-- Did the Maya have a serious scientific reason for their belief in a 2012 apocalypse?
The date they picked for their apocalypse is December 21, 2012. At that time our planet, moon and solar system will align with the heart of the galactic plane, in which scientists now know a supermassive black hole resides. The Maya viewed that black abyss—which they called “the Dark Rift”—as a kind of hell world, out of which the Black Tezcatlipoca would unleash the dark demons of everlasting night, which would then descend on the earth and annihilate humankind. This alignment only occurs once every 26,000 years, which closely approximates the combined duration of the five Mayan “Sun Ages.” I say “approximates” because the precise length of each of those “Sun Ages” is not known. They come to around 5200 years each, which would equal 26,000 years. In other words, the first “Sun Age” would have roughly coincided with the earth’s last alignment with the galaxy’s core. On 12/21/2012 at 11:11 PM Universal Time earth will experience its first galactic alignment in that 26,000 period. The Maya believed that date marks the end of the Fifth Sun Age.
They Maya also seemed to know—for reasons that are still unclear—that the Milky Way galaxy was a spiraling disk and that we orbited along its edge. We know this because the Mayan glyph for our Milky Way—which they sometimes called “The Tree of Life”—is a spinning disk.
I’m not suggesting the Maya viewed the universe exactly as we do or that they had our mathematical and the scientific sophistication—only that their vision of the 2012 apocalypse was based on closely studied astronomical observations and mathematical calculations as well as mystical divination.
I’ve done a lot of national radio and some TV for this book, and many people ask if extraterrestrial beings gave the Maya these unique insights. My answer is somewhat oblique. In the end the Maya could not have inferred these insights into our galaxy from their mathematics, science or from direct observation, and these insights imbued their hieroglyphic language, their religion and their life. They weren’t irrelevant, ephemeral observations. It seems to me they gained them either through a kind of preternatural revelation unimaginable to us or someone told them. I do not see a third alternative. I wish someone would come up with one.
I also do not see how we can dismiss out of hand their End-Time prophecy, if we cannot explain how they arrived their other uncanny perceptions about the nature of our galaxy.