The picturesque town of Bugarach in southwest France has an unusual tourist problem: More visitors are preoccupied with witnessing UFO’s 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,” according to Reuters.
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.”
“These blasted prophets from all over the world have turned our mountain into some sort of UFO garage,” Delord, who has asked the French army for help, told Reuters last year. “The end result is that all these fanatics are coming here to hide out.”
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 The Independent, and a neighboring village has produced a wine for the occasion.