In December 2012, a legion of apocalyptic New Age believers will either join the ranks of aliens, or feel very stupid. For the time being though, they're content just to occupy the small, wine-country village of Bugarach, France and wait for the end of the world.
According to believers from across the globe, the village of Bugarach is the only location in the world that will be spared during the Mayan-predicted apocalypse of 2012. Despite scientists asserting with a high level of confidence that the Mayan calendar simply starts over, the New Age followers who have flocked to the town insist that aliens living beneath the mountain near Bugarach will save them when the world ends.
With a steady stream of almost 20,000 visitors per year, alien-scientists and fanatics alike have come to the foot of the mountain, or alien garage as they like to call it, to pray, learn and engage in bizarre ritual. Overrunning natives of Bugarach, the real estate market in the area has even increased in value as many alien-followers have purchased homes and cottages in the area.
Over the last 1000 years, a number of sources have stated that caves below the mountain existed. However, there is little hard evidence that aliens reside in these caves, and the New Age following around the town is beginning to concern locals. The mayor of the town even issued a statement saying he would not hesitate to involve the army if things in Bugarach got out of hand. A French group has also placed the town under watch, suspecting that mass suicides might take place before the predicted apocalypse.
The geology of the Pic de Bugarach is striking. Its top layer is an overthrust from the Iberian plate, and is older than the bottom ones. This has given rise to its description as an "upside-down mountain". It is not difficult to climb up the Bugarach: a classical route called "voie de la fenêtre" because of a big hole in a cliff, climbs the South face. One may go down via the easiest route, North, and join the "col de Linas"