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Nibiru Hijacked By WR Hobbs Part One: Academic Arrogance and Scientific Ridicule ABSTRACT: The speculation of the existence of an additional planetary body in our solar system is not the fringe discussion of decades past. In fact, as we will see later in this treatment, several contemporary mainstream academics and astronomers are busy postulating, debating and searching for the existence of such a body in the heavens. Nonetheless, mainstream academia by and large does not support the specific notion of “Nibiru” as translated by certain individuals from the early Sumerian cylinder seals, specifically VA243 that is estimated between 5300 to 6000 years old depending on the reference (and still an arguable academic point). The purpose of this work is twofold. First, we examine the word “Nibiru”, its origin and academic history. Second, we address the current 20 year old phenomenon of utilizing this term out of context by individuals characterized as radical pop-cultralists. (Refer to “Your Online Conversations” c7publishing.com/AAA/Truth/?p=2302 for an explanation of said group.) Introduction The discussion regarding Nibiru will basically be the explanation of the ongoing confusion and debate regarding the translation of ancient Sumerian, Akkadian and Babylonian texts along with the scientific debate against its existence. There are key individuals that will be cited in this ongoing debate that represent primarily two opposing viewpoints. Basically the two viewpoints can be distilled to those that believe the texts are the works of myth and those that believe the texts describe actual events. Section One: This section is not intended to sway the proponents on either side of the argument. The two primary groups are well entrenched in their points of view. While one group is obviously relying on the “academic” underpinning of its position regarding Nibiru, the other group holds fast to the argument that any translation can be incorrect, even at the academic level. For the purposes of simplification these two groups will be designated as the “Academics” and the “Renegade Scholars.” To be clear about the word “renegade”, the definition applicable here is from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary meaning: a person who leaves one group, religion, etc., and joins another that opposes it. Prior to the release of Zecharia Sitchin’s “The 12th Planet” in 1976, there exists only a few academic articles related to the topic of Nibiru. In 1961, B. Landsberger and J.V. Kinnier Wilson published the article titled “The Fifth Tablet of Enuma Elish” and in 1936, Albert Schott published the article “Marduk und sein Stern” (“Marduk and his Stars”). This fact is presented here in order to make an important observation; the rarity of researched material related to Nibiru seems to support the notion that 1 AncientScripts.com - A compendium of world-wide writing systems from prehistory to today http://www.ancientscripts.com/sumerian.html 2 http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/renegade 3 B. Landsberger and J.V. Kinnier Wilson, “The Fifth Tablet of Enuma Elish,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 20 (1961): 172ff. A. Schott, “Marduk und sein Stern” (“Marduk and his Stars”), Zeitschrift fur Assyriologie 43 (1936): 124-145. 4 Sourced from Michael S. Heiser “The Myth of a Sumerian 12th Planet: “Nibiru” According to the Cuneiform Sources” translation of Sumerian cuneiform was/is a rare skill set shared among few, at least up to 1976 and likely well beyond. Before we move forward it is of vital importance to establish a historical perspective. First, our discussion involves the earliest writing systems of man. So exactly how old is that? To clarify, we are talking about languages, not cave paintings in this context. To gain a full understanding of what is to follow, understanding the ancient language timeline is a prerequisite. The three oldest writing systems which we currently recognize are, Cuneiform, Elamite, and Egyptian. Although Sumerian has become synonymous with Cuneiform, that is not exactly accurate. The Sumerian writing system, along with Elamite, begin at the earliest demarcation of Cuneiform (circa 3200 to 3000 BCE) but it was not Cuneiform’s only form; Akkadian and Old Persian technically fall under that same category at 2500 BCE and 550 BCE respectively. Ancient Egyptian appears around 3100 BCE. Additionally, two other writing systems are worth mention in this general context: The Indus script of South Asia and Quipu of the Americas, both appearing approximately 2600 BCE.  