1. Benjamin Anastas "The Final Days". New York Times Magazine 7/1/07.

2. Ibid; G. Jeffrey MacDonald "Does Maya calendar predict 2012 apocalypse?" USA Today 3/27/07.

3. Kyle, Richard (1998). The Last Days are Here Again. ISBN 9780801058097.

3.5. Workshop report. "Severe Space Weather Events--Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts." Space Studies Board, National Academy of Sciences. 1/2009; Schwartz, Peter and Randall, Doug (2004). "Imagining the Unthinkable." (PDF). Study commissioned by the Pentagon.

4. For a brief explanation of the Long Count calendar, see Calendars Through the Ages.

5. For a complete list of books and other sources, see The City Edition 2012 compilation.

6. History Channel programs exploring the doomsday predictions include: Maya Doomsday Prophecy (2006), 2012 - End of Days (2007), Seven Signs of the Apocalypse (2008), Nostradamus 2012 (2008).

6.5 Why the Creation Cycles do not end December 21, 2012, but October 28, 2011. By Carl Johan Calleman. Global Oneness website.

7. Lines 109-169.

8. De Santillana , Giorgio and von Dechend, Gertha (1969). Hamlet's Mill. David R. Godine Publisher, ISBN0879232153. Text is available online. Sellers, Jane B. (1992). The Death of Gods in Ancient Egypt. "The Succession of World Ages." Available online (PDF).

9. Vishnu Purana, Book VI, Chapter 1. Text is available online.

10. Excerpted from Waters, Frank (1963). Book of the Hopi. Ballantine Books. ISBN 0140045279.  Part I, Chapters 1-4.

11. The History Channel's Ancient Aliens series devotes an entire episode to "Underground Structures". One site in Cappadocia, Turkey revealed a 13-floor complex for 20,000 people during the last ice age. See also on this website: Bunkers and Underground Caves.

12. See Mark Isaac's compilation of Great Flood legends.

13. Genesis, chapters 6-8; Info on the alleged discovery of Noah's Ark in Turkey is available at

13.5. "Major Climate Change Occurred 5,200 Years Ago." Ohio State University news release 12/15/04; Thompson, Lonnie G. Climate Change: The Evidence and Our Options (PDF). The Behavior Analyst. Fall 2010. 33, 153–170. Joseph, Lawrence E. (2007). Apocalypse 2012: A Scientific Investigation Into Civilization's End. Morgan Road Books. ISBN 0767924479. Chapter 6.

14. Ryan, William; Walter Pitman (1997). Noah's Flood: The New Scientific Discoveries About The Event That Changed History. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0684859200; John Noble Wilford, "Geologists Link Black Sea Deluge to Farming's Rise," New York Times, 12/17/96, pp. B5 and B13. However, a more recent study may contradict the theory. See "Noah's Flood" Not Rooted in Reality, After All?" National Geographic News 2/6/09.

15. Kelletat, Dietter and Scheffers, Anja (2003), "Chevron-shaped Accumulations Along the Coastlines of Australia as Potential Tsunami Evidences?", Science of Tsunami Hazards, Vol. 21, #3, p 174; News article "Meteor 'misfits' find proof in sea." New York Times News Service 11/14/06.

16. Perkins, Sid (5/30/07). "Ice Age Ends Smashingly: Did a comet blow up over eastern Canada?" Science News. Note: Requires paid subscription.

17. Press release. "Comet impact theory disproved." University of Bristol January 2009.

17.5. Joseph (2007) Chapter 10.

18. Rampino MR, Haggerty BM, Pagano TC "A unified theory of impact crises and mass extinctions: quantitative tests." Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1997 May 30; 822:403-31. For an explanation of the bow shock. see the History Chnannel documentary, Worst Days on Planet Earth (2011).

18.5. 2012: End of Days (2007). The History Channel.

19. Waters (1963).  Part IV, Chapter 2.

19.5. See Wilcox, Joan Parisi, (1999). Keepers of the Ancient Knowledge: The Mystical World of the Q'Ero Indians of Peru. Element Books, ISBN 1862044929.

20. Castillejo, David (1981). The Expanding Force in Newton's Cosmos. Page 55; "The Nostradamus Effect – The Apocalypse Code" (2009) The History Channel.

20.5. Völuspá, translated by Dronke (1997:19). See stanzas 40 to 58 for this part of the apocalypse story.

21. Joseph (2007) Chapter 10.

21.5. 2012: The Ancient Egyptians (2008). The History Channel.

