End of the World 2012: Mayan calendar milestone has some looking for safe havens from Doomsday prophecies

6:19 PM, Dec 20, 2012   |    comments
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The mountain behind the supernatural reputation of the French village of Bugarach, called the Pic de Bugarach, is seen in this picture. Some Mayan Doomsday believers think the tiny village will be spared.


St. Petersburg, Florida -- A few billion of us won't be around this weekend, if you believe that Friday is doomsday. However, it turns out there's a loophole in this scenario. 

Many of us have heard of prophecies - based on the Mayan calendar - that the world will end Friday, the 21st of December 2012. But less well known are predictions that a handful of places will survive.

A village of quaint cobblestone lanes attracts visitors from all over the world. Many Christians believe the Virgin Mary ascended to heaven near Sirince, Turkey - and the area's also said to be the birthplace of the Greek Goddess Artemis. It's that positive energy that's now led to even more attention, because some believe it will help the village stave off the apocalypse. 

Most archaeologists think Friday is simply the end of a cycle in the Mayan calendar. But if Armageddon really is upon us -- and Sirince magically survives -- nobody there is taking it too seriously.

"Well, the world looks quite solid to me. I don't know," hotel owner Seven Nisanyan said with a laugh.

What they are taking seriously is the business opportunity. They've made a special Armageddon wine and souvenir shops are selling everything from t-shirts and postcards to doomsday perfume.

"This kind of opportunity doesn't come always, all the time. So we are ready to get this chance," Doomsday Stall Holder Ali Gulumster said.

Another possible safe haven from the apocalypse: the village of Bugarach in France.

Bugarach -- population 180 -- seems perfectly ordinary at first sight, save for the mountain rising suddenly above it, as if out of nowhere.

It's the mountain of Pic de Bugarach, that seems to be at the heart of most of the rumors surrounding the place.

To start, it's upside down, created when the Earth's plates pushed against each other millions of years ago, flipping the older rock on top.

And it stands alone, so you can see for miles in every direction at the top.

Many people believe it has mystical properties. Some say the mountain is home to aliens, ready to abandon Earth ahead of the predicted apocalypse.

Patrice Etienne runs a small local cafe and does a brisk trade in t-shirts and postcards of the mountain with superimposed orbs. He has no doubt there are strange goings-on on the mountain.

"We can see flying objects," he said. "It's moving so fast you cannot see it with your eyes, without a camera ... During the night, there's a lot of strange lights, like falling stars, going down and up again. It's really strange."

It's those reports that have attracted New Agers and healers and the simply curious for years.

With the latest rumors that Bugarach will be saved, the mayor has called in the army and banned access to the mountain during the weekend, concerned the tiny village will be overrun by thousands of outsiders.

If you can't make it to these mystical safe havens, December212012.com has survival tips and advertises gear from gas mask to first aid kits.

Meanwhile, NASA has been flooded with end of world callers: hundreds asking if a piece of space is headed toward Earth or if the sun is going to explode.

"You can dispel this rumor yourself, you don't have to ask the government or ask scientists. Just go out and look at the sky, and you will find no new, bright object headed for the Earth," NASA Scientist David Morrison said.

Researchers say the Mayans ignored leap years and that the starting date of the Mayan calendar was even before Mayan culture as it is understood now even existed. If you take that in account, that would mean the end of the world would have already happened, according to their calendar.

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