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Zecharia Sitchin (1920-2010) does not appear to be as well known in Britain as in the USA, although he is becoming well represented on the web. His work is based on his own new translations of Sumerian and other Mesopotamian texts. Using them, he identifies complex and hitherto unknown early history not just of humanity but also of the entire solar system. According to him, there is a twelfth planet in our solar system, Nibiru (following astrological convention, counting the Sun and Moon as planets one and five respectively, so that Pluto becomes the eleventh planet, rather than the ninth, despite its 2006 demotion to the novel status of ‘dwarf planet’, slightly smaller than the more distant ‘dwarf planet’ Eris).

Nibiru is unknown to astronomers apart from those who are privy to an ancient secret and who do not broadcast their knowledge to the rest of the astronomical community or to the general public. It does not follow a near-circular orbit like the other planets, but a highly eccentric one with a ‘year’ of approximately 3,600 earth years; it is due to cross the orbits of Earth and Mars in the very near future. Some even claim that it has already done so, in May 2003, but that ‘the authorities’ have suppressed all information about this important event. A few of these groups claim to have spotted Nibiru, which they refer to as Planet X, and allege a massive conspiracy to keep this ‘truth’ from the general public. Much of their information comes from channelling statements of the so-called Zetas and more properly belongs with New Age ideas; it is a good example of how the fringe thrives on cross-fertilisation from its numerous subdivisions.

Sitchin’s first book, The Twelfth Planet, was published in 1976, and according to his followers, it has transformed the field of ancient history, although it had little impact, even among the alternative archaeology crowd. According to Sitchin, his research has taken the recorded history of humanity back to before the creation of the earth. He achieves this through his reading of ancient Mesopotamian texts, according to which the inhabitants of Nibiru, the Anunnaki, form a link between Stonehenge, Tiahuanaco and the Sumerians; they were also responsible for creating modern humans by genetic engineering. Disagreement among the Anunnaki made them abandon earth, but they are due to return shortly (according to the Zetas, the encounter with Planet X was to be expected in May 2003, but it seems to have been delayed) and they will presumably pay a visit on the creations they abandoned (in other words, us). This will have enormous repercussions for our social, political, economic and religious institutions.

Sitchin’s cosmogony links in with the ‘Face’ on Mars, the feature in Cydonia that has caused so much controversy since its discovery in 1976. He claims that relationships between the ‘Face’ and nearby ‘Pyramids’ can be matched with the Great Sphinx and Egyptian pyramids and that they point to landing places for the Anunnaki. Sitchin has also dated the Egyptian pyramids much earlier than conventional Egyptology, claiming that the dating evidence is at best misunderstood, at worst, forged, an idea that has found enthusiastic support from Graham Hancock and his followers. His dating of the features on Mars, conversely, is much younger than most astronomers would allow (and they see it as a naturally eroded mesa rather than an artificial structure, anyway).

Conspiracy?

Sitchin’s ideas have struck a chord with conspiracy theorists, who claim that Colin Powell and H Norman Schwarzkopf, the American generals who were key figures in the Gulf War of 1990-1, were ‘initiates’ of these ancient secrets and accordingly chose certain strategic sites for battles based on knowledge of the Anunnaki. The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was similarly planned to a large extent by Colin Powell and ought to be linked in some way with the imminent return of the Anunnaki. According to this view, their original landing place had been at Eridu, now in southern Iraq. They claim that Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (1937-2006) could not be captured in 1991 because he was hiding in a ziggurat, which the Americans were loath to bomb. For this reason, the Gulf War was not pursued to what had seemed to most people to be its logical conclusion – the removal from power of Saddam Hussein. In the event, his capture in November 2003 found him hiding in a hole beneath the courtyard of a modest house in a provincial town: one has to ask why he did not return to the safety of the ziggurat he had allegedly used so successfully twelve years earlier. The release of information about the Anunnaki to the public, according to Sitchin, will coincide with the next arrival of Nibiru in the year 2013; the International Space Station is secretly intended to ascertain the whereabouts of Nibiru.

