Patrick Osborn

Doomsday Visitors Flock to French Town

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Bugarach Mayor Jean Pierre Delord with a postcard showing a ‘UFO’ in front of the village. (Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images)(PARIS) — The town of Bugarach in southwest France has an unusual tourist problem: More visitors are preoccupied with witnessing UFOs than soaking up the local culture.

The town of approximately 200 people at the base of the Pic of Bugarach mountain is at the center of a few odd predictions including one that prophesies that aliens will arrive at the mountain on “doomsday.”

Jean-Pierre Delord, the town mayor, has become uneasy with the influx of visitors especially as he expects the number of visitors to increase exponentially around December 21, which is the date many online conspiracy theorists are predicting the “end of the world.”

A report released last summer by Miviludes, the French sect watchdog, explained the potential dangers of “doomsday” groups congregating. The agency is concerned that the groups gathering for “the end of the world,” including those at Bugarach, could be involved in mass suicides.

According to The Independent, up to 100,000 people could visit the site by December 21.  However, a few enterprising individuals have found that the end of the world can have a silver lining. American travel agents are offering one-way deals to the site, according to The Independent, and a neighboring village has produced a wine for the occasion.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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