Nibiru: the imaginary planet
Posted on Thursday, 14 March, 2013 | 12 comments
Columnist: William B Stoecker
Those of us who research and write about fringe topics like UFOs, the paranormal, and lost civilizations like to think that the so-called "skeptics" who accept conventional views on everything without question are actually true believers in the status quo, and those of us on the fringe, who question conventional ideas, are the true skeptics. But if we are truly skeptical, we must also question and feel free to criticize fringe beliefs that do not seem to be based on facts or logic. An example would be the books of Zechariah Sitchin. Sitchin (7/11/1920-10/9/2010) was an economist, not an archaeologist, and most certainly not an astronomer. He taught himself to read ancient Sumerian, studied Sumerian myths, and constructed an elaborate theory devoid of logic or any real factual foundation.
Sitchin believed that, long ago, a large planet called "Nibiru" entered our Solar System from somewhere else and somehow went into a very erratic orbit around our Sun. It collided with a planet called "Tiamat" orbiting between Mars and Jupiter, creating the asteroid belt with roughly half of Tiamat and sending the other half closer to our Sun, where it magically went into a near circular orbit on the ecliptic, becoming our own world, Earth. Nibiru itself then settled into a highly eccentric orbit going out as far as just beyond the orbit of Neptune, and returning to the inner Solar System every 3,600 years.
An intelligent race somehow appeared on Nibiru, and, some 450,000 years ago, visited Earth to mine gold, which they needed to somehow protect their atmosphere. Tiring of the work, they combined their DNA with that of Earth’s Homo erectus to produce Homo Sapiens, our own species, to be slaves for them. They created the Sumerian culture, and Sitchin believed that all human languages descended from Sumerian. He wrote in great detail about the history of the people of Nibiru, which he called the "twelfth planet," counting Pluto, the Sun, and our Moon as "planets," as did ancient astrologers. In his history he named their kings and princes and described their politics.
There are so many problems with this that it is hard to know where to begin. First of all, a planet entering our system from interstellar space would be unlikely to settle into a highly eccentric elliptical orbit; it would either be ejected from the Solar System or settle into a more nearly circular orbit. If, at its greatest distance from the Sun, it was closer than Pluto (as well as larger) it would long ago have been spotted by our astronomers, and also would noticeably perturb the orbit of Neptune. For an orbit to have a period of 3,600 years it would have to extend far, far beyond Pluto. If Earth was the result of the collision described by Sitchin it would have a much more eccentric orbit than it does.
Advanced life forms on planetary surfaces tend to exist only if the planet is in the "Goldilocks zone," not too hot or too cold. Even as far out as Jupiter, the moons of the outer planets are frozen solid on the surface; farther out, even hydrogen freezes solid. During most of its orbit, Nibiru would be so bitterly cold and dark that nothing could live, save perhaps extremophile bacteria far below the surface. Sitchin "explained" life on Nibiru by claiming that the planet is volcanically active, and, somehow, warmth seeps up from its interior. First of all, that would still not provide the sunlight needed for photosynthesis, which produces the oxygen needed for what we call advanced life forms. And volcanic heat does not seep up evenly, but in the form of deadly eruptions that devastate some areas and leave others cold and frozen. I have stood near the Yellowstone geysers, shaking with cold (don’t go there in winter). A very few years out of every 3,600 would not allow advanced surface life forms to develop.
Professional archaeologists and experts in ancient languages have criticized Sitchin’s translation as being inaccurate, and have been skeptical of his interpretation of Sumerian mythology. They have pointed out (and I agree with them) that it is dangerous to interpret myths and legends in too literal a fashion. For example, some Christians believe that Noah literally had two of every land animal species on Earth plus food for all on his tiny ark. I have the utmost respect for Christians, but this is simply impossible. Some also believe that the Biblical flood literally covered the entire Earth, including even today’s mountains... if so, where did the water come from, and where did it go, and why is there no geological evidence for such a flood? In fact, the Bible is essentially correct; there was a global flood giving rise to the Biblical legend and the legend of Atlantis. Sea levels were lower during the last major glaciation because so much water was locked up in the vast continental ice sheets; when the Earth warmed and they melted, sea levels rose some 400 feet, flooding the continental shelves which had been dry land but are now submerged. In like manner, many of the Sumerian legends (including the original flood legend) were probably inspired by real people and real events, but much has been lost in the telling and retelling and the copying and recopying, and even the original stories may have referred, not to beings from another planet, but to paranormal entities. Also, many of the stories may have been intended from the start to be parables or to have a symbolic meaning.
Sitchin considered Sumer to be Man’s oldest civilization, but the evidence shows Sumer to be less than six thousand years old. On the submerged continental shelves off the coast of India and elsewhere, small cities over nine thousand years old have been found; elsewhere, the walled city of Jericho is about ten thousand years old; and the massive, extensive, and elaborate stone structures of Gobekli Tepe in Turkey are nearly twelve thousand years old.
Sitchin believes that the people of Nibiru created our own species less than half a million years ago, by genetically altering Homo Erectus. In fact, there is no hard evidence that Homo erectus was a different species ancestral to modern Man; it is more likely that they were fully human and were merely a different race rather than a different species. I have discussed this at some length in an article in Atlantis Rising magazine. Homo erectus is well over a million years old, and researchers Michael Cremo and Richard Thompson have uncovered massive evidence that people like us were alive on this Earth at least one or two million years ago, and probably five or ten million years before the present. There is even some evidence for still earlier dates.
And then there is the matter of the gold the people of Nibiru allegedly wanted to somehow protect their atmosphere... from what? And how? None of this makes any sense. If these people wanted to mine gold it is almost certainly found in asteroids, particularly nickel-iron asteroids, rich in heavy metals. And, assuming that they could only get gold on Earth, why go to the trouble of creating a new species as slaves? If the people of Nibiru could travel about the Solar System, surely they could create machines to do the work. And what menaced Nibiru’s atmosphere, frozen solid out there in the cold darkness beyond Neptune? Did they want the gold to be suspended as dust for a reflective shield? Even if the atmosphere existed in gaseous form (it couldn’t), gold, being heavy and dense, would not stay suspended as easily and as long as many lighter (and more abundant) materials. From beyond Neptune our Sun would appear as little more than a very bright star; the last thing anyone on a dark and frozen world could possibly want would be to reflect the pathetically little sunlight and warmth available.
And Sitchin imagines that this advanced race could fly all over the Solar System with rockets, and even use them to transport massive amounts of gold from Earth to Nibiru. Rocket technology, especially the chemical rockets we are presently using, has very limited capabilities, which is why we have to use multiple stages to get large payloads even into orbit around Earth, let alone beyond. We can imagine some combination of nuclear powered scramjets and rockets and ion drive, but even this would be limited in its capabilities. Something on the order of gravity control would be needed to do the planetary mining and transport Sitchin describes.
People like Sitchin, along with people who believe in a hollow Earth, give all of us alternative thinkers a bad name. And, ironically, Sitchin is not guilty of being overly imaginative as much as not being imaginative enough. His too-literal interpretation of myths and his failure to conceive of anything better than primitive rocket technology all indicate a mind that in many ways was unable to break free from conventional ideas. And his belief that the gods described in myths could not have been paranormal entities but had to have been flesh and blood aliens in nuts and bolts spacecraft shows him to have been limited by the materialist mindset so prevalent in the modern world.Article Copyright© William B Stoecker - reproduced with permission.