A cosmic drama

Like so many Bad Archaeologists, Zecharia Sitchin assumes that ancient texts are inherently trustworthy, straightforward accounts by disinterested observers. In his view, Sumerian mythological tracts and the Pentateuch are historical and scientific treatises, which he alone has interpreted correctly. Conventional scholars are mistaken in their translations: words usually translated as ‘god’ should be translated ‘sky traveller’ or ‘astronaut’ and so on. Their assumption that these texts are mythological, allegorical or religious in nature is, according to Sitchin, wrong. Because the first scholars to study these texts in the nineteenth century lacked an understanding of space travel, they assumed that any account of beings travelling through space cannot have been intended literally. They thus established translations based on religious concepts; Sitchin has cut through this, according to his followers, and worked out more appropriate translations that give us a fuller and more accurate understanding of these texts.

The Twelfth Planet, Sitchin’s first book, was published in 1976; it forms the first part of a series known as The Earth Chronicles. Not only is Sumerian mythology treated as a straightforward account of the remote past, but also the Bible is equally presented as a treatise full of references to an ancient and lost science rather than as a religious text. Sitchin seems to believe that the technical nature of the biblical texts was forgotten in antiquity and that they were more-or-less hijacked as religious tracts. Subsequent books (The Stairway to Heaven (1980), The Wars of Gods and Men (1985) and The Lost Realms (1990)) build on the story established in the first book. Sitchin presents his work as erudite and scholarly, with a compendious knowledge of Sumerian myth, and there is no doubt that he was a skilful linguist, with an ability to read a variety of ancient Semitic languages. The question, of course, is whether his translations more accurately represent the meanings of the original authors than those of conventional scholars.

He regards the astronomical knowledge of the various peoples of Mesopotamia as being much more complex and accurate than is usually assumed to be the case, although conventional scholarship has long recognised the astronomical-cum-astrological obsessions of the Babylonians. In particular, he reads a number of texts as indicating that there were originally twelve separate ‘planets’ in our solar system: the Sun (Abzu), Mercury (Mummu), Venus (Lahamu), Mars (Lahmu), Tiamat (a planet then orbiting in what is now the asteroid belt), Jupiter (Kishar), Saturn (Anshar), Pluto (Gaga, which was then in a closer orbit), Uranus (An), Neptune (Enki), Nibiru (Marduk) and its satellite Kingu. The formation of Earth is part of a complex cosmic drama that can only be summarised here, but which is more dynamic than conventional astronomy and cosmology would allow and which makes Velikovsky’s speculations appear rather tame.

According to Sitchin’s interpretation of a text known as The Epic of Creation (Enûma Eliš), Nibiru, at the edge of the solar system, was the home planet of beings called the Anunnaki. Originally, the Earth and Moon were not present in the solar system, although there was an extra planet (Tiamat) where the asteroid belt now sits, between Mars and Jupiter. According to his reading of the Epic, Nibiru was originally from outer space, entering our solar system close to Neptune; the gravity of Neptune bent its trajectory so that it entered the solar system on a retrograde path and pulled a bulge in its side. Passing Uranus, the bulge ripped open and several lumps were pulled out of Nibiru to become its moons. Once again, the gravity of Uranus affected the course of Nibiru, bringing it ever closer to the centre of the solar system. As it passed Gaga, a planet orbiting between Saturn and Uranus, Gaga was knocked out of its orbit, eventually to settle down as Pluto. Missing Saturn and Jupiter, Nibiru approached Tiamat and its gravity began to tear away bits of the planet. Tiamat was cracked but remained intact. Nibiru then swept past the sun, swinging into an eccentric, comet-like orbit that took it back out into deep space past Neptune. Having been pulled into orbit around the sun, Nibiru returned thousand of years later, when it destroyed the already damaged Tiamat. Half of it was shattered into tiny fragments, to become the asteroid belt, while the other half was knocked closer to the sun by one of Nibiru’s satellites and became the Earth. Kingu, another of Tiamat’s satellites, accompanied the broken half and became the Moon. Nibiru continues in this highly eccentric orbit, which takes it out beyond Neptune and back into the asteroid belt in a retrograde orbit that takes 3,600 years to complete. The reason that Sumerian and Babylonian astronomers continued to regard the Moon as a planet, not a satellite of Earth, was that it had originally been a planet in its own right, according to Sitchin (although this contradicts his view that Kingu had originally been a satellite of Tiamat).

