However, the day is still young, and there is still time for the alleged Mayan apocalypse rumored for today.
Emergency officials from NASA all the way down to Floyd County Emergency Management Director Scotty Hancock don’t anticipate an asteroid crashing into Earth and obliterating mankind today.
When asked if he had been receiving worried calls about doomsday, Hancock chuckled. “No, not at all,” he said. “We honestly haven’t given it any kind of thought.”
But Hancock is concerned about the storms passing through the area, especially some heavy winds today after Thursday’s rain.
In the event that smoldering space debris begins to hurl down on us from the heavens at any point today, Hancock suggested taking cover. “Duck and take cover, like the old civil defense days,” he said, laughing. “Honestly, that’s all you can do at that point. And pray a lot.”
Instead of bunkering down in basements with a year’s supply of water and canned goods, some locals will be celebrating the mock apocalypse well into the night. Anthony Barba, an owner of La Scala, said there will be an “End of the World” party tonight beginning at 9 p.m. at 400 Block Bar on Broad Street. Steven Smith and Ian Griffin performing as the Shameless Natives will provide musical entertainment.
Millions of people across the globe have been anticipating Dec. 21 with either knots in their stomachs or a roll of their eyes as the Mayan long-count calendar ends on this day. Some feared that meant an uncertain future for Earth and its inhabitants.
The Associated Press reported that the Mayans never really predicted that the world would end today, and now, some New Agers are convinced that humanity’s demise is indeed imminent. Or at least that it’s a good excuse for a party.
Believers worldwide are being drawn to spots where they think their chances of survival will be better, and accompanying them are the curious, the party-lovers and people wanting to make some money.
These parties, which are taking place across the globe, are more or less celebrating the dawning of a new era.
In Merida, Mexico, the celebration of the cosmic dawn began with a fumbling of the sacred fire meant to honor Friday’s end of the Mayan long count calendar.
Gabriel Lemus, the white-haired guardian of the flame, burned his finger on the kindling and later somebody knocked a burning log out of the ceremonial brazier onto the wooden stage, before he quickly scooped it up.
Still, the white-clad Lemus, like about 1,000 other shamans, seers, stargazers, crystal enthusiasts, yogis, sufis and swamis in a Merida convention center about an hour and a half from the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza, was convinced it was a good start to the coming “New Era” supposed to begin at about 5 a.m. today.
“It is a cosmic dawn,” said Lemus. “We will recover the ability to communicate telepathically and levitate objects ... like our ancestors did.”
These are not people who believe the world will end today; the summit is scheduled to run through Sunday. Instead, participants say, they are here to celebrate the birth of a new age.
A Mexican Indian seer who calls himself Ac Tah, and who has traveled around Mexico erecting small pyramids he calls “neurological circuits,” said he holds high hopes for Dec. 21.
“We are preparing ourselves to receive a huge magnetic field straight from the center of the galaxy,” he said.
Even as the clock ticks down on the latest doomsday rumor, the European Organization for Nuclear Research has listed a number of odd subatomic phenomena — “magnetic monopoles,” “Vacuum bubbles” and “strangelets” — that could play a role in the next apocalypse scare.
All of it had Mexico City tourist Deyanira de Alvarez amused as she snapped a photo of the countdown clock mounted in the Merida international airport showing just more than two days left to “the galactic alignment.”
“My grandmother says that people have been talking about this (the world ending) ever since she was a little girl,” De Alvarez said, “and look, Grandma is still here.”