End-of-the-worlders offer view past operational security

There are several theories proposing Dec. 21, 2012 is the doomsday harbinger. Whether it’s the cyclical shift in the Mayan calendar, economic collapse, or a “dark rift” in the Milky Way, some doomsday theorists are taking preparatory measures.

Both Shannan Slifka and Anthony Fedun confidently believe they would live two years past a pending apocalypse.

Slifka has been hosting seasonal winter parties for eight years, but claims this year’s solstice will be different. She is planning for economic collapse, shifting tectonic plates, oceans flooding Alberta, and crumbling cities and mountains.

“The breaking point is soon,” Slifka says.

She has two storage caches in northern Alberta with 25 large bins. These are filled Anthony Fedun, in a light battle dress uniform vest, has stocked himself with MREs, emergency flares, tactical utility tools, and camouflage gear. He’s sitting on top of his current stock pile of lumber, and says to always have a means to survival with your natural environment.

Photo by Kyle Napierwith dried goods that she cycles out regularly so they don’t expire.

Fedun has been a house framer for six years and says trade skills would be an asset in a doomsday scenario.

“Something’s changing in the world, and who knows what it is,” Fedun says. “The equator could be changing. Our gravitational pull could be changing.”

Fedun says he doubts the Mayan theory will happen, but is preparing for solar storms from the Milky Way.

“The two aligning is just mind-blowing,” he says.

Fedun claims solar storms from the Milky Way will compromise access to electricity. To travel during these times, he purchased two Buick Regals with interchangeable parts and non-electric ignitions.

Both Fedun and Slifka say prepping hardly affects their everyday life –only having to make 15 minute trips outside of regular shopping and spending an additional $100 to $200 a month.

They say they will maintain their current lifestyle even if no doomsday threat immediately presents itself on Dec. 21.

Professional views on doomsday

Kathryn Reese-Taylor teaches Mayan archeology at the University of Calgary. She says we have no reason to be concerned.

“(Western culture) has greatly exaggerated the apocalyptic aspects, because there are no apocalyptic aspects associated with the change of this era,” Reese-Taylor says.

She says that a deity named Bolon Yokte is expected to oversee the event. Bolon Yokte is written as a responsible saint, guiding the transition from the twelfth Bak’tun to the thirteenth on Dec. 21 – with each Bak’tun representing about 400 years.

Phil Langill, director of the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory, teaches astrophysics at the University of Calgary. He also doesn’t expect any doomsday situations.

“There are no red flags on any radar screen that I’ve seen that offer any interesting or unusual happenings in the ways of life on planet Earth,” Langill says. “There is always the potential that the earth could get smacked by something – but that’s totally unpredictable and random.”

Doomsday celebrations

Jess Thomson, a Calgarian who moved to Rossland, B.C. six years ago, plans to marry her fiancé, Steve Williams, on Dec. 21, 2012.

“This date came around with Armageddon,” says Thomson. “We just love the hype behind it.”

It will be a costume themed event, and the couple is encouraging people to dress up as their favourite era.

The couple is calling the event “Armaweddon.”

“(Western culture) has greatly exaggerated the apocalyptic aspects, because there are no apocalyptic aspects associated with the change of this era.”

– Kathryn Reese-Taylor

Kenna Burima, an active member of Calgary’s music scene, has received a grant through the Calgary 2012 initiative for the End of the World Music Festival. Nineteen local bands will be getting together, having pitched multimedia performances answering to what they would perform for their last show on earth.

“I think that this is a real way that we can celebrate ourselves and our community, and do it in a way that we can pay homage to the end of times and doomsday concepts,” Burima says.

Despite their fascination, neither Burima nor Thomson says they believe Dec. 21 will be the end-of-times.

“I just hope there isn’t a snowstorm,” says Thomson.

knapier@cjournal.ca