End of the world?
by LUCIE R. WILLSIE Associate Editor
Dec 20, 2012 | 2699 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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A longtime debate between doomsdayers and naysayers regarding a hot topic — the end of the world — should come to a head Friday.

It’s this simple. Either the world will end that day, or it will not.

Most believe it will not, but the prediction has been buzzing around the globe for years.

The Mayan calendar (supposedly) ends on Dec. 21, 2012, and predictions have it that the prophesied biblical Apocalypse is destined to occur on that day, meaning the world could end ... Friday.

Reportedly, some oddsmakers have placed the chances of the world’s demise Friday at 300 million to 1 — against.

According to news accounts, most Mayans themselves — 800,000 of whom still live in Mexico and whose calendar has been the main source of this concern — are not buying into this end-of-the-world prediction. Supposedly, the ancient Mayans also never prophesied the world was going to end on that date, according to archaeologists.

Many others across the globe, however, have come up with their own scenarios.

The Internet, the media, movies, even news programs, have been filled with reports about the purported Mayan prediction.

According to past news stories and online material, the crux of the issue comes down to the Sixth Monument on the Mayan Long Count calendar which mentions the 13th Baktun and is the end of a major 5,125-year cycle. Many have taken this ending of the calendar to mean the world will come to an end; at least, in its current format.

Some think maybe this predicts an asteroid will hit the Earth.

Others believe a planet, called Nibiru, that is currently hiding behind the sun will finally come out of hiding and smash into the Earth.

Others put stock in a unique and unusual alignment of the planets that might affect or even reverse Earth’s gravitational pull; in other words, the North Pole gravity will switch to the South Pole and vice versa.

Others believe disaster will come in the form of black holes.

Others still blame a huge number of sun flares for the impending doom.

Some fear major coastal cities will fall into the ocean or that huge tsunamis will cover the Himalayan Mountains.

Others believe extraterrestrials may land. A Bugarach mountain peak in southern France in the French Pyrenees supposedly is hiding an alien spaceship that will be the sole escape from the destruction that will rain down on Friday. French authorities are blocking access to Bugarach peak Dec. 19-23, except for the village’s 200 residents.

Other folks are stockpiling food, water, energy and generators, as well as creating underground bunkers or homes inside caves to survive what they see as impending destruction.

Global governments and the scientific community alike have been trying to calm fears and explain in concrete terms that these predictions are no greater on this one day than any other.

Most folks aren’t buying into the predictions of imminent doom.

“It’s not going to happen,” said Bill Davidson, a Cleveland resident. “... Those predictions are ridiculous. There have been so many in the past, and no one has gotten it right yet. If you believe the Bible, none of the predictions can be true because the Bible says no one will know when the end of the world will come. I don’t give these predictions any credence.”

Meldz Sheesley, another local resident, agrees.

“It’s not true ... only God knows ... mankind cannot predict the future,” she said. “The 21st is going to be similar to the 20th and the 22nd.”

Her husband, Ron, thinks so too.

“Nothing will happen,” he said. “It’ll go on as every other day.” However, he did admit he might just go to church the night before and maybe have a really good meal.

“Then, I’ll wake up Friday and go to work and it’ll just be another regular day,” he added.

Jason Walker thought the end-of-the-world predictions for this year had already come and gone.

“I heard it was going to end on Dec. 12, 2012 ... 12/12/12,” Walker said. “I didn’t do anything. We’re taking one day at a time.”

“God will take care of us,” said Walker’s wife, Christina.

And, to a person, everyone else had a similar opinion.

“If we believed [all these predictions] we’d never get up [out of bed],” said Meribeth Rymer, co-owner of the Spirit of the Hawk Native American store at the mall.

The only thing the Rymers are absolutely sure will end is their store. As of Dec. 31, they will close their shop for good, Bill Rymer said.

Scott Schilder, a store customer, said, “It’s [the end-of-the-world prediction] all a big ploy exploiting people — for money. To get people to buy things, like generators, extra food, extra water.”

But most, like JR. Martin, said he won’t be one to go out and spend money on such things (like generators or stockpiling extra food and water).

“We’ve heard it a thousand times before,” Martin said. “We have other things to worry about (like) going to work and paying rent. ... I have to get up and go to work the next day at 5 a.m.”

The Wilkey family, mom Bernice, dad Emmett and grown daughter Donna, doesn’t believe a word of the prediction either.

“Nobody knows when the Lord is coming back,” Bernice said for the entire family. “If you believe it’s going to happen, then the Bible would be wrong, and the Bible isn’t wrong.”

So, the consensus seems to be these end-of-the-world predictions have come — and gone — before, that this is just the latest in a series ... and nothing will happen this time either. One perspective is this: None of the hundreds of previous predictions have come to pass either.

Others, however, do fervently believe the world is going to end — in some capacity — in the metaphysical or spiritual sense. And, a new, more enlightened spiritual era will begin — change to be sure, but not global destruction.

Anthropologists can’t even be certain of the date of these supposed predictions. Some say the date may have already passed, such as on 12-12-12. Others calculate the date may even be today, Dec. 20, or Saturday, Dec. 22, or even Sunday, Dec. 23.

No one, not even the scientists, knows for sure because the tablets in this section of the calendar are broken or missing, making the readings basically illegible, according to experts.

That’s also what Ashli Townsend, a 12-year-old at Cleveland Middle School, said. She learned about the Mayan “prediction,” but also learned that part of the calendar is missing so it’s really impossible to know exactly what it says.

There only are two things folks can know for sure.

One, that fall will end and winter will begin Friday.

And two, after years and years of anticipation and predictions, everyone finally will find out exactly what will happen on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 — very, very, very soon.