2012 Facts

Prior to December 2012, this article was downloaded as a PDF ebook by 13,000 people….

2012 – The Facts

The 2012 meme is huge. Hundreds of books have been written, numerous documentaries have been made, and of course there was a blockbuster movie. Unfortunately the facts have been deeply buried, and virtually every piece of information you come across is speculation and trickery, disguised as fact.

The aim of this article is to ignore all the extreme speculations and fabrications, and just present the known facts. Plus I’ll throw in some of the more plausible scenarios, to help you understand what might soon be upon us. Everything that follows is either accepted fact, or will be denoted as being disputable or an opinion.

Regards,
Robert Bast – Melbourne, Australia, November 2012

 

The Long Count Calendar

The ancient Mayans had roughly 20 calendars, all of which were short in duration, with the cycles equating to astronomical phenomena, or were intended to relate to history repeating over and over again via prophecy. Except for the Long Count calendar. The Long Count is the Mayan equivalent of our calendar, in that it assigns unique dates over a long period of time. A short numerical description (like 12/6/1976 in our calendar) pinpoints a place in time. Unlike our calendar, which starts with the birth of Christ and heads towards infinity in two directions, the Long Count has a definite beginning and a definite end.

The start date of the Long Count calendar rarely gets a mention, and few experts have attempted to explain why this date, August 11, 3114BC, was chosen. Many independent researchers have noticed that the era of 3114BC includes the rise of multiple civilizations (especially the Egyptians), and the construction of the Egyptian pyramids, Stonehenge, and other ancient monuments.

The end date is accepted by scholars to be Dec 21, 2012. The only fact regarding this date is that it is the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. For the “end of the world” to occur on the darkest day of the year is either by design, or a coincidence. 2012 is in the “era” of a galactic alignment (see below) that occurs during winter solstices at present.

The length of the calendar is 5125 years (some say 5126 years, but they have forgotten we do not have a year zero in our calendar). Several researchers have noticed that this is close to one-fifth of the precession of the ecliptic, which completes every 26,000 years or so. Consequently five ages or “worlds” the length of the Long Count calendar would fit quite neatly into one cycle of precession.

Mayan Prophecy

Perhaps more than any other ancient civilization, the Mayans loved prophecy. Their culture of prophecy and sacrifices makes the Long Count calendar appear quite dramatic. There are three sides to what the Mayans thought would occur on Dec 21, 2012:

Mayans: We have virtually nothing written by the Mayans regarding 2012. Thousands of Mayan books were known to have existed, yet they were unfortunately burned by the invading Spanish.  Only 4 books survived. My speculation is that if we could go back in time and read the thousands of burned books, we would certainly find prophecies about 2012.

The only ancient prophetic mention of Dec 21, 2012 we do have is a single monument at Tortuguero, which says that “The Thirteenth Bak’tun” will be finished (on) Four Ahaw, the Third of K’ank’in. ? will occur. (It will be) the descent(?) of the Nine Support (?) God(s) to the ?.”

The question marks denote glyphs that cannot be read or translated, and the rest of the prophecy has been broken off and not yet located. Other translations do exist, and the meanings assigned to them vary widely. So far no academic research has assigned a catastrophic meaning to the inscription.

Scientists: I have been studying 2012 for 11 years, and have not come across an accredited academic researcher who has claimed an “end of the world” scenario for the end of the Long Count calendar. Most scientists categorically state that there is no evidence to support such fears.

Doomsdayers and Survivalists: Those seeking confirmation of the apocalyptic fears can readily find proof via implication. Although 2012ers generally speak of the Mayan Long Count calendar, it is widely accepted that they inherited their calendar from the Olmecs, as did the Aztecs. In fact the most famous 2012 image is actually the Aztec Sun Stone Calendar:

While no doomsday information from the Mayans has been found regarding the end of the current Long Count calendar, the Aztecs were quite clear on what they believe happened at the end of their previous Long Count calendars, aka Suns or Worlds.

An ancient Aztec document, the Vaticano-Latin Codex, describes the previous worlds:

“First Sun, ‘Matlactli Atl’: duration 4,008 years. Those who lived then ate water maize called ‘atzitzintli’. In this age lived the giants… The First Sun was destroyed by water in the sign ‘Matlactli Atl’ (Ten Water). It was called ‘Apachiohualiztli’(flood, deluge), the art of sorcery of the permanent rain. Men were turned into fish. Some say that only one couple escaped, protected by an old tree living near the water. Others say that there were seven couples who hid in a cave until the flood was over and the waters had gone down. They repopulated the Earth and were worshipped as gods in their nations…

Second Sun, ‘Ehecoatl’: duration 4,010 years. Those who lived then ate wild fruit known as ‘acotzintli’. This Sun was destroyed by Ehecoatl (Winged Serpent) and men were turned into monkeys… One man and one woman, standing on a rock, were saved from destruction…

Third Sun, ‘Tleyquiyahuillo’: duration 4,081 years. Men, the descendents of the couple who were saved from the Second Sun, ate a fruit called ‘tzincoacoc’. This Third Sun was destroyed by fire…

Fourth Sun, Tzontlilic: duration 5,026 years. Men died of starvation after a deluge of blood and fire…”

Mayan scholars tend not to mention this information, because it is Aztec, and they study the Maya. Both cultures had 5,000 year calendars, inherited from the Olmecs. Both cultures believe that we are in the 5th world (although some say we are in the 4th Mayan world). Both cultures believed that humans and human prototypes were destroyed by natural disasters, instigated by the gods, at the end of the previous Long Count calendars. The Aztecs believed that our current world would be destroyed by earthquakes. The Mayans believed that our current world ends in 2012. The implication is not one of joyous renewal, or of the turning of a calendar page. It is obvious that the Mayans expected the very worst in 2012.

More information here:
http://www.redicecreations.com/specialreports/2006/10oct/worldend2012.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesoamerican_Long_Count_calendar

11:11

A modern hysterical numerical meme revolves around people continually noticing the number 11, especially the time 11:11. It has been noted that the winter solstice of 2012 occurs at 11:11 Universal Time. While the coincidence is interesting, the local time for the solstice in Central America would be 5:11AM.

I Ching

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Myth#1
The I Ching predicts a 2012 Doomsday.
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Often lists of predictions throw in “the I Ching” without elaborating. The I Ching was perhaps originally an ancient calendar, but the modern usage for it is prophecy and divination. However it is only a tool, just like a crystal ball or tarot cards. It does not contain any prophecies, and every time it is consulted, results will be dependent on the user and how it was used.

Terrence and Dennis McKenna used the I Ching as a basis for their study on novelty, the result of which is a “timewave” that tracks highs and lows of novelty, and predicts a peak of novelty (some call it the “singularity”). That peak occurs on Dec 22, 2012, a date they maintain they arrived at prior to them having any knowledge of the Long Count calendar.

Far from being factual, the timewave is dependent on events that the McKennas considered to be novel, and as such the outcome is very subjective. Americans would be prone to use 9/11 as a peak time of novelty, whereas half of Asia would nominate the 2004 tsunami. Citizens recently caught up in a civil war might nominate a different event altogether.

More information here:
Fractals and the I Ching

Web Bot

The Web Bot is a piece of software created in 1997 to predict stock market trends by listening to internet “chatter”.  According to Wikipedia, “the Web Bot works by using a form of the Wisdom of the crowd, with spiders that search the internet for about 300,000 keywords with emotional context and record the preceding and following words to create a “snapshot.” The technology is claimed to be able to examine the collective unconscious and be able to predict catastrophic events 60 to 90 days in advance.”

While this might work for some types of prediction, such as stock market trends, it is unable to predict any end-of-the-world type event. What it can do is pick up on our fears and concerns, such as 2012, wars or the Large Hadron Collider. It famously predicts a major catastrophe in 2012, and a “data gap” through to May 2013 due to the destruction of all things electronic.

The next prediction from the Web Bot, as listed at Wikipedia, is “November 8-11, 2010 – The web bot warns of a big tipping point, possibly a stock market crash or financial meltdown of some sorts”. It is October as I write this, so use your own judgement to rate the Web Bot when that time comes.

More information here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_Bot

The Christian Calendar is Wrong!

Often I get emails from people telling me that 2012 has already been and gone, because blah blah blah means that Jesus was actually born in 4BC or whatever. Simply put, the correlation determined by experts is between the Mayan Long Count calendar, and the calendar we are using today. If for some reason the powers that be decided that 2010 will be henceforth known as 3010, then the Long Count calendar would end in 3012. Historical inaccuracies do not affect the Mayan end date.

