ARE WE ALONE? THE ENIGMA OF ANCIENT KNOWLEDGE

by Zecharia Sitchin

 

As I stand here before this notable audience to introduce the first Sitchin Studies Day, I cannot avoid thoughts of vindication.

It was just a few weeks ago that NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, announced at a major press conference the discovery of evidence for life on another planet. The exhibit was a small piece of rock that was discovered in Antarctica and that presumably had reached Earth from the planet Mars a long time ago. Using instruments that were not available before, a team of scientists found within the rock evidence of minuscule living organisms that, presumably, thrived on Mars some four billion years ago.

No matter how tiny or primitive, no matter how long ago, the announcement of the discovery of such life forms outside the confines of our planet was received with worldwide interest; for, it was pointed out, that is how life on Earth had begun-- from a kind of ‘seeds of life,’ one-celled, primitive, some four billion years ago. The question that sprang to mind was, Has NASA found in a rock from Mars evidence for the same process that has in time led to the appearance of Man on this planet?

Pressed to explain the significance of the discovery, Daniel S. Goldin, NASA’s Administrator, took a glimpse into the future. Indeed, he conceded, the implications might be far reaching. The ultimate question that the findings raise, he allowed, could well be the question: ARE WE ALONE?

Echoing this realization, Dr. Richard Zare of Stanford University, a member of the scientific team that studied the rock from Mars, wrote as follows in an Op-Ed article in The New York Times: ‘This could be a first step in answering the age-old question of whether we are alone in the universe and to what extent life is unique to Earth. The defining moment of the space age could well be the discovery that we are not alone in the universe.’

As I was reading the headlined reports, as I was watching the news conference on television, as I heard and read the three magical words--- Are We Alone? --- I could not help but ask a silent question, a bittersweet question: What took them so long?

For it was twenty years ago--- at this time in 1976 --- that I asked that very same question, with the very same words --- Are We Alone? Are We Unique? --- in my book The 12th Planet.

Those of you who have read that first book will recall that I not only raised the question, I also proceeded to give the answer.

 

The Nefilim

The answer, you will recall, was not a product of my imagination. Rather, it was based on solid evidence from antiquity. Some of you have probably heard already how I had happened to embark on the search that has brought me, via seven books, to this forum.

I was a schoolboy, privileged to study the Bible in its original language, Hebrew. We reached the story of the Great Flood in the book of Genesis, where it is stated that it was at that time that the NEFILIM were upon the Earth, who went on to marry the daughters of Man. The teacher explained that the story speaks of giants who were then upon the Earth. I raised my hand and pointed out that the word literally meant those who have descended, who have come down (in the context) from the heavens to Earth. For that, instead of being complimented, I was reprimanded. "You don’t question the Bible!" the teacher roared...

I can still feel the hurting. It caused me to become persistent in looking for the answer to the enigma of the Nefilim. To whom was the Bible referring? And why does the next verse in Genesis refer to them as sons (plural) of the gods (plural) --- an aberration in a Bible devoted to monotheism?

A clue in a 19th century commentary led me to seek the answer in the mythologies of the ancient peoples. There, there had been the many gods (with a small 'g¹). From Greece I traced them back across the Mediterranean Sea to the ancient Near East. The myths of the Egyptians and Assyrians, Babylonians and Hittites and Canaanites, seemed to tell the same tales, only calling the same pantheons by different names. In the end I discovered that all those myths, and thus the enigmatic verses in the Bible about the Nefilim, had a common earlier source: tales of gods and men first written down on clay tablets by a people called Sumerians.

 

The Discovery of Sumer

Up to about a century ago no one knew a thing about Sumer. The Bible did talk of a land it called Shine¹ar, a kingdom with great cities which had preceded Assyria and Babylonia; taking us back 3,000 and 4,000 years, doubts remained regarding the biblical assertion that there had been cities named Erech and Akkad and Ur before Babylon and Nineveh in the plain between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers.

But the more archaeologists moved to excavate sites farther south in Mesopotamia, closer to the Persian Gulf, the older were the discovered cities. Erech was discovered, and Ur too --- the city whence Abraham had come. And now we know that there had indeed been a land called Shine'ar; we call it SUMER. And it was there that Mankind¹s first known civilization arose, circa 4000 B.C. --- long before Assyria and Babylonia, almost a millennium before the Egyptian civilization began.

