Disinformation: The Podcast – 2010: Science or Superstition with Alexandra Bruce
Woo-woo (or just plain woo) is a term used, often in a dismissive way, by skeptics for dealing with phenomena that can’t be verified by independent evidence, but yet, many people strongly believe in. So who better to investigate the “woo-woo” world of the present-day 2012 phenomenon than author Alexandra Bruce (Beyond The Bleep, Beyond The Secret), no stranger to the realm where pop culture and the esoteric collide.
Raymond Wiley and Joe McFall, hosts of our monthly interview series Disinformation: The Podcast, talk with Alexandra about her new book 2012: Science Or Superstition, a companion to the Disinformation documentary of the same name.
As Alexandra Bruce describes in her introduction:
Here’s a woo-woo story for you. While working on this book late one evening, I read that the Chicxulub impact crater, the scene of the most notorious mass extinction event in history, was named after the small fishing village located near its epicenter in northern Yucatán, Chicxulub, which translates loosely from Mayan into English as “Tail of the Devil.”
Moments after I’d read this factoid, a friend of my colleagues, actor Rudy Youngblood dropped by the studio and we had an impromptu cocktail party. Rudy played the lead role in the film Apocalypto, so I commented to him about how eerie it was that “Chicxulub” means “Tail of the Devil.” He nodded slowly and looked me dead in the eye. He said, “They knew.”
Rudy told me that he’d spent almost a year in the Yucatán filming Apocalypto and during that time he’d befriended some local shamans. They told him about a practice that has existed for ages in Maya culture, where the shamans go into deep states of meditation and as Rudy described it, they would “time travel,” to see the land in the future and in the past, to lead their communities towards the most auspicious areas, for settlement, for planting, for building. The modern-day shamans told Rudy that the ancient shamans of 1,500 years ago had astrally “seen” the cataclysm at Chicxulub and that was how the village had come to be given the name “Tail of the Devil,” in the Mayan language of the Classic period.
The Chicxulub impact was one of the biggest doomsdays in the history of this planet. An object about 6 miles wide came in out of the sky and slammed into the beautiful Caribbean. The impact literally shook the Earth to its core. The massive shock waves generated global earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and megatsunamis thousands of feet high. The super-heated pyroclastic dust fanned out in every direction for millions of miles, broiling Earth’s surface, setting most of the world ablaze. For almost a decade, the sky was blacked-out, with a rain of ash dust and sulfuric acid, accompanied by freezing temperatures. The photosynthesis of plants came to a halt, affecting the entire food chain of whatever survived the initial blast.
Today, the crater is buried beneath a kilometer of sediments. From the ground, no one would guess that such unimaginable devastation could ever have taken place in this tropical paradise, yet the Chicxulub impact is generally viewed to be the cause the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event that wiped out 75% of all Earth’s species and 100% of the dinosaurs — which brings us to the apocalypse at hand …
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