Zechariah Sitchin

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Zecharia Sitchin's photograph from The 12th Planet
Zecharia Sitchin's photograph from The 12th Planet

Zecharia Sitchin (born 1922)[1] is a best-selling author of books promoting the ancient astronaut theory for human origins. He attributes the creation of the ancient Sumerian culture to the Annunaki (or Nephilim) from a hypothetical planet named Nibiru in the solar system. He asserts that Sumerian mythology reflects this view, though his speculations are largely ignored by mainstream scientists and historians who see many problems with both his translations and understanding of physics.[2]


[edit] Life

Sitchin was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, and was raised in the British Mandate of Palestine. He acquired a knowledge of modern and ancient Hebrew, other Semitic and European languages, the Old Testament, and the history and archeology of the Near East. Sitchin graduated from the University of London, majoring in economic history. A journalist and editor in Israel for many years, he now lives and writes in New York. His books have been widely translated, converted to Braille for the blind, and featured on radio and television.

[edit] Ideas

According to Sitchin's interpretation of Sumerian cosmology, there is a hypothetical planet which follows a long, elliptical orbit, reaching the inner solar system roughly every 3,600 years. This planet is called Nibiru (the planet associated with Marduk in Babylonian cosmology). Nibiru collided catastrophically with Tiamat, another hypothetical planet that was between Mars and Jupiter. The collision formed the planet Earth, the asteroid belt, and the comets. Tiamat, as outlined in the Enûma Elish, is a goddess. According to Sitchin, however, Tiamat may have been what we now know as Earth. When struck by one of planet Nibiru's moons, Tiamat split in two. On a second pass Nibiru itself struck the broken fragments and one half of Tiamat became the asteroid belt. The second half, struck again by one of Nibiru's moons, was pushed into a new orbit and became today's planet Earth.

This scenario is scientifically disputed. However, Sitchin's supporters maintain it would explain Earth's peculiar early geography due to cleaving from the celestial collision—i.e. solid continents on one side and a giant ocean on the other—and would also explain why the Earth is layered in sediments.

According to Sitchin, Nibiru was the home of a technologically advanced human-like extraterrestrial race (called the Anunnaki in Sumerian myth) who were called the Nephilim in the Bible He claims they first arrived on Earth probably 450,000 years ago, looking for minerals, especially gold, which they found and mined in Africa. These "gods" of the Anunnaki were the rank and file workers of the colonial expedition to earth from planet Nibiru. Sitchin believes the Anunnaki genetically engineered Homo sapiens as slave creatures to work their gold mines by crossing extraterrestrial genes with those of the Homo erectus. Sitchin claims ancient inscriptions report that human civilization in Sumer of Mesopotamia was set up under the guidance of these "gods", and human kingship was inaugurated to serve as an intermediary between the Anunnaki and mankind. Sitchin believes that fallout from nuclear weapons used during a war between factions of the extraterrestrials is the "evil wind" that destroyed Ur around 2000 BC (Sitchin himself claims the exact year is 2024 BC[1]), as recorded in the Lament for Ur.[3] Sitchin claims that his research coincides with many biblical texts, and that the biblical texts come originally from the Sumerian writings of their history.

When Sitchin researched his books, only specialists could read the Sumerian language, but now anyone can check his translations in the frequently contested Sumerian Lexicon.[4] Sitchin's translations have been heavily challenged under linguistic scrutiny.

In a recently published book, 2012: Appointment With Marduk, Turkish proponent Burak Eldem presented a new view suggesting an orbital period of 3,661 years for the planet Nibiru, and positing a "return date" in the year AD 2012. According to Eldem's theory, 3,661 is one-seventh of 25,627, which is the total time span of "Five World Ages" according to the Mayan Long Count Calendar. The last orbital passage of Marduk, he adds, was in 1649 BC and caused great catastrophes on earth, including the Thera eruption. Sitchin has recently put forth his own date in the year 2085 for the next passage of Nibiru, but the date most talked about is 2012, which marks the end of the Maya calendar.