As I write this (October 2010), the Mayan Long Count calendar ends in 2 years and 2 months time.  Regardless of any other calendar, the countdown remains the same.

Galactic Alignment

This particular meme is worthy of a lengthy discussion, for it underlies much of the misinformation surrounding the 2012 phenomenon.

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Myth#2
A Galactic Alignment will occur in 2012
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The idea of a galactic alignment was popularized by John Major Jenkins, in books such as Maya Cosmogenesis 2012. The writings of Jenkins are very scholarly, yet have been ignored by most orthodox Mayan experts, possibly because he does not have the appropriate tertiary education. Also, while his arguments are convincing, studies of the ancient Maya involve a lot of interpretation, and opinions on meanings can vary widely.

The ‘Galactic Alignment’ is an astronomical phenomenon that refers to an alignment between the December solstice Sun with the equator of our galaxy, the Milky Way – from a viewpoint on Earth. This alignment occurs as a result of the precession of the equinoxes. Precession is caused by the earth wobbling very slowly on its axis and shifts the position of the equinoxes and solstices one degree every 71.5 years. Because the sun is one-half of a degree wide, it will take the December solstice Sun 36 years to “precess” through the Galactic equator.

The Galactic Equator is a virtual line that describes 0 degrees longitude and 0 degrees latitude, and acts as a divisionary line between the northern and southern hemispheres of the Milky Way galaxy.

The precise alignment of the solstice point with the Galactic equator was calculated to occur in 1998 (Jean Meeus, Mathematical Astronomy Morsels, 1997 – mentioned by Jenkins at http://alignment2012.com/whatisGA.htm ). This date was further refined by Sergey Smelyakov to May 7, 1998 (http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/TIMEWAVEZERO2012/message/15675). Therefore, if the significance of 2012 is related to a precise intersection with the Galactic Equator, whatever that significance would have meant has already occurred.

No valid scientific theories have been put forth regarding how this alignment could affect us on Earth. The galactic centre is so far away that any gravitational pull it might have on our planet is insignificant. The other planets in our solar system exert a much stronger pull, and yet when they are in an alignment, their effect is less than a jumbo jet flying overhead – and has zero affect on us.

Consequently most alignment theories are either New Age or deliberately vague. This is not to dismiss any New Age angles, because astrology is all about alignments that have no scientific meaning, and astrology has many believers.

The closest I have come across to a believable scenario is that energy from the galactic centre is enhanced when it passes through the Sun, and it is only during the alignment that this energy strikes Earth in an enhanced form. Although the alignment was at its truest in 1998, the theory argues that it is the cumulative effect that will be telling. The theory still lacks measurement or a valid scientific explanation.

There is some concern that Jenkins was deliberately misleading when describing an alignment with the galactic centre in 2012. Not only was the correct year 1998, but the alignment was with the galactic equator, not the centre. A true alignment between us, the Sun and the galactic centre never occurs, and the closest we get to such an alignment will be in 2220AD (according to Jenkins).

In Maya Cosmogenesis 2012 Jenkins consigns these facts to an appendix, and in later works refers to the alignment occurring in the era of 2012. Perhaps due to perpetuating the myth of an alignment occurring exactly in 2012, Jenkins is a regular guest on sensationalist TV documentaries and appears at many 2012 conferences.
Consequently many 2012 authors have legitimized their own 2012 theories, and the advanced knowledge of the ancient Maya via this proof that they not only knew where the galactic centre lies (something modern man has only recently determined), but that the “alignment” would occur precisely at the end of the Long Count calendar.
It remains to be proven whether the Mayans knew of the galactic centre/equator and 2012 was an extremely good attempt at pinpointing the alignment, or if it is just an extraordinary coincidence.

Other Calendars

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Myth#3
Other ancient calendars also end in 2012. Incorrect.
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While it is commonly suggested that multiple ancient cultures have marked the year 2012 as being of importance, in reality it was only the Mayans. Indeed what makes the end of the Long Count calendar so special is the uniqueness of a date being prescribed for, it can be inferred, the end of the world.

Hopi – Hopi prophecy speaks of great destruction and the end of the fourth world. While multiple signs indicated by the prophecy appeared many years ago, perhaps we still await the ninth and last sign, a blue star. Apart from “soon”, no date is provided (and many believed that the comet Holmes 17P was it), and the Hopi certainly did not have a calendar that ends in 2012.

Hindu – The Hindu calendar corresponds with the age of Kaki Yuga which began in 3102BC, extremely close to the start date of 3114BC of the Long Count calendar. This brings up the possibility that once upon a time both calendars began together. Strictly speaking the Kali Yuga should last 432,000 years, and there is nothing to indicate that it will end in 2012.

Hebrew – December 2012 is in year 5773 of the Hebrew calendar. With a start date hundreds of years prior to that of the Long Count calendar, there appears to be no correspondence at all.

Egyptian – It has been suggested that the ancient Egyptian calendar began either in 2782BC or 4242BC. Nowhere is any even remotely sensible explanation that it ends in 2012. This misconception seemingly arose from the myriad of dates that have been assigned to a purported timeline that can be found within the Great Pyramid.

Nostradamus

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Myth#4
Nostradamus predicted a 2012 doomsday. False, none of his writings mention the year 2012
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Like many ancient prophets, Nostradamus focused many of his prophecies on apocalyptic events in the distant future. Were his predictions more mundane and not as far into the future, it is unlikely we would have heard of him today.

2012 is not the first subject that has been connected to Nostradamus. While some events have been retrospectively tied to his quatrains, no modern events have been predicted beforehand via his writings.

Apart from the general doom’n’gloom nature of the works of Nostradamus, there is no direction connection with 2012, and certainly no mention of the year 2012.

Planet X / Nibiru

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Myth#5
Planet X is arriving in 2012. It was first predicted for 2003 and never arrived.
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The idea that a planet is approaching Earth in the near future is a mash up of three quite different ideas, and has absolutely no basis in facts. Here are the three ideas:

  1. NASA’s occasional mention of “Planet X” – not a specific body in space
  2. Zacharia Sitchin’s 12th Planet, due in 2085, if his unique interpretation of ancient Sumerian texts can be believed
  3. Nancy Lieder (aliens told her) @ ZetaTalk.com – was due in 2003

Whenever “proof” is provided, it almost always has NASA as a source, and the mere mention of NASA legitimizes the idea for many people. On several occasions NASA has mentioned a “Planet X”, a hypothetical planet that they have looked for, because that is their job. Not only has NASA not seen any “Planet X”, they have never mentioned that such a planet could be coming our way. One of the mentions of Planet X was when NASA listed the possibilities for an infra-red source they had observed, but a later press release said that it was a galaxy after all. You’ll find fans of Planet X mentioning the original story, but not the subsequent one.

Sitchin’s writings are all about his interpretation of ancient Sumerians texts, and how he believes they relate to alien beings that came to Earth and created humans using genetic technology. He describes a planet called Nibiru that has a 3600-year orbit, and it will next come close to Earth in 2085. His theory comes from a Sumerian seal that shows 12 planets, and somehow the Sumerians who considered the Sun and Moon to be planets, knew of an extra planet beyond Pluto (modern astronomers only recently discovered Pluto using large telescopes, something the Sumerians did not have.) If aliens had told the Sumerians about Nibiru, they would most likely have told them that the Sun and Moon are not planets…

ZetaTalk.com has been promoting Planet X for a long time – since long before 2012 became popular. Originally Planet X was due to arrive on May 15, 2003. Nancy Lieder received this information directly from the “Zetas”, for she is their emissary. While the concept has now been aligned with the 2012 phenomenon, Nancy no longer appears to be providing an arrival date on her site.

An extra source of disinformation is the 2007 book Planet X Forecast and 2012 Survival Guide. The authors admit that nobody has seen the planet and that their main piece of evidence is the 1983 infrared report from NASA (again, they neglect to mention the subsequent press releases that nullify this “evidence”). As the title suggests, the book forecasts the flyby of Planet X – and that it will be visible to NASA infrared telescopes in 2007. The trajectory is detailed until 2014, with Planet X reaching perihelion on February 14, 2013, their nominated doomsday. NASA has not yet confirmed these predictions, neither have amateur astronomers who supposedly would be able to spot the planet in “2009 or even possibly 2010”.

So it seems that Lieder (via aliens) predicted a pole shift in 2003 due to Planet X, and distorted every mention from NASA along with seemingly fake photos to prove it. Meanwhile people who read about ancient mysteries picked up on Sitchin’s Nibiru. And then people heard about 2012 and other pole shift theories (primarily from myself and Patrick Geryl), and decided that they all fitted together, despite the glaring incompatibilities.

