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The Mexican Government and the 2012 Maya Calendar: Disclosure or PR Hype? (Pt. 1)

In late September the producers of the documentary “Revelations of the Mayans 2012 and Beyond,” currently in production, made sensational claims that the film will reveal evidence in the possession of the Mexican government that the ancient Maya civilization had contact with extraterrestrials. The story was fed by one of the producers, Raul Julia-Levy, son of the late film actor Raul Julia, to Steve Pond at TheWrap, an online entertainment media outlet which covers Hollywood.

One of the pyramids in the Maya city of Calakmul in Campeche, where shooting of the 2012 documentary will begin next month. (Image credit: Ant Mela/Wikimedia Commons)

The story was picked up by the Reuters news agency and spread around the world. This followed similar releases in August mentioning the Mexican government would cooperate with the producers and allow them to film in previously restricted archaeological sites, but stopped short of mentioning alien contact. The film is said to start shooting next November 15 at the Mayan site of Calakmul in Campeche.

TheWrap’s main source for the ET revelations was Luis Augusto García Rosado, the minister of tourism in the Mexican state of Campeche in Yucatan’s Mayan Riviera. Rosado was quoted saying that new evidence has emerged “of contact between the Mayans and extraterrestrials, supported by translations of certain codices, which the government has kept secure in underground vaults for some time.” He added there were also “landing pads that are 3,000 years old.” TheWrap also quoted Guillermo Novielli Quezada, Guatemala’s minister of tourism, stating that, “Guatemala, like Mexico, home to the ancient yet advanced Mayan civilization … has also kept certain provocative archeological discoveries classified, and now believes that it is time to bring forth this information in the new documentary.” Novielli’s exact title is Director of Inguat, the Guatemalan Institute of Tourism. Guatemala is a major site of Mayan ruins, which are also spread throughout Yucatan, Honduras and Belize.

Raul Julia-Levy, producer of the 2012 documentary. (Image credit: TheWrap)

Producer Julia-Levy made a sensational statement of his own, saying the Mayans had intended to lead the planet for thousands of years, but were forced to escape after an invasion by “men of dark intentions,” adding that “the Mexican government is not making this statement on their own—everything we say, we’re going to back it up.” What this means exactly historically speaking is not clear. Was Julia referring to the mysterious collapse of the classic Maya civilization around 900 A.D.? And if so, who were the “men of dark intentions”? This crucial event, when all the major Mayan cities were abandoned, is still not fully understood by historians and archaeologists, although it’s only the political system that crumbled, the people remained and are still there to this day. You can see the original Steve Pond article in TheWrap here.

Disclosure or PR hype?

After conducting a thorough search of Mexican websites, including government and academic institutions dealing with Mayan studies, media and UFO bloggers, I could find no independent confirmation of García Rosado’s statements other than plain Spanish translations of the original articles published by TheWrap. It seems to me that this story has much more to do with PR hype by the film producers and by Mexican authorities wishing to promote tourism in the wake of mounting expectations about the end of the Mayan calendar in December 2012, than to a real program of disclosure. What we know for sure is that the documentary “Revelations of the Mayans 2012 and Beyond,” produced by Julia-Levy and Ed Elbert and directed by Juan Carlos Rulfo, is sponsored by the Mexican Ministry of Tourism’s Mundo Maya (Mayan World) Program, although its financing comes from American sources. The Mayan World program is an elaborate public relations campaign to promote tourism and development in the Mayan Riviera region, which was officially launched at a ceremony on June 21 attended by President Felipe Calderón, the Secretary of Tourism, Gloria Guevara Manzo, and other officials at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. The governors of the states of Quintana Roo, Yucatan, Tabasco, Chiapas and Campeche, where Mayan sites are located, participated via links from their respective capitals.

In his speech, President Calderón announced he was “officially launching the Mayan World 2012 Program, which is a significant effort looking to give an unprecedented touristic boost to the states in the country’s southeast, where this impressive civilization was based . . . the Mayas are, without doubt, one of the most splendid cultures not only in this continent but in mankind, comparable to majestic and millenary civilizations like those of Egypt and China. The Mayas have marveled the entire world by, among other things, the precision of their astronomical observations, the exactness of their calendars, the high development of mathematics which led them to invent the concept of zero; by their art, their architecture, their cosmogony and their traditions.”

