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Predicting the end

Published November 21. 2009 09:00AM

I spent last Thursday evening watching the long anticipated disaster film "2012" and I found it to be a great film full of jaw dropping and gripping special effects and excitement that kept me on the edge of my seat from the beginning of the movie to the climax and ending of the film. Considering I was watching this two and a half hour epic at midnight, it had to be good to keep me awake. As my wife Katie will point out, any film that is less than interesting to me tends to make me nod off especially if I'm watching it in the middle of the night.

If you have been living in a cave for the past several years, 2012 is significant as it is a time when many major ancient civilizations most notably the Mayans predict an apocalyptic event that will have a long lasting effect on humanity and this planet will occur. Specifically, this cataclysmic change is supposed to occur on December 21, 2012, the Winter Solstice.

What exactly is going to occur is open for speculation. The most skeptical among us believe that nothing will happen. After all, the end of the world has been predicted several times within my lifetime. Most notable was 1984 when Hal Lindsey, author of "The Late Great Planet Earth" predicted the world would be no more. Following that bogus prophecy has been Nostradamus' continually reinterpreted quatrains that have been predicting an apocalyptic event now since 1999.

The suicide of the Heaven's Gate occurred in 1997 when the Hale-Bopp comet approached Earth. They believed a UFO was coming with it and that in order to evacuate the Earth they had to leave their earthly bodies. The bodies of the 39 members of the cult along with videos were found in their home in San Diego.

Of course the Millennium had its share of doomsayers who expected catastrophic results at the close of the old millennium which was all for naught as we know now. Even the legitimate concern about the technological zero year problem was addressed and handled in plenty of time to avoid most computer glitches.

The latest expectations of disaster were in 2006 and 2007 when it was predicted meteors or comets would strike the earth with deadly results. Once again the years passed without incident.

The Christian faithful will tell the world that 2012 is another false ending in that according to Jesus no one will know when the end of the world will occur except God and anyone who claims to is a false prophet.

Obviously humanity has an interest in events which could eliminate it from the world which is why even though our logical minds tell us 2012 will come and go without incident, our imaginations have us wondering what might happen when the deadline is reached.

The Mayan calendar came to light as a key in the theory of this apocalyptic timeline when archaeologists discovered the long count calendar which was based on cycles ending on the winter solstice in 2012. Conspiracy theorists and some ufologists tied the calendar to the increases in UFO sightings which apparently peaked at twenty year intervals.

Further investigations led researchers to surmise the Mayans believed at the end of their calendar was a global change coming for the planet. Many doomsayers hopped onto this interpretation to say the change is the end of humanity. Others with a more positive outlook believe events will occur that will open us to a more enlightened view of our humanity.

There is a segment of theorists who believe based on the engineering marvels of pyramid construction and wisdom in their civilization the Mayans were an advanced race of people who landed on this planet and lived here to further society. They also believe that we are a subservient race to the Mayans who have been cultivating us as a possible experiment and have periodically returned to check on us, hence the cyclical UFO sightings. These theorists believe 2012 is the time in which the Mayan culture returns from outer space to this planet to regain control of the human race.

In the movie, the interpretation of the 2012 prediction is a natural catastrophe threatens the world and all people. The story follows how various characters in this world fight for survival and ultimately determine how to save the human race. I don't want to spoil this film because I think it ranks up there with the best disaster movies, "The Towering Inferno", "Airport" and "Independence Day". The actors play second fiddle to the effects, but in this case, the action is what makes the film.

Most people ask my opinion of 2012 when the subject comes up in conversation. To be honest, I really am unsure what will happen. My instincts and skeptical nature says nothing, but when we look around at the world today, I'm sure many of us would agree humanity needs a change, a real change. Maybe enlightenment will occur. Even though that's my gut instinct, I'm not taking chances. I've given my family three year's notice that my birthday will be on December 4th in 2012 instead of December 24th. Why should everyone get to celebrate their birthdays but me?

Til next time…

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