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World to End in 2012: A Hoax Gone Too Far? (UPDATED june 16)
Posted: 14 June 2009 01:41 PM   [ Ignore ]
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*** Spoiler alert. This article contains information that will ruin a good hoax. ***

There’s no shortage of end-of-the-world prophecies and hoaxes, but the latest one has a slick twist. Or, some might say, a sick twist.

In fact, just by writing about it, I’m playing into the hands of a big media company that hopes I will write about it, or at least pass the word and a link, so that they can ultimately make money. Rather, I’ll try to keep a few people from being frightened.

The story starts with Mike Brown, an astronomer at Caltech who has found more planet-like objects in our outer solar system than anyone.

Just like this reporter, Brown gets a lot emails from people worried the world will end in 2012. So many, in fact, that Brown has come to call them “The 2012 People.” He’s long assumed they’re rather gullible worry warts. His view just changed a little.

The concerns often stem from bogus information about a fantasy planet dubbed Nibiru which, the story goes, will swing into the inner solar system, smack Earth in 2012, and bring an end to it all. (Brown assures us there is no such planet, and no such looming scenario known to science.)

The emails have been increasing of late. And recently one concerned citizen went a step farther and called and left Brown a voice mail: “I’ve got kids; this really scares the hell out of me. Is there something I should be doing? Is this real?”

The planet hunter reassured the man that it was all just a hoax. The man was grateful.

But the man got Brown’s attention.

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Posted: 14 June 2009 04:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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That really annoys me. It’s one thing to make a hoax website as a viral ad, but another to make a hoax website as a viral ad that people are taking seriously enough to be extremely scared for their own well being and that of their family.

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Posted: 14 June 2009 09:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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If a lot of people get fooled by this could they wind up being sued? I entered their “survival lottery” to see what sort of email I’d get.

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Posted: 15 June 2009 03:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Ahem.  tongue wink
(It seems that this site was posted on a while back by somebody…. cheese

As to whether or not this stuff should be stopped, I may have a different opinion.

I think there is very little wrong with it. People that are going to be freaked out by what they perceive as the upcoming collapse of the world economy will find confirmation anywhere and everywhere that you or I would look and see nothing at all to be alarmed about. 

Red Sox behind in the stats?  “It is because the owners & players are working on preparing what they need to survive themselves!”

FEMA purchasing a few white vans for transport?  “The UN is preparing for martial law roundups!” shock

FEMA preparing for swine flu? OMG It is MAN-MADE!!! They want to infect us ALL to thin out the population!! shock

And so on…... downer

Back around 1999,(Y2K) many folks were worried that repairs couldn’t keep the nation’s (world’s) computer infrastructure up and running.  They were nicknamed, aptly enough, “Doomers”.  Doomers now, like then, are convinced that although they are currently poor, powerless, and at the bottom of the economic food chain, their secret knowledge of what will happen will allow them to prepare and then save hundreds, possibly thousands from their own foolishness.  This empowers them greatly.  It makes them feel important and part of a small group that has “figured out” what the rest of society were too blind (or stupid) to see.  “The world will fail and THEN You’ll See!” is their secret motto.  They feel that they must be the ones to try and make others see the truth.  Nothing one can say or do will probably get through to them past their delusion.  Everything they read or see is filtered through their doomed colored mindset.  Nothing, and I mean NOTHING gets through that might make them reconsider their “game plan”  they spend thousands on MRE’s and water purification materials.  The stockpile fuel and weapons. (And ammo) big surprise  they work two, sometimes three jobs to have enough money to get what they need to restart society after it crashes.  (I remember reading on one sight back then that people should rototill their yards and plant food gardens there NOW, before it was too late! (Think gary North…)

I know this because I WAS one.  Family and friends I spoke with were TRULY worried about what was about to happen.  Several were high up in major companies’ IT departments.  I figured if THEY were afraid, it might be prudent to get some supplies “Just in case”.  As you know, Y2K went by with hardly a fizzle. (At the time. Don’t get me started about the repeated refinery shutdowns or the folding of major corporations that had been hiding the BILLIONS they spent trying to alleviate the y2K problem…) tongue wink (Don’t worry, I am much calmer now…) LOL

I really don’t think that a single website, (with Sony Pictures in the lower left corner for all to see) is going to do much one way or another.
The only thing that will is time. And learning. hmmm

(Besides, the graphics of the three scenarios are pretty cool…..I made sure to max them out….) tongue wink LOL

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Posted: 15 June 2009 10:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Razela - 14 June 2009 08:29 PM

That really annoys me. It’s one thing to make a hoax website as a viral ad, but another to make a hoax website as a viral ad that people are taking seriously enough to be extremely scared for their own well being and that of their family.

The problem is that you could make a really hokey website and there would still be a percentage of the population who would take it seriously.  As has been said many times, people will find justification for their beliefs any place they look if the belief is strong enough.

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Posted: 16 June 2009 12:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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End of the World in 2012 (Cont.)

Yesterday I wrote about how Caltech planet-hunter Mike Brown was disturbed by a variation of the “World Will End in 2012” hoax perpetrated by a big media company’s movie promotion that leaves some people genuinely worried.

This hoax has been floating around in various forms for years now, but it’s reached critical mass lately (and one can only hope that means an apex, too).

Now NASA astrobiologist and asteroid expert David Morrison weighs in. That’s good, because Dave is really smart, knows a lot about science, has been around long enough to see plenty of these doomsday predictions come and go (like the May 5, 2000 planet alignment that was supposed to wipe us out, since Y2K didn’t), and is not afraid to speak frankly about it all.

It’d be nice if there was not really much to say here. But the fact is, from self-described (and underperforming) psychics to religiously oriented doomsday prophets (like the one who predicted there would be riots by Christmas 2008 due to President Obama’s election) and out-and-out profiteers who prey on the basic human desire to believe, there is plenty of debunking that needs to be done.

Morrison has posted 20 questions, with answers, surrounding all this. In the first one, reproduced here, he sums up how silly this all is (see the key phrase in bold):

Question No. 1: What is the origin of the prediction that the world will end in December 2012?

Morrison: “The story started with claims that Nibiru, a supposed planet discovered by the Sumerians, is headed toward Earth. Zecharia Sitchin, who writes fiction about the ancient Mesopotamian civilization of Sumer, claimed in several books (e.g., The Twelfth Planet, published in 1976) that he has found and translated Sumerian documents that identify the planet Nibiru, orbiting the Sun every 3600 years. These Sumerian fables include stories of ‘ancient astronauts’ visiting Earth from a civilization of aliens called the Anunnaki. Then Nancy Lieder, a self-declared psychic who claims she is channeling aliens, wrote on her website Zetatalk that the inhabitants of a fictional planet around the star Zeta Reticuli warned her that the Earth was in danger from Planet X or Nibiru. This catastrophe was initially predicted for May 2003, but when nothing happened the doomsday date was moved forward to December 2012. Only recently have these two fables been linked to the end of the Mayan long-count at the winter solstice in 2012

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Posted: 18 June 2009 07:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Im surprised no-one recognised the Star Trek (Enterprise) actors on the IHC website.

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