An Academic Consensus According to Sumerian astronomy (indirectly referenced through the Babylonians), Nibiru (spelled dnébé-ru or MULni-bi-rum in cuneiform), is a term of the highest point of the ecliptic, i.e. the point of summer solstice, and its associated constellation. As the highest point in the paths of the planets, Nibiru was considered the seat of the summus deus who pastures the stars like sheep, in Babylon identified with Marduk. The establishment of the Nibiru point is described in tablet 5 of the creation epic Enûma Eliš; “When Marduk fixed the locations (manzazu) of Nibiru, Enlil and Ea in the sky".  Nibiru is mentioned at different astronomical locations in conjunction with the positions of stars and planets, mostly as the "star of Marduk", however, the various stars or planets were not subject to any fixed interpretation. For example, the "star of Ea" was described at various "revelation spots" including Vela, Fomalhaut, and Venus. Similar interpretations were made for the other "stars of the gods", so multiple celestial coordinates must be considered.  Nibiru is described more closely on a complete cuneiform tablet: Nibiru, which is said to have occupied the passageways of heaven and earth, because everyone above and below asks Nibiru if they cannot find the passage. Nibiru is Marduk's star which the gods in heaven caused to be visible. Nibiru stands as a post at the turning point. The others say of Nibiru the post: "The one who crosses the middle of the sea (Tiamat) without calm, may his name be Nibiru, for he takes up the center of it". The path of the stars of the sky should be kept unchanged.  F. M. T. de Liagre Böhl called the above text "objectively the most difficult passage, although it has been handed down in its entirety. The Nibiru tablet does not provide any essential help for the clarification."  5 Sourced from AncientScripts.com - A compendium of world-wide writing systems from prehistory to today http://www.ancientscripts.com/ws_timeline.html 6 Ernst Weidner in: Reallexikon der Assyriologie, vol. 2, de Gruyter, Berlin 1978, p. 381 7 Ernst Weidner in: Reallexikon der Assyriologie, vol. 2, de Gruyter, Berlin 1978, p. 381 8 Wolfram von Soden in: Zeitschrift für Assyriologie (ZA), no. 47, p. 17 9 F.M.T. Böhl in: Die 50 Namen des Marduk, Archiv für Orientforschung (AfO) no. 11, 1936, p. 210 In the Akkadian language, Nibiru is translated to "crossing" or "point of transition", especially of rivers.  Nibiru has been associated with the area of Libra: The Nibiru constellation rose in the month of Tišritum, around autumnal equinox, however Nibiru was also a name for the planet Jupiter when observed in the month of Tišritum. Reference to Jupiter is found in the MUL.APIN: When the stars of Enlil have been finished, one big star – although its light is dim – divides the sky in half and stands there: that is, the star of Marduk (MUL dAMAR.UD), Nibiru (né-bé-ru), Jupiter (MULSAG.ME.GAR); it keeps changing its position and crosses the sky. The chart below was compiled by Michael S. Heiser, a leading academic on the subject of Nibiru. We will be revisiting this individual’s endeavors in a couple sections below. For now, you may reference the footnote for this list below for more detail regarding its compilation.  Occurrence 1 Enuma Elish Tablet V, line 6 2 Enuma Elish, Tablet VII, line 124 Sumero-Akkadian Transliteration u8-s\ar8-s\id man8-za8-az Ne8-be8-ru ana ud8-du8-u rik8-si8s\u8-un d Meaning d Ne8-be8-ru ne8-be8-re-et s\ame, u ers[eti lu tameh}ma “He [Marduk in context] set fast the position of Nibiru to fix their [the stars] bounds” “let Nibiru be the holder of the crossing place of the heaven and of the earth” English Translation Source Horowitz, 115, 161 Horowitz, p. 115; 10 Akkadian Dictionary: nēbertu * , nēburu The Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago (CAD) 12 Sourced from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nibiru_%28Babylonian_astronomy%29 (Please note that while Wikipedia is not an ideal source because of its propensity to include inaccurate information, this particular citation has been cross-referenced with the original sources provided in the entry. It is the ‘compilation’ of the material that is cited