22. Timaeus 25c–d. Bury translation.

23. Hancock, Graham (1996). Fingerprints of the Gods. William Heinnemann Ltd. Chapter 43.

24. The History Channel program Alien Astronauts (2009) takes an in-depth look at this theory.

Notes continue on Page 2...

What was the 2012 Doomsday Prediction?

From ----------- Last updated: November 17, 2014

The 2012 Doomsday Prediction was a cultural phenomenon rooted in present-day speculation about imminent cataclysmic events. Fueled by numerous books, internet sites and documentaries airing on the History Channel since 2006, the forecast drew from four primary sources:

A Mayan calendar

In addition, researchers like John Major Jenkins claimed ancient Mayan astronomers were aware of a rare alignment of the Earth, Sun and center of the Milky Way galaxy taking place in the years surrounding 2012. According to Jenkins' 2002 book Galactic Alignment, the conjunction was tied to the astronomical Precession of the Equinoxes and signals a transition from one 26,000-year planetary cycle to another. As a result, Earth and its inhabitants may be undergoing a physical and/or spiritual transformation, hence the reason the Mayan cycle ended in 2012. (1)

However, the suggestion that the Long Count calendar is tied to apocalyptic events is controversial. While scientists generally concur that Earth's climate has entered a period of instability, most academics dispute the doomsday interpretation of the 12/21/2012 end date.  Archaeologists insist it simply marks the resetting of an ancient clock.(2)  Other skeptics argue that end-of-the-world predictions associated with religions or astronomical alignments have a long track record of failure. (3) 

Nonetheless, the National Academy of Sciences released a report in 2009 warning that powerful bursts of radiation from the Sun could knock out power grids and satellites during the next solar maximum, due in 2013. Because of the interdependent nature of technological society, a long-term loss of electricity, communications and working infrastructure could result in grave social and economic consequences. A 2004 study commissioned by the Pentagon, "Imagining the Unthinkable", suggests even grimmer prospects if global warming continues unchecked. (3.5)

The following sections are covered below:
December 21, 2012

Historical Context
Evidence of Past Doomsdays
Predictions, Prophecies, and Encoded Warnings
Scientific Forecasts Page 2
Precession-Alignment Theory Page 2
Monument Six and the Mayan Prophecy Page 2

December 21, 2012

This date represents the correlation of the standard Gregorian calendar to the end of the Mayan Long-Count cycle of 13 baktuns (5,125 years), which is based on astronomical observations from ancient times. The interval is considered by numerous meso-american cultures to represent a single "sun", or world age. The start date of 3114 B.C. corresponds to the birth of the Olmec culture, whose legacy the Mayans inherited and later expounded upon. (4) However, since December 21st is the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere, the specific day in question may have been calibrated based on calendrics, rather than an exact-moment prediction of planetary catastrophe.

Kyodo News Service

A ship tossed up onto the streets of Kesennuma City, Japan on March 11, 2011.

A number of New Age commentators have claimed a global consciousness shift is in the works as the calendar transitions to a new cycle. Mexican artist José Argüelles is credited with introducing the 2012 phenomenon to a mass audience when he organized the Harmonic Convergence on August 16, 1987. The event brought people to sacred sites around the world - including Mt. Shasta in Northern California - to meditate for peace and planetary redemption. Later, counterculture icon Terence McKenna referred to the 2012 end date in his Timewave Zero doctrine.

McKenna protégé Daniel Pinchbeck encapsulated various lines of thought about a coming new age in his book 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl (2006). (5) That same year, the History Channel began airing a series of documentaries exploring the Mayan calendar and prophecies from many other traditions.(6)

A few independent researchers have proposed alternative end dates to the Long Count calendar. Carl Johan Calleman, a biologist and former investigator for the World Health Organization, insisted the correct date was October 28, 2011.(6.5) Calleman is the author of The Mayan Calendar and the Transformation of Consciousness (2004), which contends that the nine steps of Mayan pyramids correspond to accelerating periods of evolution. The lowest step represents the birth of the universe and incorporates several billion years. The highest and final step lasts only 13 years, yet the same amount of evolution will occur in this time frame. The theory calls to mind Alvin Toffler's bestselling book from the seventies, Future Shock.

On the silver screen, Roland Emmerich's 2009 movie 2012 andThe Road, based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Cormac McCarthy, were among the latest in a series of fictional doomsday thrillers premised on the world ending in the 21st century. Emmerich also directed The Day After Tomorrow, which more closely drew from actual scientific forecasts.