Whenever I have been contacted by well-meaning people telling me that Planet X will be arriving in 2012, I always ask them this:
Tell me the date, and the place in the sky when I will be able to clearly see it, and I’ll take a look.
To date nobody has been able to supply me with this information, which should be easy to obtain if there were any facts to the story.

More information here:
http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/misc/planetx/

Asteroids and Comets

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Myth#6
NASA can guarantee we are safe from a comet colliding with Earth in 2012
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In recent years NASA has been doing a great job of spotting and tracking asteroids, as highlighted by the occasional news story that mentions asteroids having a remote chance of crashing into to us in the distant future. While they still haven’t found every large asteroid, the likelihood of life on Earth being wiped out any time soon is very low. A small, undetected asteroid could still cause major regional damage.

Comets are a different matter altogether. Most comets are spotted by amateurs, not NASA. This is because NASA has been concentrating on only a small segment of the sky where the majority of asteroids can be found. The direction from which comets can approach us is not so narrowly defined.

A Long Period Comet – one that takes many hundreds or thousands of years to complete its orbit – is rare. To predict the return of such a comet would require a civilization that lasted for a very long time, and had an interest in astrology. It is possible that a long-lasting civilization such as the Egyptians could have made a scientific prediction for the return of a comet in 2012. Such an ancient prediction is unlikely to be precise, because planetary gravitational forces can constantly alter the path of a comet and it was only in the era of Halley that it is known such complex calculations for a comet have been made.

A concern with the comet scenario is the recently developed theory of dark comets. In a nutshell, the theory says that we only see comets because of the reflectivity of ice, and with each passage around the sun some ice melts away. When all the ice has melted, the comet is no longer visible, and we won’t see it coming!
More:
Asteroids and Comets

Coronal Mass Ejection

As far as we know, aside from the 11-year sun spot cycle, the timing and direction of coronal mass ejections is random. They are more likely to occur at the peak of the solar activity, and the next solar maximum is predicted to occur in 2012/2013. The most recent solar minimum was one of the lowest on record, and experts are divided over whether this means the next maximum will be weak or intense.

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Myth#7
A coronal mass ejection that brings down a power grid would only have a minimal impact on our lives
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The threat of a coronal mass ejection is real. Wikipedia describes it as a massive burst of solar wind, other light isotope plasma, and magnetic fields …being released into space. If we are in its path, and it is intense (or we are hit by multiple CMEs at once) then our precious electronics are at risk. A lesser CME could still knock out power grids, and of special concern is the antiquated and overburdened grid of the USA. 2012 researcher Lawrence Joseph has been focussing on this possibility, and government bodies have recently been vocal about the very real risk we face. While this is not necessarily something that will happen in 2012, it fits the 2012 meme by being potentially catastrophic in nature.

Most of us have experienced power blackouts, and it is not something to be too concerned about because power is typically restored in a few hours or days at the most. But if a CME causes transformers to fail, grid-wide, then recovery could take months or years. In countries like the USA where many people rely on electricity for heating and cooling, the loss of power could be catastrophic. Also affected would be hospitals (typically they only have a few days worth of generator fuel), water supplies (water is pumped remember) and of course the economy.  Some estimates for grid failure in the USA tell of millions dying.

Crustal Pole Shift

A crustal pole shift is the physical shifting of the Earth’s crust in relation to the rest of the planet. It is a theory that is generally not accepted by mainstream science, all though they do concede that a shift that takes a million years per degree is possible. An exception was Albert Einstein who thought the theory had validity, and was even studying it when he died.

Even amongst alternative researchers there is no accepted mechanism for a pole shift. Originally it was thought the weight of polar ice could do it, but that weight has since been found to be too insignificant relative to the crust. One modern theory is Rotational Bending by James Bowles.

The idea of a pole shift has arisen from evidence of a past global cataclysm, roughly 12,000 years ago. Massive damage and mass extinctions at that time were caused by something, and the only other theory that encompasses a global event is that we were struck by an asteroid or meteor shower.

Without a viable mechanism, it is impossible to prove that a pole shift can occur in 2012, but the scale of the last cataclysm is keeping many survivalists prepared for the worst. This is a deep subject, and to fully understand it I can suggest reading Pole Shift by John White, Path of the Pole by Charles Hapgood & When the Earth Nearly Died by Allan and Delair.

Magnetic Pole Shift

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Myth#8
A magnetic pole shift always takes thousands of years to complete
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This is more properly known as a Geomagnetic Reversal, where basically the magnetic North Pole becomes the magnetic South Pole and vice versa. After the reversal all compasses will point south. This is one of the few 2012 scenarios that scientists have a level of agreement with. It is a real phenomenon that has occurred many times in the past. The key argument from scientists has always been that such a reversal would happen over a period of thousands of years.  At Wikipedia it says:

A geomagnetic reversal is a change in the orientation of Earth’s magnetic field such that the positions of magnetic north and magnetic south become interchanged. These events often involve an extended decline in field strength followed by a rapid recovery after the new orientation has been established. These events occur on a scale of tens of thousands of years or longer.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geomagnetic_reversal

Recent studies are showing that the reversal can happen much more rapidly, prompting some 2012 researchers to believe that it could occur overnight.  See my blog post New Evidence for a Rapid Magnetic Pole Shift.

Studies of the Earth’s magnetic poles are too recent to make quality predictions, but in the short time of observation two key factors have been noted – our planet’s geomagnetic field is weakening, and the movement of the magnetic North Pole is accelerating. While these two factors seem to point towards a reversal, and it has been a longer than average period since the last reversal, these could just be short-term changes that will right themselves.

If a rapid reversal does happen in 2012, the only agreed upon problems will be those of navigation – primarily making things difficult for aircraft and perhaps some animals. Of debate is whether the reversal will be accompanied by a diminished geomagnetic field. This field keeps our planet safe from the harm of cosmic rays, and a great influx of cosmic rays could cause mutations in any animals and humans who are not shielded from them, by being below ground or in a bunker.
More:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth’s_magnetic_field

Bible Code

The original Bible Code (1997) book by Michael Drosnin provides quite a few prophecies, including events in the years 2000, 2006 and 2010 that did not eventuate. For 2012 the “code” says Earth annihilated, and that the disaster will be prevented because the predicted comet will be blocked. Presumably the author had not heard of the Mayan Long Count calendar back then for that was the only mention 2012 received.

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Myth#9
The Bible Code makes accurate predictions
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The sequel, Bible Code II (2003), didn’t mention 2012 because World War 3 was predicted for 2006, and that was as far into the future that the author looked. Is there something to the Bible Code? Plenty of sceptics have dismissed it, famously finding pretty much whatever they wanted “encoded” in the Bible or other books:

Drosnin once said, “When my critics find a message about the assassination of a prime minister encrypted in Moby-Dick, I’ll believe them.” McKay promptly produced an ELS analysis of Moby-Dick predicting not only Indira Ghandi’s assassination, but the assassinations of Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln, and Yitzhak Rabin, as well as the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Mathematician David Thomas did an ELS on Genesis and found the words “code” and “bogus” close together not once but 60 times. What are the odds of that happening? Thomas also did an ELS analysis on Drosnin’s Bible Code II: The Countdown (2002) and found the message “The Bible Code is a silly, dumb, fake, false, evil, nasty, dismal fraud and snake-oil hoax.”* Does this mean that God put in a code to reveal that there is no code?
http://www.skepdic.com/bibcode.html

Supervolcanoes

Supervolcanoes tend to be active over millions of years. They erupt less frequently than other volcanoes, but when they do erupt, they are substantially more intense. They are rare enough to be missing from modern history, and we only know they have ever occurred due to geological studies of the clues they have left for us.

There are a number of supervolcanoes globally, including Yellowstone, Long Valley and Valles Caldera in the USA, Lake Taupo (NZ), Lake Toba (Indonesia), and the Phlegraean Fields in Naples, Italy.

With no eruptions to observe in modern times, we can only assume that supervolcanoes act like regular volcanoes, including the potential to erupt suddenly, without any warning signs.

Of concern are recent changes at Yellowstone (the ground above the volcano has risen) and scientists drilling into the Phlegraean Fields. Yellowstone has not been observed for long enough to know if current changes are normal or not. And the drilling in Naples is still waiting on permission from the Mayor to proceed.

Supervolcanoes can be added to the long list of catastrophes that could occur in 2012, but could just as easily occur any other year.

