BUGARACH, France, March 25 (UPI) -- Hundreds of hippies have made their way to the French village of Bugarach to await aliens they say will emerge from inside a mountain when apocalypse strikes.
About 200 New Age believers have taken up residency at the base of the Pic de Bugarach mountain, The Independent reported Sunday.
Upward of 100,000 people are expected to visit the mountain before Dec. 21 when the group believes the world will come to an end. Already this year, about 20,000 people have made their way to the peak -- about twice the number of hikers all of last year.
The group believes that on its date for the apocalypse, aliens with come out of the mountain and take with them any nearby humans.
"The apocalypse we believe in is the end of a certain world and the beginning of another," said a man called Jean, who has lived in a wooded area near the forest for several years.
"A new spiritual world. The year 2012 is the end of a cycle of suffering. Bugarach is one of the major chakras [energy centers] of the Earth, a place devoted to welcoming the energies of tomorrow."
Bugarach Mayor Jean-Pierre Delord has alerted national authorities of the situation in fear of a mass suicide.
"We've seen a huge rise in visitors. Already this year more than 20,000 people have climbed right to the top and last year we had 10,000 hikers, which was a significant rise on the previous 12 months. They think Pic de Bugarach is 'un garage a ovnis' [an alien garage]. The villagers are exasperated: the exaggerated importance of something which they see as completely removed from reality is bewildering. After Dec. 21, this will surely return to normal," he said.
Humane Society places rats in good homes
WESTLAND, Mich., March 25 (UPI) -- The Michigan Humane Society held an adoption event to find forever-homes for 13 domesticated rats.
The Saturday event at the Berman Center for Animal Care in Westland, called "Oh, Rat!" was the organization's first adoption event dedicated to find rats homes, The Detroit News reported.
Three or four families were waiting in line at the adoption event when the center's doors opened at 10 a.m. said Linda Reider, director of animal welfare for the Michigan Humane Society.
Reider said by late morning, five of the 13 rats had been adopted.
Humane Society officials said rats can make good pets.
"They are very friendly," said Kevin Hatman, a society spokesman.
Jesse Stump, 9, agreed. His family adopted two rats, sisters named Thelma and Daphne, that immediately took a liking to Jesse.
"They started biting me," he said. "They started crawling up."
Man returns overdue books from 1920s
DORMONT, Pa., March 25 (UPI) -- While donating books to the Dormont Historical Society in Pennsylvania, a man discovered he was actually returning overdue library books from the 1920s.
The books were checked out from Dormont School in the 1920, which is now the Dormont Municipal Building, home to the historical society, KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh, reported Friday.
Paul Kaminski, of Dormont, said he drove a box of books back from his cousin's home in Arizona. Inside the box he discovered the overdue books.
"A fine of five cents a day shall be paid on each book which is not returned according to the above rule," was printed in the books, Kaminski said.
That fine would come to a $1,600 library fine for one book that was checked out in 1924.
Kaminski said the books were probably checked out by his father and uncle, who attended Dormont School in the 1920s.
Man bites dog
KFAR SABA, Israel, March 25 (UPI) -- A police dog in Kfar Saba, Israel, had to be taken to a veterinarian after being bitten by a man, authorities say.
In a real-life example of the journalistic aphorism of what qualifies as news -- dog biting man doesn't, but man biting dog does -- police said the man became unruly while detained at a Kfar Saba police station Thursday and officers commanded the dog to take him down.
The dog complied but the man bit it, necessitating a trip to the veterinarian, Ynetnews reported.
The man, whose name wasn't reported, had been brought to the station for allegedly violating a restraining order obtained by his wife. He also allegedly had threatened to jump out a window and attempted to assault an officer with a screwdriver before being taken into custody.
Now he faces an additional charge of assaulting a police dog and remained in custody pending further court proceedings, the news Web site said.