Friday 21st December 2012 14.12

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DOOMSDAY

Residents of French mountain crack open End of the World wine (and offer house rental at $1,600-a-night)

ALf says it was just another Earthling money making scam..Remember the Millennium Bug? ..Books, Dvd, charms and underground bunkers all sold to nutters that want to survive the end and how can one survive the end?

Not possible says ALf.

According to the nutters the only place that would have  survived the Mayan Apocalypse’ was  Bugarach – population: 176 – has been earmarked by doomsday cults as the only place in the world which is going to survive Armageddon.

It is based on an interpretation of the Mayan calendar which claims a planet is on a crash course with Earth and will impact on December 21 2012

According to prophecy aliens will emerge from their ‘spaceship garage’ in the town’s Pic de Bugarach mountain and pluck believers to safety

‘Authentic Bugarach stones’ are on sale for €1.50 a gram while a bottle of water from the local spring will cost an eye-watering €15

One landowner is offering up his four-bedroom home for £1,200 a night and can offer a camping space in his field for £324

‘Apocalypse pizza’ and ‘End of the World vintage’ wine also available.

French mounted police patrol around the villageimg_606X341_2012-doomsday-at-bugarach

Nestled in the rolling foothills of the French Pyrenees, market day in the tiny farming community of Bugarach has never been busier.

But shoppers aren’t there to sample the fresh meat, wine and dairy for which the town is locally famed, they are there to pick up their own piece of end-of-the-world memorabilia.

This is because Bugarach – population 176 – has been earmarked by doomsday cults as the only place in the world which is going to survive Armageddon, scheduled for December 21 this year by an ancient Mayan prophecy.

Mayan teaching: According to prophecy/internet rumour, aliens will emerge from their ‘spaceship garage’ hidden deep within the town’s imposing Pic de Bugarach mountain and pluck anyone in the vicinity to safety

Modern interpretations of the forecast, heavily stoked by internet rumour, predict that aliens will emerge from their ‘spaceship garage’ hidden deep within the town’s imposing Pic de Bugarach mountain and pluck anyone in the vicinity to safety.

Mayan apocalypse: Mayan shamans take part in a ceremonyMayan_Symbols_1641710a

Now, Armageddon tourists and UFO spotters hoping for salvation are swarming to the two-street hamlet to collect a slice of Last Day history.

And it is an opportunity the village’s shrewd inhabitants are eager not to pass up.

Souvenirs include ‘authentic Bugarach stones’ from Pic de Bugarach’s rock-face itself, on sale for €1.50 (£1.20) a gram, and ‘natural pyramids of pyrite iron’ from underground.

Meanwhile, a bottle of water from the local spring, which can apparently cure a range of ailments, costs an eye-watering €15 (£12).

One landowner is even offering up his four-bedroom home with close up views of the mysterious peak for £1,200 a night.

But for those on a budget, he can offer camping space in his field (tent not included) for 400 euros a night.

‘I possess a rare asset, the land of immortality,’ he told La Depeche du Midi, the area’s local daily.

Emerging market: Armageddon tourists can buy ‘authentic Bugarach stones’ for 1.50 euro (£1.20) a gram while a bottle of water from the local spring, which can apparently cure a range of ailments, will cost an eye-watering 15 euro (£12)

Prime estate: One landowner is offering up his four-bedroom home on the slopes of the mysterious peak for £1,200 a night while, for those on a budget, he can offer a camping space in his field (tent not included) for £324

On the evening in question, tourists can pop to the local Italian restaurant for an ‘Apocalypse pizza’, washed down with a local vintner’s ‘End Of The World’ vintage.

If the predictions turn out to be wrong, they can celebrate with the same wine-seller’s ‘Survival Vintage’, on sale a day later.

Ancient Mayans claimed that on December 21 2012, a 5,125-year cycle known as the Long Count supposedly comes to a close.

Experts estimate the system, which is made up of 394-year periods called baktuns, starts counting at 3114 BC, and will have run through 13 baktuns, or 5,125 years, around December 21.

They say 13 was a significant number for the Maya, and the end of that cycle would be a milestone — but they have been keen to stress that it does not mark an end.

Conspiracy theorists nonetheless believe the Maya may have been privy to impending astronomical disasters that would coincide with 2012, ranging from explosive storms on the surface of the sun that could knock out power grids to a galactic alignment that could trigger a reversal in Earth’s magnetic field.

But Bugarach’s mayor, Jean Pierre Delord, is worried about the numbers of New Agers arriving in the town.

Police and troops have been drafted in to deal with the sudden influx and stop believers from scaling the mountain. Although many believe this is merely a cover for the investigation of dozens of recent UFO sightings.

