The search for the 2012 date, March 2006

John Major Jenkins. compiled August 2014

In March of 2006 Robert Sitler was diligently searching and asking around if anyone knew of a pre-Columbian reference to the 2012 date. He asked me in mid-March (see below), and then had a productive exchange with Geoff Stray in very early April (http://www.diagnosis2012.co.uk/sit.htm). In it, Stray shared his awareness of Makemson's 1951 book, Jaguar Priest, which notes a possible 13-Baktun / 2012 reference in the Books of Chilam Balam. That exchange led to Robert asking Dave Stuart and Stuart's rough translation of part of Tortuguero Monument 6 text on April 6. This was a significant monment in the unfolding 2012 discussion, which would lead to studies of the astronomical content of the 13 dates on Tortugero Monument 6, with striking results.

My own contribution to Sitler's query was a bit bungled. This is one of those exchanges where a few of my emails must be inferred from the second party's comments, augmented by one of my emails that was preserved. I'll bold the relevant passages. So, we first have Sitler's response to me on March 16, 2006:

From: Robert Sitler [rsitler@stetson.edu]
Sent: Thursday, March 16, 2006 7:14 PM
To: John Major Jenkins
Subject: RE: Hello from John Major Jenkins

Hi John,
Thanks so much for writing. I refer to your work every time I speak or write about 2012 because it's the most intriguing stuff out there on the subject. I highlighted it in the talk I gave yesterday that was linked to the article you read. I also wrote about it in a recent academic article in Nova Religio, a religious studies journal. I think it might cost a few bucks to access it. Peer reviewers criticized me for being an "apologist" for your work. See what you think about how I handled your contributions and let me know what you think.

For me the biggest question mark regarding the core of your theory is the utter lack of textual reference to the date. (Please correct me if I'm wrong about this) For example, I recently created a site exclusively for Mayan perspectives on the date (http://www.stetson.edu/~rsitler/OxlajujB'ak'tun/) and I had to invent the glyphs I used on it since none actually exist in the corpus. I can't help but think that if the date was that important, we'd see at least one, and probably lots of, 4 Ahaw 3 K'ank'in dates. I'd love your feedback on this.

I'll be in Todos Santos in the summer briefly. The fun part will be visits among the Cruzob, Lacandon and K'iche' ajq'ijab' up in Momostenango to get their take on the 2012 phenomenon.
________________
Robert K. Sitler
Latin American Studies Program Director
Dept. of Modern Languages & Literatures
Stetson University
DeLand, Florida  32723
(386) 822-7281
http://www.stetson.edu/~rsitler/
---
Support Mayan civic projects at:
 http://www.stetson.edu/~rsitler/TodosSantos/

(I must have sent an email offering to send my DVD, and probably argued that Izapa does contain "statements" about 2012)

-----Original Message-----
>From: Robert Sitler <rsitler@stetson.edu>
>Sent: Mar 17, 2006 6:13 AM
>To: John Major Jenkins <kahib@ix.netcom.com>
>Subject: RE: Hello from John Major Jenkins
>
>Yes, I'd love to see the DVD. I'm at the address below.
>
>I'd also like to add Classic or colonial Mayan references to my 2012
>site
(http://www.stetson.edu/~rsitler/OxlajujB'ak'tun/) if you are aware
>of any.
I haven't found a thing beyond the very sketchy Chilam Balam
>reference to 4 Ahaw k'atun (the reference explicitly specifies 1760 if
>I'm recalling correctly)
>
>_________________________________
>Robert K. Sitler
>Latin American Studies Program Director
>Dept. of Modern Languages & Literatures
>Stetson University

 

(I must have sent an email on March 17 --- see Sitler's date code above --- offering my vague recollection of a 2012 date mentioned somewhere by, as I recall, Schele (supported by how Schele then became a topic in Sitler's emails, below). Inspired by Sitler's questions, and anxious to support my conviction that there were "statements" (at Izapa) referential to 2012, I wrote and finished my "Mayan 2012 Statements" piece on the afternoon of March 18, 2006, uploaded it to my website, and sent the following to Sitler):

 

-----Original Message-----
From: John Major Jenkins [mailto:kahib@ix.netcom.com]
Sent: Sat 3/18/2006 2:10 PM
To: Robert Sitler
Subject: RE: Hello from John Major Jenkins

Hi Robert,

I'll send the specific ref to 4 Ahau 3 kankin 13.0.0.0.0 --- i think it's from Coba.

