Zecharia Sitchin

Zecharia Sitchin

Zecharia Sitchin (born 1922) [Ronald Story, ed., "The Encyclopedia of Extraterrestrial Encounters", (New York New American Library, 2001), s.v. "Zecharia Sitchin," pp. 552.] is an author of books promoting an ancient astronaut theory of human origins. He attributes the creation of the ancient Sumerian culture to the "Annunaki" (or "Nephilim"), a race of aliens from a planet he calls "Nibiru" in the Earth's solar system. He asserts that Sumerian mythology reflects this view, though his speculations are entirely discounted by mainstream scientists, historians, and archaeologists, who see many problems with his translations of ancient texts and with his understanding of physics. [ [http://skepdic.com/sitchin.html Sitchin] at The Skeptics Dictionary]


Sitchin was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, and was raised in Palestine. He acquired some 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 London School of Economics, University of London, majoring in economic history. A journalist and editor in Israel for many years, he now lives and writes in New York City. His books have been widely translated, converted to braille for the blind, and featured on radio and television.


According to Sitchin's interpretation of Sumerian cosmology, there is a undiscovered 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). According to Sitchin, Nibiru collided catastrophically with Tiamat, another supposed planet located by Sitchin between Mars and Jupiter. This collision supposedly 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 was what is now known 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 hard to reconcile with the Earth's current small orbital eccentricity of only 0.0167. Sitchin's supporters maintain that 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. While this is consistent with the giant impact hypothesis for the origin of the moon, that event is estimated to have occurred 4.5 billion years ago.

The scenario outlined by Sitchin, with Nibiru returning to the inner solar system regularly every 3,600 years, implies an orbit with a semi-major axis of 235 Astronomical Units, extending from the asteroid belt to twelve times farther beyond the sun than Pluto. "Elementary perturbation theory indicates that, under the most favorable circumstances of avoiding close encounters with other planets, no body with such an eccentric orbit would keep the same period for two consecutive passages. Within twelve orbits the object would be either ejected or converted to a short period object. Thus, the search for a trans-Plutonian planet by T.C. Van Flandern of the U.S. Naval Observatory, which Sitchin uses to bolster his thesis, is no support at all." [Ellenberger, C. Leroy 1981. Marduk Unmasked. "Frontiers of Science", May-June, pp. 3-4.] [Tom Van Flandern on Coast to Coast a.m. radio program, June 25, 2008, in reply to question from host George Noory.]

Sitchin's theory "posits that, from an equal start, the Nefilim evolved on Nibiru 45 million years ahead of comparable development on Earth with its decidedly more favorable environment. Such an outcome is unlikely, to say the least, since Nibiru would spend over 99% of its time beyond Pluto. Sitchin's explanation that heat from radioactive decay and a thick atmosphere keep Nibiru warm is absurd and does not address the problem of darkness in deep space. Also unexplained is how the Nefilim, who evolved long after Nibiru arrived, knew what happened when Nibiru first entered the solar system." [Ellenberger, C. Leroy 1981. Marduk Unmasked. "Frontiers of Science", May-June, pp. 3-4.]

According to Sitchin, Nibiru was the home of a technologically advanced human-like extraterrestrial race called the Anunnaki in Sumerian myth, who Sitchin states are 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" 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 "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 provide intermediaries between mankind and the Anunnaki. 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 claims the exact year is 2024 BC), described in the Lament for Ur. [ [http://www.sitchin.com/evilwind.htm Evil Wind web page] ] Sitchin claims that his research coincides with many biblical texts, and that biblical texts come originally from Sumerian writings.


When Sitchin wrote his books, only specialists could read the Sumerian language, but now anyone can check his translations by utilizing the 2006 book "Sumerian Lexicon". [cite book| last = Halloran| first = John A.| year = 2006 | title = "Sumerian Lexicon: A Dictionary Guide to the Ancient Sumerian Language"| publisher = The David Brown Book Company] Sitchin's translations of both individual words and of larger portions of ancient texts are generally found to be incorrect. [http://www.sitchiniswrong.com/sitchinerrors.htm] [http://www.ianlawton.com/mes6c.htm What's in a Shem?]

