In a couple weeks the film 2012 will be released, and with its promise of big budget special effect laden scenes of mass destruction, and John Cusack moodily blundering his way through relationships while listening to indie hits form the 80s, movie nerds are creaming their saggy, unfashionable pants in anticipation. Alongside that, talks about doomsday prophecies have also reached a fever pitch, particularly those that relate to the so called 2012 apocalypse.
Apocalyptic warnings have always been attractive to a certain type of person--bearded men without jobs primarily--and now that a lot more people are unemployed (and presumably bearded), anticipation of a world where our credit card debts have been wiped clean by a horrible calamity is building. What's a couple billion dead if it gets Citibank off your ass, right? So, to see if there was any truth behind this 2012 phenomena, and track down where it originates from and what it could mean, I interviewed some of the leading specialists on history, science and new age studies from around the world.
The Mayan Calendar
According to Dr. Jorge Estrada, an Archaeologist from the University of Caba and an expert on Mayan an Olmec studies, the Mayans used a cyclical calendar, where every 144,000 days (approximately 400 years) constituted a unit called a "baktun." Several Mayan records warn that after 13 baktuns have elapsed from year 0, âsomethingâ would happen. What that âsomethingâ entails is far from clear. Inscriptions seem to indicate that after the 13th baktun elapses, âBlack... will occurâ followed by the descent of âBolon Yookte Kâuh.â Who or what a Bolon Yookte Kâuh is--aside from a terrible name for a baby girl--is at this point unclear. Inscriptions found elsewhere describe Bolon as a god of war, conflict or the underworld.
Artist's representation of Bolon Yookte K'uh.
So, to date the arrival of the apocalypse, we have to do a little math. Because the Mayans never heard about all the good work Jesus did, their year 0 is a little different than ours, and when that's taken into account, the 13th baktun is supposed to elapse on December 21 or 23, 2012. Great. Because the holiday season isn't stressful enough.
"I swear to God, I wish a tidal wave kills your parents."
Dr. Estrada doesn't put a lot of stock in the doomsday scenarios, but during our conversation, he did begin talking very excitedly about some new inscriptions he'd uncovered recently that shed some light on Bolon Yookte K'uh. His translation hasn't been published or peer-reviewed yet, so take it with a grain of salt. The inscription appears to tell a story of Bolon Yookte K'uh meeting a âman-boy from the land of sparks and whispers.â This half-man apparently confronts Bolon Yookte Kâuh on the day of reckoning. After that point, the inscription is badly damaged, and little else after that is legible, except for a glyph meaning âterrible violation.â
Timewave Zero & the I Ching
Timewave Zero is a theory once proposed by a man called Terence McKenna. McKenna believed that the universe has a sort of interconnectedness which ebbs and flows over time. Ultimately this "timewave" will reach a crescendo, at which point shit will go down. The exact nature of the shit is uncertain, though from his studies of the ancient Chinese text the I Ching, and a computer program of his own invention, McKenna believed that it would happen in late 2012. Itâs worth pointing out here that McKennaâs theories have been criticized on the basis that he had never, at all during his life, not been on drugs.
Press F3 to invert polarity of horseshit.
Still, his theories have been taken up by others, and I managed to speak to one of them. Daryl Kilsman of Santa Cruz is an expert teleologician, which is a word I think he made up right on the spot. I also feel it's worth pointing out that I'm pretty sure I could actually smell this man over the phone. Kilsman has refined McKennaâs work, and by converting the output from McKennaâs Timewave program into a series of I Ching hexagrams, like some sort of Ouroboros of bullshit, he claims to have found another message. This message, told in the maddeningly vague manner of all I Ching prophecies, simply states the following phrases âPurveyor of cracked scrolls,â âHeaven Beast,â âDangerâ and âGreat Humbling Penetration.â Kilsman offered to share his interpretation of this with me, but by that point I had set the phone down to get some fresh air.
Geomagnetic reversal is a term used to describe an event where the Earthâs magnetic poles will flip over. Thereâs geological evidence to suggest this has happened multiple times in the past, and that it is in fact long overdue. Thereâs absolutely nothing to tie geomagnetic reversal to the year 2012 however, and whether such an event would be apocalyptic or merely a nuisance is again, completely unknown.
