Zecharia Sitchin

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Zecharia Sitchin
Born Baku, Azerbaijan
Nationality American
Citizenship United States
Alma mater London School of Economics, University of London
Known for Ancient astronauts

Zecharia Sitchin (born 1922)[1] is an author of books promoting an explanation for human origins involving ancient astronauts.

Sitchin attributes the creation of the ancient Sumerian culture to the "Annunaki" (or "Nephilim"), a race of aliens from a planet he calls Nibiru, which he believes to be in an elongated, elliptical orbit in the Earth's own Solar System. He asserts that Sumerian mythology reflects this view, though his speculations are entirely discounted by professional scientists, historians, and archaeologists, who note many problems with his translations of ancient texts and with his understanding of physics.[2]


[edit] Life

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.

[edit] Ideas

According to Sitchin's interpretation of Sumerian cosmology, there is an 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.

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 Genesis. 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. This event is described in the Lament for Ur.[3] Sitchin claims that his research coincides with many biblical texts, and that biblical texts come originally from Sumerian writings.

[edit] Criticisms

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.[4] Sitchin's translations of both individual words and of larger portions of ancient texts are generally found to be incorrect.[5][6]

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 have found 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's scenario for the creation of the Solar System 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."[7][8]

Sitchin claims 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."[9]

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.[10] 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.[10][11] The symbol on seal VA 243 has no resemblance to the hundreds of documented Sumerian sun symbols.

Peter James has criticised him both for ignoring the world outside of Mesopotamia and more specifically for misunderstanding Babylonian literature:

He uses the Epic of Creation Enuma Elish as the foundation for his cosmogony, identifying the young god Marduk, who overthrows the older regime of gods and creates the Earth, as the unknown "Twelfth Planet". In order to do as he interprets the Babylonian theogony as a factual account of the birth of the other "eleven" planets. The Babylonian names for the planets are established beyond a shadow of a doubt--Ishtar was the deity of Venus, Nergal of Mars, and Marduk of Jupiter -- and confirmed by hundreds of astronomical/astrological tables and treatises on clay tablets and papyri from the Hellenistic period. Sitchin merrily ignores all this and assigns unwarranted planetary identities to the gods mentioned in the theogony. For example, Apsu, attested as god of the primeval waters becomes, of all things, the Sun! Ea, as it suits Sitchin, is sometimes planet Neptune and sometimes a spaceman. And the identity of Ishtar as the planet Venus, a central feature of Mesopotamian religion, is nowhere mentioned in the book--instead Sitchin arbitrarily assigns to Venus another deity from Enuma Elish, and reserves Ishtar for a role as a female astronaut.[12]

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.

Sitchin in “the case of Adam’s alien genes” [13] claims that 223 unique genes found by the Human Genome Sequencing Consortium are without the required predecessors on the genomic evolutionary tree. Later researchers have argued that the conclusion from the Human Genome Sequencing Consortium can not be drawn due to a lack of a comprehensive gene database for comparison. An analysis by Salzberg identified 40 potential genes laterally transferred into the genome from prokaryotic organisms. Salzberg also argues that gene loss combined with sample size effects and evolutionary rate variation provide an alternative, more biologically plausible explanation. [14]

[edit] Influence

Raëlism, the UFO religion founded by Claude Vorilhon, appropriated some of its beliefs from Sitchin's work,[15] as does the Nuwaubian religion founded by Dwight York.[citation needed] 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 also draws on Sitchin's work in his conspiracy theories.

[edit] See also

[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, 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

[edit] DVDs

  • Are We Alone in the Universe? (based on Genesis Revisited), documentary, 1978 (2003 DVD release)[16]

[edit] References

  1. ^ Ronald Story, ed., The Encyclopedia of Extraterrestrial Encounters, (New York New American Library, 2001), s.v. "Zecharia Sitchin," pp. 552.
  2. ^ Sitchin at The Skeptics Dictionary
  3. ^ Evil Wind web page
  4. ^ Halloran, John A. (2006). 'Sumerian Lexicon: A Dictionary Guide to the Ancient Sumerian Language'. The David Brown Book Company. 
  5. ^ http://www.sitchiniswrong.com/sitchinerrors.htm
  6. ^ http://www.ianlawton.com/mes6c.htm What's in a Shem?
  7. ^ Ellenberger, C. Leroy 1981. Marduk Unmasked. Frontiers of Science, May-June, pp. 3-4.
  8. ^ Tom Van Flandern on Coast to Coast a.m. radio program, June 25, 2008, in reply to question from host George Noory.
  9. ^ Ellenberger, C. Leroy 1981. Marduk Unmasked. Frontiers of Science, May-June, pp. 3-4.
  10. ^ a b {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
  11. ^ http://www.michaelsheiser.com/VA243seal.pdf The Myth of a 12th Planet: A Brief Analysis of Cylinder Seal VA 243 by Michael S. Heiser
  12. ^ James, Peter SIS Workshop no. 7, vol. 2, no. 2 (Nov. 1979), reprinted from Fortean Times no. 27 (Nov. 1978).
  13. ^ the case of Adam's alien genes
  14. ^ Salzberg, Steven L. , Owen White, et al. “Microbial Genes in the Human Genome: Lateral Transfer or Gene Loss?”. Science 292.5523 (2001): 1903 – 3.
  15. ^ Carroll, RT (2008-05-11). "Zecharia Sitchin and The Earth Chronicles". The Skeptic's Dictionary. http://www.skepdic.com/sitchin.html. Retrieved on 2008-12-31. 
  16. ^ Are We Alone in the Universe? at the Internet Movie Database

[edit] External links

[edit] Criticisms

NAME Sitchin, Zecharia
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