in this note. The individual references have been provided as well.) 13 I (Heiser) have, in these cases, given (a) the Mesopotamian text where the word occurs; (b) a Sumero-Akkadian transliteration;13 (c) a brief translation; (d) the page references to English translations of the Mesopotamian text in which the word occurs, so the reader can check the context and study further. (Note as well that in Section Three I discuss each occurrence in more detail and in context). In the following chart, 11 superscripted “d” = the cuneiform sign for “god” (Dingir), and so “neberu” may refer to a god (recall that Sumerians and Mesopotamians associated heavenly bodies with deities) superscripted “MUL” = the cuneiform sign for “star” (and so “neberu” is a star – the texts tell us this point blank) superscripted numbers = the numerical reference number for Sumerian signs that can stand for more than one syllable. This is a scholarly convention for keeping such overlapping signs distinct so the texts can be read accurately. 3 Enuma Elish, Tablet VII, line 126, 130-131 d Ne8-be8-ru kakkabu- s\u s\a ina s\ame, u-s\a-pu-u 130-131 do not contain the name Nibiru, but elaborate on 126. 4 Astrolabe B, the Star catalogue (known as “KAV 218B ii, lines 2932) MUL SA5 s\a ina ZI imU18 LU EGIR DINGIR mes\ GI5 ti ugda-mi-ru-nimma AN-e BAR-ma GUBiz MUL BI d Ne8-be8-ru d 5 Mul.Apin I.i:3638 AMAR.UD k|4ma kakkabu4 s\u4t dEnlil ugdammiru4ni is\ten kakkabu4 rabu4 s[essu da)mat s\ame, us\tams\alma izzaz Ne8 be8 kakkab d AMAR.UD ru SAG.ME. GAR manza4ssu ittanakkir s\ame, ibbir 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Various star lists; (#s 6-7 = CT 26.41..v.1; 44.ii.12 ) (# 8,9 = CT 25.35.7; 36.6) (# 10-13 = CAD, p. 147; Omen Texts; see abbrev’s. in CAD and last column here) 14 15 Tablets K.6174:9’ and K.12769:6’ Numbers 6-7 = the word MULNi-bi-rum (in a list of stars) d Ne8-be8ru Marduk re4me4nu, Numbers 8-9 = Numbers 10-11 have the word MULNi-bi-rum Numbers 12-13 have the word d “Nibiru is his [marduk’s in context] star, which he made appear in the heavens . . . [130-131] The stars of heaven, let him [Nibiru] set their course; let him shepherd all the gods like sheep.” “the red star which stands in the south after the gods of the night [the stars] have been finished, dividing the sky in half, this star is Nibiru, (i.e., Marduk).” “When the stars of Enlil have been finished, one big star – although its light is dim – divides the sky in half and stands there: that is, the star of Marduk, Nibiru, Jupiter; it keeps changing its position and crosses the sky.” “(the star) Nibiru” Ne8-be8-ru Both have the phrase: DISH MULUDU.IDIM.GU4 UD AN-e BAR-ma GUB-ma Horowitz, p. 115; Mul.Apin Cuneiform texts from Babylonian Tablets (=CT) Mul.Apin “(the god) Nibiru, the merciful Marduk” “(the star) Nibiru” “(the god) Nibiru” “If Mercury divides the sky and stands there, [it’s name] is Nibiru.” K = tablets on the Kouyunjik collection of the British Museum; LBAT = Late Babylonian Astronomical and Related texts, ed. By J. Sachs Mul.Apin d Ne8-be8-[ru s\ums\u] 16 17 Two omen texts (CAD, p. 147) Two short astronomical omens have MULNi-bi-rum “(the star) Nibiru” The information above represents the generally accepted consensus related to the term Nibiru. There are two unequivocal facts with which the academics agree. 1) The term “Nibiru” is real and appears multiple times in the Enuma Elish, Astrolabe B, Mul.Apin and cuneiform Babylonian tablets rendering various star lists. 2) Among other meanings, the academics agree that in several circumstances the term Nibiru is representative of a “star” “planet” or “god”. The extent to which this becomes explained away by academia goes to the larger argument of myth versus reality alluded to earlier and will be discussed in detail in following sections. An Alternate Point of View One can argue that there are as many alternate points of view as people who write about Nibiru and do not agree with the academic consensus. Nevertheless, we will discuss the original alternative theory posited by Zecharia Sitchin. It is the most well-known and researched of any alternatives in this author’s opinion. It has certainly stood the test of time, although the academics would sharply disagree. Sitchin was Russian born and raised in Palestine. He graduated from the University of London with a degree in economic history before working several years as a journalist and editor in