Because no one of any repute at all will talk about this, I decided to take a compass, a globe and $33 to Madam Shandra, an âAttuned Plane Walkerâ and "Experienced Masseuse" whose flier ended up in my hands while researching an unrelated project. Madam Shandra greeted me warmly, and after I explained who I was and showed her I did in fact have the money, she seemed eager to help.
After dimming the lights, Shandra consulted her astral companion from the Ninth Plane, Toby. Together they confirmed that there was nothing to be concerned of: the Earthâs magnetic field was fine, and would be for another 10,000 years. However, as I was handing over the cash, Shandra seized upon my palm, very excited by a scar that Iâd had since childhood. According to her and Toby, this mark implied that I was a child of destiny, fated to lead mankind during its darkest hour. When I inquired for more information, she told me that my complete fate could only be unlocked in the course of a special $45 massage.
The principle behind this theory is that due to a slight wobble in the Earthâs axis of rotation, the position of constellations in the night sky will shift slowly over a 26,000 year cycle. And, at or around the end of the 20th century, the constellation that rises during the winter solstice is Sagittarius, which happens to be the constellation hanging over the center of the galaxy. Lunatics have proposed that galactic energy will be beamed directly to Earth during this alignment. And, seeing that 2012 is close to the end of the 20th century, it would seem proponents of this theory have decided to climb aboard the 2012 bandwagon of crazy.
I couldnât find any supporters of this theory willing to go on record; although someone in a related newsgroup did ask me to "STOP LEAKING BRAIN ZETA PROSPECTS OVER THE TORUS." Browsing said newsgroup though, it seems these people claim the Mayans were aware of the cycles of axial precession when they devised their calendar. They even point out the existence of Mayan symbols like the Hunab Ku, which depicts a spiral pattern that could be a galaxy, and the Kwantk Phnag sequence, which they claim to be a representation of the apocalypse. This sequence depicts the Hunab Ku lined up above a temple, where priest/astronomers watch as a large bear forcibly has sex with a man.
This is where we find the real cask-strength crazy. Extra terrestrials have supposedly been sending zeta waves to receptive individuals on Earth, warning that a rogue planet called Nibiru would soon arrive in the solar system, wreaking havoc. Whether it collides with Earth or merely rips us apart via tidal forces is unknown, possibly because itâs completely, completely made up.
I traveled to the University of Portland, where I spoke with Dr. Jennifer Feits, who studies people who have claimed to be contacted by extra terrestrials. Feits explained how these stories become self reinforcing as they spread throughout the community. Susceptible individuals will hear a story, then realize/claim they had a similar experience themselves. Basically these people feed off each other, their shared fictions seeming to give further proof that there's some truth they're peering in on. In her research, Feits has gone to some length to isolate such individuals, to see if their stories matched up when kept independent of one another. And in all cases but one, they never did.
The anomalous story was an interesting one. Several people have all independently told a vivid story of a an emissary from Nibiru, who for all intents and purposes looked like a grizzly bear, and answers to the name Balon. Balon travels to Earth, where he randomly selects a representative for the planet. This one is described as a foolish and vain man with thin arms. During their meeting, the representative angers the great space bear with his terrible manners and sweaty neck. At this point the space bear vigorously molests the representative in front of the whole worldâs press and dignitaries. âEveryone felt very embarrassed for this pathetic figure,â Dr. Feits said, looking at me curiously. âApparently he did not comport himself very well, either as a representative of humankind, or even as a man. Lots of weeping and wailing,â she concluded, grabbing one of my arms and squeezing it experimentally. After I wriggled out of her grasp, she continued her story with a shrug. "Anyways, after that Balon decides that the people of Earth are too pathetic to even be worth destroying. He returns to Nibiru and the planet continues on its way, leaving humanity alive and unharmed."
"And, uh, what happened to the Earth's representative?" I asked.
Dr. Feits looked at me blankly. "Who cares?"
As you can see, the threat of a disaster in the year 2012 is both real and too great to ignore. I encourage all loyal readers to donate thousands of dollars every day to the Prevent-Space-Bear-Rape-Fund, which will provide funding for protein shakes, free weights and Krav Maga lessons for the Earth's representative as soon as he steps forward, along with $45 massages for the administrator of the plan, who, until further notice, will be me.
Most rich kids just want to be pop stars.
How did these hyper-specific tropes spread so quickly?
The Hollywood rumor mill has been playing games with celebrity deaths for at least a century.
It's easy to work the system and win these awards even if you don't deserve them.