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France bans access to ‘end of world’ refuge

CARCASSONNE, France: France yesterday dashed the hopes of those who had planned to take refuge in one of the few places on Earth some believe will be spared when the world ends on Dec. 21.
Local officials banned access to the Pic de Bugarach, a mountain in the southwest where rumor has it the hilltop will open on the last day and aliens will emerge with spaceships to save nearby humans.
Eric Freysselinard, the state’s top representative in the area, said he was blocking access to the mountain for public safety reasons to avoid a rush of New Age fanatics, sightseers and media crews.
Believers say the world will end on Dec. 21, 2012, the end date of the ancient Mayan calendar, and they see Bugarach as one of a few sacred mountains sheltered from the cataclysm.