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Another Expert Agrees With Dark Comet Theory

February 21, 2013 – 11:31 am | No Comment

Astronomer David Asher (from Armagh University) has agreed with Bill Napier and Janaki Wickramasinghe (Cardiff University) that “dark comets” are real and dangerous.
The following quotes are from a paper by Napier and Asher published in Astronomy & Geophysics.

We know that about one bright comet (of absolute magnitude as bright as 7, comparable to Halley’s Comet) arrives in the visibility zone (perihelion q<5AU, say) each year from the Oort cloud. It seems to be securely established that ~1–2% of these are captured into Halleytype (HT) orbits. The dynamical lifetime of a body in such an orbit can be estimated, from which the expected number of HT comets is perhaps ~3000. The actual number of active HT comets is ~25. This discrepancy of at least two powers of 10 in the expected impact rate from comets as deduced from this theoretical argument on the one hand, and observations on the other, is …

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Home » Mayan Calendar

Skeptic Avoids Long Count Calendar

Submitted by on November 4, 2011 – 2:06 pm21 Comments

You can really sense the fear when experts and authority figures use spin rather than logic to discredit something.

Today’s press release from the University of Kansas, regarding the work of anthropologist and Maya scholar John Hoopes, is all about debunking 11/11/11 and 2012.

The next big date to consider is 11/11/11, when many in the New Age movement plan celebrations to receive emerging energies in preparation for a transformation of consciousness on Dec. 21, 2012.

Whether these dates mark a time for transformation of consciousness or a catastrophic end, they are part of a 2012 eschatological myth that originated with Christopher Columbus and Franciscan missionaries, not the ancient Maya calendar, Hoopes emphasizes.

I presume Hoopes is suggesting that in the 1500s the concept of a religious doomsday was popular, and he believes that is the main source for such beliefs today.

While plenty of New Agers have co-opted 2012 into their own ideas regarding aliens / light workers / dimensions / vibrations and of course the teaching of elders in far off lands… all these things would have been popular today with or without 2012.

Not the ancient Maya calendar, says Hoopes. Well, without the end date of the Long Count calendar, we wouldn’t have a doomsday date. And Dec 21 2012 was only determined in modern times.

To validate his convictions, Columbus wrote his own Book of Prophecies that included an account of his interview with a “Maia” leader in 1502. The reference inspired early speculation by explorers and missionaries, indirectly influencing crackpots as well as scholars to link ancient Maya — before any contact with Europeans — with the astrological and religious beliefs popular in Europe in the 1500s.

That’s just part and parcel of the co-opting that occurs in all sorts of circles. The most famous works of mysticism and paganism have all stolen from ancient and foreign cultures, just as New Agers today love to align themselves with Atlantis, druids and ancient Egypt.

Lawrence E Joseph, Patrick Geryl and myself have come to our own understandings about our fate in 2012. We have each looked into ancient history and modern science, and I think it is safe to say that ponderings of Columbus weren’t of any influence. Other doom ‘n’ gloom 2012ers who focus on things like LHC, earth changes and Nibiru, likewise do not cite Columbus, or any misinterpretations of Mayan culture in the 1500s.

Some New Agers may have been influenced as Hoopes charges, but they aren’t expecting Armageddon. They have chosen to counter Armageddon with concepts transformation and happiness. If you really want to debunk 2012, you need to provide an alternate explanation for the Mayans using Dec 21 2012 as their end date, and you need to negate the very real possibilities of the Sun, or a comet, harming us.


  • […] The 2012circus never gives me any rest… Rob Bast has launched critique of the anthropologist/archaeologist John Hoopes. You can find that critique here. […]

  • Zach says:

    You state, “If you really want to debunk 2012, you need to … negate the very real possibilities of the Sun, or a comet, harming us.”

    Isn’t the burden on you to show that this is unique to December 2012, or even 2012 at all? You are making the claim that something is going to happen, the Sun or a comet. You should be the one backing that up with some sort of data. Otherwise trying to negate your claim is just like trying to negate anyone’s random claim about anything.

  • Robert Bast says:

    The end of the Mayan Long Count calendar is unique, and scientifically speaking the most likely accurate predictions for that date an ancient culture could have been are the return of a comet, or a solar cycle. Both can be achieved via watching the heavens for longer than modern cultures have had time to.

    A tragic CME or a collision with a comet are real possibilities on any date. The tragedy is that, rather than using the 2012 meme as an excuse to prepare for the worst, experts and authorities downplay these risks, regardless of the time frame.