Israel. Sitchin's theories are predicated on the premise that ancient myths are not myths but historical and scientific texts. One of Sitchin’s core assertions is that Nibiru is a planet that orbits our Sun every 3,450 years. The following summarizes Sitchin’s primary theory: Working from the same archaeological discoveries, artifacts, and recovered records as archaeologists and linguists have for two hundred years, Sitchin propounds – proves, in the opinion of this author -- that the Anunnaki (Sumerian: “those who came down from the heavens”; Old testament Hebrew, Anakeim, Nefilim, Elohim; Egyptian: Neter), an advanced civilization from the tenth planet in our solar system, splashed down in the Persian gulf area around 432,000 years ago, colonized the planet, with the purpose of obtaining large quantities of gold. Some 250,000 years ago, the recovered documents tell us, their lower echelon miners rebelled against the conditions in the mines and the Anunnaki directorate decided to create a creature to take their place. Enki, their chief scientist and Ninhursag their chief medical officer, after getting no satisfactory results splicing animal and Homo Erectus genes, merged their Anunnaki genes with that of Homo Erectus and produced us, Homo Sapiens, a genetically bicameral species, for their purposes as slaves. Because we were a hybrid, we could not procreate. The demand for us as workers became greater and we were genetically manipulated to reproduce. Eventually, we became so numerous that some of us were expelled from the Anunnaki city centers, gradually spreading over the planet. Having become a stable genetic stock and developing more precociously than, perhaps, the Anunnaki had anticipated, the Anunnaki began to be attracted to humans as sexual partners and children were born of these unions. This was unacceptable to the majority of the Anunnaki high council and it was decided to wipe out the human population through a flood that was predictable when Nibiru, the tenth in our solar system and the Anunnaki home planet, came through the inner solar system again (around 12,500 years ago) on one of its periodic 3600 year returns. Some humans were saved by the action of the Anunnaki official, Enki, who was sympathetic to the humans he had originally genetically created. For thousands of years, we were their slaves, their workers, their servants, and their soldiers in their political battles among themselves. The Anunnaki used us in the construction of their palaces (we retroproject the religious notion of temple on these now), their cities, their mining and refining complexes and their astronomical installations on all the continents. They expanded from Mesopotamia to Egypt to India to South and Central America and the stamp of their presence can be found in the farthest reaches of the planet. Around 6000 years ago they, probably realizing that they were going to phase off the planet, began to gradually bring humans to independence. Sumer, a human civilization, amazing in its “sudden” and mature and highly advanced character was set up under their tutelage in Mesopotamia, human kings were inaugurated as gobetweens, foremen of the human populations answering to the Anunnaki. Some humans were taught technology, mathematics, astronomy, advanced crafts and the ways of civilized society. The high civilizations of Egypt and Central America arose. The Anunnaki became somewhat more remote from humans. By around 1250 B.C. they had gone into their final phase-out mode. The human population and the foremen kings, now left on their own, began to fend for themselves. For some three thousand years, subsequently, we humans have been going through a traumatic transition to independence. Proprietary claims made by various groups of humans as to who knew what we should be doing to get the Anunnaki to return or when they returned, perpetuated the palace and social rituals learned under the Anunnaki and sometimes disagreement and strife broke out between them. Religion, as we know it, took form, focused on the “god” or “gods”, clearly and unambiguously known to the humans who were in contact with them as imperfect, flesh and blood humanoids, now absent. It was only much later that the Anunnaki were eventually sublimated into cosmic character and status and, later on, mythologized due to remoteness in time. Sitchin further refined Nibiru’s timeline in his book titled, “The End of Days”. He explained that as Nibiru flew by, Uranus caught Miranda, a moon of Nibiru. ‘Such an occurrence (a moon of Nibiru striking Uranus) would have affected the orbit of Nibiru, slowing it down to about 3450 Earth-years rather than 3600, and resulting in a post-Diluvial reappearance schedule of circa 7450, circa 4000, and circa 550 BCE. If that is what had happened, it would suggest the “early” arrival of Nibiru in 556 BCE. – and suggest that its next arrival will be circa A.D. 2900’.  