Countdown to Armageddon Week on History Channel

Sunday 14th June – Sunday 21st June

Could the world as we know it end on December 21, 2012? Did ancient prophets actually predict Armageddon?  Is the Earth about to experience unprecedented, cataclysmic disasters ranging from massive earthquakes and tsunamis to nuclear reactor meltdowns? In June the History Channel examines these doomsday prophecies and the events and natural phenomena happening around us through an exclusive line-up of apocalyptic documentaries. Titles include:

SEVEN DEADLY SINS 

Sunday 14 June to Saturday 20 June, 7.30pm

New Zealand Premiere

The seven deadly sins (Lust, Greed, Anger, Pride, Envy, Gluttony and Sloth) have had an enormous impact on the moral compass of the modern world. We will see how the sins have been understood in Christianity, Islam and Judaism, and find out why some argue they have even greater significance than the Ten Commandments. If it’s true, as many believe, that the Apocalypse is coming, then the seven deadly sins are the ultimate emergency preparedness checklist. With this series, you’ll find out just how guilty you are. In this series, each of the seven sins will be revealed with ominous CGI animation. We will explore the nature of the sin, its opposing virtue, and its corresponding punishment. We will also trace the history of the sins, and will look at historical figures who have been the worst perpetrators of each. 

FIRST APOCALYPSE     

Sunday 14 June, 8.30pm

New Zealand Premiere

Sixty five million years ago, the dinosaurs were wiped off the face of the Earth. Over the years, there have been a number of theories as to why. For the last three decades, it has been thought that the cause was an asteroid impact in Mexico. Now, some scientists believe that a giant volcano in India was the culprit, as well as other environmental factors. Either way, many agree that the demise of the dinosaurs could not have been a simple story of a single impact event, followed by complete extinction. It is believed by many experts that a complex interaction of events combined to fulfil a fate many thousands of years in the making. How can we learn from the dinosaur’s fall from grace and how much our own fate may be intertwined with theirs? Are we doomed to follow in the dinosaurs footsteps or can we face down extinction?  

COMETS: PROPHETS OF DOOM

Tuesday 16 June, 8.30pm

New Zealand Premiere

These celestial travellers have forever filled us with fear and wonder. Lurking in the furthest reaches of our solar system, they come close to Earth as they orbit our Sun. So close they may leave their signature: massive craters…roiling oceans. Could something as destructive as comets hold the key to life? Are the building blocks of carbon-based life forms frozen inside? Might they contain information about the creation of our solar system? At the conclusion of two spectacular NASA missions that sent spaceships to rendezvous with these mysterious objects, we examine the scientific and historical record of comets, including man’s reaction to them. Did a comet lead the Wise Men to Bethlehem? Did they foretell the death of kings, the destruction of civilizations? How did Halley’s Comet provide Isaac Newton with the clues for his theories of gravity? Finally, what comprises this dirty snowball and how can we protect ourselves if headed on a collision-course with one?

THE UNIVERSE: STOPPING ARMAGEDDON

Wednesday 17 June, 8.30pm

It sounds like a Hollywood blockbuster. A deadly asteroid is on a collision course with Earth. But in reality, it’s only a matter of time before a giant space rock threatens to wipe out civilization. An asteroid took out the dinosaurs sixty-five million years ago. Are we next? This episode analyses the threat and explores the many ways from a nuclear bomb to ingenious new technology that experts are proposing to stop Armageddon.

HOW THE EARTH WAS MADE – THE SERIES

Continuing from Wednesday 3 June, 9.30pm

New Zealand Premiere

Building on the success of the two-hour special, How the Earth Was Made- The Series will do for geology what The Universe has done for astronomy. The series will go back in history from 4.5 billion years ago and travel all over the world in order to peel back layers of rock, fill up river canyons, part the oceans, level mountains and volcanoes, and investigate fascinating geological formations to tell the story of how the earth was made. We’ll go on location with scientists who reveal the latest thinking on how each phenomenon came into existence, what forces caused the mountain to rise or the canyon to form. Each episode will capture a particular moment in history, a special location or a key process that created amazing geological formations we know or have heard about today. 