Scholars speak of the Sumerian civilization’s appearance as 'sudden,' 'unexpected,' 'out of nowhere.' All at once, without precedent or gradualism, there sprang up a high and manifold civilization with great urban centers, high-rise temples, palaces, courts of justice, commerce, even taxation. There were kings and priests, judges and doctors, dancers and musicians. There were irrigation, crafts, industries, metallurgy, shipping, mathematics; and above all: writing and a written language, scribes, schools, a literature, epic tales, proverbs, poems.

Archaeologists have dug up in the ruins of ancient Sumer many artful statues. In The 12th Planet I included illustrations of some of the ladies depicted by those statues, showing how they dressed, how their hair was done. One cannot but be impressed by their noble demeanor, their rich attire, their elaborate hairdos. It is just a glimpse of their cultured life. The clay tablets were sometimes inscribed with elaborate recipes for food preparation; I chose to quote from one for cooking chicken in wine -- the French specialty of Coq-au-vin but from thousands of years ago. Recently it was discovered that a very special way of making beer in a traditional enclave in Belgium in fact employed beer-making methods specified by the Sumerians: it was there that beer and beer brewing were invented.

 

The First Known Civilization

Or let’s look at another aspect of civilization also begun in Sumer -- the concept of laws and contracts, of courts and judges. Many of you have undoubtedly heard of the Law Code of Hammurabi, the Babylonian king. But how many knew, before my writings had brought the Sumerian civilization to life, that Sumerian law codes preceded the Babylonian one by fifteen hundred years? Moreover, whereas the Babylonian code was just a list of crimes and their punishments -- if you do this your punishment will be that --- the Sumerian law codes were codes of justice: You shall not take away the donkey of a widow, you shall not delay the wages of a laborer. Or take their proverbs, like this one: 'Man -- for his pleasure, marriage; on thinking it over, divorce.' Some of the poetry, such as a lullaby sung by a mother to her sick child, are unmatched by modern lyrics. Their music, scientists at Berkeley have found, was based on the same principles and used notes as we still do nowadays, except that the notes were in the cuneiform script.

In matters of technology, as in matters of social organization and cultural affairs, almost every aspect of a high civilization one can think of began in Sumer. Its "firsts" included the wheel and wheeled vehicles, boating and sails. The kiln, crucial to the making of strong bricks and to metallurgy, began there. The brick itself, still an essential part of building and urbanism, was a Sumerian first -- a fact first mentioned in the Bible, in the tale of the Tower of Babel. The complex casting method called 'lost wax' began there.

 

Advanced Sciences

As one looks at an inscribed clay tablet wit its seemingly countless number of combinations of long and short lines that form the cuneiform script that was invented in Sumer, the system looks disorderly, and one wonders how the ancient scribes could have remembered all those combinations. But as I show in my book Genesis Revisited, these were not haphazard combinations that were based on sophisticated mathematical theories now known as the Ramse Graph Theory that was first suggested by Frank R. Ramsey in 1928. It dealt with the problem of how points could be connected by lines without repetition. In my book I have shown that the Sumerian cuneiform script was based on the same principles --- but thousands of years earlier.

In matters of geometry, we find that not only squares and rectangles could be measured, but also circles, triangles and various odd shapes. In fact triangulation, on which geography and navigation on Earth as well as the measurement of celestial distances in the heavens depend, was known in Sumer. Their term for Earth was KI (of which more later) and its script sign was a flattened globe crossed by a lines-pattern, akin to the way that we show the Earth’s globe with meridians across its face.

The concept of the 'four corners of the Earth' and the 'four winds of heaven,' the cardinal points, comes to us from Sumer. Temples were built according to precise and prescribed orientations; modern arcaeoastronomers have found the orientations to have been so precise that they enable us to determine when the temples were built. The earliest temples, built as stage-pyramids called ziggurats, served as astronomical observatories and were depositories of precise knowledge regarding the relationship between the motions of the Earth, the Sun and the Moon. Thus the phenomena of the equinoxes (when twice a year the Sun passes the equator) and of the solstices (when the Sun reaches its farthest points north and south) were known.

