The Coming Daveaclypse
For what it’s worth – and of course, it’s easy to say this now – I was never concerned about the proposed December 21, 2012 Mayan apocalypse. I did, however, enjoy it very much.
Okay, maybe “very much” is too strong of a phrase, but really, if it hadn’t been for the ToTaL fraud of the Mayan predictions, I would never have learned of the Juan Fernandez Islands which are now #4 on my “Places I Must Visit Before I Die” list.
I do have such a list, and I am not kidding when I say that the Islands owe their spot on the list solely to a completely random chance watching of the History Channel (which ought to have known better) airing of “Apocalypse Island,” a veritable cornucopia of everything that was wrong both with the “so-called’ prophecy AND the idiots who paid people to tell them about it.
Apocalypse Island tells the story of a “archeologist” (in the sense that he seems to have seen a movie staring Harrison Ford at some point and wore the same kind of hat) was “somewhere in the Marshall or Solomon Islands” when he stumbled across something that initially seemed impossible but later became the focal point of his carnie snake oil – a large collection of rocks that with a little imagination and some venture capital investment, a History Channel Camera Crew and some fancy CGI could seem to appear to be shaped like a giant snail with a jaguar on its back.
You think I jest. Just stay with me.
The show follows the “archeologist,” a fellow by the name of Jim Turner*, as he convinces a reluctant fellow anthropologist AND motivational speaker (because really, who else would be good at explaining why you’d better get off of your ass and succeed than a man who studies human failure and frailty?), Jim Salz to travel with him to Chile, charter a rickety old fishing boat and travel over empty seas to a lush, rugged and beautiful island which for some reason they fail to name and which only took two days to get to which pretty much eliminates either the “Marshall or Solomon Islands” from consideration.
The voyage is dangerous and rough, requiring a beach landing worthy of the Marines, followed by a couple of days hike through desolate wind blown heights until at long last, there we are, watching the two intrepid men stare at the rocks.
The rest of the show is filled with Jim Turner explaining that the rocks are actually a Mayan carving put here thousands of years ago because this remote, difficult to travel to and as yet unnamed island is the only place on Earth where – as I understood him – one could observe the Mayan Apocalypse without actually getting involved (I think). He said something about an eclipse and then described in detail some really fancy drug taking that involved piercing a penis – again, not making this up – and I was pretty well done except that I was stunned by the beauty of this island and my own quest began to find out where he had gone, even if I did not believe in the Mayan rocks.
Which I wish to be clear about, I had no belief that these rocks were (a) carved, (b) related in any way to the Mayans and (c) was where some Mayan Holy Man pierced his penis so that Turner could warn us (for a donation used to fund his “research” into the (as it was) coming Mayan Apocalypse) thousands of years later.
And as it turns out, the whole thing was a get up. I mean, not only did 12/21/12 NOT result in the much ballyhooed Mayan Apocalypse, but neither did the rouge Planet Nibiru show up, nor did a black hole swallow us up nor did Jesus come back.
Likewise, turned out that the island, which was beautiful in a way that seems to beckon Sailors, is named “Robinson Crusoe Island.” It’s located 324 nautical miles (373 statute miles) off the coast of Chile and as it turns out, is inhabited with a rather bustling city AND an airport AND a port where once upon a time the German Cruiser SMS Dresden was caught during World War I by the British and scuttled by her crew and where the Chilean Navy regularly conducts diver training since she lays in about sixty feet of water, again, off the shores of a rather bustling tourist port.
The whole tourist part of things is based, naturally, on the islands history which includes the story of Alexander Selkirk who spent four years on the damn island (or one of its close neighbors) and was later the inspiration for Daniel Defoe’s, Robinson Crusoe; after whom the Chilean Government, since it knows a good tourist trap name when it sees one, named the island after in 1966, more than twenty years before Jim Turner “discovered” it and found his Mayan carvings just off the main tourist hiking path on one of the busiest tourist destinations in the South Pacific.
All of which goes to show how far the people who were making a buck on the Mayans were willing to go. For all of that, I enjoyed watching people follow them.
For what it’s worth, the thing was beautifully filmed (by a crew that flew into San Juan Bautista Airport) and really showed the island’s beauty – enough so that I put it on my list of places to go and see before the real apocalypse, which is, of course, my final moment on Earth.
And if you want to know when that will be, just send me a “donation” (to further fund my ongoing research) of $199.99 and you’ll get my free book, “The Coming Daveaclypse And What You Can Do To Get Ready Today”
*NOT the Jim Turner who kicked three Field Goals in Super Bowl III and later caught a touchdown pass for the Broncos against the Raiders in 1977, which I missed seeing live because I was compelled to go to Grand Junction for a Church Youth Retreat. Not that I remain bitter about it…