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Review of 'The 12th Planet'

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Things to beware of in 1997:

New Russian civil strife. 


     The following file is courtesy of HUFON REPORT, the
           newsletter of the Houston UFO Network.
            THE 12th PLANET - by Zecharia Sitchin
                  Reviewed by Vince Johnson

In his book "The 12th Planet," Zecharia Sitchin presents ev-
idence  not only of contact by extraterrestrial beings thou-
sands of years ago, but that these beings genetically engin-
eered Homo Sapiens to serve them.

Sitchin began his inquiry when he came across the term Nefi-
lim  during Talmudic study as a boy.   His teacher explained
that  the  word  meant "giants" when describing the "sons of
the deities"  who married the daughters of Man, although the
literal  Hebrew  translation  of Nefilim was "those who were
cast down." Sitchin never accepted the "giants" explanation,
and  his  curiosity  about  the  Nefilim was the impetus for
"The 12th Planet."

The book begins with a short anthropological history of Man,
starting  with  Australopithecus some two million years ago.
Six  hundred thousand years later came the Neanderthal, who,
according to Sitchin, used the same tools as his more primi-
tive  ancestors (although the latest findings indicate Nean-
derthals  were  more  sophisticated than Sitchin describes).
Then,  a  mere  35,000 years ago, Homo Sapiens appears.  The
author quotes a Dr.T. Dobzhansk, "Modern Man has many fossil
collateral  relatives, but no progenitors; the derivation of
Homo Sapiens then becomes a puzzle."

As  far  as current archaeological knowledge can reveal, the
first true civilization arose in Mesopotamian Sumer, located
in  present-day  Iraq, at least 6,000  years  ago.  Sumerian
culture  exploded  onto  the  scene virtually overnight, the
cradle of human civilization.

A  description  of Sumer is a list of "firsts" for the human
race. Among these "firsts" are: the first schools, the first
historian,  the  first method of writing, the first library,
the  first  doctors and pharmacopoeia, the first agriculture
(and  first "farmers' almanac"), the first musical notation,
the  first bicameral legislature, and the first taxes.   The
Sumerian  legal  code (also a first) included protection for
divorced  women  and  price controls on foodstuffs and wagon
rentals.  Their religion influenced all that followed,  with
elements  of the Sumerian creation epic filtered through the
ages  into  the  Old Testament (the garden of Eden, the evil
serpent, the great flood, etc.).   But Sitchin's analysis of
Sumerian astronomy and cosmology is of most interest.  It is
Sitchin's  belief  that  astronomical knowledge actually de-
clined  from  the Sumerian period, with much of the Sumerian
astronomical knowledge only rediscovered during the Coperni-
can revolution.

To  support this thesis, the author describes the astronomi-
cal  knowledge  of  the  ancient  Greeks, who came more than
3,000 years after the Sumerians.  It is historical fact that
the  Greeks not only understood that the Earth was a sphere,
but had calculated its size to amazing accuracy.  The Greek,
Hipparchus,  knew  of the heliocentric (sun-centered) astro-
nomical system.  Hipparchus was also aware of the phenomenon
known  as  precession of the equinoxes, a cyclical wobble of
Earth's axis that takes 2,160 years to complete.   To under-
stand  this  phenomenon one would assume that Hipparchus had
to  draw  upon astronomical data at least that old. Two hun-
dred  years  before Hipparchus, Eudoxes of Cnidus designed a
celestial  sphere representing the constellations and attri-
buted their zodiacal designations to "men of yore."

Sitchin writes,  "Were the early Greek astronomers living in
Asia  Minor  better  informed  than their successors because
they could draw on Mesopotamian sources?" Sumerian astronomy
and  the  required  mathematics used to describe and predict
celestial events were remarkably advanced.   They utilized a
unit  of  measure  called  dub, which has been translated to
mean both the 360 degree circumference of the Earth, and the
"arch of the heavens."  Not only were the Sumerians aware of
the spherical nature of the world, they used the concepts of
the  equator,  poles,  and  lines of longitude and latitude.
Also, the apparent retrograde motions of the planets (due to
differences  in orbital radii) were understood  6,000  years
before  renaissance-era astronomers would solved the puzzle.
An accurate Sumerian calendar dating back to 4400bc acknowl-
edged  the  precessional shift from 2,160 years before.  The
Sumerians  used  a 12-based numbering system which still in-
fluences numbering today; numbers 1-12 have individual names
while subsequent numbers are contractions. The number 12 was
very  significant  to the Sumerians, representing the number
of their principle gods which were synonymous with the plan-
ets  known  to  them  (they included the Moon and the Sun in
their count).   Does this mean that the Sumerians were aware
of  all  of  the  planets  known to us today, or was it just

Sitchin  describes  numerous  cylinder seals showing what he
interprets  to  be  schematic  diagrams of the solar system.
These diagrams often show a planet larger than Earth between
the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.   These diagrams, along with
Sumerian,  Babylonian, and Akkadian creation epics lead Sit-
chin  to  believe that a collision of planets occurred early
in the history of the solar system. Certain aspects of these
ancient  texts  can  support Sitchin's theory, for instance:
the "gods" (planets) have "destinies" (orbits) and "cast out
their nets" (gravitational attraction).