More:
Supervolcanoes

Climate Change

For those who believe in man-made climate change, the consensus is that the change is gradual, and our concern is not for tomorrow, but for decades from now. The required actions need to be taken now, but the problems faced if we do not are not going to be immediate.

Or perhaps not. Speculations have been made regarding the potential for a major and rapid climate change due to some type of “tipping point” being reached. An example of this line of thinking is The Coming Global Superstorm written by Art Bell and Whitley Strieber (which begat the movie The Day After Tomorrow). The scenario they present involvesthe melting of polar ice affecting the salinity of the oceans, and causing the North Atlantic Current to shut down – releasing a flood of freezing air into the northern hemisphere. Although scientists say such a change would be gradual, the book and movie suggest it could happen overnight.

More:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Coming_Global_Superstorm
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/05/0518_040518_dayafter.html

Peak Oil

As I am writing this, the latest issue of Scientific American (title “The End”), shows a graph of global oil production and the “peak” is in 2014. The methodology purportedly covers everything, from the diminishing supply of known resources, the drilling of recently found oil fields, and the potential for new technology to improve discovery and production. Various other dates can be found, depending on whom you listen to and how they determine it. Ultimately it’s all just educated guesswork, due to the unpredictable nature of new discoveries and technologies.

Peak is just the peak, not the end. A drop of 2% in production in 2015 will not on its own cause a whole lot of harm – we’ll simply need to reduce our consumption to 2013 levels. It could be argued that the continual decline in production cannot be covered by other energy sources, and that the world will suffer economically. An elongated downturn in economies could create a range of problems, including wars and poverty, and this is something that we could be concerned with in the long-term. There is nothing to suggest “peak oil” can do us any harm in 2012, or during the short period that year encompasses.

More:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil

Government Conspiracy

Discussions on 2012 regularly involve talk of “the government knows”, but they are keeping it secret from us. This has some validity, in that if the end of the world was known to be happening soon, a government might decide that ignorance is bliss, and choose not to panic the populace. This is another good reason why preparing for the worst, just in case, is a smart move. However, “the government knows”, but isn’t telling, is used regularly across a wide-range of topics, and basically says that they could be harbouring all sorts of secrets – but that does not mean they are. Examples range from “Yellowstone is about to erupt”, to “evidence of aliens” and “who shot JFK”. Whistleblowers for a 2012 conspiracy are mysteriously lacking.

My personal belief is that, just like in the movie 2012, if governments knew of an impending catastrophe, at least some of the people entrusted with that information would choose to share it with everyone.

Large Hadron Collider

First the good news: To date the LHC has run at half of its potential, and nothing bad happened. To enable to run at full power, the LHC will be shut down at the end of 2011, for a “long period” to fix some problems.

Most of the arguments against the LHC revolve around the possibility that micro-black holes might be created during its operation – as many as one per second. This has struck fear into the hearts of many, because the layperson only knows of one type of black hole – a giant collapsed star that sucks in all matter surrounding it and never stops. Scientists expect that micro-black holes would disappear immediately, and cause no harm. Although this concept has never been proven in a lab, cosmic rays which are constantly striking our planet’s atmosphere have much higher energy than the LHC can produce, and any black holes they produce must be evaporating.

Even if these micro, or quantum black holes were to accrete mass, they are created at such velocity that the black hole would leave Earth before it had a chance to grow.
Now for the bad news. For some it is trivial and nitpicking, so you decide.  The original safety study by the LHC folk told us that it was impossible for black holes (that could gobble up the entire planet) to be created, because they “would decay before they got the chance to do any damage”.

A second study, published in 2009, says “the growth of black holes to catastrophic size does not seem possible.” and “the expected decay times are much longer (and possibly ≫ 1 sec) than is typically predicted by other models”

By “other models” this scientist is referring to his own previous study which announced that a micro-black hole could not last longer than one second. It is possibly disturbing that the language used to describe the safety has changed, and the supposed factual timeframe has also changed.

Read about the LHC (and concerns about its safety) at Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safety_of_particle_collisions_at_the_Large_Hadron_Collider

Earth Changes

A good portion of 2012ers believe that “earth changes”, an increase in natural disasters, is proof that a catastrophe is due in 2012. This idea can be backed up with graphs and tables that do show dramatic increases in earthquakes and hurricanes around the world (you don’t usually see figures on volcanoes and tsunamis). Scientists say that everything is normal. The scientists are more correct on this one.

The two causes of the earth changes belief are a poor understanding of statistics and randomness, and increases in monitoring and media coverage of natural disasters. I have a good understanding of statistics, and I know how to interpret data. For a decade I have been looking for any signs of impending doom in 2012, and I have closely looked at natural disasters. So far I have seen nothing out of the ordinary, (except perhaps hurricanes are on the rise). Ordinary can mean ten 7.0+ earthquakes one year, and twenty 7.0+ earthquakes the next. It can mean we get two devastating tsunamis in a decade, and then none for a century.

A good explanation of why earth changes are not on the rise is provided by the U.S. Geological Survey – Are Earthquakes Really on the Increase?

We continue to be asked by many people throughout the world if earthquakes are on the increase. Although it may seem that we are having more earthquakes, earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 or greater have remained fairly constant.

A partial explanation may lie in the fact that in the last twenty years, we have definitely had an increase in the number of earthquakes we have been able to locate each year. This is because of the tremendous increase in the number of seismograph stations in the world and the many improvements in global communications. In 1931, there were about 350 stations operating in the world; today, there are more than 8,000 stations and the data now comes in rapidly from these stations by electronic mail, internet and satellite. This increase in the number of stations and the more timely receipt of data has allowed us and other seismological centers to locate earthquakes more rapidly and to locate many small earthquakes which were undetected in earlier years. The NEIC now locates about 20,000 earthquakes each year or approximately 50 per day. Also, because of the improvements in communications and the increased interest in the environment and natural disasters, the public now learns about more earthquakes.

According to long-term records (since about 1900), we expect about 17 major earthquakes (7.0 – 7.9) and one great earthquake (8.0 or above) in any given year.
List of 8.0+ earthquakes since 1900:
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqarchives/year/mag8/magnitude8_1900_date.php

Volcanoes aren’t as readily given a scale, so any perceived increase in eruptions is probably due to the nature of now seeming more serious and relevant than before.
Tropical cyclones, or hurricanes, may be on the rise, and that rise might be due to global warming.

List of Category 5 Atlantic Hurricanes:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Category_5_Atlantic_hurricanes
Looking at the list, if you remove 2005 (which had an incredible 5 hurricanes), then it is difficult to say any trend towards more hurricanes.

 

Recommended Books

Fingerprints of the Gods – Graham Hancock
The Everything Guide to 2012 – Mark Heley
Beyond 2012: Catastrophe or Ecstasy – Geoff Stray

Recommended Web Sites

Discussion Forums:
2012Forum.com
Information:
www.diagnosis2012.co.uk
2012Base.com
News:
2012News.com
Survive2012.com/news

 

 

2012 Facts v1.3, November 2012
Copyright 2012 Robert Bast, Melbourne Australia. Email me: survive (at) gmail.com

A PDF version of this ebook, with images, is here:
2012 Facts

 

Why Dec 21 2012?

1. Introduction

Here is an idea worth considering:

Thousands of years ago humankind had attained a high-level of technological achievement. They understood laws of nature that are still unknown to us today. They explored Antarctica and mapped the entire globe. They made monuments that we would have difficulty recreating with our modern techniques and equipment…

Then tragedy struck in the form of a global cataclysm. They were not expecting it. The disaster was so terrible that most humans perished and many animal species became extinct. Those humans that did survive were forced to live like animals while the Earth recovered. Memories faded, and knowledge disappeared. Society began again from scratch, returning to pagan beliefs and simplistic lives. But there were some that survived who managed to remember their past, that retained some of the advanced techniques and ideas that others had forgotten – and had the foresight and dedication to warn future generations of the next cataclysm. Knowing that it would be more than 10,000 years before the cataclysm recurred, they had to allow for certain possibilities: that in the year 2012 we could be speaking a brand new language, following unpredictable religions and using any sort of numbering system. If they were to leave us clues to help us survive, those clues would need to be big and solid enough to last 10,000 years; and coded so as to be unambiguous – regardless of the culture that interpreted them. Some modern humans, of various backgrounds and disciplines, are working towards deciphering what they have left us.