Historical Context

The idea of a doomsday or apocalypse dissolving a world age dates back to antiquity. In the eighth century B.C., Hesiod explained in The Works and Days that Kronos and Zeus had by that time already obliterated at least three "generations" of men. (7) In fact, some 30 cultures around the globe share the concept of world ages, each ending with an apparent mass extinction of humans.(8) Four or five ages are universally dubbed as Golden, Silver, Bronze/Copper and Iron. Plato, meanwhile, asserted in his dialog Timaeus that during each of these epochs, mankind forgets what previously transpired:

“In your case, as in that of others, no sooner have you achieved literacy and all the other resources that cities require, than there again, after the usual number of years, comes the heavenly flood. It sweeps upon you like a plague, and leaves only your illiterate and uncultured people behind. You become infants all over again, as it were, completely unfamiliar with anything there was in ancient times, whether here or in your own region. And so, Solon, the account you just gave of your people’s lineage is just like a nursery tale.”

In India, an ancient Buddhist and Hindu astronomical treatise known as the Surya Siddhanta states that a golden age will follow the demise of Kali Yuga (aka the "Degenerate Age").  Kali Yuga began when Krishna died around 3100 B.C., following the apparent destruction of a city known as Dwarka. Another Vedic text, the Vishnu Purana, elaborates:

"The four ages are the Krita, Treta, Dwápara, and Kali; comprehending together twelve thousand years of the gods. There are infinite successions of these four ages, of a similar description, the first of which is always called the Krita, and the last the Kali. In the first, the Krita, is that age which is created by Brahmá; in the last, which is the Kali age, a dissolution of the world occurs."(9)

In North America, Hopi mythology describes the first three world ages ending in extinctions caused by geologic forces. The Hopi's first world succumbs to fire, while the second experiences an apparent ice age triggered by a geographic pole shift:

"Stuknang commanded the twins, Pojanghoya and Palongawhoya, to leave their posts at the north and south ends of the world's axis, where they were stationed to keep the earth properly rotating. The twins had hardly abandoned their stations when the world, with no one to control it, teetered off balance, spun around crazily, then rolled over twice. Mountains plunged into seas with a great splash, seas and lakes sloshed over the land; and as the world spun through cold and lifeless space it froze into solid ice."(10)

In advance of both doomsdays, a Hopi god instructs spiritually-minded members of the tribe on how to escape and survive the destruction. In the case of the first world, the evacuees are told to follow a cloud by day and a star by night until they reach a giant ant mound. Here they take refuge with the "ant people", who share food and other resources until the cataclysm ends. This scenario may have some basis in fact, since vast underground ruins have been discovered in the United States and elsewhere around the planet, each dating back to remote antiquity. (11)

In the closing days of the Hopi's third world, the evacuees escape worldwide flooding in a vessel constructed of reeds. At least 200 cultures, including the Inuit in Alaska, recount what is commonly known today as the Great Flood legend. (12) In the version found in the Old Testament, Noah is instructed by Yahweh to build an ark and seal it with pitch. Eventually a storm hits and Noah loads the vessel with an assortment of animals and his extended family. As torrential rains engulf the world, the ark sets sail and stays afloat for seven months. Afterwards, the survivors start civillization anew. (The Turkish government, incidentally, identifies the ark's final landing spot as being on or near Mount Ararat.) (13)

Hanneke Luijting
Auroras caused by an M-class solar flare were viewed in Tromsø, Norway on 12/30/11. The next solar maximum is due in 2013.

Evidence of Past Doomsdays

According to glaciologist Lonnie Thompson, fossil evidence shows that about 5,200 years ago, a mass extinction took place as a result of erratic solar activity. (13.5) A steep drop in temperature was followed by a period of global warming at the same time biblical scholars believe the Great Flood occurred. Thompson, whose work inspired the premise of The Day After Tomorrow, believes both polar ice caps melted and boosted the volume of the oceans.

Other climatologists, oceanographers and geologists have proposed alternative explanations for the Great Flood. Columbia University Professors Walter Pittman and William Ryan claim rising sea levels in the Mediterranean caused an earthen dam to collapse along the Bosporus in 5600 B.C., flooding the densely populated Black Sea basin. (14)

The Holocene Impact Working Group alleges that a comet struck the Indian Ocean in 2800 B.C. The impact generated a mega-tsunami that wiped out an estimated 80 percent of the human population.(15)

Approximately 7,000 years earlier, in North America the sprawling Clovis population vanished suddenly, according to archaeological digs at numerous locations. While a definitive cause for the extinction remains undetermined, recent hypotheses point to either the Younger Dryas climate shift or an alleged comet impact above the Laurentide Ice Sheet, north of the Great Lakes. Both events are dated to around 10000 B.C. and may be inter-connected.(16)  In January 2009, a group of scientists at the University of Bristol, U.K. offered a third possible explanation, alleging that mega-wildfires triggered the mass extinction. (17) This theory identifies global warming as a contributing factor.

