CASE OF THE TENTH PLANET
The announcement, on July
30th 2005, that a new celestial body has been discovered made
media news around the world; and because the reports were headlined
“Astronomers Claim Discovery of 10th Planet,” my phone
started to constantly ring… Some callers shouted “Congratulations!”; others,
more cautiously, asked: “Is it Nibiru?” – “Nibiru” being the planet of which
I had been writing and talking ever since my book The 12th
Planet was published decades ago.
The announcement by a
Caltech astronomer, Michael Brown, said that he and two colleagues, scanning
the heavens in 2003, found a celestial body (designated 2003-UB-313) that
they now realize might be larger than Pluto (the ninth planet) and thus
qualify as the 10th planet in our solar system. Lacking many
vital data except that it orbits the Sun at a very steep angle to the
ecliptic (the orbital plane of Earth and other planets) and is now about 9
billion miles from us, the discovery’s announcement was explained as
prompted by concern that a computer hacker, a “rogue astronomer”, or a team
of Spanish astronomers claiming to have found such a body (that they
designated 2003-EL-61) would pre-empt the Brown team.
Planet, A “Planetoid” – Or What?
While the Brown
team employed the term “tenth planet” merely due to its presumed size
(“larger than Pluto”), other astronomers have already pointed out that it
could be just one of several (perhaps even numerous) planetoids that are
assumed to exist in what is called the Kuiper Belt; the Brown team found one
such object not long ago and named it Sedna (and is rumored to be readying
an announcement regarding yet another one, 2005-FY-9).
All that has kindled a
debate among astronomers regarding what is to be deemed a full-fledged
planet, or a lesser “planetoid,” or just a “Kuiper Belt Object.”
Among the many questions
that are unanswered is whether the new celestial body, if a planet, has an
atmosphere; that the object could not be sensed by the infra-red Spitzer
Telescope (which the Brown team tried to do) suggests that it is just “an
So is it Nibiru? Have
astronomers now found the planet from which, according to my understanding
of Mesopotamian and biblical texts and illustrations, astronauts had come to
Earth some 450,000 years ago?
Based on the sketchy
information so far available, the answer is No.
This regrettable answer
stems, first of all, from comparing the information released regarding the
new object and the ancient data concerning Nibiru. The latter was described
as a radiating planet (i.e. one that has its own heat source and
atmosphere), a planet that sustains life, home planet of the Anunnaki
(“Those who from heaven to Earth came”) – the biblical Nefilim.
When the Mesopotamian Epic
of Creation (Enuma Elish) is treated, as I have suggested, as a
sophisticated cosmogony and not as an allegorical myth, the origin and
composition of a twelve member solar system become clear. While the
existence of varied celestial objects including numerous moons of various
planets have been recognized in the ancient texts (and depictions), only our
Moon and only Pluto (once Saturn’s moon) have been included in the count.
Together with all the planets we know of today (including those discovered
only in the past 150 years) and one more – Nibiru – the Sun’s “family” added
up to twelve.
Such a solar system was
depicted repeatedly on cylinder seals and monuments (now on display in
museums in London and Berlin), as shown by illustrations in my books. One
made famous by my writings is cylinder seal VA-243 in the Berlin Museum of
Near Eastern antiquities, which shows the complete solar system with Nibiru
passing between Jupiter and Mars when its orbit brings it back to our
The cylinder seal is only a little larger than an inch, engraved (as all
such seals were) in reverse. The sizes of the planets shown can thus be
considered only approximations, relative to each other. Even so, it is
evident that Nibiru was deemed not only much larger than Pluto, but also
It was not an “icy rock”
in the Kuiper Belt.
Search For “Planet X”
It so happened that just
two weeks before the recent news, at the Sitchin Reunion in Chicago July 15
– 16, 2005, I reviewed the search for “Planet X” by various astronomers. A
significant highlight of that search was the announcement in December 1983
by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory that IRAS (the infra-red telescope) has
found a planet, much larger than Earth, moving in the distant heavens in our
direction. The announcement – hastily retracted as a “misunderstanding” –
prompted the Reagan-Gorbachov meetings and President Reagan’s speech at the
U.N. about the common danger to Mankind from “an alien planet out there.”
My audience was treated
both to a video presentation of Reagan’s speech (and Soviet video footage
concerning the Phobos Incident), and to a never-before-shown video of my
interview of the astronomer who was in charge of the official U.S.
government search for Planet X -- Dr. Robert Harrington at the United States
Naval Observatory. Speaking of the planet as a matter-of-fact, Dr.
Harrington described it as 2 -3 times the size or mass of Earth, with an
atmosphere, “habitable;” and compared its position to the one in my books'
Dr. Harrington died suddenly soon after our interview in August 1991; but
what he knew, and what the ancients knew, must remain the only valid
criterion for answering the imperative question: Is it Nibiru?
Reproduction is permitted if accompanied by the statement:
© Z. Sitchin 2005
Reprinted by permission.
See relevant previous article:
case of the French Astronomer