SEVEN SIGNS OF THE APOCALYPSE 

Thursday 18 June, 8.30pm

New Zealand Premiere

The Seven Signs are clear: We will be struck by deadly plagues, famines and earthquakes… The sky will turn dark and oceans will turn to blood… And the antichrist will emerge to fight the final battle between good and evil. Could this all be true? Experts decode this powerful prophecy and come to a startling conclusion: there is now scientific evidence that many of these catastrophes could, in fact, be occurring. A star falling from the sky could be one of thousands of rogue asteroids that may be approaching earth. The plague foretold in the Bible could be a deadly strain of avian virus that researchers fear could kill millions. Oceans turning blood red could be triggered by micro-organisms that release dangerous neurotoxins that have the same effect as nerve gas. To reveal the ultimate truth behind the prophecy, this investigation will turn to the past to reveal why the prophecy was written, and why it keeps such a powerful hold on our imagination today.  

WITNESS TO 9/11: 102 MINUTES THAT CHANGED AMERICA

Sunday 21 June, 9.30pm

Encore Screening

A new historical record is emerging of the sights and sounds of the attack on the World Trade Centre. This two-hour special will distinguish itself from other 9/11 documentaries by using only unique and rarely seen and heard archive to document the 102 minutes between the first attack on the World Trade Centre to the collapse of the second tower. This will be a lasting document whose unique material comes from a range of non-traditional sources, including amateur photography, video, and film; FDNY, NYPD, Port Authority and emergency dispatch radio recordings, photography and video; recorded voicemails; audio/video diaries; footage and stills broadcast or published outside the United States; electronic messages; surveillance camera footage; and “outtakes” culled from raw network footage.

THE NEXT BIG BANG

Saturday 20 June, 8.30pm

New Zealand Premiere

After 40 years of planning and construction, the biggest science experiment in history is ready to be tested. On September 10th in 2008, the switch was thrown on what’s called the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The resulting data has the potential to explain why we and the Universe exist. The LHC, which cost $10 billion in planning and construction, is an experiment created by the greatest minds in physics. Their idea is to smash protons towards one another at the speed of light, trying to mimic what happened in the milliseconds after The Big Bang. In particle physics, this is a hadron. The experiment took place in a specially constructed 17-mile tunnel 100 meters under France and Switzerland. It had 10-story detectors, more than 10,000 magnets, and thousands of identical crystals placed throughout. 

NOSTRADAMUS: 2012

Sunday 21 June, 7.30pm

New Zealand Premiere

Whatever is in store- a massive cosmic collision, a global environmental disaster, an Armageddon-like religious showdown, or a more subtle transformation-many believe that December 21, 2012 will mark a major shift in the history of our planet. There is no cogent distinction between the sobering facts and hysterical fiction. What, if any, modern scientific proof exists? Is there any other compelling evidence throughout history that 2012 will be a year of unprecedented, deadly upheaval? This special looks for the parallels between the nightmarish daily headlines and the 2012 prophecies from Nostradamus and others. From the mystical realms of the Guatemalan jungles to the Hopi elders and Mayan shaman to respected thinkers of the modern age-Nostradamus’ doomsday warning will be cast in a frighteningly modern context. 

EARTHSHOCKS: DEATH OF A STAR

Sunday 21 June, 9.30pm

New Zealand Premiere

For the first time in human history, scientists have found the ultimate faith of Earth written in the comet trail of a massive red giant ‘shooting’ star. As we read this stellar trail, we learn what happens during the end of a star’s life to reveal that when they die, stars can project a killer beam of radiation and particles deadly enough to kill all life that lies in its path. Worse still, there may already be a beam headed this way with our name on it.

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