    The end of the Long Count calendar is real. That the Mayans would have expected their own demise is real. The threats from the Sun and comets is real. But instead of discussing these, we have scholars carrying on about what Columbus thought, and presuming that every 2012ers was influenced by the religion and astrology of the 1500s. That’s just academic wanking, serves no practical purpose. While Geryl, Joesph and myself could easily be wrong, if we are right then those than listen might have a chance at surviving… and that makes our research worthwhile.

  • Zach says:

    Robert, I don’t see anywhere in your answer where you provide actual scientific evidence for any kind of unique solar or cometary event in 2012. You have stated that they “are real possibilities on any date” which I agree with, but that does not give any more uniqueness to 2012 than 2011, 2013, 1972, or any other year.

    So again, in you stating, “If you really want to debunk 2012, you need to … negate the very real possibilities of the Sun, or a comet, harming us,” it seems as though you could replace “2012” with any other year and you’d still need to provide some sort of evidence. My point is that you have not shown 2012 is unique in this way.

  • Rob’s claim that “the end of the Mayan Long Count calendar is unique” is simply wrong. The first mistake 2012ers do is to believe there is something special to the 13 Baktun/Pik date (no matter what correlation you use). There is evidence at Palenque that we do have more than 20 Baktuns in the Long Count calendar (4772 AD). David Stuart argues that the whole true Maya Long Count is 71,8 Octillion years and we are only a little more than halfway through this. Whatever the case of its length, it was not correlated to end on the impact of a comet or increasing solar activity. Just show us the glyphs from any period that support this (but they should preferably be as old as possible).

  • Oops, I hit the button to soon. What I meant was, show us the glyphs that support your claims regarding the sun and comets related to the 13 Baktun date.

  • Rob Bast says:

    2012 is unique due the Long Count calender. Simply combining the Popul Vuh with the Aztec Sun Stone leads suggests that the Mayans expected a tragedy in 2012. There’s no written evidence regarding their expectations – blame the Spaniards who burnt all of their books.

    My point is that debunkers focus on things that are easy to debunk:

    -Planetary Alignment
    -Every doomsday prophecy in the past has failed

    And avoid like the plague the very real possibilities, that could occur any year, but could have been predicted by the Maya.

  • Zach says:

    Hi Rob[ert], I think your latest comment is incongruous with your last sentence in your post. The last sentence in your post clearly states (emphasis mine): “If you really want to debunk 2012, you need to provide an alternate explanation for the Mayans using Dec 21 2012 as their end date, and you need to negate the very real possibilities of the Sun, or a comet, harming us.”

    But your last comment comment (and the one before) seems to be wholly concentrating on the alleged claims by the Maya, which I have not been asking about. Are you now saying that your only evidence for “the very real possibilities of the Sun, or a comet, harming us” in specifically 2012 are the interpretations of they Mayan calendar?

    If so, then I don’t think a skeptic/debunker “needs to negate” this because you could pick almost any past civilization and someone has interpreted their writings to indicate a doomsday at some time or another.

    If not, I’m still waiting for your actual objective, scientific evidence that 2012 will uniquely present a possibility “of the Sun, or a comet, harming us.” Otherwise, if you just want to focus on the purported 2012 doomsday claims of the Maya, I strongly recommend removing that final half of your last sentence in your post.

  • Robert Bast says:

    Two facts that meet in the middle:

    1) Long Count calender ends on Dec 21 2012
    2) Comets and Solar Storms could do us major harm, or even wipe us out

    By inference (from previous Long Counts) the Maya believed there would be a cataclysm in 2012. Comets and the Sun are all I can think of (after more than a decade of considering the possibilities) that they could have credibly predicted.

    To debunk 2012 you need to come up with an alternative reason for why they chose that particular end date. If you can’t do that, then next best is to debunk the possibility of a comet or the Sun harming us on Dec 21 2012. If you can’t do that either, then in my opinion the debunking has been a failure.

    One of the best alternate theories for their choice of end date (aside from “it was random” but that’s a cop out) is Jenkins, with his Galactic Alignment. That the alignment was a number of years back doesn’t ruin it, but that they couldn’t have had the ability to locate the galactic center, or equator, does.

