(Metro Wednesday 19 Dec 2012) Doomsday believers must dodge roadblocks as they try to reach a ‘mystical mountain’ they are convinced will be the only safe refuge when the world ends on Friday.
Up to 10,000 people are thought to be heading to the peak, from where they hope UFOs will whisk them to safety in ‘another dimension’ while the rest of the planet perishes.
But police have imposed an exclusion zone to keep them away from Bugarach, southern France.
It is home to just 189 people and anxious mayor Jean-Pierre Delord said: ‘I am making an appeal to the world – do not come to Bugarach.
‘If 10,000 people turn up, our village will not be able to cope.’
The apocalypse refugees say aliens have a hidden base inside the Bugarach mountain, from where they will spring to the rescue Friday when the Mayan calendar’s 5,125-year cycle finishes, supposedly marking the end of the world – the 183rd prediction in the last 2,000 years.
But they face a fight to get to the pick-up point as – besides the mayor’s concerns – it is feared their leaders might inspire mass suicides as the fateful hour draws near.
‘I have issued an order barring anyone from climbing the mountain,’ said regional prefect Eric Freysselinard. ‘And those trying to get into the village will be stopped.’
The mountain will remain closed off for the weekend.
Earlier this year, a believer was killed when he slipped and fell on the way up the mountain. ‘The end of the world came a bit earlier for him than he expected,’ observed Mr Delord.