When we discuss the ‘hijacking’ of Nibiru in Part Two, it is the ignorance of the above explanation or the outright perversion of it that will be closely examined. To a certain extent, the ignorance of the timeline has just been addressed, however, as is the case with most radical fanatics, a lengthier explanation will be necessary to drive the point home so to speak. The Controversy 14 Neil Freer, “The Alien Question: An Expanded Perspective” A White Paper, Addressed to: The Arlington Institute, The British UFO Research Association, The Brookings Institution, The Center For The Study Of Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Extraterrestrial Phenomena Political Action Committee, The Fund For UFO Research, J. Allen Hynek Center For UFO Studies, The Human Potential Foundation, Institut des Hautes Etudes de Defense Nationale, The International Association For New Science, The McClendon Study Group, The Mutual UFO Network, The National Institute For Discovery Science, The National UFO Reporting Center, Operation Right To Know, Paradigm Research Program for Extraordinary Experience Research, Stargate International, Skywatch International 15 Zecharia Sitchin in: The End of Days, 2008 p.298 In general, when an alternate theory is put forth that discounts or directly refutes established academic consensus (even from within its own ranks), one can be assured of an onslaught of discrediting and ridicule. Unfortunately, this occurs most often regardless of whether the alternative view has merit or not. The entire concept of Ancient Astronauts is nearly completely rejected by mainstream academia. Sitchin, insofar as his work represents the essence of such theory, has become the favorite target of the aforementioned ridicule and criticism. There have been some rather prolific critics however, that in their zeal to debunk, have left holes in their own “academic” treatments of the subject. This brings up a rather interesting question. If one approaches this subject from the academic consensus point of view, is it acceptable to make suppositions in favor of one’s argument without actual evidence but then accuse the targets of one’s criticism of the same behavior? Apparently that is the case many times in the academic community. After all, if you have staked your doctoral thesis on the debunking of a single person’s work, then you would likely go to your grave defending the position regardless of it being right, wrong, or somewhere in between. Better that than suffer being discredited and succumbing to the same exact ridicule leveled by your peers toward your own work. Fortunately, (for the academics) they rarely turn on one another and consume their own. But since Sitchin has become the target of several academics, it is worth a bit of time to examine both sides of this issue before we move to Part Two. It is beyond the purview of this particular work to address the criticisms of the entire Ancient Astronaut Hypothesis. With that said, the subject of Nibiru offers probably the best examples of the overall academic condemnation. There seems to be two primary criticisms of Sitchin regardless of the individual; one from the academic camp and one from the scientific camp. Since there are several individuals standing in line to write the next book or article that debunks Sitchin, we will focus on two individuals that represent each of the two primary criticisms - two academics that have already put forth their best efforts in debunking his work. Academic Criticism: Without a doubt the number one criticism leveled against Sitchin’s research can be found in the effort to debunk his alternative theories based on the premise that he mistranslated, either ignorantly or deliberately, the ancient Sumerian texts. This quote by Michael S. Heiser fairly well sums up the translation criticism: “If one wants to know what Nibiru as an astronomical body is, one is dependent on these texts – unless, like Zecharia