2012: The End is Nigh

You’ve heard the hype, you’ve seen the movie, you’ve read the books and still you are left wondering about exactly what is coming on December 21, 2012. There are plenty of sensationalists all wanting to tell you the world is about to end. This is not one of those posts. Instead, we’ll simply take a considered look at the evidence.

The idea of the world ending in 2012 seems to have gained a lot more popularity as we approach the time. Hollywood has released a movie, documentaries have been made, books have been written and the internet is awash with various theories. It seems that everywhere you look, there’s a new theory about what’s going to come when the calendar hits December 21, during the Winter Solstice.

Do you remember all the hype that surrounded Y2K? Computers that were designed with a 19XX date format wouldn’t understand the year 2000 we were told. Instead, they would revert back to the year 1900 and thus many people prophesied that there would be chaos everywhere. They predicted that machines would be malfunctioning, industry would grind to a halt and even that airplanes might drop out of the sky.

When January 1, 2000 hit, nothing seemed to happen. Everything turned out to be right with the world. Of course, there would be many in the computer industry who would say that was the result of the Y2K projects that many organizations ran ahead of time in order to deal with the problem proactively. Perhaps the experts had actually got it right and were able to mount an effective risk management strategy.

What about this time? Do the experts know what’s going to happen and, if they do know what’s coming, will they be able to avert any potential disaster? If the Earth were about to be hit by a comet, for example would they actually be able to do anything about it? And if they are not able to deal with the situation, would they even want tell us about it, bearing in mind the mass panic that might ensue?

So should we be at all concerned? Well, that’s what this post is about. We will look at why people are concerned about this particular date and ask ourselves the question: is there any substance to it?

So What is Supposed to Happen?

You may find yourself asking how anyone can possibly know what might happen in the future. Most of the hype around the year 2012 seems to have been derived from the fact that the Mayan calendar ends in that year.

The Mayans originated in Guatemala and some claim that they are descendants of the Olmecs, the first major Pre-Columbian civilization in Mexico. For an apparently primitive culture, the Mayans were extremely knowledgeable and skilled. They used complex mathematics, they knew astronomy and astrology, and they also developed their own calendar.

This calendar, known as the Long Count Calendar, is a complex time keeping system that ends at the 2012 winter solstice. This fact has given rise to theories that the calendar predicts the date of the apocalypse (Armageddon) or some other equally terrible ending to the human race, though other suggestions include the idea that it could mark the beginning of a new era for mankind.

You might be thinking that ‘a new era’ could mean just about anything, and of course, you’d be absolutely correct. Some see it as a good thing, as some sort of step in the development of humankind. One thing’s for sure, the Mayan’s calendar has been right on target with solar eclipses and other celestial phenomenon which does show that they knew what they were doing.

So the big question is: why does their calendar end on that date? It is human nature to be left wondering what the reason might be. Also, if the Mayans were able to apparently make such a dramatic forecast, what of other ancient civilizations; do they also predict the end of the age or even the end of the world?

Located in modern day Iraq, Sumeria, in ancient Mesopotamia, is the birthplace of civilization. As far as we know, there were no civilizations and then, almost overnight there was Sumer. They, like the Mayans, used complex mathematics and they also understood astronomy. They were also technologically innovative. For example, we know that they had irrigation systems.

Clingons on the Starboard Bow

How can it be possible that such advanced civilizations somehow appeared apparently from nowhere? Well, there are those who want to suggest to us that one way would be via an alien intervention of some sort.

Various people (Zacharia Sitchen, Von Daniken) have theorised that an alien race may have visited the Earth in our distant past, possibly even seeding human beings using the DNA of indigenous Earth bipedal creatures. These Aliens apparently looked just like us but were supposedly much more advanced.

Does that sound all that impossible? Would it be conceivable for us, at some future time, to perhaps visit another planet and using our knowledge of genetics, introduce an Earthly life form – even humans – to a planet friendly to life? The major problem would be finding the right planet and getting there, but perhaps with the advances that have taken place in recent years, we might at least concede that, however improbable, similar proposals might not be entirely impossible.

