The middle of December was approaching.
As was to be expected, the number of curious people, scholars and journalists arriving in Mexican lands in the Yucatan increased.
The van that was supposed to transport us in the state of Quintana Roo arrives late. We are convinced that, even so, it is exclusive to us, but when we open the door we find inside a figure as unusual as it is recognizable.
Paul Monzón, a Peruvian colleague living in Madrid who we had recently met in Caracas, wasted no time.
The game with the unavoidable theme had to be repeated over and over again: “Don't tell me you're also coming to avoid the end of the world. I am the chosen one. I'm trying to see if I can find a special stone, the only one that can avoid disgrace”.
Rio Secreto: one of the Countless Entrances to the InfraMundo Maya.
We enjoy his goofy introduction and catch up on the conversation as we're led to the Rio Secreto, one of so many unofficial yet fascinating entrances from the region to Xibalba, the Mayan underworld.
According to several scientific articles and the prevailing theory resulting from the discovery, in 1978, of Glen Penfield, this region was once the core of a kind of previous end, unlike the caricatured by Paul, real and unpredictable.
While looking for black gold for the company PEMEX – Petróleos Mexicanos, the geophysicist found a 300km diameter crater supposedly formed by a meteorite collision about 65 million years ago.
It would later be given the name of a village in its geometric center, Chicxulub.
The Meteorite That Will Have Driven the Dinosaurs to Extinction
The impact caused one of the biggest tsunamis ever, several thousand meters high. A cloud of superheated dust, ash and steam has spread from the crater since the moment the meteorite sank.
Materials from the planet's surface and asteroid debris were projected out of the atmosphere and heated to incandescence as they re-entered burning the surface already in the process of combustion due to possibly global fires.
Meanwhile, massive shock waves have triggered widespread earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
The emission of dust and other particles blocked the passage of sunlight. They caused a strong cooling and made the survival of dinosaurs and most beings unfeasible.
This end dragged on for many millennia of prehistory but, as it had already happened, the resilient Earth and her miraculous life prevailed.
The Cenotes, the Xibalba and As Remotes Mayan Origins
Today, even in the limestone depths carved by the collapse of the crater walls – the countless cenotes and peninsula caves – improbable creatures are found: blind and leaping crickets with enormous sensory antennas to indigenous guides with nasal speech caused by sinusitis and determined outsiders who are not well prepared for those amphibious environments.
This is the case with Paul, who reveals a deep panic of any less shallow water, refuses all attempts to help him cross turquoise-flooded galleries, and forces his hosts to lead him along an alternate dry route: “This way, Paul! There's another pond out there, don't get involved in that!”
Born in Peru, even if he doesn't know it, Paul may have Inca, Quechua or any other ethnicity in the area.
These days, we must believe that their eventual distant ancestors benefited from the cold of the last ice age. That without any kind of swimming, they managed to cross the Bering Strait from Asia to the Americas, where they distributed themselves as the Earth warmed.
There, they acquired unique characteristics resulting from the mutation of the original genetics under the influence of the ecosystems they encountered, from the Alaskan tundra to the tropical jungle to which the neighboring people called Maya would adapt in much of Central America.
Pac-Chen: the Sloping Pond the Mayans Reveal to the World
Later we visited together Pac-Chen (Sloping Pond) where a community of that ethnicity organized to provide foreigners with radical experiences.
There, we zipline over a pond in which crocodiles swim. Afterwards, we are blessed by the resident shaman Adolfo who, before allowing us to take a look at the village's large cenote, purifies us with sacred fumes and prayers in the native language.
The Peruvian colleague then returns to the attack. Ask for a few minutes for a short interview. Your questions are simple and straightforward. They get different reactions.
As we feared, the last one addresses the credibility of the popular end of this era and the respective end of the world.
Adolfo is annoyed. Take a deep breath and evade the topic. “My only belief is that you must worship the mighty God who is in heaven.
That's my only belief.” We confirm that the disgust with the question comes from afar and is shared by most of its counterparts.