    My own idea, the return of a long count comet, is a little bit out there, but still, probably, the only vaguely valid scientific idea to date that could answer why that date was chosen. At least I’m trying, and spending my time constructively…

  • Zach says:

    On your points, (1) I disagree based on what I have read from actual academic Mayan scholars (such as on Johan’s blog, Archaeological Haecceities). However, I am not an expert in this and cannot independently confirm nor deny it. (2) I agree that a comet impacting Earth will do damage, and that a large solar storm that actually impacts Earth of the magnitude of the one in 1859 (or somewhere around there) could do significant damage to electrical power systems and electronic devices. However, on (2), this is not unique to 2012.

    I’m not going to agree nor disagree that the Maya believed there would be a cataclysm in 2012 as I am not a Mayan scholar; however, as far as I have seen, ONLY 2012 doomsday proponents seem to indicate this. ALL academic scholarship on the issue indicates this is not the case. I cannot comment beyond that, which is why I have focused on your astronomical claims.

    You must know that it is not possible “to debunk the possibility of a comet or the Sun harming us on Dec 21 2012.” Just like it’s not possible to debunk that for Dec. 21, 2011. Or Nov 10, 2011. Or Jun 30, 2015. Or (insert other random date). I could make up my own doomsday date of May 14, 2023, and tell you to debunk the possibility of a comet or the sun harming us on that date and if you can’t, then I’m right. I hope you can agree that the burden here should be on the person making the claim, not on the person debunking a random claim with no evidence. Hence, what I am asking for is any evidence you have that there is a higher likelihood for that to happen on Dec. 21, 2012, which you have not done and seem to indicate, again, that you do not have other than what people have interpreted to be Mayan prophecy.

    As for the galactic alignment, Dr. Stuart Robbins, a professional astronomer, has done a pretty good job of that here.

    Also, why do you say the Maya “couldn’t have had the ability to locate the galactic center, or equator”? First, those are two different things – equator and center. The galactic equator is easy to locate if you are in a dark sky site, and most indications that I’ve seen show that the Maya – like most ancient cultures – were pretty good at mapping and observing the sky. Similarly, there is a band of dark dust that blocks most of the actual central band of the galaxy as seen from Earth, but if you simply locate the center of this band, you have a pretty good estimate of where the central latitude is, too. This is also where the “vertical” extent of the galaxy is greatest in the sky, so again, this is fairly easy to locate. If you go out to a dark sky site in the summer at night, you would be no more than a few degrees off if you spent just a few minutes trying to figure it out.

  • Robert Bast says:


    There are no glyphs (discovered, so far) that tell us of a comet or even the Sun harming us in 2012. Such ideas are pure speculation on my part. If the Mayans beleved 2012 was the end, at least I am trying to determine what they had the capability to predict. I don’t think a single other researcher has touched on this, perhaps they are too scared to consider such a prophecy coming true?

    However, from my doom’n’gloom angle, I read the Tortuguero Monument 6 as saying “the elders will hide in their bunker”. Either they are descending from somewhere up high, or they are heading underground.

    I figure the Egyptian pyramids (and those in Central America) were bunkers for the elite – and if they are bunkers they are the best built bunkers ever – so that stela reinforces my idea.

  • Robert Bast says:


    If a professor of Mayan studies, or astronomy, or whatever, started suggesting the world could end in 2012, they’d lose their caeer.

    That’s why you never see the doomsday angle championed by academics. I am allowed to speculate, they aren’t.

    This is just speculation you know – if it were fact 7 billion people would know about it. Why do I speculate? Well, those who start preparing ahead of time will have a greater chance of survival.

    Regarding the galactic equator, I’m not even a novice astronomer, but Anthony Aveni said “I defy anyone to look up into the sky and see the galactic equator” (The 2012 Story, page 231)

  • Zach says:

    Robert, if this is speculation on your part, then I yet again return to the last line of your post, that it’s up to someone else to negate the possibilities of the sun or a comet doing something bad. If this is speculation from you, then I’ll repeat: No, it is not up to someone else to negate your speculation. It is up to you to provide evidence. Otherwise, you are no better than someone ranting on a street corner. If you would like to label your post as speculation on your part, that’s fine and I’ll respect that. But you need to realize that it’s NOT up to someone else to refute your speculation, it’s up to you to back it up.

