Entries in End of World (2)


2012 End of World Countdown Based on Mayan Calendar Begins

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The countdown to the apocalypse is on. One year from Wednesday -- Dec. 21, 2012 -- is the date the ancient Mayan Long Count calendar allegedly marked as the end of an era, when the date would reset to zero and humanity would come to an end.

But will that happen?

There have been many end of times predictions over the years.  Christian radio host Harold Camping faced widespread ridicule when his predictions that the world would end twice this year -- on May 21, and then on Oct. 21 -- failed to materialize.

But in the flurry of doomsday predictions -- there have been similar dire warnings about the world coming to an end from various cultures, including Native Americans, the Chinese, Egyptians and even the Irish -- the supposed Mayan prophecy seems to have held the most sway with believers.

The Mayan civilization, which reached its height from 300 A.D. to 900 A.D., had a talent for astronomy.  Advanced mathematics and primitive astronomy flourished, creating what many have called the most accurate calendar in the world.

The Mayans predicted a final event that included a solar shift, a Venus transit and violent earthquakes.

Their Long Count calendar begins in 3,114 B.C., marking time in roughly 394-year periods known as Baktuns. Thirteen was a significant, a sacred number for the Mayans, and they wrote that the 13th Baktun ends on Dec. 21, 2012.

The doomsday theories stem from a stone tablet discovered in the 1960s at the archaeological site of Tortuguero in the Gulf of Mexico state of Tabasco that describes the return of a Mayan god at the end of a 13th period.

The blogosphere exploded with more speculation when Mexico’s archaeology institute acknowledged on Nov. 24 a second reference to Dec. 21, 2012, on a brick found at other ruins.

In southern Mexico, the heart of Mayan territory, a yearlong celebration is planned.  Mexico’s tourism agency expects to draw 52 million visitors by next year only to the regions of Chiapas, Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, and Campeche. It’s selling the date as a time of renewal.

For those who are thinking about how to spend what could be their last year on earth, here's a message of hope: Many archeologists argue that the 2012 reference on a 1,300-year-old stone tablet only marks the end of a cycle in the Mayan calendar.  Recent research also suggests the mythological date of the “end of days” may be off by 50 to 100 years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Harold Camping Predicts End of the World, Again

Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) -- Harold Camping, the Christian broadcaster who predicted the end of the world would come last May, says the true end is now near. He was off by five months, he says; the real day is Oct. 21.

“What really happened this past May 21? What really happened is that God accomplished exactly what He wanted to happen,” says a post on Camping’s website, “That was to warn the whole world that on May 21 God’s salvation program would be finished on that day. For the next five months, except for the elect (the true believers), the whole world is under God’s final judgment. To accomplish this goal God withheld from the true believers the way in which two phrases were to be understood. Had He not done so, the world would never have been shaken in fear as it was.”

Camping drew national attention in May with his prediction, and was said to be “a little bewildered” when it didn’t go as he’d said. Now 90, he suffered a stroke in June and has been recovering at home in Oakland, Calif.

The Family Radio website has the full text of his latest prediction where he states, “Thus we can be sure that the whole world, with the exception of those who are presently saved (the elect), are under the judgment of God, and will be annihilated together with the whole physical world on October 21, 2011, on the last day of the present five months period,” it says. “On that day the true believers (the elect) will be raptured. We must remember that only God knows who His elect are that He saved prior to May 21.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio