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Zecharia Sitchin

Zecharia Sitchin (July 11, 1920 – October 9, 2010) was an Azerbaijani-born American author of books proposing an explanation for human origins involving ancient astronauts. Sitchin attributes the creation of the ancient Sumerian culture to the Anunnaki, which he states was a race of extra-terrestrials from a planet beyond Neptune called Nibiru. He believed this hypothetical planet of Nibiru to be in an elongated, elliptical orbit in the Earth's own Solar System, asserting that Sumerian mythology reflects this view. Sitchin's books have sold millions of copies worldwide and have been translated into more than 25 languages.

Early life

Sitchin was born in the Soviet Union and raised in Israel. He worked as an editor and journalist in Israel, before moving to New York in 1952. While working as an executive for a shipping company, he taught himself Sumerian cuneiform and visited several archaeological sites. He also aquired a profound knowledge of modern and ancient Hebrew, other Semitic and European languages, the Old Testament, and the history of archaeology of the Near East. He attended the London School of Economics and Political Science, and graduated from the University of London, majoring in economic history with a degree in Economics.

A leading journalist and editor in Israel for many years, he lived and wrote in New York. He was a member of the Israel Exploration Society, the American Oriental Society, and the Middle East Studies Association of North America.

Similarly to earlier authors such as Immanuel Velikovsky and Erich von Däniken, Sitchin advocated hypotheses in which extraterrestrial events supposedly played a significant role in ancient human history.

According to Sitchin's interpretation of Mesopotamian iconography and symbology, outlined in his 1976 book The 12th Planet and its sequels, there is an undiscovered planet beyond Neptune that follows a long, elliptical orbit, reaching the inner solar system roughly every 3,600 years. This planet is called Nibiru (although Jupiter was the planet associated with the god Marduk in Babylonian cosmology). According to Sitchin, Nibiru (whose name was replaced with MARDUK in original legends by the Babylonian ruler of the same name in an attempt to co-opt the creation for himself, leading to some confusion among readers) collided catastrophically with Tiamat (a goddess in the Babylonian creation myth the Enûma Eliš), which he considers to be another planet once located between Mars and Jupiter. This collision supposedly formed the planet Earth, the asteroid belt, and the comets. Sitchin states that when struck by one of planet Nibiru's moons, Tiamat split in two, and then 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 (called "the twelfth planet" because, Sitchin claimed, the Sumerians' gods-given conception of the Solar System counted all eight planets, plus Pluto, the Sun and the Moon) 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 wrote that they evolved after Nibiru entered the solar system and first arrived on Earth probably 450,000 years ago, looking for minerals, especially gold, which they found and mined in Africa. Sitchin states that these "gods" were the rank-and-file workers of the colonial expedition to Earth from planet Nibiru.

Sitchin wrote that Enki suggested that to relieve the Anunnaki, who had mutinied over their dissatisfaction with their working conditions, that primitive workers (Homo sapiens) be created by genetic engineering as slaves to replace them in the gold mines by crossing extraterrestrial genes with those of Homo erectus. According to Sitchin, ancient inscriptions report that the human civilization in Sumer, Mesopotamia, was set up under the guidance of these "gods", and human kingship was inaugurated to provide intermediaries between mankind and the Anunnaki (creating the "divine right of kings" doctrine). Sitchin believes that fallout from nuclear weapons, used during a war between factions of the extraterrestrials, is the "evil wind" described in the Lament for Ur that destroyed Ur around 2000 BC. Sitchin states the exact year is 2024 BC. Sitchin says that his research coincides with many biblical texts, and that biblical texts come originally from Sumerian writings.

Popularity

Since the release of his first book The 12th Planet in 1976, now in its 45th printing, Zecharia Sitchin has written seven other books as part of his Earth Chronicles series, as well as six other companion books, all of which are still in print as of 2010. Sitchin's books have sold millions of copies worldwide and been published in more than 25 languages, as well as in braille. New York Times reporter Corey Kilgannon noted that despite academic dismissal of his work, Sitchin has "a devoted following of readers".

Critic Michael Heiser called Sitchin "arguably the most important proponent of the ancient astronaut hypothesis over the last several decades." Sitchin was a frequent guest on the Coast to Coast AM radio show, which in 2010 presented Sitchin with a life-time achievement award. Gods of the New Millennium author Alan F. Alford admits he initially became "infatuated" with Sitchin's hypotheses, but later became a critic of Sitchin's interpretations of myth.

According to some writers, Sitchin's ideas along with those of Erich von Däniken may have influenced the beliefs of the religious sect of Raëlism, and writer Mark Pilkington sees the mythology of Japan's Pana Wave religious group as rooted in Sitchin's The 12th Planet and its sequels.

The 1994 movie Stargate, directed by Roland Emmerich, and the 2009 video game The Conduit drew some conceptual inspiration from Sitchin's ideas, while screenwriter Roberto Orci says the villains of the film Cowboys and Aliens were inspired by Sitchin's conceptualization of the Anunnaki as gold-mining aliens.

His four books in The Earth Chronicles series have been published and republished in both hardcover and paperback editions and widely translated into many languages, including German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Swedish and Japanese. The scientific advances since the publication of the first book, The 12th Planet, in 1976, have confirmed many of the innovative and pioneering theories and conclusions of Sitchin's books, attesting to the accuracy of Sumerian knowledge 6,000 years ago. His first book was followed in 1980 by The Stairway to Heaven, and in 1985 by The War of Gods and Men; book IV of the series titled The Last Realms (1990), encompases the ancient events and civilizations of the Americas.

Sitchin's lastest book, Genesis Revisited, was published October 1990 by Avon in paperback and in January 1991 by Bear and Co. in hardcover.

 

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zecharia_Sitchin
MUFON 1991 International UFO Symposium Proceedings
 
 
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