Supporters of this kind of thinking will often suggest this is the reason that some of our ancient civilizations became so technologically advanced so quickly. You may remember the serialisation of Von Dankien’s book in the popular Sunday papers with headlines such as Was God an Astronaut? As evidence for the hypothesis, we were treated to various ancient depictions of what appear to be men wearing space helmets.

Some people even think that certain religious texts actually speak of alien visitation and genetic manipulation. In the Bible, for example, we have the intriguing reference to the sons of God intermarrying with the ‘daughters of men’. The Bible called these people the Nephilim and the Sumerians, according to some sources, called them Annunaki.

Some commentators on the events of 2012 say that a tenth planet, which they call either Niburu, will make a close pass with the Earth possibly causing a pole shift or knocking the Earth off its axis or interrupting its orbit or possibly even colliding. The idea seems to have been advanced by Nancy Lieder, who describes herself, according to Wikipedia “as a contactee with the ability to receive messages from extra-terrestrials from the Zeta Reticuli star system through an implant in her brain.”

Where is the Evidence?

Apart from these alien messages, what hard evidence is there for the existence of this planet? In a nutshell – none! That is not to say that a tenth planet does not exist. Actually, there has been some recent research that suggests that there may indeed be undiscovered minor planets outside the Kuiper belt.

None of these planets can be what doomsayers are calling Niburu because Niburu is supposed to be a significant body that is on a collision course with the Earth. If this planet actually existed, we would certainly know about it.

Astronomers point out that such an object so close to Earth would be easily visible to the naked eye (Jupiter and Saturn are both visible to the naked eye, and are dimmer than Nibiru would be at their distances), and would be creating noticeable effects in the orbits of the outer planets. – Wikipedia

The above has not prevented adherents of the collision hypothesis from coming up with their own brand of ‘evidence’. However, in all honesty, such evidence is very weak:

A carved Sumerian image apparently shows the planets as we know them. They are even sized in such a way as to be proportionate to each other. Yet in the carving a tenth planet is depicted.

Amateur photographers, we are told, have apparently found a heavenly body of large proportion that has been hiding behind the sun.

The Mayan calendar is so complex it is made up of twenty different calendars that are all needed to calculate the Long Count Calendar. Could a primitive culture invent something so ingenious?

There are people who genuinely believe that crop circles are made by aliens and for such individuals, the appearance of crop circles in recent times have provided additional ‘evidence’.

There was a crop circle found on Silbury Hill, Wiltshire, UK on August 8, 2004. It showed the cycles of the Long Count Calendar with an indicator between the fifth and current cycles. It’s thought to indicate motion between now until the calendar reaches December 21, 2012.

Another crop circle was also found in Wiltshire on August 9, 2005. This pattern showed the dates of 2012 and seemed to indicate a central solar eclipse on May 20, 2012, which indicates the Summer solstice.

There is indeed an annular eclipse due on that date. An annular eclipse is where all you can see is a ring around the moon. Incidentally, Venus is supposed to transit across the sun’s face sixteen days after that, on June 6, 2012. NASA confirms this on their website.

In summary, with regard to hard evidence, there really isn’t anything at all that is significant.

The astronomical argument is very easy to counter:

Images of Nibiru near the Sun taken by amateurs are usually the result of lens flares, false images of the Sun created by reflections within the lens. – Wikipedia

All we are left with is an ancient calendar that ends on a particular date coupled with the speculation of a number of apparently poorly informed individuals, some of whom may simply be engaged in profiteering.

3 thoughts on “2012: The End is Nigh

  1. Paul Tarn

    This is all very interesting and although we should all remain very positive it does no harm to have a plan or series of plans based on a what if scenario.
    Whether we prepare for sun flare strikes (seems the most likely of all the predictions), or prepare for flooding due to pole flips or changes in tidal conditions.
    Dont think that there is much point in planning for a Niburu collission but everything else YES!

  2. Robin

    A lot is being told about 21.12.12 but I think people are well aware and intelligent enough. It is common perception that Mayan culture and especially their knowledge of astronomy is unbeatable but making a calender upto a fixed date doesn’t mean that the earth will vanish on the day.

  3. Delton

    Thanks for reminding me of 12/12, I haven’t seen anything lately about it so with my weak memory I had forgotten all about it. Guess I’d better mark my calander so that time won’t slip upon me.

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