 

A Sophisticated Astronomy

Solstices and equinoxes, and the other aspects of the triple dance involving Earth, Moon and Sun, are of course the essential elements of the calendar, was a Sumerian first-- not the notching of marks on bones of record the passing days, but a complex solar-lunar calendar that became he basis of all ensuing calendars and still in use to our times. While others have avoided the need for complex calculations to keep intact the Sun/ Moon cycle that repeats itself every 19 years or so (the Christians rely solely on the solar year, the Moslems solely on the lunar year), the Jewish calendar has retained the dual nature due to the knowledge of the secret of what is called Intercalation. Indeed the Jewish calendar, which marked this past September the start of the year 5757, is precisely the Sumerian calendar begun in the sacred city called Nipper in 370 B.C.

Much of the astronomical knowledge usually attributed to the Greeks, such as the so-called Metonic Cycle of about 19 years for the return of the Sun and Moon to their same relative positions, was thus in reality Sumerian astronomical knowledge that had reached the Greeks -- mostly of Asia minor -- via 'Chaldean' (late Babylonian) intermediaries. The phenomenon was called Precession: the slight retardation (about one degree every 72 years) in the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Textbooks usually teach you that Precession was first mentioned by the Greek Hipparchus in the 2nd century BC In fact, he himself wrote that he had learned of this phenomenon-- hardly observable in one man’s lifetime -- from the Chaldeans. In my writings I show beyond doubt that the Sumerians had already known of Precession and had linked it to what we still call the start of New Ages every 2,000/2,200 years or thereabouts. It was the Sumerians who first divided the celestial circle into twelve houses of the Zodiac, who named these zodiacal constellations by names we still use, and depicted them pictorially as the Bull or the Ram or the Maiden the way we still continue to do. It was they who recorded the shift from Gemini to Taurus to Aries, and it is thus to them that we owe not only the basis for astrology, but also the current expectations of the coming of a New Age, the Age of Aquarius.

The annual calendar, recording one orbit of the Earth around its parent star, and the zodiacal calendar, recording a shift of astronomical phenomena, are examples of the marriage by the Sumerians of advanced mathematics with a sophisticated astronomy. Indeed, Sumerian knowledge in the field of astronomy is the most amazing aspect of their attainments, for it included knowledge which we are only now beginning to attain.

The astonishing fact is that all the principles of spherical astronomy on which modern astronomy is based, come to us from the Sumerians: the concepts of a celestial sphere, an axis, a zenith, a horizon, the plane of orbit, the circle of 360 degrees, the grouping of stars into constellations -- all that and more is found in Sumerian records and in Babylonian, Assyrian or Hittite copies of the Sumerian astronomical tablets.

 

Secrets of Our Solar System

We learn in school that the first one to suggest that the Sun and not the Earth was in the center of our planetary system was Copernicus, in 1543. NOT SO. The Sumerians knew, and stated, that the Sun, not Earth, was in the Center and that the Sun was there long before the Earth had even come into being. Moreover, they left behind drawings of the solar system showing just that. It has been assumed all along that the ancient peoples were not aware of the planets beyond Saturn, for the simple reason that they cannot be seen without telescopes. We ourselves discovered Uranus, the one after Saturn, only in 1781, after the telescope was invented. Neptune, farther out, was discovered in 1846; and Pluto, so far out that even telescopes could hardly discern its features, was unknown until 1930. Yet the Sumerians knew about all of these distant planets!

Since The 12th Planet was published, a certain cylinder seal has become familiar to millions of readers. Cylinder seals were another Sumerian invention -- the forerunner of our rotary presses. Craftsmen, using tools and methods that remain a mystery, cut small cylinders from hard semiprecious stones, and engraved on them in reverse, as a negative, images and inscriptions. The cylinder was then rolled on wet clay, impressing a positive on the clay. When the clay dried, it became a permanent depiction. Literally thousands of those cylinder seals or their impressions have been discovered; and I have studied and examined a good many of them.

It was the custom to embellish the depictions with images of celestial bodies at the top. Favorites were the Sun or the Moon, or Venus. One day I came upon a cylinder seal in the museum in what was then East Berlin, cataloged under the number VA/243. Incredibly, in showed a complete solar system, with a rayed Sun-- not the Earth-- in the center, and all the planets we know of nowadays in the correct order and relative sizes! The date of this cylinder seal in circa 2500 BC -- more than 4,500 years ago; and it does show Uranus and Neptune and Pluto.