We are on the verge of cloning humans, of aping God. Regardless of ethics and laws, it will happen – for whenever scientists have had the ability to do something, they haven’t been able to resist – it is in their nature. On the other side of the coin, when there are not enough clues to solve a puzzle, when none of their predecessors have made quality in-roads, they have rattled off stock answers and moved on to something easier. These unsolved mysteries are typically of a historical nature – our scientists have been unable to observe the processes in real-time, and have chosen not to make guesses. These tasks have by default been given to the independent researchers, the untrained pseudo-scientists, the men and women with imagination, verve and daring. The rebels.

This book pulls together a number of these mysteries. They all relate to the potential for a global cataclysm that may be just around the corner.

Most of the topics are much debated, with radicals and the establishment taking opposing views. Is the Sphinx 5,000 or 12,000 years old? Did the biblical flood really happen? And if it did was it regional or global? Did modern man once live in the ocean? How was it that separate ancient societies all had the ability to shift giant blocks and why did they all build pyramids and underground chambers? Is a race of “mysterious elders” involved in our DNA, and our destiny?

We shall look at ideas that have been endorsed by great thinkers, yet are ignored by the esteemed scholars of today. The idea of a pole shift had the agreement of Einstein; the existence of Atlantis was described by Plato; global cataclysms were hinted at by Darwin.

And we will see evidence that orthodox science has chosen to ignore, evidence that fails to fit their precious paradigms. Artifacts showing human civilisations existing 100,000 or even millions of years ago. Proof of a cataclysmic poleshift 12,000 years ago. And evidence that is strangely missing, such as the missing links of evolution.

Helping bind these topics together I will present some new information concerning mythical creatures and cosmic rays. And I shall explain how a global network of monuments was created for a common purpose – to warn us of our potential extinction. Hopefully these ideas will spark enough debate so that the things we treasure, and the species that we are, continue for a long, long time.

Robert Bast, somewhere, May 2001

Galactic Alignment

4. Galactic Alignment

The Mayan calendar and the fractal patterns of the McKenna brothers are only human constructs, descriptions of our journey through time. But out in our galaxy there is a giant wheel revolving – we are actually on a slow wobble and the stars are just appearing to revolve. This “precession of the equinoxes” takes 25,800 years to complete one cycle, and within this cycle we can observe conjunctions in the heavens between the stars and our solar system.

Ancient cultures recognised four major dates within each year: the two solstices (when days are at their longest or shortest) and the two equinoxes (when the lengths of day and night are equal). They could tell when these dates were approaching by watching which stars were on the horizon at sunrise and sunset, and where they were relative to the sun. If you watched for long enough, for hundreds of years, then it became apparent that the stars were moving slightly out of position each year. The star that was due east at the winter solstice sunset 70 years ago is one degree out today. The Greek astronomer Hipparchus (c. 190-120 BC) is widely acknowledged as the discoverer of the precession of the equinoxes, yet the ancient Egyptians and Maya were also aware of it.

Independent researcher (that is, not an accredited scientist) John Major Jenkins has written a long and involved book titled Maya Cosmogenesis 2012 which shows that the Maya not only understood precession, but that their 2012 end-date predicted a special happening in our universe.

Our galaxy has a centre which all the stars take millions of years to revolve around, and it is located in the starriest part of the Milky Way, as seen from Earth. On four occasions within the 25,800-year cycle our galactic centre aligns with the sunrise of a solstice or equinox. The last time it occurred was on a fall equinox 6,450
years ago, approximately the dawn of Old World civilisations. On Dec 21, 2012, which is a winter solstice (Northern Hemisphere) this centre will align with our sun once more. Jenkins presents a mass of astrological, monumental and mythological evidence to show the importance of this event for the Maya, and how their calendar runs out on this day for a reason. Unfortunately he is not sure what that reason is.His book mentions:

a door into the heart of space and time will open[1]

the cosmos will be reborn or recreated[2]

we will reach the Zero Point of the process – a moment of collective spiritual birth[3]

“.our basic orientations will be inverted. On the level of human civilization, our basic assumptions and foundation values will be exposed, and we will have the opportunity to embrace values long since driven under the surface of our collective consciousness”[4]

“On a literal level of interpretation, one supported by many popular writers, the field-effect reversal that mystics and futurists intuitively feel occurring on this planet bodes an impending pole shift, a literal shift in the position of the Earth’s North Celestial Pole, an event that would have disastrous effects around the globe. I suppose there is not much we can do about it… I prefer to emphasize what might be termed a pole shift in our collective psyche. This places the possibility of successful, positive transformation squarely in our own hands.”[5]

So, what will happen? Maybe the McKenna’s flood of change, a global cataclysm or the
dawning of the Age of Aquarius? Could there be a new age love-fest in 2012?

Age of Aquarius

No one knows when it starts! The twelve zodiacal constellations are of different sizes, and the borders between them are very indistinct. We will be moving into the New Aquarian Age of western astrology sometime within the next 200 years. There is no singular date on which it will happen, just a gradual change. In the same vein we find hidden in the fifth appendix of Maya Cosmogenesis 2012 an admission from Jenkins that.

“it would be more accurate to say that the alignment occurs in the era of AD. 2012; because precession is such a slow phenomenon, fifty years on either side might be appropriate.” [Author's italics][6]

It appears we must look elsewhere for the why and how of what may happen. It is unlikely that the Mayan calendar end-date coincidentally occurs on a solstice, yet a solstice is only an annual position within our orbit around the sun – a solstice on its
own cannot change or harm us. I suggest that 2012 is a year that the Maya always knew of, a year in which a cosmic activity will affect our planet. Their choice of Dec 21 to end the calendar on was chosen only because the winter solstice is the gloomiest day of the year, and the most appropriate day to form myths around.

 

[1] John Major Jenkins, Maya Cosmogenisis 2012 (1998), Bear & Co, page xlvii

[2] John Major Jenkins, Maya Cosmogenisis 2012 (1998), Bear & Co, page 30

[3] John Major Jenkins, Maya Cosmogenisis 2012 (1998), Bear & Co, page xlvi

[4] John Major Jenkins, Maya Cosmogenisis 2012 (1998), Bear & Co, page 329

[5] John Major Jenkins, Maya Cosmogenisis 2012 (1998), Bear & Co, page 330

[6] John Major Jenkins, Maya Cosmogenisis 2012 (1998), Bear & Co, page 361

 

Fractal time and the I Ching

3. Fractal time and the I Ching

  • 10,000 years ago humans began domesticating plants and animals.
  • 500 years ago we invented the printing press.
  • 100 years ago we began driving automobiles.
  • 50 years ago we invented the computer.
  • 30 years ago we landed on the moon.

The speed of change is rapid. Population, computing power, speed of transport, the sheer amount of known information, and most other things that involve humans, are all increasing at an accelerating rate. The rate at which they are increasing is increasing. We are all part of it, with younger people thinking nothing of it, and the elderly commenting on it, but generally handling it okay. But if we were to transport King Arthur to modern-day New York he’d most probably pass out from trying to grasp what was happening. But can it stop, slow down or reverse. No, for that is not in our nature.

Things will keep changing at a faster rate. Every 18 months the power of computers double. Soon they will be smarter than us, and we are already on the verge of cloning humans and close to using nanotechnology to create atomic size mini-machines. Maybe there will come a time when the rate of change will reach such a speed that change is all that will exist. Various fringe scientists have tried to calculate this point of infinity, giving us calculated dates ranging from 2010 to 2050. Dates that many of us will live to see. Perhaps the date is Dec 22, 2012. Ethnobotanists and fractal time experts Terrence and Dennis McKenna believe so, and they present their ideas in Invisible Landscape: Mind Hallucinogens and the I Ching (1993).

Their studies began with the I Ching, which is composed of 64 hexagrams, or six-line figures. It struck them that 6 x 64 = 384, which is exceptionally close to the
number of days in 13 lunar months (29.5306 x 13 = 383.8978), and that maybe the I Ching was originally an ancient Chinese calendar. Further multiples had astronomical significance:

1 day x 64

x 6

= 384 days

= 13 lunar months

384 days

x 64

= 67 years, 104.25 days

= 6 minor sunspot cycles (11.2 years each)

67 years, 104.25 days

x 64

= 4306+ years

= 2 Zodiacal ages

4306+ years

x 6

= 25836 years

= 1 precession of the equinoxes

The McKenna brothers arrived at the 2012 end date by using fractals. Starting from a table of differences between one hexagram and the next, they developed a Mandelbrot fractal in which each level is 64 times greater then the one below it. They then laid this fractal pattern on top of a time scale. The peaks and troughs of the pattern relate to the level of connectedness or novelty in any span of time, whether it covers a day, millennia or even since the beginning of time. By matching the levels of the pattern with key periods in history, they determined it would fit best if the end of the time scale was December 22, 2012. This is the only point in which the level of novelty reaches its maximum, and everything that happens is new. Change feeds upon itself like nano-machines converting every atom in the universe into gold.

