French officials ban access to sacred mountain which believers claim will be refuge from ’Mayan apocalypse’
Fears the end of the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world this coming December have run rife on the internet in recent years.
Less well known is the rumour that one particular mountain in south-west France will burst open on that day revealing an alien spaceship which will carry nearby humans to safety.
Well, if you were counting on that possibility to save you from the apocalypse, prepare to be disappointed. French officials have banned access to the Pic de Bugarach to avoid a rush of New Age fanatics, sightseers and, above all, journalists.
Due to the mountain’s unusual geology, a number of New Agers (called "esoterics" by local residents) believe that the mountain contains aliens living in a spacecraft. This group also believes that the upcoming end to the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar will result in some form of apocalypse. They believe that on December 21, 2012, the aliens supposedly living in the mountain will emerge to save them.
As a result, some members of the group have taken to living on or near the mountain, and The Independent reports that up to 100,000 people may be planning a trip prior to the believed apocalypse date. The mayor of the nearest town, Bugarach, said that over 20,000 visitors had arrived between January and July 2011, a significant increase over previous years. He also reported that a number of groups have been taking part in what he called strange rituals. A French parliamentary committee has expressed concerns that the esoterics may be planning a mass suicide or other significant events. French police have recently blocked access to the mountain.