Well before the fly-by of the spacecraft Voyager-2 at Neptune in August 1989, I had predicted what its instruments will see and learn about that distant planet. It will be blue-green, with see and learn about that distant planet. It will be blue-green, with odd-colored patches on its surface, akin in many respects to Uranus, and -- a most audacious prediction --- watery. I was right in all of those predictions. How could I have known? Because the Sumerians had known. In my very first book, The 12th Planet, I quoted Sumerian descriptions of all the planets, including Uranus and Neptune. When Voyager-2 flew by Uranus and 1986, I literally jumped out of my seat and shouted, "Oh my God, but that is exactly how the Sumerians had described it!" They called Uranus 'the twin of Neptune' and thus I could predict what NASA eventually discovered about Neptune.

The Sumerians asserted repeatedly that 'the family of the Sun has twelve members.' They said that that family consisted of the Sun (in the center); the Moon (for reasons which they gave); and ten -- not nine -- planets. The depiction on seal VA/243 indeed shows such a twelve member solar system. It shows a substantial planet between Mars and Jupiter. Nowadays we do not see there a planet, but we do see the remains of a planet -- the myriad fragments called the Asteroid Belt, the 'hammered bracelet' in the words of the Book of Genesis. Modern astronomers are still stymied by the enigma of this circle of orbiting asteroids; but the Sumerians knew the answer to the puzzle.

 

A Cosmology of Creation

The Sumerians not only knew so much about the complete solar system; they also had a cosmogony that explains many of the phenomena that still baffle modern science in astronomy, geology and other disciplines. Why does Uranus lie on its side? The explanation is 'a mighty bang;' but what from? Why does Triton, Neptune’s largest moon, have a retrograde orbit, clockwise rather than anti-clockwise as is common in our solar system? And what had swept it into such an orbit? What pull snatched Pluto from being a satellite of an outer planet, and gave it a highly inclined and peculiar orbit? Why does Earth have a satellite, our Moon, that is much too large as planet-to-moon ratios go? What caused the mighty collision whose marks the Moon still bears? And, here on Earth, why did all the continents once congregate on one side, leaving an immense cavity that is still the Pacific Ocean on the other side? Why is the Earth’s crust unevenly distributed? And how could life on Earth begin so soon, just a few hundred million years after Earth was created?

Incredibly, the Sumerians provided plausible answers to all these nagging enigmas. They did so in a variety of written texts, some of which are called by other scholars 'myths' and sometimes held to be 'religious texts.' The longest and most hallowed of those Sumerian texts was one, known best by the opening words of its Babylonian version, Enuma elish; it is often referred to in scholarly books as the Mesopotamian Epic of Creation.

It was in 1876, exactly 100 years before my first book, The 12th Planet, was published, that George Smith, who worked in the British Museum, published a sensational work titled The Chaldean Genesis. Piecing together broken tablets that had been discovered in Nineveh in the library of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal, Smith showed convincingly that there had existed in Mesopotamia a creation text relating how the Earth and the Asteroid Belt had come to be, and how Man on Earth had been created. It was a tale not unlike the one in the Bible; except that it preceded the Book of Genesis by hundreds, even thousands, of years.

In 1902 L.W. King, also of the British Museum in London, deciphered even older creation tales, and specifically one that was written on seven tablets. He titled his book The Seven Tablets of Creation; it was a tale that evoked the biblical seven days of creation. It was a text clearly based on a Sumerian original.

Scholars treat these texts as myths, or even as a mere allegorical tale. But in fact, as my analysis has shown, the Sumerian creation texts constitute a sophisticated cosmogony. Like the first chapters of Genesis, which in fact are an abbreviated version of the Sumerian text, it is based on highly scientific knowledge, including recognition of Evolution.

Modern science asserts that our planetary system resulted from the coalescing of primeval matter whirling around our star, the Sun -- first the rockier components closer to the Sun, then the lighter and more gaseous ones farther out. The Sumerian tale calls the Sun APSU -- 'The one who was there in the beginning.' And it reports that first to be created from the primeval cloud whirling around the Sun were its 'messenger' (the planet we call Mercury) and another planet called TIAMAT.

In time, the other members of our solar system were brought about, in pairs. In the space between the Sun and Tiamat, the pair we call Venus and Mars were added. In the space beyond Tiamat, the pairs we call Jupiter and Saturn, and Uranus and Neptune coalesced. With the passage of time, some of these planets acquired their own satellite moons; Tiamat, for example, had an 'assembly' of eleven; and the largest of them, called KINGU in the Sumerian text, began to veer toward its own solar orbit.

