A man performs a ritual as he looks toward the Mayan Chichen Itza pyramid in Chichen Itza, Mexico. A chorus of books and movies have tried to link the Mayan calendar to rumors of impending disasters Dec. 21. Archaeologists says there is no evidence the Maya ever made any such prophesy.
Come on and cheer up, now. It's not the end of the world. Well, most folks in the know are pretty sure it isn't. Just to be sure, maybe don't buy the green bananas. There's always the chance that the rogue planet, Nibiru, will emerge from its hiding place behind the super black hole at the center of the universe to suck in our planet and cause a world-ending flood -- isn't there? That's a way the world could end on Dec. 21. You can read it on the Internet.
NASA has gone to great lengths to assure us Nebiru won't be peeking out to do us any harm. In fact, the space agency people say there really isn't any Nebiru at all. They also claim we won't be destroyed by the black hole, itself, our magnetic field won't reverse that day, and we absolutely will not be struck by a massive asteroid. but what do they know? They aren't exactly archaeologists, after all.
Does any of this sound familiar? Those of us who've finished day school might recall a line of dooms days, including evangelist Pat Robertson's repeated prediction of an abrupt end in 1982. Well?
It's hard to beat the Hale-Bopp comet, though, in 1997 with its accompanying spaceship filled with aliens. It really was the end for 39 members of the Heaven's Gate cult, who committed ritual suicide while wearing identical Nike sneakers.
The Russians are hoarding canned goods, Australians digging bunkers. Is it possible they know something the rest of us don't? Maybe we shouldn't bother with the Christmas list this year.
Most of the current hysteria was originated by "The Mayan Factor," a 1987 book by author Jose Arguelles, predicting the end of "time as we know it" on Dec. 21, 2012. In 2009, the super-disaster movie, 2012, staring John Cussack served to advance the apprehension. It boils down to the supposed ending of the Mayan "Bak'tun," a repeating period of 5,126 years in the Mayan "long-count" calendar. Even if the close of the Bak'tun is accurately interpreted, does it mean the end of the everything? Maybe its just time for a new calendar.
According to Ernie Guyton, professor of anthropology at Georgia Perimeter College in Decatur, the only evidence of anything stems from a prediction on a tablet near a Mayan monument in Tortuguero, Mexico. In hieroglyphics, the prediction states: "The 13th Bak'tun will be finished on four ajaw, the third of Uniiw (blank). It will be the descent of the nine support gods to (blank)." Fiction is easier to write than this. The information missing from the tablet leaves the message unclear to say the least.
"Mayan temples don't give accounts of this," Guyton said, "Why wouldn't it be mentioned on the temples in classic Mayan times?"
In a recent message on www.t-a-d-a.com, Don Alenjandro Cerilio Perez, elected leader of the National Mayan Council, said "We, the Mayan, who have not been cultured by the Western culture do not agree with all the negative things our calendar has been involved with."
Well there you go. Buy the bananas, pick up a big jar of mayonnaise and have a merry Christmas.