According  to Sitchin, the 12th planet, Marduk, while making
its  approach  to the sun (in a highly elliptical orbit) in-
teracted  with the other planets of the solar system, fling-
ing Pluto into its current peculiar orbit. Marduk, or one of
its  satellites,  then collided with a planet called Tiamat,
which occupied an orbit between Mars and Jupiter. The Sumer-
ians described it like this:

     Tiamat and Marduk, the wisest of gods,
     Advanced against one another;
     They pressed on to single combat,
     They approached for battle.
     After he had slain Tiamat, the leader,
     Her band was broken, her host broken up,
     The gods, her helpers who marched at her side,
     Trembling with fear,
     Turned their backs about so as to save
     And preserve their lives.

Sitchin  interprets  "the  host,  the helper gods" to be the
moons  of Tiamat which "turned their backs" or changed orbi-
tal motions.    He suggests that the "shattered band" became
the comets and the asteroid belt.    But of most importance,
the  bulk of Tiamat's debris fell into a new orbit and would
become Earth.

The Hebrew texts mirror the Sumerian in several respects. In
Genesis,  the  Lord hovers over Tehom (the Hebrew version of
Tiamat),  and  the lightning of the Lord (Marduk in Babylon-
ian)  lit  the darkness as it hit and split Tiamat, creating
the  Earth  and  the "hammered bracelet" Raika (the asteroid
belt). In the Akkadian version, Marduk creates the "hammered
bracelet"  by  stretching  out Tiamat's "lower  part" into a
great circle.

Such  is the Sumerian story of creation.  Since these events
presumably  occurred  before the dawn of Man, how do the Su-
merians come by this account?    Sitchin believes it was the
Nefilim who told the story to the Sumerians.

According  to  Sitchin's theory, the Nefilim were engaged in
mining operations on the Earth. To support this, he presents
evidence  of  mining  activity  in Africa (through carbon-14
dating) 100,000 years ago.   To further support this notion,
Sitchin  presents  a  Sumerian  carving  showing  the god of
mining, Ea,  emerging from a mine pit.   Lightning-type rays
are emitted by the god, servants are seen holding up shields
between themselves and Ea.  Texts refer to "blue stones that
cause  ill," which Sitchin interprets as radioactive cobalt.
The  texts refer to the underworld as Kur.Nu.Gi.A, "the land
where gods who work in deep tunnels pile up the ores." Ulti-
mately,  the  Nefilim miners mutinied against their masters,

     Excessive toil has killed us,
     Our work is heavy, the distress much...
     While the Birth Goddess is present,
     Let her create a Primitive Worker,
     Let him bear the yoke...
     Let him carry the toil of the gods!

Marduk responds:

     I will produce a lowly primitive;
     Man shall be his name,
     I shall create a Primitive Worker;
     He will be charged in the service of the gods
     that they might have their ease.

It  is  Sitchin's theory that a mutiny of the Nefilim led to
the creation of Mankind.   The Nefilim genetically altered a
hominid  with  some of their own DNA, producing a useful hy-
brid - Man. To support this, he quotes a Babylonian text:

     Let one god be bled..
     From his flesh and blood,
     Let Ninti mix the clay..
     The new-born's' fate thou shalt pronounce;
     Ninti would fix upon it the image of the gods;
     And what it will be is Man.

The god chosen to provide the blood was named TE.E.MA, which
translates  to  "that which houses that which binds the mem-
ory," which could be interpreted as an allegorical pre-tech-
nological  description of "genes." Furthermore, the Akkadian
term for clay is tit in Hebrew, which is synonymous with bos
(mud)  and  shares  a linguistic root with bisa (marsh) and,
interestingly, besa (egg).

To  further  support  the notion that Mankind was created to
serve the Nefilim, Sitchin submits that the Hebrew term used
to describe Man's relationship to the gods was not "worship"
but avod (work). Ancient Man did not worship the Nefilim, he
worked for them.

Sitchin's  theory could explain the rapid rise and technical
prowess  of  Sumerian civilization.   But what became of the
Nefilim?   The author suggests that they either became aware
of,  or  were  the cause of, the coming flood.   The Nefilim
blasted  off, leaving the Earth to Man,  or at least the few
that would survive the coming catastrophe.   All evidence of
the Nefilim's existence was buried under tons of mud.

While  The 12th Planet  does  present some interesting data,
there are some weaknesses in Sitchin's theory. For instance,
he  believes  the Nefilim came from Marduk, the 12th planet.
One  would  have  to wonder how life could have evolved on a
planet  with  an  orbit that took it far beyond the orbit of

Sitchin also describes Nefilim space technology with a deci-
dedly  Apollo-era  slant (the book was written in 1976).  He
produces  evidence  for  the  idea that the Nefilim used LEM
(Lunar  Excursion  Module) style landers, and that they also
"splashed-down" in the Indian Ocean.  He even goes so far as
to suggest that the reason the Nefilim chose Mesopotamia for
their  colony was the availability of fossil fuels.   If the
Nefilim  came  from  Marduk, a planet presumably locked in a
permanent  deep-freeze,  they  would  probably have had much
more efficient means of energy generation than burning oil.

Sitchin  also  makes many unqualified declarations regarding
the goings-on in ancient Sumer. To be objective when dealing
with  subject  matter as speculative as this, he should have
incorporated terms like "could, might" and "possibly" rather
than making unqualified statements of fact.

That  being  said, Sitchin does present a mystery; how could
the  Sumerians have so rapidly achieved such a high level of
civilization with no predecessors to draw on?  That they re-
ceived  instruction from alien beings which they regarded as
gods is no more implausible than any other explanation.  EOF
This article originally appeared in the October 1991 edition

... "It's not the years, it's the mileage." - Indiana Jones

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