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Doomsday Is Coming: Escape Earth on Dec. 21, 2012, for as Little as $24.49

Apr 5, 2011 – 7:30 AM
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David Moye

David Moye Contributor

Some people see the 2012 doomsday prophecies as a sign the world will end on Dec. 21 next year.

Others see the apocalyptic predictions as nonsensical hogwash fueled by superstition and misconceptions about the Mayan calendar.

But Jack Dowd, an entrepreneur in Fairfield, Iowa, sees the fears of Armageddon as an opportunity to make some cash.

Dowd, 27, a former writer's assistant on the sci-fi series "The Dead Zone," is capitalizing on doomsday hype by offering escape packages to people who would like to leave Earth should the apocalypse strike four days before the 2012 Christmas shopping season ends.

Iowa Man Selling 2012 Armegeddon Escape Packages,
Jack Dowd
Iowa entrepreneur Jack Dowd is capitalizing on 2012 Armageddon fears by offering travel packages for $44.99 that include passage to another Earth-like planet, an intergalactic passport, a guidebook to the other planets and one luxury suite sleep pod aboard a space ark, complete with flat-screen TV, starlight window and mini bar.
There are two packages available at his website. The first-class package for $24.49 includes a one-way ticket aboard the USS Ark 2012 Escape Ship to an Earth-like planet, one single sleep pod and an intergalactic Passport ID Card that Dowd promises will allow passengers to "seamlessly make it through any wormhole checkpoint or space customs."

However, folks who purchase the $44.99 "Superluminal" package get upgraded to the luxury suite sleep pod that comes with a flat-screen TV, starlight window and mini bar. They also get a 2012 edition guidebook and "VIP access to exclusive areas of the USS Ark 2012, including the Officers Lounge, 360-degree Stargazing Deck and Zero Gravity Room."

It's hard to tell what's more amazing, the package itself or the fact that a few people have actually purchased it, mostly as a gag gift.

Dowd himself admits he started the site as a joke and is still surprised he's getting orders.

"I didn't expect anyone to actually purchase one," he told AOL News. "I initially saw this more as entertainment than a product to sell. I figure I've sold somewhere between 50 and 100 tickets."

Dowd came up with the idea around the time the movie "2012" was released in theaters.

"I had been hearing more and more people begin to talk about the Mayan Prophecy of 2012," he said. "When I saw a preview for the movie, the idea popped into my head to take it to the next level and actually allow people to purchase Escape Earth tickets for 2012.

"I hoped it would be fun or at least entertaining and maybe a fun novelty gift to give someone, as you actually receive the 2012 travel package in the mail.

Dowd admits he is "slightly poking fun at the hype surrounding a 2012 apocalypse," but insists the site isn't meant to offend anyone or to be taken seriously.

But some 2012 true believers like Robert Richardson fear that others may fall for Dowd's product and believe incorrectly that he is prepared to transfer them away from Mother Earth should a planet-destroying calamity take place next winter.

Richardson, who runs Off Grid Survival, a website that helps people prepare for worst-case scenarios such as, well, the end of human civilization as we know it, recognizes that Dowd's product is a novelty gift, but says a small percentage of humanity may throw good money after bad.

"I think some people don't take things like the 2012 insurance as a joke, and I think the people selling it are more than aware of that fact," Richardson said. "While the average person would never buy into believing in such a product, there is a small segment of the population that takes it very seriously. Look at the Heaven's Gate cult who committed a mass suicide because of the Hale-Bopp Comet.

"I think products like that prey upon the weak and do a huge amount of damage to the survival/prepping movement."

Richardson insists no one knows what will happen in the year 2012, but admits it bothers him when people exploit the date for financial gains.

"I think that it takes focus off the fact that people should be prepared for whatever is to come," he said.

Meanwhile, 2012 survival advocate Peter Kling, author of "Letter to Earth: You Can Survive Armageddon!" (Eloquent Press), sees a benefit to products like Dowd's.
"I'm doing everything I can to warn people, and a product like this brings more attention to it," he said. "The media is using scare tactics."

Dowd says he's heard only one complaint from someone who found the product distasteful, which is why he offers money-back guarantees. However, they are available only to those who perish in an apocalyptic situation on Dec. 21, 2012.

"Obviously, that's part of the absurdity," he helpfully pointed out.

Filed under: Nation, World, Weird News, AOL Original
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Jack Dowd, an entrepreneur from Iowa, sees the fears of Armageddon as an opportunity to make some cash. (Read More)