Larger extinction events that affect nearly all species are thought to occur periodically over the course of millions of years. Lawrence Joseph explains in his book Apocalypse 2012: A Scientific Investigation Into Civilization's End that the solar system bobs up and down as it circles the center of the Milky Way galaxy, periodically jostled by gravitational and energy anomalies. This may account for the calculation by U.C. Berkeley phycisists Richard Muller and Robert Rohde that six massive planet-wide extinctions have transpired at 64-million-year periods, which coincides with the oscillation cycle. The last event occurred 65 million years ago when a comet struck the Gulf of Mexico, off the Yucatan peninsula.

In The Shiva Hypothesis, authors M.R. Rampino and B.M. Haggerty argue that recurring galactic fluctuations generate increased comet/asteroid activity and other interstellar interference when the solar system sits directly on the galactic plane. (17.5) Other experts make the opposite argument, claiming that once the solar system bobs far enough off the plane, it comes into the crosshairs of radioactive particle waves. The waves are generated by the Milky Way Galaxy's speedy movement across the universe, which create a bow shock on either side of the disc -- like a boat crossing through water.

Presently the solar system is several light years above the galactic plane , and climbing. (18)

Chaco Canyon daggers.

Predictions, Prophecies and Encoded Warnings

The History Channel in its coverage of the 2012 doomsday prediction cites a number of prophecies that relate to the present day.(18.5) The Hopi Prophecy, for example, warns that a third world war, geologic upheaval, hotter temperatures, drought and famine will all contribute to the collapse of civilization. Among the omens that presage the final days are a "spider web crisscrossing the earth" and the appearance of a "blue star":

"And this is the Ninth and Last Sign: You will hear of a dwelling-place in the heavens, above the earth, that shall fall with a great crash. It will appear as a blue star. Very soon after this, the ceremonies of my people will cease. These are the Signs that great destruction is coming. The world shall rock to and fro. The white man will battle against other people in other lands -- with those who possessed the first light of wisdom. There will be many columns of smoke and fire such as White Feather has seen the white man make in the deserts not far from here. Only those which come will cause disease and a great dying. Many of my people, understanding the prophecies, shall be safe. Those who stay and live in the places of my people also shall be safe. Then there will be much to rebuild. And soon -- very soon afterward -- Pahana will return. He shall bring with him the dawn of the Fifth World. He shall plant the seeds of his wisdom in their hearts. Even now the seeds are being planted. These shall smooth the way to the Emergence into the Fifth World."(19)

In South America, a small community of Q'ero Indians has also predicted the end of the current world age. These reclusive descendents of the Inca were discovered by anthropologist Alberto Villoldoin in Cuzco, Peru in 1949. The Q'ero believe the world is approaching the time of a universal mastay, or gathering. As in the case of the Hopi prophecy, geologic disturbances will precede the reintegration of the different races and cultures presently dispersed around "the four directions".(19.5)

For their part, fundamentalist Christians believe a final battle of Armageddon will take place at "the end of days", citing the Bible's Book of Revelation and Old Testament Book of Daniel . In the 18th century, Sir Isaac Newton analyzed the two prophecies in detail, calculating that a global apocalypse would take place in 2060. Precursor events would include the development of Zionism, the establishment of Israel in 1948, and the rebuilding of Herod's Temple in Jerusalem. Incredibly, the first and second events transpired within a few years of Newton's predicted dates (1899 and 1944). However, the site of Herod's Temple is presently occupied by the Dome of the Rock, an important shrine to Islam. Although many orthodox Jews would like to see the temple rebuilt, there is as yet no plan to do so. (20)

In Norse legends, the Vikings believed an apocalypse called Ragnarök would one day bring about the "ninth world", or Midgard, which is the current age. According to an ancient collection of poems known as The Edda, a dog or wolf named Garmr will one day start howling fitfully in front of the cave of Gnipahellir, after which his bindings will break loose and he will go on a rampage across the planet. The narrator of the prophecy also predicts:

"Brothers will fight and kill each other, sisters' children will defile kinship. It is harsh in the world, whoredom rife, an axe age, a sword age, shields are riven, a wind age, a wolf age... before the world goes headlong..." (20.5)

This "headlong" period will feature a battle between the gods and another monster, a water serpent called Jörmungandr (aka the Midgard Serpent). Jörmungandr poisons the sea and land with venom spewing from his mouth. This causes epoch flooding and earthquakes. Eventually, the Earth is consumed by fire, followed by a brief ice age, after which it regains its equilibrium and a new peaceful era will begin.