Sitchin, one makes up meanings to prop up a theory. One either lets the texts tell you what Nibiru is, or ignores the scribes in favor of Sitchin.” As such, let us examine what Heiser says the texts actually mean and see if such a criticism is warranted. In his paper, “The Myth of a Sumerian 12th Planet: “Nibiru” According to the Cuneiform Sources” Heiser makes the following statement prior to presenting the chart provided above that lists the occurrences of the word Nibiru: In the texts that follow, Nibiru was regarded as a planet (specifically, Jupiter, but once as Mercury), a god (specifically, Marduk), and a star (distinguished from Jupiter). If you’re confused, you aren’t alone. This tri-fold (fourfold if you count Mercury) designation for Nibiru is why scholars of cuneiform astronomy have not been able to determine with certainty what exactly Nibiru is. We’ll go into the problem more in later sections. One thing is certain from the texts, though: Nibiru is NEVER identified as a planet beyond Pluto.  Did you catch that? “…why scholars of cuneiform astronomy have not been able to determine with certainty what exactly Nibiru is.” Yet in the following sentence Heiser states unequivocal certainty about Nibiru. Now let’s be very clear about this point because this is a hole academia digs for itself over and over again when arguing translations from ancient texts. First, Heiser’s statement: “One thing is certain from the texts, though: Nibiru is NEVER identified as a planet beyond Pluto,” is woefully incomplete. What should have been said to qualify the statement is “One thing is certain from the texts THAT WE [ACADEMIA] HAVE TRANSLATED THUS FAR: Nibiru is NEVER identified as a planet beyond Pluto.” The probable reason such a qualification was not given is that it opens the door for the possibility that Sitchin referenced text(s) that Heiser or other academics have yet to translate themselves. Second, even the texts that Heiser has translated indicate Nibiru was referenced as more than the planet Jupiter. In many cases it is described as a star. Heiser himself states, “As noted previously, Nibiru was regarded as a planet (specifically, Jupiter, but once as Mercury), a god (specifically, Marduk), and a star (distinguished from Jupiter).” Unless Heiser and the rest of academia have translated every single available text (which they have not), I would should suggest the use of unequivocal statements is rather dubious. The overall built-in presumption that he and the rest of academia have translated ALL the available texts pervades Heiser’s entire argument. And we will go into detail about this in a moment. However, it is prudent to make a significant point at this juncture. When it comes to translation of ancient texts, it is a risky proposition to claim exclusive knowledge of the meanings. Sitchin is criticized mercilessly by academia for this very approach. Ironically though, academia does the same exact thing as we can see above. A good example of where the meanings of translation were either changed or put into another context are the Dead Sea scrolls. In his work “The Dead Sea Scrolls”, Eibert Tigchelaar cogently explains how academia’s approach and categorization in the discipline of translation changes over time as more texts are uncovered and translated. Scholarly Categorizations Old and New Classifications of the different kinds of Dead Sea Scrolls have shifted over time, as more scrolls became known, and as scholarly concepts, terminology, and interpretations changed. Initially, on the basis of the Cave 1 finds, the scrolls were roughly classified in three categories, namely (1) biblical or canonical; (2) apocryphal and/or pseudepigraphal; and (3) sectarian or Essene. This old categorization was partly based on genre and content of texts, but also implied a historical view, according to which (with the exception of Daniel) canonical books preceded apocryphal and pseudepigraphal ones, which in turn were older than the sectarian texts. At the same time, this three-part division was thought to reflect the literature of respectively all Jews, some Jews, and only the Dead Sea Scrolls sect. Gradually, the problematic categories of apocrypha and pseudepigrapha were subsumed in a broader general category of “parabiblical texts,” and the initial tripartite scholarly categorization was in practice limited to two sets of oppositions, “biblical” versus 16 Sourced from Michael