DALLAS -- Thousands of people are preparing for the end of the world, based on an ancient calendar.

Nico Sanchez is ready, with his gas mask and machete.

It means possibly the end of the world, Sanchez said.

He is among many people who call themselves preppers who believe that when the clock ticks down to Dec. 21, there will be a catastrophic event that could possibly lead to the end of the world. All this because the ancient Mayan calendar expires on 12-21-12.

People getting ready for December 21st this year should be prepared for any possible scenarios, whether it be the end of days, civil unrest, nuclear attack, flood, hurricane, earthquake, Sanchez said.

At an Army Surplus store, owner William Ladd said preppers have been stock piling things for more than three years, buying items like gas masks and meals ready to eat (MREs) in preparation for doomsday.

[I] had a couple of customers come in and they've bought up to 365 meals - which is a year supply of food, Ladd said. I've heard talk of customers building underground bunkers.

Donnie Claxton has helped create a book in print and for the iPad that dispels all the doomsday scenarios. The book, called Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya, includes 15 historians on Mayan culture.

There is no conclusive evidence that suggest the end of the world, Claxton said.

He said part of the calendar is actually missing and much of the Mayan writings haven't been found.

Even still today, we only know about one percent of what they have left behind, Claxton said. The rest is lost in the jungles of Mesoamerica.

Mark Van Stone, the author of the book, is one of the few who can read Maya hieroglyphics. He said as recently as this summer, more Mayan ruins were found that suggest a different scenario.

The Maya not only did not predict an end of the world or calendar, but they predicted that things would go on for thousands of years after 2012, he said.

Still, preppers are spending thousands of dollars hunkering down in bunkers or hold up in homes believing the worst is coming.

I would rather be looked at as a kook and know that my family has a chance of survival than not having any survival chances at all, Sanchez said.

Experts say the Maya expected the calendar to end on the 21st, but then roll-over like an odometer and keep going. So December 22nd starts the new calendar.

The authors of Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya say they have a new version of the book ready for Dec. 22. They say they plan to outline why the preppers were wrong.

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