 

The Appearing of Nibiru

Into that newly formed and still unstable solar system there appeared, about four billion years ago, an Invader. It was a sizable celestial body, a planet from another part of the cosmos somehow ejected from its own solar system, it began to succumb to the gravitational pull of our outer planets. The ancient text describes the dramatic change of course and the increasing attracting of the Invader into the heart of our solar system. In doing so, it caused collisions, tiltings, and the appearance of more moons -- obtaining at the same time seven of its own.

As I show in The 12th Planet, and later on in the companion book Genesis Revisited, the series of occurrences described in the ancient text explain satisfactorily such puzzles 'out there' as why Uranus is tilted on its side, how Pluto was pulled off from being a satellite to become a planet with the odd orbit, and so on.

With its course curving increasingly toward the center of our solar system, the Invader -- raveling in a trajectory opposite to that of our planetary system -- was now advancing toward an inevitable collision with Tiamat. The ancient text then describes in dramatic terms what it called the Celestial Battle, in the course of which Tiamat’s life was extinguished. One half of her was smashed into bits and pieces, to become the Asteroid Belt and comets. The other half was thrust into a new orbit, closer to the Sun -- to become the planed Earth. The Sumerians called Earth KI -- the Cleaved One, from which comes the Greek Gaea and the prefix 'Geo' for geography, geometry, etc. in English. This cosmogony, better than any theory in modern science, explains why Earth started with an immense gap or wound on one side (that is still the deep and vast Pacific Ocean), why all the continents were once together on one side, and why our Moon is unusually large as a planetary satellite: for it is none other than Kingu, the largest satellite of Tiamat, that was pulled with the future Earth to the new orbit.

And what happened to the Invader? According to the ancient text, it was caught into permanent orbit around our Sun -- becoming the twelfth member of our solar system. It was this planet that appears in the Sumerian cylinder seal passing between Mars and Jupiter, the site of the Celestial Battle. With an orbit that the Sumerians called SAR -- a term that denoted both 'ruler, the supreme' and the number 3,600 -- this new member of the family of the Sun keeps crossing and recrossing the Asteroid Belt, where Tiamat once had been. Therefore did the Sumerians name it NIBIRU, meaning 'Planet of the Crossing;' and the symbol for it was the sign of the cross.

The ancient text, told as a tale of celestial gods that come into being, jostle or annoy each other, acquire assemblies of satellites, and end up with a major celestial battle, which has become known, as I have mentioned, during the past one hundred years. Invariably, it has been considered a myth, an allegory, a literary text. The Babylonians, nearly two thousand years after the Sumerians, adopted and adapted the tale and replaced the Invader¹s name with that of their national god, Marduk. The text, Enuma elish, was read in public as the highlight of the New Year festival as a core of Babylonian religious beliefs in the supremacy of Marduk. Thus, another way scholars have looked at the text was to deem it a religious concoction intended to make Marduk also a celestial god besides his dominion on Earth. The recognized fact that the beginning of the biblical Book of Genesis echoes the Enuma elish only reinforced, in many minds, the religious nature of the ancient tale.

But I have seen in the text, especially when studied alongside other Sumerian and later Mesopotamian texts, a cosmogony-- and one based on highly advanced and sophisticated scientific knowledge; a text that answers virtually all the puzzles that have baffled, and still baffle modern science regarding the creation of our solar system and others like it in the universe, the origin of the Earth and the Moon, the origin of life on Earth, of Evolution, of Mankind. And, in passing -- an explanation for the enigmas on Mars and on other members of our solar system.

 

A Unified Theory

The tale of an Invader that rearranged our solar system and ended up being part of it can be considered as a Unified Theory about our solar system on the one hand, and as a cosmogony embracing universal phenomena on the other hand. Take, for example, the issue of whether there are other solar systems out there. Logically and by laws of probability modern astrophysicists have surmised that among the billions of billions of stars in the universe, some act as suns surrounded by planets. But it was only in the last year or so that astronomers have concluded, with the aid of advanced instruments and satellites, that in at least three instances such outer planetary systems do exist.

          But isn’t that what the Sumerians have said and known thousands of years earlier? They decided Nibiru as a renegade planet ejected from another solar system somewhere else in space.

          Or take the matter of planetary moons. Until Galileo discovered with his telescope the four brightest moons of Jupiter, who could conceive that a planet could possibly have more than one companion? After the Pioneer and Voyager space missions we know that Jupiter has 16 moons, Saturn as many as 15, that both Uranus and Neptune have multiple moons. Yet we read in a text composed millennia ago that Tiamat had 11 moons and Nibiru 7. The inconceivable was known.

