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French officials ban access to sacred mountain which believers claim will be refuge from 'Mayan apocalypse on December 21'

Rumours say the mountain will burst open on December 21 to reveal an alien spaceship which will save those nearby from the apocalypse

French police will control access to the mountain and village to stop expected hordes of New Age fanatics, sightseers and journalists

December 21 is the estimated end of the Mayan long calendar, which some believes marks the end of the world as we know it

Alarm of a Mayan-predicted doomsday on December 21 has led French police to ban access to a southwestern mountain from doomsday preppers, New Agers and even journalists. The mountain, called Pic de Bugarach, is thought to open up on that day uncovering an alien spaceship that will carry humans to safety.

According to the Daily Mail, French officials have banned access to the mountain and have stationed a hundred police and firefighters to monitor the tiny village at the foot of the mountain by the same name. The Guardian reported that the French government's sect-watchdog, called the Miviludes, is also monitoring the village to prevent "any apocalyptic sect activity, or ritualized suicide by doomsday cults."

Bugarach village mayor Jean-Pierre Delord told the Guardian, "This is the 183rd end-of-the-world prophecy since antiquity. But I can't take the risk of a lot of people coming here, trying to climb the mountain and getting hurt."

However, some are skeptical of the government's true reasons behind guarding the mountain. Patrice Etienne, a civil servant from Nice, told the Guardian, "Why come to the only place on earth that will be spared the apocalypse if you want to commit suicide? Wouldn't that be a bit like trying to drown yourself wearing a lifejacket?"

Speculation over the end of the Earth have been based on the Mayan calendar, which is set to end its thirteenth 394-year cycle, called baktuns, on December 21. According to conspiracy theorists, the Mayans predicted astronomical disasters that would destroy the Earth.

According to the Daily Mail, the Guatemalan culture ministry will be holding a massive event in the capital on December 21 in case the world does end, prompting tour groups to promote doomsday-themed getaways to the small Central American country. However, the event has prompted backlash from the country's Maya alliance Oxlaljuj Ajpop, which accuses the government of promoting the myth.

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