Doomsday Cults Banned From French Village
The mayor of a sleepy village in southwest France is stepping up security because of fears of an invasion of people who think the end of the world is nigh.
An ancient prophecy based on the Mayan calendar has led to internet speculation that Bugarach, which is near the Pyrenees, will be the only place left after the apocalypse, which some are predicting will happen on December 21 this year.
Followers believe a nearby mountain has magic powers and are convinced UFOs will rescue them and take them to safety.
French authorities have insisted the scenario is ridiculous, but they are taking the situation seriously.
Most villagers seem unconcerned about the claims of impending doom
Mayor Jean-Pierre Lord says over a hundred gendarmes are to seal off the village from December 19-23 to keep out any Doomsday groups.
"My message is very simple. I am telling people don't come here to Bugarach for a simple reason there will be nothing to see here. So I insist don't come here, especially as there will mainly be the police here," he said.
In the nearby ancient town of Carcassone, officials say they are planning for every eventuality.
"Taking into account the huge media interest this affair has created we have to take into account all security concerns and be prepared for all outcomes whether there are 300 people or 3,000," said security chief Eric Freysselinard.
Villagers appear not to be too concerned about claims of impending doom.
Many said they were doubtful that extra-terrestrials would be coming to pluck survivors to safety.
"I think it's a big load of nonsense. I don't think there are UFOs within the Bugarach mountain," said local rubbish collector Jean-Luc Billard.
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Pic de Bugarach: French commune home to 20,000 ‘doomsday cultists’ awaiting alien salvation
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