David, who quit his telecoms job in Tours to move to Bugarach, told The Sun: ‘There are serious things going on here – I want to know what these objects are.

‘Things exist and people have a right to know.’

While David, who would not reveal his surname, said he wasn’t sure the world would actually end in three weeks, added: ‘I do think the capitalist system is going to collapse then.’

But others have expressed anger at the town, blaming it for taking advantage of ‘gullible’ New Agers.

End of the world in Bugarach.e

Eric Freysselinard, the prefect of the Aude county which includes Bugarach, said this week: ‘I find it really outrageous to abuse the naivety of people and rush into commerce that defies common sense.’

The prophesy is based on an interpretation of the ancient Mayan calendar which claims an intergalactic planet is on a crash course with Earth and will impact on December 21 2012.

The French government has even warned of the risk of mass suicides in the country by people who believe the world will self-destruct next year.

Recent disasters – including the earthquake in Japan – as well as anxiety over pandemics and economic concerns – are creating a global climate of fear, which for some are omens of impending doom.

A report published yesterday by watchdog Miviludes said the picturesque village near Carcassonne should be monitored in the lead-up to the end of 2012.

Miviludes president Georges Fenech said: ‘I think we need to be careful. We shouldn’t get paranoid, but when you see what happened at Waco in the United States, we know this kind of thinking can influence vulnerable people.’

Police and media arrives in Bugarach for alleged end of worldPeople shop at a gift stall in Sirince

The internet is awash with myths about the hamlet.

These include beliefs that the mountain is surrounded by a magnetic force, that it is the site of a concealed alien base, or even that it contains an underground access to another world.
Patrice Etienne, who runs an organic cafe in the village, said there have been an increased number of reports by walkers in the area of cameras jamming when they tried to take pictures and strange noises rumbling underground.

‘We have seen military aircraft, police and soldiers,’ he added. ‘It’s like a Spielberg movie. They are looking for something. There is something in this mountain, definitely.’

Meanwhile, panic is spreading throughout Russia at such a rate over the Earth’s pending doom, that Moscow’s minister of emergency situations has told its citizens that the world will not end on December 21.

Ancient Mayans claimed that is the day a 5,125-year cycle known as the Long Count in the Mayan calendar supposedly comes to a close. Many in Russia, where mystical thinking is popular, have taken notice.

Some are hoarding everyday items such as sugar, matches and candles, while inmates in a jail are said to have experienced a ‘collective mass psychosis’.

The ministry said it had access to ‘methods of monitoring what is occurring on Earth’, and could say with confidence all will be well.

However Russians were warned they still face the threats of ‘blizzards, ice storms, breakdowns in heat, electricity and water supply’.

An official from the Russian State Church has also spoken out to reassure frightened people.

ALf knew that it was not the end only the begining.
Apocalypse correspondent Alok Jha has one more installment of theoretical doom to share with us. I must say this scores full marks for being insurmountably bleak, and as such is my personal favourite.

He writes:

A vacuum is meant to be the very definition of empty. And empty things couldn’t destroy the world, right? Quantum physicists, however, know that that the traditional conception of the vacuum is not quite correct – what we think of as empty space is actually seething with pairs of virtual particles popping into existence and then vanishing. It is a soup of energy and, in the early moments of the universe some of this was released, which caused a gargantually fast rate of expansion, known as cosmic inflation.

Vacuum collapse

Alan Guth, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who came up with the idea of inflation, says the rapid expansion was released when “false vacuum” decayed into a lower-energy state he called “true vacuum”.

There’s no reason to think that our Earth, our solar system, our Sun, our entire galaxy might not be in a false vacuum state right now. At any point, it could collapse into a lower-energy vacuum. This collapse would grow at the speed of light and re-write physics. Our atoms would not hold together in the ensuing wave of intense energy. All that energy might re-condense at some point into something else, new forms of matter governed by new laws of nature. But we wouldn’t be here to see any of it.

The ultimate ecological catastrophe

In 1980, the Harvard physicist Sidney Coleman calculated that vacuum decay would be the end for all life as we know it. “The possibility that we are living in a false vacuum has never been a cheering one to contemplate,” he wrote. “Vacuum decay is the ultimate ecological catastrophe; in the new vacuum there are new constants of nature; after vacuum decay, not only is life as we know it impossible, so is chemistry as we know it. However, one could always draw stoic comfort from the possibility that perhaps in the course of time the new vacuum would sustain, if not life as we know it, at least some structures capable of knowing joy. This possibility has now been eliminated.”

Alok Jha is back with more cheery ways to destroy planet Earth.