          Compressing the Sumerian text, the Bible retained the statement that the "Firmament," the Asteroid Belt, separated the Upper Waters from the Lower Waters, and no one could understand what was meant. Until rather recently it was thought that Earth alone has water; now we know that there is water on moons of Jupiter, in the rings of Saturn, on Uranus and Neptune--- indeed, water Above the Firmament; and there is or was water on Mars, and Venus, and even Mercury indeed, water Below the Firmament.    

          Let us step back for a moment from such detailed examination of the insights of Sumerian cosmogony, and approach the subject from the perspective of scientific theology (for that is what, in truth, stubbornly-held scientific dogmas are). Until not long ago, cosmogony and astrophysics were dominated by a concept known as mogony and astrophysics were dominated by a concept known as Uniformitarianism. It held that once the universe was created, once the solar system was created, that is how things remained. It was only a decade or so ago that a counter theory began to be seriously considered. Called Catastrophism, and focusing on our own solar system, it held that things were not as when they had taken shape; rather, that catastrophic events reshaped and changed our solar system. This serious look at Catastrophism was brought about by the findings of Luis Alvarez, a Nobel prizewinner, and his son Walter Alvarez that a huge asteroid or comet struck the Earth some 65 million years ago, creating such havoc that it caused the end of the dinosaurs (the end of the Cretaceous period).

          Resistance to this new concept continued fiercely, even though other scientists managed to pinpoint the location at the tip of the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico --- where the impact occurred. Resistance petered out, however, when catastrophism-in-action took place before our very eyes, when the comet Shoemaker-Levy crashed into Jupiter in July 1994. Its fragments smashed into Jupiter with a combined force equal to 500 times the combined force of all the nuclear explosions conducted on Earth since Hiroshima. The realization that catastrophic crashes happen in our solar system not as exceptions but as constant or repeated phenomena has by now led to suggestions that other extinctions on Earth, and other huge craters or mysterious impacts (like the one in Siberia in 1908), were the result of interplanetary chaos.

          Come to think of it, NASA’s latest announcement could not have taken place without the acceptance of catastrophism; for what did NASA say? It said that some 16 million years ago an asteroid or comet crashed into Mars with such force, that pieces of the planet flew off its surface, were thrust away, traveled in space, and some 13,000 years ago--- attracted by Earth’s gravitation fell in Antarctica.

 

NASA and the Tenth Planet

          Does this mean that NASA, or establishment astronomers, are ready to follow in my footsteps, accept Sumerian texts as scientific treatises, and acknowledge the existence of Nibiru?

          Things would have probably been easier for all concerned including me were I to say that Nibiru was not a planet, and of some considerable size, but rather just a comet. Astronomers and astrophysicists are cognizant of comets with long orbital periods. A comet named Kohoutek that was seen several years ago was estimated to have an orbital period of 75,000 years. A recent comet, that is now behind the Sun but will come back into our view, comet Hale-Bopp, is estimated to have an orbit of 3,500 years almost identical to that of the SAR orbit of Nibiru. It is also believed to be of an unusually large size almost a miniplanet if one accepts the maximal estimates.

          Many of the comets appear from the distant reaches of the solar system--- from outer space, for all practical purposes, and make the turn around the Sun at a distance that, on the average, is that of where the Asteroid Belt is. Many of those comets including the famous Halley’s Comet have retrograde orbits; the orbit the Sun not counterclockwise as the planets do, but clockwise the way Nibiru orbits. So were I to say that Nibiru was a comet, agreement with my conclusions would have come easier.

          Even my contention that Sumerian texts indicate that Nibiru was a planet would have been easier to swallow, were I not to say more about it. In fact, astronomers have speculated about the possible existence of one more planet beyond Pluto. They call it "Planet X," meaning both the unknown planet and the tenth planet (Nibiru, let me remind you, is a tenth planet as planets go, but the twelfth member of our solar system when the Sun and Moon are counted in). Astronomers in various parts of the world have searched for this planet. Notable among them was Dr. Robert S. Harrington of the United States Naval Observatory (an arm of the U.S. Department of Defenses). He made his conviction of the planet’s existence, and that I and my Sumerian and biblical sources are right, in an on-camera interview with me for my documentary "Are We Alone?" In my book Genesis Revisited I have reported various official findings indicating that Planet X not only exists, but was actually found back in 1983. Yet the official U.S. attitude has been to play down the evidence, the findings, and the subject; and efforts to pinpoint "Planet X" continue, indirectly, mostly elsewhere.