The final 80 or so pages of their Invisible Landscape (1993) describe the complicated mathematics and methodology they employed. A base period of roughly 67 years was discovered (all calculations are rough, but not inaccurate).

2012 minus 67 years = 1945, a year of great change

2012 minus 4,300 years (67×64) = 2300 BC, the beginning of historical time

2012 minus 275,000 years (4300 x 64) = the emergence of Homo sapiens

2012 minus 18 million years (275,000 x 64) = the height of the age of mammals

2012 minus 1.3 billion years = the beginning of life on our planet

About what may happen in 2012 they have this to say:

“Achievement of the zero state can be imagined to arrive in one of two forms. One is the dissolution of the cosmos in an actual cessation and unravelling of the natural laws, a literal apocalypse. The other possibility. the culmination of a human process, a process of toolmaking, which comes to completion in the perfect artifact: the monadic self, exteriorised, condensed, and visible in three dimensions; in alchemical terms, the dream of a union of spirit and matter”[i]

On top of all this they state that they calculated the 2012 end date in the early 1970′s, long before they had heard of the Mayan calendar. And to their credit, the original 1975 edition of The Invisible Landscape makes no mention of the Maya. If this is true, then it would be prudent to consider their result as much more than a coincidence, and to take their ideas seriously.

Also fitting the model of increasing novelty and the 2012 end date is the idea that on a sub-conscious level humans can sense a great change approaching. Unsure of what exactly to expect, but nevertheless feeling uneasy, we are doing the best we can to “get everything done” while we still have time. A last minute desperate attempt to achieve the peak of our potential. And if we are able to somehow sense a disturbance ahead, maybe birds and animals will pick up on it as well. Maybe in December 2012 the non-human species will suddenly hush, as they have demonstrated prior to earthquakes.

 

[i] Dennis J. McKenna and Terence K. McKenna, Invisible Landscape (1993), Harper Collins, p.188

[ii] John Major Jenkins, Maya Cosmogenisis 2012 (1998), Bear & Co, page 7

Note on Precession of the Equinoxes

The Earth spins on an axis, with the northern end at the North Pole. The spinning action is like that of a top; and like a top the Earth wobbles as it spins – but very slowly, with one wobble taking approximately 25,800 years. This causes the location in space that the North Pole points at to gradually change. At present it points to Polaris, the North Star. In 12,000 years time it will be pointing close to Vega. As the pole star changes, so does the position in the sky of all the other stars, relative to our wobbly spinning Earth. Astroarcheaologists mention the precession of the equinoxes a lot, for it explains how ancient stone circles and pyramids have lost their former accuracy in pinpointing astronomical events.  It can also help determine precisely when these monuments were built.

The ancient Olmec (who predated the Maya) were very aware of this slow precession, and periodically re-aligned the pyramid at La Venta so that it could maintain its accuracy.[ii]

Note on Fractals

Fractal geometry is often called “the geometry of nature.” A fractal is geometric shape that is complex and detailed in structure at any level of magnification. Often fractals are self-similar- each small portion of the fractal can be viewed as a reduced-scale replica of the whole. Building fractals relies on a repeated formula. Below is one example of how a fractal “grows”. And beside it is an example from nature – the leaves of the fern are the same shape as the branch, which itself is the same shape as the entire fern. In nature the depth of detail is limited; in mathematics the depth is infinite.

Note on Nanotechnology

A nanometer is one billionth of a meter (3 – 4 atoms wide). Nanotechnology is the creation of minute objects, with the ultimate goal of using individual atoms as building blocks. Some engineers dream of creating self-replicating nano-bots – tiny devices that create replicas of themselves by manipulating atoms. A much quoted worry is that someone will create self-replicating nanobots that refuse to stop – overnight the universe could contain nanobots and nothing else!

 

The Mayan Calendar

Will the world end in 2012? No, it won’t.

Will there be a major cataclysm in 2012? Quite possibly.

Although this book concentrates on a potential global catastrophe at a random date within our immediate future, the ancient Mayan Long Count calendar is a powerful argument for that date being Dec 21, 2012.

2. The Mayan Calendar

The Maya

The Maya civilisation inhabited a region encompassing southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize & western Honduras, and flourished between the third and tenth centuries AD, but by 1200 AD their society had collapsed for reasons we can only guess at. When the Spanish conquistadors arrived, descendants still occupied the area, and still spoke the Mayan language, but were unaware of the cities their forefathers had created.

It wasn’t until the late 18th century that explorers first investigated the dense Guatemalan rainforest and came across plazas, monoliths, temples and pyramids, each decorated with pictures and hieroglyphs. The ancient Maya had been keeping historical records – using a script which mixed ideographic and phonetic elements. Some of their writing still exists on stelae (stone monuments) that recount civil events and record their calendric and astronomical knowledge.

Spanish Conquest

Diego de Landa was a Spanish priest who visited Mexico on a charitable mission, became the Franciscan provincial of Yucatán in 1561 and is infamous for his destruction of priceless Maya documents and artefacts.

Although Landa was very interested in the Mayan culture, he abhorred certain aspects of their practices, particularly human sacrifice. In July 1562, when evidence of human sacrifice was found in a cave containing sacred Maya statues, a bout of religious self-righteousness saw Landa order the destruction of five thousand idols. He decided that their books were also the devil’s work and saw to it that they were burned, with only three books surviving. Consequently the majority of Mayan knowledge and history was lost.

Yet despite his actions, we are also indebted to Landa for his acute and intelligent opus on Mayan life and religion, Relación de las cosas de Yucatán (1566), which remains the classical text on Mayan civilisation. This book, which was not printed until 1864, provided a phonetic alphabet that made it possible to decipher roughly one-third of the remaining Mayan hieroglyphs.

The most important of the surviving books was what is now called the Dresden Codex, named after the city where it was lodged. It is a strange book, inscribed with hieroglyphs, which no one understood until 1880. At that time Ernst FØrstemann, a German scholar who worked at the same Dresden library, managed to crack the code of the Mayan calendar making it possible for other academics to translate the many dated inscriptions found on buildings, stelae and other ancient Mayan artefacts.

He discovered that the Codex contained detailed astrological tables, which calculated the year to be 365.2420 days long, more accurate than the Julian calendar that we use today. The tables were used exclusively by the Mayan astronomers to predict the solstices and equinoxes, the path of the planets in our solar system, the cycles of Venus and Mars, and other celestial phenomena.

Other information we have today has been gleaned from the Popol Vuh and Chilam Balam – books written just after the Spanish arrived. The knowledge found in these books and codices, combined with the uncovering of mysterious pyramids, demonstrate that the Maya had knowledge to rival the Greeks and Egyptians.

Mayan Calendar

The life of the Maya revolved around the concept of time. Priests were consulted on civil, agricultural and religious matters, and their advice would be derived from readings of the sacred calendars. Time was of such importance that children were even named after the date on which they were born.

Maya math uses only three symbols – a shell-shaped glyph for zero, a dot for one and a bar for five to represent units from zero to 19. For instance, the number 13 was represented as three dots and two bars.

Zero was an advanced concept in those days, something that the Romans were not aware of. Yet the Maya were comfortable enough with it to use a shell as its symbol, a tangible object representing an abstract concept. The Maya also used metrical calculation and place numeration, which were very clever for a culture that didn’t use the wheel!

Although they had many calendars, they marked the passage of time with three cycles that ran in parallel.

The first is the scared calendar known as the Tzolkin. It combines the numbers from 1 through 13 with a sequence of 20 day-names. It works in a similar manner to our named days of the week, and their date within each month. So you might have 5-Chikchan (like our Sunday the 5th) followed by 6-Kimi (as we would have Monday the 6th). After 260 days the same number/name combination will re-occur, and the calendar starts anew. Their use of the vigesimal (base 20) numbering system probably relates to fingers and toes, whereas the 13 nicely fits the growth phase of the moon which isn’t visible when new and appears full for two days on end, thus appearing to have a 13 day growth cycle. Alternatively, the length of the Tzolkin may be related to the human gestation period of nine months (273 days). It has been suggested that 260 days is the time between a woman suspecting her pregnancy (she doesn’t menstruate) and when she gives birth.