    And Anthony Aveni is wrong. Pure and simple. Do a very basic image search for “milky way” and you’ll find plenty of wide-field panoramas. Here’s a nice one.. Here’s another one. You see that dark dust band? That’s the galactic equator. You see the bulge in the middle that’s really bright with the dark dust band’s extent somewhat symmetric about it? That’s the galactic center. From a dark sky site, it won’t look quite like that long-term exposure, but you will be able to see those features and will be able to figure out the galactic equator and center with reasonable accuracy. Maybe Anthony Aveni has only looked at the sky from New York City or some such place.

  • Robert Bast says:

    Zach, everything I write revolves around 2012, and everything about what will happen that year is speculation – there are no facts.

    Jenkins argues that the Maya thought the Dark Rift was important, and they predicted an alignment with it in 2012. In terms of alignments however, the dark rift is quite big, there’s no precise spot (like a star) to align with, and therefore the alignment could cover a very long period of time.

    Anyone can see the dark rift. But do they know, or could ancients have known it was the galactic equator. I believe not, but I could be wrong.

  • Zach says:

    Robert, I think at this point we’re talking past each other and not accomplishing anything, so this will likely be my last comment here. To reiterate:

    1. You state in your post, “If you really want to debunk 2012, … you need to negate the very real possibilities of the Sun, or a comet, harming us.”

    2. You have now said twice that everything you say is speculation.

    3. Ergo, I am trying to tell you that NO, it is NOT up to someone else to debunk your unsupported speculation. It is up to YOU to provide evidence that your speculation has any validity, which it apparently doesn’t because you just said, “there are no facts.”

    Everything about galactic alignments, “dark rifts” (which is not a scientific/astronomy term, it’s one used by doomsday proponents), and this other stuff is secondary to that main point I was trying to make. You do not seem willing to accept nor even acknowledge the point I’m trying to make, so unless that happens, there is no point to my further posting.

  • Robert Bast says:

    My stance is that:

    1) The end date of the Mayan calendar was chosen deliberately
    2) All they could have scientifically predicted was the return of a comet or a solar cycle

    Geryl and Joesph have similar stances. If anyone wishes to debunk what we are saying, they need to directly address those two points. Anything else is avoiding the question.

    I would expect a logical person to accept the possibility that the Mayans could have been warning us, and that we should prepare for the worst, just in case.

    So, tell me the Mayans chose that date for some other reason, or tell me that my fears of comets and the Sun are unfounded, otherwise a skeptic won’t change my well-considered opinion.

    (I don’t think I can make it clearer than that, and I guess I should have made it more clear originally…)

  • kartik says:

    So , the explanation given by Robert leads to these questions
    1) Mayans decided to end their calender (which implied here is that something horrible is going to happen) which further implies that , they came to know this and changed their calender to meet this end of the world date (Dec 12 2012) .
    2) It need not imply that its a comet/asteroid thing but some other astronomical phenomena (which wont have any significant impact on earth)

    Coming to Zach questions Robert needs to provide sufficient evidence that on Dec 12 2012 there is a very high chance /probability of a comet /asteroid / CME of hitting the earth. Else since all these can happen any time / any data because of our current technological limitations we cant predict any given day is Dec 12 2012 so nothing special for that date.

    Also why is the end of a calender is taken to be such a serious thing ? Will it not roll over ?

  • Robert Bast says:

    @kartik – the ancient peoples of Central America believed that at the end of each previous Age (also called Sun), that the gods wiped out all humans. I believe this is sufficient to suggest that they believed the same would happen in 2012.

  • kartik says:

    So they believed ,and have not witnessed any doomsday for themselves ?

  • Robert Bast says:

    The mostly likely dates for ancient doomsdays would be circa 3,000BC and circa 10,000BC – both probably substantially predate the Mayan culture.

    Christians believe in rapture/Armageddon etc without witnessing it previously. So it’s not so strange…

  • bob a says:

    The difficulty in disputing the Maya is that the Spanish missionaries destroyed so much of the culture’s written record. So we have no basis to judge their science or their research, which might be quite significant. One really questions whether the Spanish missionaries saw the data that the Maya had and realized that it (ie the heresy) “needed to be destroyed” lest they risk the undermining of the Church…just as earlier members of the Church suppressed science and any thought counter to that of the teachings of the Church….strange how we now accept that the Earth is not the center of the universe nor the solar system…yet that was heresy hundreds of years ago. The Church adapted in order not to fall from power ? Perhaps ? What did the Maya really know ? And how is it that we still today have not found ANY other records ANYWHERE in their ruins ? Or have we ? Or WILL we soon ?

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