In his version of the Sumerian myths, beings from Nibiru much later created humans from apes by genetic engineering. This was possible because although life had originally developed on Nibiru, its collision with Tiamat had seeded some of the genetically identical molecules on what was to become Earth, so the beings of both planets share a common genetic ancestry. Modified eggs were implanted into the Anunnaki women about 450,000 years ago and their ‘mutant’ offspring became human beings (which is part of the thesis of von Däniken’s second book, Return to the Stars). The newly created humans were intended to be slaves for the Anunnaki, who needed them to mine minerals from the Earth to maintain their own civilisation. This situation continued for thousands of years, with the Anunnaki returning every 3,600 years to reap the fruits of their creations’ labours. During the periods when Nibiru was in the outer solar system, some of the Anunnaki remained on earth to direct the humans’ mining operations.

All trace of the civilisation of the Anunnaki on Earth was destroyed in a world-wide Deluge caused when part of the Antarctic ice cap broke off and fell into the ocean about 13,000 years ago. To escape the resulting flood, the Anunnaki retreated into space, while all their millennia of engineering efforts were destroyed. One of them, Enki, had taken pity on the humans and allowed a small group of them to build an Ark to ride out the floodwaters, so after the Deluge, the Anunnaki returned to Earth and taught them the basics of agriculture and animal husbandry. To facilitate contact with the earth, the Anunnaki built a spaceport in Sinai that was destroyed in a nuclear war 4,000 years ago. For reasons that Sitchin does not make clear, they decided to abandon their mining operations on Earth and to return only occasionally to help out humanity.

Sitchin’s dubious linguistic genius

A large part of Sitchin’s thesis is given to an explanation about why civilisation developed where and when it did. According to Sitchin, “most scholars now admit in frustration, by all data Man should still be without civilization”. This is not a view that forms part of mainstream archaeology. Leaving aside different definitions of ‘civilisation’, most archaeologists working on its origins pretty much agree that it develops in those societies where an unusual degree of cooperation between communities is required, for whatever reason. In many parts of the world, such as Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, Egypt, the Vale of Mexico, the Yangtse Valley and so on, the early civilisations are all basically ‘hydraulic’; in other words, these were communities that all required large-scale water works for agriculture. The development of civilisation thus depends on the development of agriculture, and economic transformation that only became possible after the end of the last Ice Age.

Sitchin believes the Sumerians to have invented a host of technological accomplishments, including writing, printing, metallurgy, a written law, medical technology and so on. Some of these achievements are recognised by orthodox Sumeriologists, although they might dispute the level of technological accomplishment the achieved. He describes Sumerian religion in a way that does not always agree with mainstream interpretations. According to him, An was the chief god; the problem here is that although the original sources make him the god of the heavens, they nowhere suggest that he outranks the other gods. Indeed, it is Enlil, the god of the air, who is usually portrayed as the leader of the gods. Going further, he then claims that twelve gods made up a ruling council of the gods; no ancient or modern sources to agree with this interpretation, although a group of seven deities who decree fate are mentioned (the deities in question being An, Enki, Enlil, Inanna, Nanna-Sin, Ninhursag and Utu). Other documents talk of fifty great gods, who are never named but who seem to be the Anunnaki, the children of An. To make up his list of twelve ruling gods, Sitchin adds some of the sons of Enki and Enlil to the list of the seven who decree fate.

