Mayan Apocalypse arrives tomorrow

As Friday’s Mayan Apocalypse approaches, public agencies in the Cayman Islands are relying on common sense and the knowledge that few management techniques are available to stem a rain of fire. 

The predicted catastrophe, calculated sometime during the first millennium by meso-American calendrical adepts, corresponds with tomorrow’s date, 21 December. Still, various experts, including the United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 
remain undaunted. 

“The whole thing was a misconception from the very beginning,” Dr. John Carlson, director of the Center for Archaeoastronomy, told NASA. “The Maya calendar did not end on 21 December, 2012, and there were no Maya prophecies foretelling the end of the world on that date.” 

Still, the myth has taken hold globally, leading to stories of hoarding, semi-panic and rudimentary disaster preparedness as far away as Russia and China. 

The Cayman Islands appear to be poised to ride the crest of whatever wave develops, and if not exactly battening the hatches, observing events carefully. 

“We think it’s very unlikely, and cannot imagine we would be under threat,” said a spokesman for Caribbean Utilities Company. “We have not put any measures in place, while, personally, as human beings, I’m not sure we can control 
this sort of thing.” 

Still, West Bay’s chic Osetra Bay restaurant will host a “Rapture” party on Thursday night, 
indicating that the $200 price tag for a final five-course menu, wine and an open bar is of little moment, considering few other moments are likely to ensue. 

Oddly, however, the evening conflates apocalyptic Christianity with Mayan time-keeping, potentially confusing observers, but the sense is inescapable that something big is afoot. 

Even conspiracy theorists feel the pull, dismissing NASA’s sober cautions as part of a cover-up to prevent mass panic. 

The website focuses on the effects of the event in the Caribbean, leading its coverage, prophetically, with a news story outlining last Tuesday’s arrest of Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush in a “corruption probe”.  

Ensuing events have done little to dispel the sense of doom hanging over George Town’s elected government, but the Mayans appear unrelated to local politics. 

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service balked when asked about plans for the deluge, indicating a degree of scepticism regarding the event. In fairness, information has been scanty regarding how Doomsday is likely to roll out – on wings of fire, sheets of ice, sudden violence or a simple and possibly prolonged slowing-to-a-stop of all activity. Each would elicit a unique police response. 

Longtime local counsellor Terry Delaney observed that the holiday season always carries a burden of anxiety, leading, after the holiday season, to his busiest period of the year. 

“Neither in my practice or my personal life,” he said, “have I had anybody reference the Apocalypse. There is plenty of anxiety out there,” he conceded, “but it’s nothing to do with the Mayans. 

“It’s afterward that is the concern, after the holidays,” he added. “There is a lot of emotion and a lot of eating and drinking disorders and I’m usually very busy.” 

Mr. Carlson said that tomorrow’s date corresponds to the end of a 400-year unit of time in the Mayan’s cyclical “Long Count” calendar, which encompasses billions of years additional to modern calculations of the age of the universe. 

Friday’s date simply returns the Mayans to the start of their traditional calendar, Mr. Carlson told NASA. At no point, however, does the date presage the end of the world. Rather, it initiates a new cycle. 

Omar Affleck, deputy director of preparedness for Hazard Management Cayman Islands, was articulate about the Day of Reckoning: “No, we have no specific plans to deal with that,” he said. “[Apocalypse] is not one of the hazards we have taken on, but surely we are on the alert for any eventuality.” 


The Mayan calendar has the world ending tomorrow. – Photo: File


  1. Folks

    The 21st of December merely marks the end of the Mayan Calendar, which to some is of significance, to others just mean they ran out of space…

    Most of those who see the significance of the ending of the calendar believe that either a new age of peace or spiritual rivival will be usher in, or some others believe it will usher in with some catastrophic event. Others go as far to say the end of the world as we know it. Of course those who are crying that it marks the end of the world are getting the media’s attention. But this could just mean a new age that we know nothing about, but the Mayan’s that lived back then.

    So the ending of more than a thousand years old calendar is really what it is! It is a great piece of history and many in Central America should be proud of having something like this that goes far back. There are just certain groups with interpretations as to what the ending means. Is it end of the world or is it something else.

    Whether or not, there should be great celebrations in Central America tomorrow because it is a historical event of their beautiful and rich culture.

  2. Just few clarifications.

    The Mayan calendar ends, and then it restarts. Like the clock you have in your wall: after the 2359 hours every day, voil, it starts again at the 0000 hours.

    In brief, don’t fall for the hype, live the present, mind the future and enjoy the season.

  3. Early in college I attended a math club meeting. The presenter held a PhD. in math and he addressed the Mayan calendar. He addressed the notion of the end of the calendar but you have to realize that this event occurred in 1961 so 2012 seemed be an eternity away. The professors’ take on the situation was that the Mayans didn’t use spirals (it would seem that not many examples of spirals appear in any of their architecture or art). His conclusion was that the Mayans simply ran out of room on the rock! Had they understood and incorporated the three dimensional spiral, the calendar that they constructed would probably be vastly different than the example that’s survived.

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