2012 Doomsday Scenarios: Month Twelve

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Well if the Mayan calendar is to be believed our world will come to an end tomorrow on December 21, 2012. We’ve looked at many possible ways that we and our planet can be destroyed these past twelve months. Many of the methods ranged from the mundane and likely (viruses and war) to the bizarre and improbable (zombies and aliens). So without further ado, let’s examine one last scenario for the apocalypse and go right to the source and other beliefs.

Doomsday Scenario No. 1: Prophecies

calendarMany have panicked over the supposed end of our world after looking at the ancient Mayan calendar. The reason is that the intricate calendar (known as the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar) comes to an end on December 21, 2012 so people assume that it means the world will end. How would it happen? As with all prophecies that is open to interpretation. Even the date is open to interpretation among scholars. Many believe that our world will face a collision with another planet or that we will feel the effects of a galactic realignment, which would cause disastrous gravitational effects on our solar system. Others think that the magnetic poles will reverse plunging us into chaos or another ice age. Inspired by all these theories the film 2012 showed an Earth imperiled when a massive solar flare caused neutrinos to heat up the Earth’s core temperature, and led to a range of super disasters. On TV there are scores of special programs, usually on The History Channel or Discovery Channel, devoted to the Mayan prophecies.

2012

But closer examinations reveal that the ancient Mayans didn’t believe that their calendar’s end meant that the world was doomed. Rather, they felt the event signified the end of one era and the start of another. Some feel that we will enter a new age of enlightenment–and given the recent tragedies and tensions we’ve suffered perhaps it’s better to approach the unknown with a renewed sense of hope.

But many others tend to be pessimistic about the future or at least believe we will go through much more hardship before entering paradise. That is a basic tenet of Christian belief. The Bible’s Book of Revelations concerns itself with what is to come and that is the ultimate battle between good and evil.

The events covered in Revelations are truly cataclysmic and world changing. Basically, Satan and his minions like the Antichrist will come to Earth and have a final war against those who worship God. According to Revelations, Satan will be defeated and a new era of paradise and peace will come.

left behindThere have been several notable fiction books that dwell on Christian beliefs of the apocalypse. One of the most recent was the popular Left Behind books written by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. The book series begins with the true believers of Christ undergoing the Rapture and instantly being taken to heaven. During the chaos of the sudden disappearance of multitudes the Antichrist comes to power in the form a Romanian politician who becomes secretary-general of the United Nations. The series follows the quest of several people who try to prepare for the coming judgment from God and the End Times.

The Left Behind books have been adapted into a film trilogy that starred Kirk Cameron. Other films and TV shows also dealt with the coming End Times and the concept of Satan or the Devil coming to Earth. There are The Omen films, which center on the character of Damien supernaturalThorn, who is revealed to be the Antichrist; the TV show Supernatural, where in its middle seasons dealt with Lucifer entering Earth and triggering the apocalypse. Some more films include The Seventh Sign, Prince Of Darkness and End Of Days. In all of them, the main characters forcibly confront the fact that the world could come to an end due to demonic forces and they have to save the Earth and humanity.

Other cultures and religions have their own belief systems of how the world will end, many of which go back thousands of years. One of the better known ones are the ancient Norse beliefs about Ragnarok where Norse gods like Thor will have a final battle against their foes and die. Afterwards, the world will be flooded and eventually will rise from the waters and be repopulated by surviving gods and two humans. Ancient Egyptian beliefs held that the world will eventually end after a series of renewals and return to a primeval state. This is covered in the found Book of the Dead.

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While it may be easy to give in to the pessimistic nature of these doomsday scenarios, it is important to realize that many of them also signify a sense of renewal and enlightenment. They just reinforce the notion that everything in life is finite and cyclical as well. Also these scenarios can be seen as a warning to us to prevent these horrors from happening. While it’s highly unlikely that the world will end on December 21, it will come to an end someday via some of the scenarios covered in these past twelve months. To think otherwise is just being arrogant. While some may choose to give in to their fears it’s important to cherish and treasure what is truly important in life and to celebrate it. Until then, to help pass the time before we all step into the unknown future here is a video featuring a taste of doomsday.