Sitchin’s reconstruction of Sumerian mythology is highly speculative and his account of the family relationships between the gods does not resemble orthodox views. As leader of the gods, An is a remote figure who visited the Earth only when Nibiru entered the inner solar system every 3,600 years. This return was a time of great rejoicing and activity. Earth was ruled directly by An’s eldest son, Enki, who acted as a viceroy. Eventually, Enki’s position was usurped by Enlil, who was An’s son by his own half sister. This led to a blood feud between the descendants of the half brothers, which continued through many generations. His reconstruction of the family relationships of the Sumerian gods is what has allowed him to work out the stages in the ensuing war, but it is a reconstruction that does not match the results of orthodox scholars.

Much of Sitchin’s work depends on the reinterpretation of various words found in ancient texts. One of his key words, shem, is translated by orthodox Sumerian scholars as ‘name’ or ‘reputation’; he prefers to see in it a word meaning ‘sky chamber’ and, by extension, ‘spaceship’. Another is the term Anunnaki, which he translates as ‘those who have come down from the Heavens to Earth’. Once again, orthodox linguists translate the term rather differently, as ‘the descendants of the monarch’. Nevertheless, he suggests that the Biblical term Nephilim is a Hebrew equivalent of Anunnaki, allowing him to draw parallels between various Sumerian texts and parts of the Bible.

According to his admirers, Zecharia Sitchin is a linguist of outstanding ability and insight, which has allowed him to transform our understanding of the origins of humanity and civilisation. This would make him the greatest historian of all time and the first astronomer to reveal the complex origins of the solar system. Furthermore, his work appears academically unchallengeable to his followers, as there are few indeed who possess the linguistic skills necessary to understand his translations of ancient texts. Sitchin also claims to be a true-born Sumerian, whose research has been to prepare us, the human race, for the return of our creators.

To orthodox scholars, Zecharia Sitchin’s interpretations of ancient writings are eccentric, to say the very least. The Anunnaki are known from Sumerian mythology, where they are the children of the god of the heavens and the seven judges of the underworld. It is thought that they were originally regarded as fertility deities, something that makes sense in the context of the first agricultural civilisation on earth. They recur in Assyro-Babylonian mythology. None of the ancient texts seems to treat them as anything other than divinities: there is no suggestion that they are physical visitors to this world. Moreover, Sitchin does not seem to have discovered previously unknown meanings of ancient words and then uncovered the scenario he proposes for the origins of the earth and humanity: rather, he seems to have come up with his thesis first and then looked for new ways of translating key texts to support it, the reverse of normal academic practice.
Sitchin’s account of the creation of Earth can easily be shown to be entirely wrong. The chemical composition of the Moon and Earth, for instance, demonstrate that they both originally formed as a single astronomical body that was town apart early in its history. Many astronomers now believe this to have occurred as a result of a collision with another celestial body during the early history of the solar system. While Sitchin and his followers use this as evidence to support their version of events, it is clearly incompatible with them. His understanding of celestial mechanics is worse than shaky: it is utterly wrong. Even being generous and allowing some room for the gravitational effects he claims can cause planets to bulge, split apart and be propelled into new orbits, the chances of a ‘rogue planet’ from outside the solar system entering on the plane of the ecliptic (the plane in which the planets orbit), having ‘close encounters’ with Neptune, Uranus, Gaga and Tiamat – the latter not once, but twice – are so mathematically tiny that they can be dismissed.

Sitchin’s reconstruction of Sumerian mythology and his highly speculative account of the family relationships between the gods, makes An a remote figure who, as the overlord of the gods, visited the Earth only when Nibiru entered the inner solar system every 3,600 years. This return was a time of great rejoicing and activity. Earth was ruled directly by An’s eldest son, Enki, who acted as a viceroy. Eventually, Enki’s position was usurped by Enlil, who was An’s son by his own half sister. This led to a blood feud between the descendants of the half brothers, which continued through many generations. His reconstruction of the family relationships of the Sumerian gods is what has allowed him to work out the stages in the ensuing war, but it is a reconstruction that does not match the results of orthodox scholars.