In all the excitement over the discovery of a Higgs-like particle at Cern this year, physicists at the lab were probably not thinking about the end of the world. But the Standard Model of particle physics – of which the Higgs boson is part and which describes fundamental particles and forces of nature – hides a terrifying secret: a theoretical composite particle that is so stable it can transform any other particle of matter into a copy of itself.

Beware the strangelet

If this exotic particle, called a strangelet, came into contact with a particle of normal matter (made of protons, neutrons and electrons), the latter would somehow recognise that it is in a hopelessly inefficient energy state and immediately re-organise itself into a strangelet. These copies would then go on to convert other particles into more strangelets. In just a few short hours, a small chunk of these terrifying particles could turn an entire planet into a uniform, featureless mass of strangelets.

According to the Standard Model, all matter particles are made of a combination of six quarks and six leptons. Protons and neutrons are made from a combination of “up” and “down” quarks, the same stuff that also makes up a strangelet. Unlike regular matter, though, strangelets also contain a heavier, lesser-seen particle called a “strange” quark.

A hot lump of strange matter

In normal life, a strange quark is unstable and decays into lighter quarks very soon after it has formed. But, the hypothesis goes, if lots of up, down and strange quarks got together, the resulting mass would somehow be less prone to decay. Ed Witten, a theoretical physicist at the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton who helped to come up with this idea, says a strangelet with lots of quarks would be more stable than a normal atomic nucleus.

And if this particle were to collide with a normal nucleus, the conversion of the latter into a strangelet would take a thousand-millionth of a second and release energy, which will then be available for other conversions. One by one, every atomic nucleus in a lump of ordinary matter, the Earth say, would be converted into strangelets, leaving our planet as a hot lump of strange matter.

The stuff of sci-fi

If you think this sounds a bit like science fiction, you might be recalling the Kurt Vonnegut story, Cat’s Cradle. In that book, a fictional material called Ice Nine is meant to be a super-stable form of water that melts at 45.8C instead of 0C. When Ice Nine comes into contact with normal water, it acts as a catalyst to solidify the entire body of water. Inevitably, this material is used to solidify all of the Earth’s oceans.

The Mayans do not believe that the world will end on Dec 21. Ask any Mayan, and they will say so.

Just as the 2012 Gregorian calendar ends on Dec 31 and starts again on Jan 1, 2013, the Mayan calender simply starts a new cycle or era.

Each era is about 5,125 years. According to the Aztec codices, which are corrupted versions of Mayan beliefs, there are five eras, for the five elements, totaling to approximately 26,000 years, the amount of time it takes the Earth to complete one wobble (precession of the equinoxes). Unfortunately, Catholic clergy destroyed all Mayan books, except for four codices, during the 16th century conquest of Mexico, so we don’t know the exact beliefs of ancient Mayans anymore. However, the five eras are like the four seasons that simply occur one after another cyclically. Thus, some eras are undesirable like winter and some are desirable like spring.

Mayan apocalypse: Men in tin foil at Bugarach, Francebugarach 3

The five eras according to the preserved Aztec codices are:

1) Four Jaguar (Metal)
2) Four Wind (Air)
3) Four Rain (of Fire)
4) Four Water (a flood story similar to Noah’s Ark and the Gilgamesh Epic occurs here 5,000 years ago)
5) Four Movement (Earth) (This is the era of human sacrifice or the Christian Era. This is where the god Quetzalcoatl lives, dies and rises again just like Jesus. Quetzalcoatl saves mankind also by using the blood of his phallus (genitals), which the cross represents. Many other death and resurrection gods like Tammuz (Babylon) and Adonis (Greece) are worshiped in this era. This is also the era of Holy Communion, where the blood and body of the sacrifice is eaten (literally in ancient Mexico and figuratively by Christians). Thus, the Aztecs performed human sacrifice just like the Christians during this era.)

The era of Four Movement ends on Dec 21 (or 23) and the new era of Four Jaguar (Metal) officially begins afterward. Although the new era is an age of terror, as the jaguar implies, it is also an intellectual age (Age of Aquarius), so Christianity will decline. “Quetzalcoatl” is expected to “return,” but not as a “sacrificial god” anymore, so spirituality will be renewed as a more solid, reasonable and scientific entity, not wishy-washy like Christianity. And it will be an age of irony, just like doctors who become terrorists, or Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It would be like the ending months of winter in terms of temperament or mood, not temperature, and it will last for another 5,000 years. Unfortunately, “spring time” or the Age of Four Wind, the best era, is still due in 5,000 years.

The village of Bugarach attracts many  who believe that it will survive the  end of the World 21 December 2012

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