José Soto, special thanks to GEO and C.S. Link for their contributions with the Doomsday Scenarios articles

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2012 Doomsday Scenarios: Month One

Okay it’s 2012 now, supposedly our final year according to the Mayan calendar. Earth was put on notice last week with that big solar flare that could’ve disrupted our satellites (but thankfully didn’t). With all the hoopla about the end of the world, one has to wonder if this is our swan song, how will it end? Here at Starloggers, we’re going to examine the possible doomsday scenarios each month as a sort of countdown.

Doomsday Scenario No. 12: The Aliens Are Coming, The Aliens Are Coming

Whether the E.T.s are friendly, cuddly visitors or blood thirsty, destructive invaders, it can’t be denied that once they do arrive life as we know it is over. So even if the first contact is benevolent our isolation in the universe is gone and with it the way we see ourselves. This scenario would bring about an end of our world. These are the possible scenarios:

  • Friendly, curious neighbors come by to say hello: Think of E.T. or Starman or the alien greys from Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. They mean well, they’re just explorers but their arrival is nonetheless disruptive. A variation of this scenario is explored in Carl Sagan’s book Contact (and film based on his work), where just the radio signals from another star changes our society.
  • We’re invited: Continuing to look at Contact, the aliens willingly or unwittingly give humanity the technology to travel to their world. This theme is also seen with the film Stargate and its TV shows, the John Carter books and Adam Strange in comic books.
  • The Enforcers: The gist of this scenario goes like this, aliens make first contact with humans. But we’re given a stern warning to clean up our act and play nice otherwise either  A) we can’t join their club or B) they’ll wipe us off the map. Option A was presented in Allen Steele’s Coyote universe books and option B was best shown with the classic The Day The Earth Stood Still.
  • Caught up in an interplanetary conflict: This is the plot for those Transformers films. We’re standing by innocently in our little blue world obsessed with nonsense like taxes, the presidential election and Snookie until BAM! A bunch of aliens from two different sides arrive and duke it out, using our planet as a battlefield. This also happened in the book The Last World War and the Aliens Vs. Predators films.
  • Aliens with a mysterious agenda: Most recently seen with the V series but a terrific example is Arthur C. Clarke’s novel Childhood’s End. What happens is that aliens arrive in mammoth motherships over major cities. They claim to be peaceful and want to help humanity but have another agenda they’re keeping from us. With V (the original show, the remake was pretty vague–could be why the show failed) the aliens wanted our water and us for food. In Childhood’s End the mysterious Overlords arrived to shepherd in our next evolutionary stage and move our descendants into the cosmos. Another example is that show from the late ’90s Gene Roddenberry’s Earth: Final Conflict, where the mysterious Taelons arrive on Earth bringing an era of peace but have secret motives for coming to our world.
  • This Petri dish Earth or we taste like chicken: The first V show and mini-series fit this bill. And if the UFO fanatics are to be believed, alien greys come to our planet to create human/alien hybrids and to conduct painful, invasive experiments on humans. On the big screen, this was best shown with the underrated film A Fire In The Sky.
  • INVASION: The tried and true plotline of alien contact. Aliens arrive in huge ships and proceed to stomp us into smithereens until the heroes in the third act find a way to beat them. Examples in film, shows and books are numerous and include War Of The Worlds, Independence Day, Battle: Los Angeles, Footfall, the Worldwar books, etc. A variation of the invasion scenario is the clandestine invasion where the aliens slowly infiltrate us until it’s too late. Check out the shows Threshold,  The X-Files, The Invaders, and First Wave (this invasion scenario is probably prevalent on TV for budgetary reasons) as examples. On film the most famous example is Invasion Of The Body Snatchers.

That’s one look at how 2012 could the end of the world as we know it (apologies to R.E.M.). One month down, eleven more to go; be prepared.

Special thanks to GEO for his contribution