The second is the agricultural calendar known as the Haab, or vague year. It consists of 18 months, each of 20 days. An addition of a five-day month (a period of apprehension and bad luck named Uayeb) gives us 365 days, an approximation of a year. This calendar’s primary purpose was to keep track of the seasons, for seasonal and solar events would occur on roughly the same day of each year. The Maya were aware of the annual quarter day discrepancy, but it is not known if they ever did anything about it.

These two independently running calendars each begin again every 260 and 360+5 days. However, every 52 years they coincide:

“The Tzolkin and the Haab ran concurrently, like intermeshed cog-wheels, and to return to any given date, 52 years, or 18,980 days, would have to elapse (because both 365 x 52 and 260 x 73 = 18,980). In other words, the Tzolkin would make 73 revolutions and the Haab 52, so that every 52 calendar years of 365 days one would return to the same date. A complete date in this 52-year cycle might be, for example, 2 1k 0 Pop (2 1k being the position of the day in the Tzolkin, 0 Pop the position in the Haab). Fifty-two years would pass before another 2 1k 0 Pop date returned.

It was expected that the world would end at the completion of a 52-year cycle. At this time, among the Mexica in the Valley of Mexico, all fires were extinguished, pregnant women were locked up lest they be turned into wild animals, children were pinched to keep them awake so that they would not turn into mice, and all pottery was broken in preparation for the end of the world. In the event the gods decided to grant man another 52 years of life on earth, however, a night time ceremony was held in which the populace followed the priests through the darkness over a causeway to the top of an old extinct volcano that rises abruptly from the floor of the basin of Mexico, known today as the Hill of the Star, the hill above Ixtapalapa. There, with all eyes on the stars, they awaited the passage of the Pleiades across the center of the heavens, which would announce the continuation of the world for another 52 years. When the precise moment came, a victim was quickly sacrificed by making a single gash in his chest and extracting the still palpitating heart. In the gory cavity the priests, with a fire drill, kindled a new flame that was quickly carried by torches across the lake to the temple in Tenochititlan, and from there to all temples and villages around the lake. This was known as the New Fire Ceremony among the Mexica, and in some way this same completion and renewal of each 52-year cycle was recognized by all Mesoamericans.”[i]

This is not unlike how the end of the last millennium may have felt for many Christians or doomsday cult followers.

Our modern Western calendar was first introduced in Europe in 1582. It was based upon the Gregorian calendar, which calculated the Earth’s orbit to take 365.25 days. This was 0.0003 of a day per year too much, but still exceptionally accurate for scientists living over 400 years ago.

The Mayan calendars were derived from those of their predecessors, the Olmec, whose culture dates back at least 3,000 years. Without the instruments of 16th century Europe, these Central American locals managed to calculate a solar year of 365.2420 days, just 0.0002 of a day short. More accurate than the Europeans, and much earlier. It is not known if the Olmecs created the Long Count calendar, or if they received it from an even earlier civilisation…

The Long Count

A Mayan date utilises three calendars. The third calendar, known as the “long count”, is a continuous record of days that starts over every 5000 years or so. The current Long Count began in 3114 BC. And it will end very soon.

A typical Mayan date looks like this:

12.18.16.2.6, 3 Cimi 4 Zotz

4 Zotz is the Haab date.

3 Cimi is the Tzolkin date.

12.18.16.2.6 is the Long Count date.

The basic unit is the kin (day), which is the last component of the Long Count. Going from right to left the remaining components are:

  • unial……..1 unial = 20 kin = 20 days
  • tun……….1 tun = 18 unial = 360 days = approx. 1 year
  • katun…….1 katun = 20 tun = 7,200 days = approx. 20 years
  • baktun…..1 baktun = 20 katun = 144,000 days = approx. 394 years

The kin, tun, and katun are numbered from 0 to 19.

The unial are numbered from 0 to 17.

The baktun are numbered from 1 to 13.

The Long Count is a great cycle of 13 baktuns (roughly 5,126 years), where the use of 13 may again represent the growth of the moon from new to full. The current cycle began on 13.0.0.0.0 4 Ahau 8 Cumku which correlates to Aug. 13, 3114 BC.

In Mayan mythology each Long Count cycle is a world age in which the gods attempt to create pious and subservient creatures.

The First Age began with the creation of the Earth, and it had upon it vegetation and living beings. Unfortunately, because they lacked speech, the birds and animals were unable to pay homage to the gods and were destroyed. In the Second and Third Ages the gods created humans of mud and then wood, but these also failed to please and were wiped out. We are currently in the Fourth and Final Age, the age of the modern, fully functional human. Is it possible that these Ages referred to evolutionary change? If they did, then what might occur when the current age finishes on December 21, 2012?

 

[i] Weaver, Muriel Porter. The Aztecs, Maya, and their Predecessors. (1972) Seminar Press, p.103-4

Note on massive spans of time

Although they are not part of the Long Count, the Mayas had calculated larger time spans, some so long that only modern day scientists would ever use them, and suggesting that perhaps the ancient Maya were aware of something we have yet to discover for ourselves.

1 pictun = 20 baktun = 2,880,000 days = approx. 7885 years

1 calabtun = 20 pictun = 57,600,000 days = approx. 158,000 years

1 kinchiltun = 20 calabtun = 1,152,000,000 days = approx. 3 million years

1 alautun = 20 kinchiltun = 23,040,000,000 days = approx. 63 million years

Note on Correlation

This book uses a correlation between the Gregorian and Maya calendars known as the Goodman-Martinez-Thompson (GMT) correlation, which places the long count katun ending 11.16.0.0.0 13 Ahau 8 Xul on 14 November 1539 (Gregorian). Another less popular correlation has the Long Count ending two days later on Dec 23, 2012, and for our purposes makes a negligible difference. A further 50 or more different correlations have been calculated; some by non-academics, usually based on disputing which similar astronomical events occurred in which year. The GMT is generally accepted by academics because it has been proven with carbon dating, and because it is still in use by modern day Quich¾ Maya

 

2012 Possibilities

2012 Possibilities

As 2012 approaches we have a growing list of what “experts” feel might occur. Despite the sincerity and long-winded explanations, it’s all just guesswork. There is no scientific evidence that anything untoward will happen in 2012. All we have to suggest that 2012 will be any different to 2011 or 2013 is that the Mayan Long Count calendar ends on Dec 21, 2012. The Mayans themselves had almost nothing to say about what the end of the calendar held for humankind, and this suggests that they merely inherited the calendar from an earlier culture. In deciding which of the many possible calamities are more likely to wipe us out in 2012, the possibility of an ancient culture predicting such for 2012 must be taken into consideration.

 

 

Here’s my list of possibilities, ranked on 3 criteria; the relative odds of happening this century, of happening in 2012, and of the ancients being able to predict such a thing. Regarding aliens and a religious apocalypse, while I don’t believe in these things personally, they are on the list due to the billions of folk that do believe in them

1.     Asteroid/Meteor/Comet – ancient, advanced civilisations have one distinct advantage over us – they may have observed the skies for longer, and may have spotted an orbit that will culminate in a
collision with Earth in 2012. This is easily the most predictable disaster for 2012. With recent discussion of “dark comets”, we have become aware of the possibility of our planet being struck with little or no warning. Read the full article on Comets and Asteroids

Possibility this century 9
Possibility in 2012 8
Could Ancients Predict It? 10
TOTAL 27

 


2.     Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) from our Sun – a CME was behind the solar storm of 1859. It occurred in September of that year, causing the failure of telegraph systems across North America and Europe. Accompanying the storm were auroras that are normally only seen in the Arctic and Antarctic, but were visible as far south as the Caribbean. Typically we would expect a storm of 1859′s magnitude cause power blackouts and wreck satellites. But do we really know how big they can get? In 2009 NASA told us to be wary of solar storms, and warned of the dangers to America’s ancient overloaded power grid. Being without power for a few months, in the developed world, is a lot more serious than most people realise.

Possibility this century 10
Possibility in 2012 8
Could Ancients Predict It? 6
TOTAL 24

 


3.     Magnetic Pole Shift – pole reversals have been happening on average once every 400,000 years, with the most recent one being 730,000 years ago – so we are well overdue. Not only do we not know much about reversals, scientists are still unsure about how our magnetic field is generated. Long thought to be a by-product of the movements of liquid iron in our planet’s core, recent studies are suggesting that our salty oceans might be the cause. Scientists suggest a geomagnetic reversal takes thousands of years and does no harm. They are wrong – it could just as easily happen overnight. No mechanism is known for the cause of the magnetic poles swapping places. Our magnetic field is known to be rapidly declining (10% in the last 150 years), and the magnetic North pole is moving around at an accelerating pace – it has been predicted it will move from Canada to Siberia in the next 50 years. These changes could be indicating an imminent reversal.