There are parts of Sitchin’s account that clearly derive from von Däniken: we have the story of Etana and the Eagle (which von Däniken wrongly regarded as part of The Epic of Gilgamesh) in which the eagle carrying Etana flies higher and higher, allowing the narrator to give an ‘accurate’ description of the earth from space. We also get the supposition that the Ark of the Covenant was “principally a communications box”. These ideas are not Sitchin’s and they do not derive from his own reinterpretation of the ancient texts: they are modern commentary by other ‘fringe’ writers adopted by Sitchin and then justified by his reinterpretations. In other words, he is not led to his conclusions by the weight of evidence from the texts, but starts from his conclusions and then searches to texts for evidence to back up his assertions, generally by modifying the translations of key words.

Sitchin believes that “evolution cannot account for the appearance of Homo sapiens, which happened virtually overnight in terms of the millions of years which evolution requires, and with no evidence of the earlier stages which would indicate a gradual change from Homo erectus”. This is utter nonsense. The evolution from African Homo erectus (which some palaeoanthropologists now prefer to call Homo ergaster) to archaic forms of Homo sapiens took place something like 200,000 years ago and does not involve as huge a change as Sitchin seems to believe. Ironically, many creationists will insist that Homo erectus fossils are the remains of modern humans! Richard Dawkins and others have argued that evolution does not always work as an infinitesimally slow process, but can – and must – proceed rapidly at times of major environmental change, an idea that has been called ‘punctuated equilibrium’.

Alan Alford and Gods of the New Millennium

Alan Alford’s first book was probably the first book to bring Sitchin’s work to a wider audience, especially in Britain. Despite his original enthusiasm for these ideas, he has now decided that the Sumerian myths are not literal, scientific accounts, but are what orthodox scholars have always believed, religious stories to be read in symbolic terms. Of course, his interpretation of the symbolism is now at considerable variance with Sitchin’s views as well as those of conventional Sumeriologists.

21 Responses to Zecharia Sitchin

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  • Jeff Jencks says:

    One obvious problem that even you missed, how can life exist on Nibiru anyway? If life somehow developed while Nibiru was wandering around in the cold vacuum of space without a sun, that life would have been burnt to a crisp the very first time it passed our sun. Life can only exist on a planet with a stable, nearly circular orbit around a stable source of temperature control.

    • Daniel Good says:

      Not trying to support Sitchin, but if there were a Nibiru out there it might have life, though not likely space ship building life with DNA compatibility to humans. New astrobiological computer models indicates that subglacial oceans of liquid water could exist on planets ejected from their star systems. Also, hydrogen is a better greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Recent models indicate it could account for Mars warming even when the sun’s output was 40% less.

      Venus’ oceans were drying up, the atmosphere was increasing in density, slowing down it’s rotation and increased vulcanism was making it hard for life to hang on. Mars was losing it’s atmosphere as decreased vulcanism was not renewing the warmth giving hydrogen. The oceans either froze or sublimated into space as the core gradually became inactive. Any higher life on both planets died, though there might be sulfuric acid tolerant microbes in Venus’ atmosphere that

      Makes me want to imagine dying civilizations on both Mars and Venus. I’d just do so in an SF novel but not in a fringe book claiming unique knowledge of ancient languages. I can daven in Hebrew but I don’t know how to welcome Space Brothers in Hebrew!

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  • Helena says:

    You note that Sitchin claims to be a ‘true born Sumerian’ Surely this should ring alarm bells for anyone not already pre-disposed to believe all such nonsense.

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  • Arpan jyoti Mahanta says:

    Lets say that u are a stone age man living in caves , hunting deer for food. Would you be able to imagine, let alone prove the existence of something called Air, an invisible entity that surrounds us and gives us life? … Such is pur understanding of ancient cultures and the advent of technology far before recorded history. It is stupid, even arrogant to attempt to disprove ideas that we cannot fully understand, comprehend, or even imagine.