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.

Sitchin bases his arguments on his personal interpretations of Pre-Nubian and Sumerian texts, and the seal VA 243. Sitchin claims these ancient civilizations knew of a 12th planet, when in fact they only knew five.{http://www.michaelsheiser.com/va_243%20page.htm The Myth of a 12th Planet in Sumero-Mesopotamian Astronomy: A Study of Cylinder Seal VA 243 by Dr. Michael S. Heiser] Hundreds of Sumerian astronomical seals and calendars have been decoded and recorded, and the total count of planets on each seal has been five. Seal VA 243 has 12 dots that Sitchin identifies as planets. When translated, seal VA 243 reads "You're his Servant" which is now thought to be a message from a nobleman to a servant. According to semitologist Michael S. Heiser, the so-called sun on Seal VA 243 is not the Sumerian symbol for the sun but is a star, and the dots are also stars. [http://www.michaelsheiser.com/VA243seal.pdf The Myth of a 12th Planet: A Brief Analysis of Cylinder Seal VA 243 by Michael S. Heiser] The symbol on seal VA 243 has no resemblance to the hundreds of documented Sumerian sun symbols.

Similar ideas have been advanced by authors such as Immanuel Velikovsky, Erich von Däniken, Alan F. Alford and Laurence Gardner. Alford later recanted his views and became a critic of Sitchin's interpretation of myth.


Raëlism, the UFO religion founded by Claude Vorilhon, draws much of its beliefs from Sitchin's work, as does the Nuwaubian religion founded by Dwight York.

Zetatalk, the internet cult founded by self-proclaimed contactee Nancy Leider, describes "Planet X", a large object they claim is about to hit Earth, as "Nibiru" in reference to Sitchin's claims.

David Icke and Alex Collier also draw on Sitchin's work in their conspiracy theories.

itchin 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", Bear & Company, 2004, ISBN-13: 978-1591430766
* "The End of Days: Armageddon and Prophecies of the Return (Earth Chronicles, No 7), William Morrow, 2007, ISBN 978-0-06-123823-9
* "Journeys to the Mythical Past" (Earth Chronicles Expedition) Bear and Company, 2007 ISBN-13:978-1591430803


* "Are We Alone in the Universe?" (based on "Genesis Revisited"), documentary, 1978 (2003 DVD release) [imdb title|0179649|Are We Alone in the Universe?]


ee also

* Panbabylonism
* Planet X
* Planet V

External links and sources

Critical of Sitchin

* [http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Corridor/8148/zindex.html Zecharia Sitchin's Ancient Astronaut Theories - A Skeptical Archive]
* [http://www.sitchiniswrong.com/sitchinerrors.htm Zecharia Sitchin's Errors: An Overview]
* [http://skepdic.com/sitchin.html Skeptic's Dictionary entry on Sitchin]
* [http://www.sitchiniswrong.com Michael S. Heiser on Sitchins theories]
* [http://jcolavito.tripod.com/lostcivilizations/id14.html Zecharia Sitchin's World]
* [http://www.ianlawton.com/mesindex.htm Ian Lawton's Mesopotamia Papers]
* [http://www.lauralee.com/vanflan.htm An Astronomer's View of the Akkadian Seal by Tom van Flandern]
* [http://www.ramtops.co.uk/siren.html Sitchin's Sumerian Astronomy Challenged]


* [http://www.sitchin.com/ Zecharia Sitchin's Official Website]
* [http://www.planetxvideo.com/ Planet X Video]
* [http://xfacts.com/x.htm Nibiru Facts]
* [http://www.my12thplanet.com/ "Robby D. Duncan's" "12th Planet"]

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