Possibility this century 8
Possibility in 2012 7
Could Ancients Predict It? 7
TOTAL 22

 


4.     Explosion from the black hole at the center of our galaxy – in 1983 Dr Paul LaViolette described the dangers of a Galactic core explosion. He explained that it would generate a cosmic ray superwave, and it would be signalled by a gamma ray burst (see below). He also warned us that a gravity wave might travel ahead of the superwave. If seems likely that the 2004 tsunami was caused by a gravity wave, because the accompanying GRB arrived just 21 hours later, and was the brightest ever observed, 100 times brighter than any other seen in recorded history. This gravity wave did not come from our galactic center, but if it had, perhaps the effects would have been much worse.

Possibility this century 8
Possibility in 2012 7
Could Ancients Predict It? 6
TOTAL 21

 


 

5.     Religious Apocalypse – or rapture, or “judgement day”. Most religions predict such a day. Conspiracy theorists suggest that many world leaders have apocalyptic beliefs, and may even be attempting to cause Biblical prophecy to be fulfilled in 2012 via their actions. If it helps, the Bible says “But of that day and hour knoweth no one, not even the angels of heaven, neither the Son, but the Father only.” But then again, maybe God changed his mind since the Bible was written, and told some people the date of the apocalypse? Maybe he told the ancient Mayans? Possibilities could be argued ad infinitum

Possibility this century 6
Possibility in 2012 6
Could Ancients Predict It? 8
TOTAL 20

 


6.     Alien Invasion – no evidence, but plenty of believers! Tied in with this are recent crop circles that have 2012 and Mayan themes. If aliens are the creators of crop circles, then one would expect the circles to be a warning of sorts.

Possibility this century 7
Possibility in 2012 6
Could Ancients Predict It? 7
TOTAL 20

 


7.     Gamma Ray Burst (GRB) – a 2004 study told us that a GRB from a distance of just one kiloparsec could destroy half of Earth’s ozone layer. It suggests that historical mass extinctions may have been caused by GRBs. NASA explains how “gamma-ray radiation from a relatively nearby star explosion, hitting the Earth for only ten seconds, could deplete up to half of the atmosphere’s protective ozone layer. Recovery could take at least five years. With the ozone layer damaged, ultraviolet radiation from the Sun could kill much of the life on land and near the surface of oceans and lakes, and disrupt the food chain.

Possibility this century 7
Possibility in 2012 7
Could Ancients Predict It? 5
TOTAL 19

 


8.     Crustal Displacement – a physical pole shift. The mechanism is not understood, and most theories are just wild guesses. However it seems quite likely we had one 12,000 years ago, and what goes around, comes around. Charles Hapgood provided substantial evidence for a pole shift at that time, and Allan and Delair have added to it in their book Cataclysm!: Compelling Evidence of a Cosmic Catastrophe in 9500 B.C. Take into account that Albert Einstein endorsed Hapgood’s ideas, and we have something to worry about.

Possibility this century 6
Possibility in 2012 6
Could Ancients Predict It? 6
TOTAL 18

 


9.     Cosmic Rays – scientists have yet to work out where most high-energy cosmic rays come from. Either an increase striking our atmosphere, or a weakening of our shields, will let in more cosmic rays. They are already zipping through your body every second, and they could end up being our silent killers. As one example of their danger, airlines do not let pregnant women work on their inter-continental routes, because of the increased exposure to cosmic rays at those heights.

Possibility this century 8
Possibility in 2012 6
Could Ancients Predict It? 3
TOTAL 17

 


10.     Flu Pandemic – it might not be swine flu, but flu researchers say a deadly pandemic is not a case of if, but when. Our generation is generally unaware of how bad the pandemic of 1918 was – it killed 50 million people. It was the number one cause of death amongst soldiers in WW1. Being killed by the enemy came second.

Possibility this century 10
Possibility in 2012 6
Could Ancients Predict It? 1
TOTAL 17

 


11.     Nuclear War / WW3 / Biological War – although the Cold War is over, and fewer bunkers are being built, the threat is still very real. Tensions between the Koreas, and India & Pakistan are worrisome, as are the huge bunkers that the Russians have built. The Yamantau complex is large enough to protect 60,000 people!

Possibility this century 10
Possibility in 2012 5
Could Ancients Predict It? 2
TOTAL 17

 


12.     Supervolcano – these are real, they have caused great catastrophes in the past, and we have no idea when the next eruption will be. Some believe Yellowstone could explode again soon, as it has been exhibiting signs of unrest, with earthquake swarms, ground deformation and considerable heat and gas emissions. It it did erupt, expect half of the USA to be wiped out, and major variations in global climate for many years. For more information, watch documentaries by the BBC and Discovery Channel, and read my online article on SuperVolcanoes.

Possibility this century 7
Possibility in 2012 4
Could Ancients Predict It? 5
TOTAL 16

 


13.     Rise of the Machines – somewhere between Terminator and I Robot is an easy prediction: robots one day will have the capacity to rule the world. Are we stupid enough to allow it to happen?

Possibility this century 10
Possibility in 2012 2
Could Ancients Predict It? 2
TOTAL 14

 


14.     Global Warming – it will only take an increase of a couple of degrees to make life very difficult for most humans. Luckily for us, it is unlikely to wipe us out as early as 2012.

Possibility this century 9
Possibility in 2012 3
Could Ancients Predict It? 2
TOTAL 14

 


15.     Time Travel Error – someone from the future ventures into our past and causes a conflict in the time-space continuum… if it causes us harm in 2012, maybe someone managed to zip back in time and warn the ancients of it?

Possibility this century 6
Possibility in 2012 3
Could Ancients Predict It? 4
TOTAL 13

 


16.     Nanotechnology – while this might have health concerns when used in everyday products (ie sunscreen), the doomsday risk is when self-replicating little thingies are developed. Search for “grey goo”. Fortunately 2012 seems too soon for some mad scientist to let the goo loose.

Possibility this century 9
Possibility in 2012 2
Could Ancients Predict It? 1
TOTAL 12

 


17.     Nearby Supernova – experts say that no supernova candidates are close enough to harm us. But how many supernovas have they observed? This is where, after the fact, scientists proclaim “but of course!”

Possibility this century 5
Possibility in 2012 4
Could Ancients Predict It? 3
TOTAL 12

 


18.     Genetic Modification – we blindly take vaccinations, and we might be sheep when it comes to “gene therapy” as well. Our desire to live longer might just be our undoing.

Possibility this century 8
Possibility in 2012 3
Could Ancients Predict It? 1
TOTAL 12

 


19.     Nuclear Accident – nothing is foolproof. We’ve had such accidents in the past, and a bigger accident is totally possible. Hard for the ancients to predict, though.

Possibility this century 8
Possibility in 2012 2
Could Ancients Predict It? 1
TOTAL 11

 


20.     Ice Age – right now the buzz is about “global warming”, yet a mere thirty years ago we were worried about an impending Ice Age. There is evidence that parts of our climate system work more like a switch than a dial, and if a certain level of temperature is reached, it may cause what is known as “abrupt climate change”. See the movie “The Day After Tomorrow” for how it might work.

Possibility this century 6
Possibility in 2012 1
Could Ancients Predict It? 2
TOTAL 9

 


21.     Solar System Falls Apart (butterfly effect) – to the best of our knowledge, everything is OK for a long, long time. However simulations have shown how Mercury could cause Earth and Mars to collide a few billion years from now. But throw a stray comet or Planet X into the mix, and our solar system could turn into a catastrophic pinball machine any old time.

Possibility this century 0
Possibility in 2012 0
Could Ancients Predict It? 4
TOTAL 4

 


22.     Large Hadron Collider – scientists tinkering with something they think they understand the risks of, but what if there’s a 0.000001% chance their black hole calculations are wrong? Is it worth the risk? Originally we were told by CERN scientists that it was impossible for a black hole (that might gobble up the entire planet) to be created by the LHC, because it “would decay before it had the chance to do any damage”. This has recently been updated to “the growth of black holes to catastrophic size does not seem possible.”

Possibility this century 1
Possibility in 2012 1
Could Ancients Predict It? 0
TOTAL 2

 


Notes:

  • The odds are relative. It is the author’s opinion that the odds of any of the above occuring in 2012 is about 10%, and that’s just a big guess / gut feeling.
  • The odds are not of such a phenomenon being real, but the odds of them happening if they are real. The author does not have any evidence that aliens exist, but if they were to exist, figures an invasion in 2012 is reasonably high.