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      No, early humans could not conceive of the idea of air: that’s why they invented gods who breathed life into a mythical human ancestor. Your analogy falls down utterly: you seem to be saying that if ancient people did not understand about air, then we cannot understand the past. If I’ve misunderstood, perhaps you could rephrase your point without resorting to an inappropriate analogy!

      • Daniel Good says:

        Here’s where I disagree. God breathing life into the first man as a creative act, whether factual or fictional is very poetic. I like C.S. Lewis’ approach to mythology. It contains truth that is an indirect revelation based on imagination and storytelling. Even for skeptics who find religion to not be revealed or all that interesting, simply dismissing stories as myth misses their truth.

        Sitchin goes in the opposite direction. He takes the myths as of more value than science and then proceeds to come up with some crazy notions that he isn’t just a Jewish guy from Israel but a “true Sumerian” (note to Zechariah; Sumerians aren’t Semitic). He’s less well meaning and less sincere than Velikovsky. It’s like a devolution of the fringe.

        The evidence that aliens had anything to do with man’s evolution is doubtful. Dawkins imagines it and is probably as misguided as Clarke was in his later years seeing forests on Mars. Punctuated equilibrium posits a sudden (in geological time) appearance of species, and a very few civilizations seem to come from nowhere with little antecedent. That does not give weight to fringe claims, but it does mean we should not assure ourselves that mythology and religion are dismissible by science.

        It does not mean that God is mythological. Dawkins and others can accept intelligent design by extraterrestrial biological entities, but cannot imagine it done by a supernatural entity that also created the universe. I’m not inclined to intelligent design and am open to theistic evolution, though I simply describe myself as an old earth creationist who accepts that in this time in history, religion and science are in a cultural conflict.

        But science in the past fifty yaers has taught me that the universe (multi-verse?) is stranger than was dreamt of in both 19th century materialism and 19th century theosophy. Even if the Bible were inerrant in it’s original autographs (which we don’t have) those autographs are not science text books but have a redemptive purpose that holds true today. The culture wars are a sad byproduct of Western civilization’s urge to defeat all comers, regardless of the particular cultural beliefs at the time.

  • DIgnified says:

    They couldn’t conceive of air but they could conceive of a pantheon of “gods and goddesses” with ultra complex back-stories?

  • DIgnified says:

    To the author:

    I like your delivery. One issue I must raise is the hubris factor. While you point out the “assume the truth” view of Switch in, you leave out the other half. Assuming everything is fake. With this mindset, anything that could be garnered, as far as fact goes, will be missed. How is that any better than fabrication/embellishment?

  • Nik Kelly says:

    Um, if ‘Nibiru’ came anywhere near the inner solar system in 2003, many, many amateur astronomers would have spotted it. Not to mention the dedicated comet spotters, the ‘Minor Planet’ observers etc etc. Also, its passage would have seriously stirred up the asteroid belt, the short-period comets etc etc etc.

    Okay, there is still ample room out beyond Pluto for even a cool ‘Brown Dwarf’ or three, but on-going infrared surveys have raised the bar. ‘Nuff said ??

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  • deano says:

    The points that reinforce Stichins claims seem to be that of genetic manipulation.
    According to modern genetics,we are 2% different to chimpanzees, & other hominids(Neanderthal).
    Our 23 chromosome pair has been genetically spliced making us differ> brain & ability to speak,less strength & body hair etc.
    Now they can trace all female lineage back to “Mitochondrial Eve” in S Africa. Thus the “Out of Africa” theory of global migration. Australian aborigines were nomadic hunters when found 200yrs ago because of isolation yet trace back to this lineage!
    Near the goldfields of modern S.Africa they have recently found “Adam’s Calender”.A stonehenge type structure with a metropilis of stone bldgs,rds & terraces that can be seen from google earth.
    Is this where the Annunaki created a slave race from an early hominid(erectus) to mine for gold?
    Perfected clones that became our ancestors of modern man-homo sapiens sapiens?
    Left us & so man began the out of Africa migration 70-60 000yrs ago?

