Going into a new profession six months before you think the world's going to end may not be the smartest of career moves, but don't tell that to Michael Luckman.
The New York-based writer of UFO books is committed to becoming what some might call "the D.J. of Doomsday" with a new radio show, "Radio Doomsday."
The show, which could be promoted as "all doomsday, all the time," airs every Thursday at midnight. It premiered a few weeks ago and Luckman predicts interest will pick up over the next six months. That's because some believe that the world will end on Dec. 21, the last day of the Mayan calendar.
Signs abound that the Apocalypse is upon us, according to Luckman. Events like the devastating Japanese tsunami, declines in the populations of certain honeybee species and last year's Hurricane Irene dovetail nicely with increased doomsday fears.
"I'm not coming from a biblical perspective," Luckman told The Huffington Post. "But there are many parallels between what is happening now and what is in the Old Testament and New Testament. I think increased sightings of UFOs are also directly related to the end times."
A typical broadcast might include an on-air experiment to contact extraterrestrials through the Internet, an interview with a psychic and Luckman's claims that Mayan elders have personally told him millions will perish as a result of predicted December events.
Although NASA scientists and other educators have repeatedly said the end of the Mayan calendar just reflects the close of a cycle, Luckman insists they're missing the big picture.
"I've seen the NASA statements," said Luckman, who is also director of the New York Center for Extraterrestrial Research and founder of the Cosmic Majority, which aims to reach out to alien intelligence. "Whatever they come up with, I can counter. We have birds falling from the skies, depletion of the honeybee population and trees that are 4,000 years old dying."
Luckman's approach to doomsday can be seen as contradictory. On one hand, he admits taking a "teleevangelistic, Billy Graham, fire-and-brimstone approach" to the impending disaster, telling his listeners to stockpile supplies and move inland.
"The simple truth is that many of us are unlikely to survive the coming Earth changes due to solar super storms, Planet X and a possible pole shift in 2012 and beyond," he told The Huffington Post. "Mayan elders have broken their silence and confided to me the truth about the Mayan calendar and the dangerous times we are living in. A large portion of Earth's population may perish during the transition into an enlightened new age."
On the other hand, Luckman doesn't think Dec. 21, 2012, will mark the end of the world. "Earth is not going anywhere and humans will survive," he said.
Even though Luckman is telling others to move away from the coasts, he won't relocate from his Greenwich Village apartment where he broadcasts his show to a secret doomsday shelter in Colorado until the last possible moment. "New York is the communications capital of the world," he told Global Post.
Doomsday predictions are nothing new. The ancient Romans read Pompeii's volcanic explosion as the advent of dire times, according to All Time 10s. But the Mayan calendar hubbub has struck a chord with a large number of people.
A recent Reuters poll found that 1 in 10 of people surveyed believe the world will end in 2012, despite NASA's repeated assurances that concerns about a mysterious planet (called Nibiru or Planet X), polar shifts in Earth's magnetic field or solar storms don't signal the Apocalypse.
The fact that people like Luckman have tapped into an fearful demographic is very disheartening to David Morrison, a senior scientist at the NASA Astrobiology Institute.
He receives at least five emails a day from people who are terrified that the world is coming to an end. A middle-school teacher from Stockton, Calif., informed him that two parents had approached her, indicating they planned to kill themselves and their children on or before December because of a belief that the end was near.
“I’m afraid of what people will do on that day," Morrison told Fox News Latino, referring to Dec. 21. "They may do crazy things."
"There is no scientific evidence backing up what these doomsday people believe," Morrison added. "If something horrible was going to happen, I would tell people.”
Meanwhile, travel writer Joshua Berman, author of "Maya 2012: A Guide to Celebrations In Mexico, Guatemala, Belize & Honduras," pointed out that 10 million Mayans live in Central America and most of them view the 2012 hype not as the end of the world but as the beginning of a cash cow.
"I haven't spoken with a single Mayan or Mayan expert who believes there will be an Apocalypse," Berman told The Huffington Post. "Instead, there is going to be a lot of celebrating and parties. They hope to increase tourism by 10 percent this year."
Luckman also concedes that even if the world doesn't end on Dec. 21 -- or any other day -- the threat of impending doom can only help his web traffic.
"I'm not doing this for financial gain," he told The Huffington Post. "But as things fall apart, the show takes on more legs."