Of course, the ancient Mayans did not predict the end of the world in 2012. They only predicted the end of this current age. Maybe, depending upon your interpretation, the end of this period of civilization. But that is about it (except for a little detail we shall get to later). But that hasn't stopped the true believers from bracing for everything from Rapture to alien invasion (and lots of stuff in between).
For example, take the recent buzz on various UFO and end of the world sites concerning the report of Strange Metal Boxes on the Coast of Oregon (I put it in caps so you can quickly run it through Google). The story started around Feb 8 as the boxes began appearing up and down the Pacific shoreline. Continued on Feb. 14 as Dr. Bill Hanshumaker of the Hatfield Marine Science Center arrived to examine the boxes and announce that he had NO IDEA WHAT THEY WERE! Then, the boxes began to glow and buzz and you would think that they would all be running for the hills.
OK, maybe there are some problems with the story. Little details like the fact that Dr. Hanshumaker has never seen the so-called boxes (I know, because I asked him via email). Sure, he sent some young volunteers over to Bray's Point to look at the boxes but there were no boxes. In fact, nobody could be found who had a clue what they were talking about.
OK, maybe this story has some really big problems. Considering the fact that the tale is just a single source story, completely lacking in any basic form of confirmation and the one and only expert witness quoted in the piece is telling everybody that he hasn't seen anything, we might just have to suspect a hoax. A really, really big hoax.
Though the stupid tale doesn't hold up under the slightest scrutiny, it has traveled across the internet like lightening. At some sites, UFOs have been added to the story with dark hints of an impending invasion. At others, these boxes are clear signs of the 2012 Apocalypse (though I can't recall anything in the Book of Revelations that referred to the Holy Gift Boxes of God). Increasingly, as the bogus reports pump up the tale with a buzzing sound, a few bold folks have linked it to the strange sky sounds that are a major hit on YouTube.
At any moment, someone will decide that these boxes must contain President Obama's real birth certificate. The assumptions mount. And yes, assumptions can also make an ass out of you and me.
But notice the quick linkage between this completely bogus story and the sky sound reports. These many reports are a trickier lot. Some, such as the incident in Costa Rica are confirmable. A few odd incidents even received national broadcast, such as the "noise" during several baseball games at Tropicana Field. So there really is something going on, but it is hard to truly evaluate as numerous hoaxes have been uploaded onto YouTube. It becomes a bit hard to see the forest due to all of the plastic Christmas trees.
I have a bad feeling that the many hoaxes are doing a major disservice to the general public. Especially if I am half-correct in my hunch that some of these noises may be related to unique freak upper atmospheric winds caused by radical climatic change. Who needs the Four Horsemen when you have that going on. Unfortunately, the hoaxes simply make it easier for many folks to doubt the whole thing and that may not be a good idea.
Many of the YouTube videos are single source presentations and are lacking in any form of confirmation. A few have voice overs that attempts to misdirect the viewer. For example, in one tape that I've seen, a woman claims to have been awaken in the middle of the night by the mysterious noise and has gone out to her backyard to tape it. At one point, she describes how her neighbors are also waking up to this scary noise and their lights are coming on. In reality, the lights were already on at the start of the tape. She is just claiming otherwise. Oddly enough, there doesn't seem to be any sign of anybody stepping out to even see what is going on. In fact, it looks like a pretty quiet neighborhood (except for the so-called racket from above).
I have noticed that many of the most suspect videos often share something in common. They all have the same noise, the so-called Trumpet of the Apocalypse. Many of these videos have virtually the same (or even the exact same) sound. Most are presumably duped from the same master tape. Ironically, they all resemble the climax from Kevin Smith's movie Red State (starting at the 32 second mark). It is not the exact same sound (though extremely close), but it is the exact same idea (minus the explanation in the movie's wrap up).
Coincidence? Yea, sure. To be honest, I don't think God gets His ideas from Kevin Smith movies. But if He does, then He must be a more fun fella than we have given Him credit (and I bet He loves comic books).
And by the way, what the ancient Mayans predicted for 2012 was the return of the heavy duty super god Bolon Yokte. On Dec. 21, he is scheduled to descend from the sky and kick start the world into a new age. Almost sounds like a job for The Ghostbusters.
Update: Email just received from Dr. Bill Hanshumaker:
The "boxes on the beach" are merely floats that were originally built to support docks. After a recent flooding event, some docks were destroyed and their floats drifted downriver and subsequently deposited on the beach. A colleague from a local state agency had the opportunity to examine one and confirmed this explanation. William Hanshumaker, Ph.D. Public Marine Education Specialist Oregon Sea Grant Faculty