          Why the reluctance, the refusal to admit the facts, to oppose further findings or disclosures?

 

The Problem of the Anunnaki

          The answer can be summed up in one word: The ANUNNAKI. In Sumerian the word meant "Those who from heaven to Earth came." The Bible, as I have pointed out in my latest book Divine Encounters, rendered the term Anakim; and the Bible explained several times that the Nefilim those "sons of the gods" who had launched me on my search were counted among the Anunnaki. Distinguished from the Sons of Adam but yet compatible with the Daughters of Man, they were the people of the rocketships. They had come down to Earth from the heavens. They were, in current parlance, EXTRATERRESTRIALS.

          And, in the scientific establishment, this word is taboo.

          When Pluto was discovered in 1930, the fact that there was one more planet in our solar system was accepted and hailed; but apart from the need to change textbooks, the discovery was of no great consequence to the man in the street, to our daily lives or beliefs. The problem regarding "Planet X" is quite different.

          The reason, you see, is that the only way to explain the enigma of the incredible Sumerian knowledge is to accept their own explanation: All that we know, they wrote, was taught to us by the Anunnaki. And the Anunnaki, they said, came down to Earth from Nibiru!

          Their coming and goings between their planet and Earth began, as I gathered from the Sumerian texts, almost 450,000 years ago. Capable of space travel already then, they also possessed at least (and perhaps more) of what we know today. Without telescopes and microphones, spacecraft and spectrometers, and computers and the other wizardly instruments that we have attained in the last few decades or at most a century or two, there was no way for the Sumerians to know all that they have known and recorded.

          To the long list of "firsts" and advanced knowledge, let me add another puzzle. We refer to Earth as the third planet from the Sun: we count Mercury, Venus, Earth. But in Sumerian astronomical texts Earth was called the seventh. It was depicted, on stelas and cylinder seals, by the sign of seven dots. Now, who would even think of Earth as the seventh planet? Only, I have suggested, someone coming into our solar system from the other end: to someone counting from the outside in, Pluto would be the first, Neptune the second, Uranus the third, Saturn the fourth, Jupiter the fifth, Mars the sixth, and Earth- the planet that had gold- the seventh.

 

The Celestial Cycles

          Or, let us take a quick look at Sumerian mathematics.

          The Sumerian numbering system is called sexagesimal, meaning "based on sixty" (ours is called decimal, based on 10). Thus, when the digit for the number one was in the first column, it stood for one; but when shifted to the second column it represented sixty. "2" in the first column meant two; "2" in the second column meant 2x60, i.e. 120. In our system, "1" is the one in the first column, ten in the second.

          As a base number, 60 is more readily divisible than 10 or 100: it can be divided by 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and no less importantly by the number 12. This was very important in Sumerian times, because the number twelve was an essential number in time-keeping (the day was divided into twelve double-hours), in the calendar, (twelve months), in measurements (we still retain to this day the 12 inches in a foot), in astronomy (where the heavens were divided into twelve houses of the zodiac) and so on and on. The significance of the number twelve was reflected and retained in antiquity in other areas, such as social organization (the twelve tribes of Isreal) and religious ones (the twelve disciples of Jesus).

          We have retained to this day not only the significant subdivision into twelve, but also the basic Sumerian sexagesimal number 60. How else do we account for the fact that we divide the hour into sixty minutes, a minute into sixty seconds?

          If we now shift our gaze from division to multiplication, we find that the base number 60, when multiplied by 6, gives us the number 360 which is the arbitrary number into which a circle is divided. Multiplying 360 by 10, we obtain the square of 60 and the number 3,600 the SAR, the number representing Nibiru and its orbit.

          Key cycles in Sumerian cosmogony, and in the affairs of the Anunnaki, we counted in and related to this SAR. A crucial period in Sumerian prehistory, in the prehistory of the Earth, was the number 432,000 (which represented 3.600 times 120). It was a number connected with the catastrophic event recalled by Mankind as the Deluge. In Hindu traditions, this number and multiples thereof defined divine ages and cataclysmic cycles on Earth. The ultimate cycle, the so-called "Day of the Lord Brahma," equaled 4,320,000,000 Earth years coincidentally, the estimated age of our solar system: it was a number arrived at by multiplying 3.600 by 120 by 1,000 by 10. There are other instances in other peoples’ lore as well as in Earth sciences, where 3,600 and multiples thereof seem to be the determining numbers.