The Mystical and Worshiping Civilization of the Land of the Mayans
It is known that, for some time, the Mayan people enjoyed favorable conditions and, divided by tribal groups, sometimes allies in other adversaries.
The Mayans spoke nearly 50 dialects, developed an advanced civilization whose gods were the natural elements, atmospheric phenomena and celestial bodies, with both Good (day, life, sun) and Evil (night, death, jaguar) being considered divine.
Accordingly, the Mayans were diehard astronomers, astrologers, and numerologists.
“Well, it looks like they've seen almost all of the archaeological complexes,” says Wilberth Salas Pech, our semi-Mayan guide from state of Campeche, just kidding. “We have to go through Tortuguero. That's where the big secret is, he quips."
The Mayan Stelas and the Mayan Apocalyptic Prophesies
According to what we learned, that historic site was pillaged several times and housed a cement factory.
Despite this, or perhaps because of it, three scientists discovered in Monument 6 a stele that refers to the end of the 13th Baktun (5125 years of our calendar) verified on the winter solstice that would take place on December 21, 2012.
The most recent and possible translation by Sven Gronemeyer and Barbara MacLeod says (several pieces are missing from the stele) which, in addition to this information, also communicates that “a vision will occur; the public appearance (or exhibition?) of B'Olon-Yookte at the time of his investiture.
According to Mayan mythology, B'OlonYookte K'Uh' would refer to the Nine Lords of Night, nine gods each of which ruler over nine-night cycles.
In turn, the Mayan work of the Quiche group, Popol Vuh claims that the gods created three failed worlds. That the fourth world prospered, succeeded, and became the home of man today.
According to your description, each of the previous worlds ended at the end of the 13th baktun.
This closing of the cycle was at the origin of one of the most frivolous fevers of eschatological premonitions in recent times.
The Inevitable Analysis, Theories and Counter Theories
The esoteric writer John Major Jenkins assured that, on that date, the Sun would position itself over Xibalba Be, “the black path” galactic of the Mayans.
From this and other conclusions, mythological narratives and interpretations, countless figures, sects and entities emerged with other apocalyptic theories invariably disproved by science.
The American channels History, Discovery and National Geographic were at the forefront of media pollution and broadcast a series of series that described terrestrial “ends” caused by solar storms for which the Earth would not be prepared due to a sudden geomagnetic pole reversal.
Also earthquakes, super volcanoes, plagues, collisions with asteroids, droughts, new glacial periods, extraterrestrial invasions or whatever was scary enough.
However, another stele found in the Temple of Inscriptions of Palenque contemplates that the temple wheel will always continue to rotate and even mentions the date of 4,722 AD, when 20 will be completed. baktuns (1 piktun) since the last creation of Cosmos.
In turn, the 10th stele of Tikal (in Guatemala) counts 20 picktunes and thus projects a planetary future of millions of years.
But all over the world and, of course, especially in the United States, thousands of Preps remained alert. They clustered around Mayan or non-Mayan End of the World beliefs.
They built shelters, accumulated canned food and weapons to defend themselves from the attacks of other human beings. Many have signed up for survival courses such as those from the Sigma 3 company.
We took a look at one of these programs in a restaurant in Campeche.
We are indignant when we see how references to the invented end of the Mayan calendar are freely interspersed with images of Yankee citizens grouped in the countryside under shelters made of dry leaves and semi-automatic rifles at the ready because, in the words of one of these preps:
“When desperate, people do all sorts of crazy things” and, according to another inscription, “Civilizations fall. That's history. Things aren't as safe as we'd like them to be.”
It was recently revealed that Nancy Lanza, the mother of the young assassin from Newtown High School was one of these paranoid characters, the owner of five registered guns.
His distraught son carried out a sacrifice worthy of the worst slaughters perpetrated in the name of the gods, on the towers of Chichen Itza or Ek Balam. He was visibly desperate.
Fed up with so much distortion and exploitation of their culture, Guatemala's Mayan leaders took the trouble to express that "they are against deception, lies, distortions, folklore and the commercialization of their culture."
Against interpretations that “distort the true meaning of the cycles of time”.