In the meantime, I appreciated your pointer to the problem about no direct statements about 2012. I've had a response to this for awhile, but decided to flesh it out a bit more. The short answer is that there are secondary "statements" or "beliefs" in the Maya Creation myth that can be applied to cycle endings and therefore 2012. I just wrote and posted a fleshed-out treatment of the topic on my website: http://alignment2012.com/mayan2012statements.html

Let me know what you think, and thank you for the feedback.

I'll send DVD!

John



From: Robert Sitler [rsitler@stetson.edu]
Sent: Saturday, March 18, 2006 3:55 PM
To: John Major Jenkins
Subject: RE: Hello from John Major Jenkins

Thanks so much for the info, John. I'll await the Coba reference. Is that the only one? I'm not familiar with it and I'd love to scan it for my website on exclusively Mayan perspectives. I'm surprised you haven't included it in your fine books ... or did you and I missed it. [Indeed, my focus on Izapa apparently occluded the relevance of whatever vague registering of it that I had made. Alas, no one could be expected to collect all the pieces of the 2012 puzzle all by themself, that's why major breakthroughs need to be a collaboration of questing minds. - JMJ]

Here's where I need help:

1. Why did you choose the Aug. 12 3114 BC date "creation" date over the more-commonly mentioned August 11 or Aug. 13 ones? Knowing you, there's a good reason and I'd like to follow your lead if appropriate. I know this question alone could be lengthy so please don't bother if it's too much. It really doesn't matter. I'm just curious if it's a quick answer.

2. I cannot find references in the Chilam Balams (I don't have them all) to the end of the 13th b'ak'tun cycle. In fact, I can't find any references to b'ak'tuns at all, just k'atuns in cycles of 13. I DO see references to the 4 Ahaw k'atun but with explicit ties to earlier dates on the Gregorian, not to the current k'atun. Which Chilam Balam are you referring to? Please help here.

3. I see no profecies in the Popul Vuh, but of course I follow your logic about world ages. So, are you saying that one or more of the multiple creation stories there refer to 2012? Which one?

4. Even though I studied under Linda Schele, I agree with you on the importance of 13 b'ak'tuns versus 20. Did you know her? She wasn't so bad as many make her out to be.

Awaiting your clarifications.
thanks,
bob
________________
Robert K. Sitler
Latin American Studies Program Director
Dept. of Modern Languages & Literatures
Stetson University
DeLand, Florida  32723
(386) 822-7281
http://www.stetson.edu/~rsitler/
---
Support Mayan civic projects at:
 http://www.stetson.edu/~rsitler/TodosSantos/


(I sent Sitler another email, must have been on the 18th as his follow-up was sent very early in the morning of 19th):

From: Robert Sitler [rsitler@stetson.edu]
Sent: Sunday, March 19, 2006 5:15 AM
To: John Major Jenkins
Subject: Pre-Columbian 2012 reference

Thanks for another one of your always informative replys. Please send the Coba reference (or wherever it's from) when you come across it. [I may have reported to Sitler that I couldn't seem to be able to locate it - JMJ] I'd like to see it when I go down there this summer to follow up on some of my 2012 leads. Anything you'd like me to check on while I'm down there?

You're right about the significance of 13 being reiterated in the Chilams, but no suprises there, I guess. The 4 Ahaw k'atun (which would be ours) is explicitly marked with the year 1740.

Schele mentions 15 creation references in the corpus. Do you know if any of these do NOT mention 8 Kumk'u? I'd love to see the entire set but wouldn't know where to get started to find them.

I liked your earlier idea about the downing of 7 Macaw referring to the shift from a polar cosmology. Are you dropping that or saying that both that and the concept of the killing of the current age of ego are valid?

Linda was one of the quirkiest people I've ever met. Everyone that knew her has an odd story about her and a deep affection. I once heard her tell a group of Maya I was working with in her struggling Spanish that they all had to go "cagar" (to take a shit) when she meant "cargar" to "carry" the conference or something along those lines. Great fun.
bob

-end email exchanges

That's all that I could recover from old email databases. From my files and other emails dated to March of 2006 I was quite clearly swamped with other demands, correspondence on many matters, preparing a presentations for Santa Fe, writing articles, and other matters. So, as fate would have it, I didn't earnestly hunt down the Tortuguero reference via Schele that I'd vaguely recalled. As Sitler identified later, there is indeed a reference to Tortuguero Monument 6 in Forest of Kings (1990). I may have also seen it in her 1982 Maya Verbs book, in which it is briefly listed (but with a typo) --- I have a Xerox copy of this that my friend Robert sent me around 1996. -JMJ