The Maya Calendar, one of the wonders of the ancient world. (Image credit:

Calderón went on to sketch several aspects of the Maya civilization, including the famous lid covering the tomb of King Pacal in Palenque, which Erich von Däniken and other ancient astronaut proponents have presented as evidence of alien visitation (the president didn’t mention that); as well as “the stela number 6” in the Mayan ruins of El Tortuguero in Tabasco, which “describe precisely the cycle which we are living and which ends precisely in December of 2012.” Although the president referred several times to the 2012 date, he made perfectly clear what was “the fundamental purpose of the Maya World Program.” It is, he said, “an integral strategy that will highlight the tourist centers near Mayan archaeological zones, developing new cultural offers and a better infrastructure. The goal is very clear: to give an exceptional experience to attract the largest possible amount of tourists and explode the touristic potential of the region. The Maya World Program means more jobs and more development for families.” This strategy also includes “opening to the public new archaeological zones” and restoring others in Comalcalco, Calakmul, etc.

The program will include “organizing events from today until the end of 2012, including international exhibits, conferences and meetings with specialists and investigators from all over the world. We will present the magic of the Mayas to the whole world.” He then went on to say that “we know of many people who have moved to Yucatan state, for instance, to wait precisely for this end of an epoch, which has been given many interpretations. I believe the world will have its eyes upon the Mayas and we must take advantage of it.” You can read the official transcript of President Calderón’s speech in Spanish here.

Tourism Minister García Rosado

President Felipe Calderón giving his opening speech of the Mayan World 2012 Program in Mexico City on June 21. (Image credit: Francisco Santos)

While President Felipe Calderón and other Mexican officials are riding the 2012 wave for its great tourism potential, it seems that only the Minister of Tourism of Campeche, Luis Alberto García Rosado, has gone out on a limb linking 2012 with ET revelations. García’s background is clearly in business as outlined in the short bio in the official website of the government of Campeche state: “Luis Alberto García Rosado has a degree in business administration with the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Monterrey campus; with studies for a Masters on Social and Organization Psychology at the School of Economics and Political Sciences in London. In the private sector, he was the founder, manager and advisor of several businesses linked to the areas of hotels, tourism and automobiles. He is the founder and was the president of the Association of Young Entrepreneurs of Carmelita.”

Minister of Tourism for Campeche state, Luis Augusto García Rosado. (Image credit: government of Campeche)

A Mexican media website,, reports that García Rosado was appointed Minister of Tourism by Campeche governor Fernando Ortega Bernés in September of 2009 because of “his drive, preparation and compromise with industry in a state with a wide potential in this [tourism] field.” That is so far what we have been able to find about Mr. García Rosado. He seems like a fairly young, business-oriented maverick who is willing to bet on the 2012 card as a way to bring business and improve conditions in his state. Other than his statements quoted in TheWrap, which were translated and published in many Mexican media sites and blogs, we found no other, independent similar quotes from Minister García. The fact that he didn’t deny or retract the statements to TheWrap means that he was most likely quoted accurately.

In Part 2, we’ll discuss the comments by the director of the documentary, Juan Carlos Rulfo, about the Mayan prophecies and the secrets kept by the Mexican government; as well as official statements by Mexican archaeologists regarding 2012.

Antonio Huneeus

Open Minds Investigative Reporter J. Antonio Huneeus has covered the UFO field from an international perspective for over 30 years. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications in the U.S., Latin America, Europe and Japan. He was also the co-author of the Laurance Rockefeller-funded “UFO Briefing Document – The Best Available Evidence” and edited the book “A Study Guide to UFOs, Psychic & Paranormal Phenomena in the USSR.” Huneeus studied French at the Sorbonne University in Paris and Journalism at the University of Chile in Santiago in the 1970s. He has lectured at dozens of UFO Conferences all over the world and been interviewed by many media outlets including The Washington Post, the Sy-Fy and History Channels, Nippon-TV, etc. He received the “Ufologist of the Year” award at the National UFO Conference in Miami Beach in 1990 and the “Courage in Journalism” award at the X-Conference in Gaithersburg, Maryland, in 2007.

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