Nick Allen, Los Angeles, Malcolm Moore in Beijing and Tom Parfitt in Moscow
December 8, 2012
Title: Scene from the Apocalypse, Date: circa 1829, Medium: oil on canvas, Artist: Francis Danby (1793-1861)
Ahead of December 21, which marks the conclusion of the 5,125-year “Long Count” Mayan calendar, panic buying of candles and essentials has been reported in China and Russia, along with an explosion in sales of survival shelters in America. In France believers were preparing to converge on a mountain where they believe aliens will rescue them.
The precise manner of Armageddon remains vague, ranging from a catastrophic celestial collision between Earth and the mythical planet Nibiru, also known as Planet X, a disastrous crash with a comet, or the annihilation of civilisation by a giant solar storm.
[...] In America Ron Hubbard, a manufacturer of hi-tech underground survival shelters, has seen his business explode.
[...] In the French Pyrenees the mayor of Bugarach, population 179, has attempted to prevent pandemonium by banning UFO watchers and light aircraft from the flat topped mount Pic de Bugarach.
[...] Russia saw people in Omutninsk, in Kirov region, rushing to buy kerosene and supplies after a newspaper article, supposedly written by a Tibetan monk, confirmed the end of the world.
[...] Some in China are taking the prospect of Armageddon seriously with panic buying of candles reported in Sichuan province.