the Maya. And while fascinated by ancient lore, advocates seldom examine more recent experiences with apocalypse predictions.

“No one who’s writing in now seems to remember that the last time we thought the world was going to end, it didn’t,” says Martin, the astronomy webmaster. “There doesn’t seem to be a lot of memory that things were fine the last time around.”