Sitchin has also claimed that certain unusual human genes discovered in 2001 were not the result of horizontal gene transfer from bacteria as concluded by geneticists, but were instead inserted into the human genome by aliens.

[edit] Controversy over his views

Sitchin's 'planetary collision' view does superficially resemble a theory which is seriously entertained by modern astronomers —the giant impact theory of the Moon's formation about 4.5 billion years ago by a body impacting with the newly-formed Earth. However, Sitchin's proposed series of rogue planetary collisions differ in both details and timing. As with Immanuel Velikovsky's earlier Worlds in Collision thesis, Sitchin claims to find evidence of ancient human knowledge of rogue celestial motions in a variety of mythological accounts. In Velikovsky's case, these interplanetary collisions were supposed to have taken place within the span of human existence, whereas for Sitchin these occurred during the early stages of planetary formation, but entered the mythological account passed down via the alien race which purportedly evolved on Nibiru after these encounters.

Similar ideas have been advanced by authors such as Immanuel Velikovsky, Erich von Däniken, and Laurence Gardner.

[edit] Astronomical and environmental objections

If planet Nibiru's orbit takes 3,600 years, then its aphelion would be much further than Pluto's. At such a distance from the Sun, temperatures are so low that water would exist as ice and life as we know it would probably be impossible. If a form of life can exist in such conditions, then it would not be water-based and could conceivably perish in Earth's much warmer temperatures.

Sitchin counters the distance theory by stating that Nibiru may have an internally generated heat source. To quote Sitchin: "My answer has been that we need not go that far out to freeze to death, just rising above Earth’s surface would do the trick. It is the planet’s atmosphere that retains the warmth, be it warmth obtained from the Sun, or from an internal source of heat. The crucial issue for the Anunnaki, I explained, was to prevent the loss of Nibiru’s atmosphere; they sought to do that with a shield of gold particles, and they came here to obtain the gold."

The author, researcher, and artist Andy Lloyd postulates in his book Dark Star: The Planet X Evidence[5], however, that the homeworld of the Anunnaki is actually a moon circling a brown dwarf star. This system of seven moons and dead star make up the Nibiru of Sitchin's translations.

[edit] Sitchin Bibliography

  • The 12th Planet (Earth Chronicles, No. 1), New York: Harper, 1976, ISBN 038039362X
  • The Stairway to Heaven (Earth Chronicles, No. 2), 1980, Avon Books (Bear & Company, 1992, ISBN 0939680890; Harper, 2007, ISBN 0061379204)
  • The Wars of Gods and Men (Earth Chronicles, No. 3), 1985, Avon Books (Bear & Company, 1992, ISBN 0939680904)
  • The Lost Realms (Earth Chronicles, No. 4), AVON BOOKS, 1990, ISBN 0-380-75890-3
  • Genesis Revisited: Is Modern Science Catching Up With Ancient Knowledge?, (AVON BOOKS, 1990, ISBN 0-380-76159-9)
  • When Time Began (Earth Chronicles, No. 5), 1993), (HARPER, 2007, ISBN-10:0061 37928X, ISBN-13:978-0061379284)
  • Divine Encounters: A Guide to Visions, Angels and Other Emissaries, AVON BOOKS, 1995, ISBN 0-380-78076-3)
  • The Cosmic Code (Earth Chronicles, No. 6), AVON BOOKS, 1998, ISBN 0-380-80157-4)
  • The Lost Book of Enki: Memoirs and Prophecies of an Extraterrestrial god, Bear & Company, 2002, ISBN 1591430372
  • The Earth Chronicles Expeditions: Journeys to the Mythical Past, Bear & Company, 2004, ISBN 1591430364
  • The End of Days: Armageddon and Prophecies of the Return (Earth Chronicles, No 7), William Morrow, 2007, ISBN 978-0-06-123823-9

[edit] DVDs

  • Are We Alone in the Universe? (based on Genesis Revisited), documentary, 1978 (2003 DVD release)[6]

[edit] External links and sources

[edit] Scientific Evidence

[edit] Pro-Sitchin

[edit] Critical of Sitchin

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