March 27, 2012
New Agers Flock To France For Doomsday Rescue
An “upside-down mountain” in southwest France has attracted thousands of New Age tourists — or esoterics, as locals call them — who believe it contains an alien spaceship that will save them from an apocalyptic doomsday on December 21st.
The 4035 ft. mountain, named Pic de Bugarach, looms over the tiny, picturesque village of Bugarach (population 200). The New Age visitors believe that when the apocalypse comes at the end of the year, aliens waiting in their spacecraft inside Pic de Bugarach will save any nearby humans and beam them off to the next age.The date of December 21st comes from eschatological beliefs and predicted astrological alignments, and represents the conclusion of a 5,125-year cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar.
For decades people have believed that Pic de Bugarach, the highest peak in the CorbiÃ¨res mountain range, possesses a spooky, supernatural power. Some think the peak was the inspiration for Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth and Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind. There are even rumors that France´s late president FranÃ§ois Mitterrand was transported by helicopter to the peak, and that the Nazis, and, later, Israel's Mossad, conducted mysterious digs there.
Geologists believe the mountain, often described as “upside down”, exploded after its formation and the top landed the wrong way up.
Jean-Pierre Delord, Bugarach´s mayor, is becoming concerned about the number of visitors this year, which he expects will grow exponentially around December 21. Although the tourists have boosted the local economy, their odd behavior, which includes naked group-climbs up to the summit, have raised eyebrows.
"The apocalypse we believe in is the end of a certain world and the beginning of another," said one grizzled tourist in an interview with the British newspaper The Independent.
The man, who called himself Jean, was wearing a white linen smock, and had set up a yurt in the forest a few years ago to prepare for the end of the world.
"A new spiritual world. The year 2012 is the end of a cycle of suffering. Bugarach is one of the major chakras of the earth, a place devoted to welcoming the energies of tomorrow,” he said.
As many as 100,000 people are believed to be planning a trip to the mountain in time for the December apocalypse.
Fearing a mass suicide. Delord has brought the situation to the attention of French authorities, and has requested they deploy the army to the tiny town.
"We've seen a huge rise in visitors. Already this year more than 20,000 people have climbed right to the top, and last year we had 10,000 hikers, which was a significant rise on the previous 12 months,” he told The Independent.
“They think Pic de Bugarach is 'un garage Ã ovnis' [an alien garage],” he said.
“The villagers are exasperated: the exaggerated importance of something which they see as completely removed from reality is bewildering. After 21 December, this will surely return to normal.”
Masking his fears about what could possibly happen on December 21, the genial Delord joked that he would throw a party and supply vin chaud and cheese if the date passes without incident.
"I'm sure we'll have a little fete to celebrate that we're still alive," he said with a smile.
"I suppose it's up to each of us to find our own way."