Thor and the Midgard Serpent, a scene from Ragnarök, as depicted by the artist Emil Doepler in 1905. Notice the world on fire in the background.

Two Medieval prophets discussed in the History Channel's 2012: End of Days likewise warned of an apocalyse. While the authorship of material composed by Mother Shipton (a.k.a. Ursula Southeil) and Merlin (a.k.a. Myrddin Wyllt) is disputed by scholars, in the texts that have been recovered, astonishingly accurate descriptions of our modern age were found. Myrddin predicted a geographical pole shift, while Shipton warned:

"A fiery dragon will cross the sky. Six times before this earth shall die. Mankind will tremble and frightened be, for the sixth heralds in this prophecy. For seven days and seven nights, man will watch this awesome sight. The tides will rise beyond their ken, to bite away these shores and then the mountains will begin to roar, and earthquakes split the plain to shore. And flooding waters rushing in will flood the lands, with such a din that mankind cowers in muddy fen, and snarls about his fellow men." (21)

Other ancient prophecies contributing to doomsday speculation include:

The ancient Egyptians may also have prophesied a doomsday in the year 2012.(21.5) In The Orion Prophecy (2001), Patrick Geryl and Gino Ratinckx allege that descendents of the utopian civilization Atlantis settled along the Nile following the Great Flood. These Atlanteans survived a mega-disaster that submerged (or relocated) their own continent. As a result, they encoded a warning to future generations in hieroglyphs. According to Geryl and Ratinckx, the prophecy of an approaching doomsday can be found inside the Sphinx, the pyramids at Giza and the Dendera Temple complex. The authors cite as sources a translation of the Egyptian Book of the Dead by the French mathematician Albert Slosman, as well as Slosman’s 1976 book Le Grand Cataclysme.

However, Plato dated the destruction of Atlantis to around 9000 B.C., nearly 6,000 years before the the official start date ascribed to dynastic Egypt.(22) Geryl, Ratinckx and American geologist Robert Schoch believe the Egyptian monuments are thousands of years older than 2500 B.C. In his bestselling 1993 book Fingerprints of the Gods, British journalist Graham Hancock cites the ancient Greek historian Diodorus, who was told in the first century B.C. by Egyptian priests that "at first gods and heroes ruled Egypt for a little less than 18,000 years, the last of the gods to rule being Horus, the son of Isis…  Mortals have been kings of their country, they say, for a little less than 5,000 years."(23)

Both Hancock and Robert Temple (in his 1976 book The Sirius Mystery) have suggested possible extraterrestial intervention occurring at the time of the last mass human extinction. According to this theory, the "gods" referred to by the Egyptians, Maya and other cultures were actually astronauts from another planet. In the wake of the cataclysm on Earth, the aliens executed a sort of Marshall Plan to put human civilization back on its feet. Temple cites an anthropological study of the Dogon people in Africa, which offers compelling evidence that the aliens came from the Sirius constellation. Swiss investigator Erich van Daniken also alluded to the idea of an alien presence on Earth in his 1968 book Chariots of the Gods. (24)

Another theory suggests that a coded message from aliens (or an advanced human culture) was purposely embedded in various indigenous creation/destruction myths. Using a recurring numeric sequence, the message identifies the astronomical Precession of Equinoxes as a long-range clock by which periodic planetary cataclysms can be forecast.

This intriguing hypothesis was first laid out in the 1969 book Hamlet's Mill, written by history of science of professors Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend. Largely ignored by their peers, the two authors documented the repetitive occurrence of precessional mathematics in ancient texts. In addition, they suggested that there's an ulterior meaning in the famous story about a prince plotting revenge against the evil uncle who killed his father, the king. Westerners today hear this story as it was related by Shakespeare in his play Hamlet.

(For more on precession, see the section "Precession-Alignment Theory" on Page 2 of this article. For a more in-depth analysis, read the article, "Ancient Method for Calculating Cataclysms.")

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