 

Nibiru’s Central Role

          Indeed, it has been my firm belief that the orbital period of Nibiru and the Anunnaki who had come to Earth from it, lie at the core of the amazing Sumerian mathematics. Only the presence of the Anunnaki, and their role as teachers of the Sumerians, can begin to explain the sexagesimal system. It was built by progressing from 6 through a multiplication by 10 to 60; then 60 was multiplied by 6, to give us the all-important number 360. This in turn was multiplied by 10, to arrive at the SAR (3.600), and so on: a series of 6 by 10 by 6 by 10 etc. etc. Now, we can reason that 10 comes from the human number of fingers on both hands. But where does the 6 come from?

          Some scholars who have studied the Mesopotamian mathematical tablets have been struck by the fact that the number 1,296,00 (the length, incidentally, of the Hindu Golden Age), is listed as a prime number from which certain divisions begin. The number, I have suggested in my book When Time Began, can be understood only in terms of familiarity with the phenomenon of Precession. With a retardation in Earth’s orbit amounting to 1 degree in 72 years, the complete cycle encompassing 360 degrees when the Earth returns to its original position in relation to the Sun and the zodiacal constellations thus lasts 25,920 years. 1,296,000 represents this Grand Cycle (some call it the Platonian Year) multiplied by 50; and fifty, you might recall, was the biblical Jubilee.

          But 1,296,000 is also the SAR, the orbital period of Nibiru, multiplied by 360 the number of degrees on the Great Circle. Is there, I asked myself, a connection?

          It was then that it dawned on me that I was looking at the secret of the sexagesimal system. I imagined the Annunaki, coming from a planet whose one year (i.e. one orbit around the Sun) equals 3,600 orbits of the Earth, wishing for some more reasonable scale for relating the two orbits to one another. They discovered Precession. Dividing the celestial circle around the Sun into twelve parts, they create the zodiac and the zodiacal ages, lasting (mathematically) 2,160 years each (72 x 30 degrees). Now they have a more reasonable scale between the two orbits: 3,600 to 2,160. It is a ratio of 10:6 the basis of the sexagesimal system. No wonder the ancients applied this ratio in architecture as the Golden Section, and considered its reciprocal (6:10) as the Golden Number.

 

The Seed of Life

          So whichever way we look at it, the basic tenet of the Sumerians the existence of Nibiru, and of the Anunnaki, is corroborated.

          But to say that Planet X exists is more than tantamount to saying that the Anunnaki exist. For the same Sumerian creation tales echoed in the Book of Genesis also dealt with the origin of Life and the Creation of Man. They said that the "seed of life" was brought into our solar system by Nibiru, transferred by it to Earth as a result of the collision with Tiamat.

          It was therefore that life, springing from that seed, evolved along similar lines on both planets but much earlier on Nibiru. If the collision had occurred four billion years ago, and the start on Nibiru was ahead by even one percent, life would have begun to evolve on Nibiru 40 million years earlier than on Earth. No wonder then that when the Anunnaki had arrived on Earth about half a million years ago, they found on Earth early hominids while they could already travel in space.

          The Bible quotes in connection with the decision to bring about "the Adam" literally, the Earthling an entity called the Elohim saying: Let US make the Adam in OUR image and after OUR likeness." The Sumerian texts describes how the Anunnaki, in need of workers to work for them in the gold mines, decided to jump the gun on Evolution on Earth and, by mixing their genes with that of the primitive hominids, bring about us Homo sapiens.

          This, my friends, is the reason for holding back the truth regarding the Planet X and who is or at least was on it. For the political, social, religious, philosophical and intellectual implications of such an acknowledgement are immense.

          NASA has taken a careful step in that direction in its announcement about "seeds of life" on Mars, and another risky step by admitting that this leads to the question, Are We Alone?

 

The Implications

          But some trailblazers in the academic, religious and literary fields have been more courageous. They did not wait for NASA to give them the green light. Accepting the only plausible answer to the enigma of ancient knowledge, they set out to examine its implications.

          Some of them will be addressing you today. They will express their own opinions, their own viewpoints. Their sole connection to "Sitchin" is that they have accepted the validity of my evidence and used it as a starting point for their own research, teaching and writing. Please join me in saying to them: THANK YOU.