The Maya civilisation used many calendars to measure time and record history. The main two calendars used by most ordinary Maya would have been the 260-day Tzolkin and the 365-day Haab. Because neither of these calendars numbered years, a combination of both the Tzolkin and Haab dates was used to identify the precise date. This method was sufficient because a particular combination of the two dates would not occur again for about 52 years, which was above the general life expectancy of the time.
To specify dates that occurred more than 52 years ago the Maya used another calendar called the Long Count. This calendar identified a date by counting the number of days from the day when the Maya believed that time began, on August 12, 3114 BCE. The Long Count used a 360-day year called a Tun, in which 20 Tuns made up a Katun (72,00 days) and 20 Katuns made up a Baktun (144, 000 Tuns). The 13th Baktun will be completed on December 21, 2012, which is said to be the end of the 5,125-year-long “Great Cycle.” However, sceptics say that this is a misinterpretation and that there is no evidence that the Maya believed the world would end on that day.
Whatever the truth about 2012 it would seem that someone wants us to believe something Earth shattering will happen on December 21 in that year. The doomsday theory has been featured in bestselling books, as well as documentaries, films and popular TV shows.
In the last episode of The X-Files (tantalisingly called The Truth) it is discovered by agents Mulder and Scully that aliens plan on colonising the Earth on December 21, 2012.
When I asked Dean Haglund, who played Langly in The X-Files, about the 2012 revelation in the final episode of the sci-fi cult, he told me he was sceptical about 2012 doomsday scenarios:
Here is an excellent example of a collective fear manifesting itself into popular culture. Since this airing, 2012 has become the hot topic at all the conventions, however, as Paul Dean said in our documentary, when he was talking to a Mayan priest about all of this, he said that ‘western society has it all wrong’ and that since we cannot hold a duality in our minds, a quantum Schrodinger's Cat scenario if you will, then we can only picture the end of something as a finite disaster and not both that and the re-awakening into the light.
Haglund was less sceptical, however, about the possibility that US government agencies could have been feeding information to The X-Files writers.
“I have heard that the popular culture is used as a tool by whatever elite, business, government, Illuminati, etc., to both gauge and control the populace,” The X-Files and Lone Gunmen star told me when I asked him about his comments on The Alex Jones Show back in 2005 about the script writers being approached by members of the CIA, FBI and NASA with ideas for episodes.
But why would US Government insiders want the viewers of The X-Files to associate 2012 with an alien invasion? One popular theory on the internet is NASA’s alleged partly declassified Project Blue Beam, a supposed plan by the US Government to create a “New World Order” by staging a fake UFO invasion using holograms and other advanced technology. A researcher who appeared in the documentary film The New World Order and is a screen writer himself, told me in an interview:
“The alien invasion hoax is also another reason why so many Hollywood science fiction movies involve aliens arriving in vast armadas to destroy us and take over our planet. They were quite prevalent in the 50s and you can find modern-day examples like Independence Day, War of the Worlds and even Mars Attacks. Very few movies about extra-terrestrials actually involve aliens with peaceful intentions. E.T. certainly comes to mind, but even movies where they arrive as our benevolent ‘saviours’ like The Day The Earth Stood Still, is still another permutation of the New World Order hoax, in which case it's about giving up our sovereignty, our ‘petty little differences’ as Reagan put it, and joining a fascist global regime in order to achieve an alleged ‘world peace’. It will be world peace but with a seriously heavy price on our freedoms. Mostly, though, these movies are programming us to believe that once we see vast armadas of classified military vehicles hovering in the sky, that they will in fact be UFOs driven by ‘extra-terrestrials’ who are here to ‘kill us and take over our planet.’ And then the only solution we'll be presented with will be a heavy reliance on a Militarised 'New World Order' to save us. That's where the real agenda lies.”
While many UFO researchers are sceptical about some of the specifics about Project Blue Beam, the basic premise that the US Government might be fostering the belief that UFOs represent aliens from outer space is another matter. The US government definitely has technology a lot more advanced than what they admit to having. In 1993 the “father of stealth” Ben Rich, director of Lockheed's Skunk Works from 1975 to 1991, stated at the University of California School of Engineering in 1993: “We already have the means to travel among the stars, but these technologies are locked up in black projects . . . and it would take an Act of God to ever get them out to benefit humanity.”
Other government insiders have also made comments implying the US Government were behind UFOs or at least hyping the ETH. In his book, The Secret Team, Colonial Fletcher Prouty, who was the real life basis for the Mr X character in Oliver Stone’s film JFK, speculated that with the fall of communism in the early 1990s UFOs and aliens would take the place of the Soviet Union as the new major threat to the United States.
"This is the fundamental game of the Secret Team. They have this power because they control secrecy and secret intelligence and because they have the ability to take advantage of the most modern communications system in the world, of global transportation systems, of quantities of weapons of all kinds, and when needed, the full support of a world-wide U.S. military supporting base structure. They can use the finest intelligence system in the world, and most importantly, they have been able to operate under the canopy of an assumed, ever-present enemy called ‘Communism.’ It will be interesting to see what ‘enemy’ develops in the years ahead. It appears that ‘UFO's and Aliens’ are being primed to fulfil that role for the future. To top all of this, there is the fact that the CIA, itself, has assumed the right to generate and direct secret operations."
More recently Mark Pilkington in his new book Mirage Men has argued that instead of perpetrating a UFO cover-up the US intelligence agencies have really been promoting ideas like alien abductions, UFO crashes and recoveries, and secret bases all along.
“In the book I'm specifically referring to those people from military and intelligence organisations who have used the UFO lore as a cover for their operations and, in extreme cases, have seeded new material within the UFO culture to further muddy the waters,” Mark Pilkington told me when I interviewed him in 2010. Although Mark didn’t think all UFOs were explainable.
“I'm not sceptical about UFOs themselves – people see them every day – nor am I sceptical of the existence of ET life, I believe it's out there, and I can accept that it will come here and perhaps even has done at some point in our past. What I am very sceptical of is the popular notion of ET visitation as presented in the UFO lore that has emerged since the late 1940s. This has developed out of a multi-directional feedback loop between UFO experiencers, UFO book authors, mainstream popular culture and those in the military and intelligence worlds who would exploit and shape these beliefs and ideas.”
So will the US Government or one of its alphabet agencies really stage a massive UFO sighting on December 21, 2012? We’ll have to wait to see. But with the London Olympics, Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the US presidential election all taking place in 2012 perhaps we shouldn’t be so focused on December 21 in particular.