    Sometime around 12-10000yrs ago did the Annunaki return to Sumeria?
    If one looks at the genetics of crops & domesticated livestock they all seem to suddenly appear at this time & place. Wheat is genetically altered from wild grasses to produce a large husk that doesnt pollinate in the wind, thus allowing harvest.
    Domestic cattle are very different from their ancestor the aurochs. Smaller, easily handled, & genetically descended from a herd of around 80 !!!
    At this time, man suddenly became civilized! Agriculture, the plough, the wheel,religion & WRITING !!!
    Most experts agree this was the place, modern cities evolved & the appearance of megalithic stone structures ‘genetic manipulation’. Look at our genetics of today. Invitrofertilization & Cloning(Dolly the sheep) & Genetically Modified Crops

    Perhaps the real history of mankind will be shown from DNA & genetic research. The real timelines might become apparent & then the true occurance of events might appear………

    ##Neanderthals were a different lineage becoming extinct in Europe 20 000yrs ago.
    Bigfoot, Yeti, Yowie etc could still be a hominid living in impenetrable wilderness on continents today.( Tribes in Amazon,Borneo, Papua were only discovered in1970′s)
    Everything mentioned can be found in Wikipedia> ie sudden domestication of animals & crops,human origins & spliced chromosomes, estimated ages,dates & ancestors

    PS: Look up the Cheetah. Pets of early Egyption,Hindu,Syrian Kings. Like a dog,they cant roar, non-retractable claws,dont attack humans, very small bloodline(nearly clones) fastest land animal & lots more peculiar traits that all seem to point to a genetic manipulation from its closest ancestor!!!!

  • Oregonian says:

    Just going to add here that C/2012 S1 (ISON) also turned out not to be Nibiru as was believed by many!

  • Searching says:

    For me, the most compelling question is…how could the Sumerians possibly have known about the planets and the orbits? About Saturn’s rings? Did they have telescopes?

  • Slaggingham says:

    Nibiru would also have to be massless, as a planet careening through the inner solar system untold numbers of times since its formation would have pulled all the other small planets out of their nearly-circular orbits. In short, if Nibiru existed, Earth could not!

  • Marcelo Cabrera says:

    I think Mr. Sitchin made a good living writing science fiction

    • Daniel Good says:

      Don’t insult science fiction. Asimov was once asked why he could write about UFO’s and not believe in them. He gave an answer that he didn’t have to believe in UFO’s to use them in a story. I found Asimov’s attitudes towards Judaism a bit off putting (he was an atheist), especially in his introduction to the collection of Jewish SF “Wandering Stars”; but he was right about not having to hold a fringe belief to write fiction using the fringe belief.

      I’m inclined to accept the rational fringe, the Fortean that writes moderately well and presents both sides. The people who crank out book after book with nothing new just to earn a living or keep a following aren’t helping the cause they claim to believe in.

      My only issue with scientists is the culture of scientism. it’s like a material reductionist’s fundamentalism. I have no issue with science and have known scientists who were Baptist, who were Catholic, who were orthodox Jews and others who were liberal Jews. I’ve known atheists who were scientists who still went to shul because of the culture. The culture war between religion and science has few proponents but quite a bit of press.

      When the fringe is not just post modern inquiring into the nature of reality but quite pseudo-scientific then I have issues with it, just as I have issues with the more popular angry atheists. it’s human nature to want a victory in everything from love to business to intellectual argument and academia. My experience is that some victories aren’t worth the collateral damage.

      The SF writer in me imagines other universes with slightly different initial conditions where what is not true and fringe in ours actually exists, whereas what is true in ours is argued by a vociferous fringe claiming conspiracy. In all the universes, regardless of the form of intelligent life, it would be as cantankerous as homo sapiens and every bit as prone to error and capable of inspiration.

      Don’t have a dimensional portal yet, should have taken more math…

Agree or disagree? Please comment!