S. Heiser “The Myth of a Sumerian 12th Planet: “Nibiru” According to the Cuneiform Sources” “non-biblical,” and “sectarian” versus “non-sectarian,” which influence scholarship up to the present. The publication of all the Cave 4 materials and their subsequent analysis has required a thorough revision of those earlier classifications. The corpus does not conform to anachronistic assumptions connected to the term “biblical,” resulting in discussions as to whether texts like the Reworked Pentateuch manuscripts are biblical, or whether Jubilees or the Temple Scroll were scriptures for the group that collected the scrolls. Also, consideration of the corpus as a whole challenges the view that all the hitherto unknown texts were written by only one group, and suggests that they originated in different movements at different times. The result is that the sharp contrasts between the two sets of oppositions “biblical” versus “nonbiblical,” and “sectarian” versus “non-sectarian,” has broken down, and scholars now allow for different degrees of “authoritativeness” of scriptures and varying kinds of “sectarian.” From a practical view, a classification with two sets of oppositions also has limited value, since most newly published manuscripts should have been assigned to the categories “non-biblical” and “non-sectarian.” The large increase in known materials does, however, enable one to classify the materials differently, according to literary form, content, or function of compositions… The point of that example is to present a very simple premise; it is unwise to convey any translation as the “correct” one when there is a measureable amount of untranslated material outstanding. That statement applies not only to Sitchin, but also the academics that discredit him. In essence, I cannot reject Sitchin’s translation based simply on the contention by academia that they “know” the correct meanings. Especially when, as in this case, an academic flat out says, “This tri-fold (fourfold if you count Mercury) designation for Nibiru is why scholars of cuneiform astronomy have not been able to determine with certainty what exactly Nibiru is.” We will finish up the translation section by covering what seems to be Heiser’s primary argument against Sitchin. Sitchin’s entire cosmological-mythological system is based on three lines of argument: 1. The cylinder seal VA 243…In a nutshell, the “sun” on the seal (which allegedly depicts the solar system) is not the sun – based on the consistent style of the actual sun symbol in SumeroMesopotamian seals and art. Without a sun, you don’t have a solar system. 2. The claim that Nibiru lies beyond Pluto and is home to the Anunnaki, neither of which come from the actual texts. 3. The “reconstruction” of the formation of our solar system, accomplished by matching the names of gods in Sumerian creation-cosmological texts with planets – and then describing a “cosmic billiards” scenario supposedly conveyed to us in these texts. Cuneiform astronomical texts never list any more than five planets (seven if one counts sun and moon), and actually tell us which planets are which gods in their mythology. It should be no surprise that the Sumero-Akkadian planet-god correlations disagree with Sitchin’s.  17 Eibert Tigchelaar in: “The Dead Sea Scrolls - http://www.academia.edu/358542/Dead_Sea_Scrolls Sourced from Michael S. Heiser “The Myth of a Sumerian 12th Planet: “Nibiru” According to the Cuneiform Sources” 18 Let’s take these in order: 1. In an open letter Heiser gives a bit more detail in the form of its question #6: “Can you explain why the alleged sun symbol on cylinder seal VA 243 is not the normal sun symbol or the symbol for the sun god Shamash?” As it turns out someone answered this question, along with the other seven presented in the open letter. Alessandro Demontis in fact presented three images captioned: “There are at least 5 different depictions of the Sun, depending on the period and place. The most known sigil of Shamash is this (at the Louvre Museum in Paris)…” Heiser’s reaction to the response is a showcase in how academia uses ridicule in place of retort when contrary evidence is presented to its consensus. Heiser: Your mistake is twofold (1) apparently not knowing what the word “normal” means here [i.e I never said that the symbol was the exclusive one used] and (2) not producing a sun sign that looks like the one I’m questioning in VA243. Oops. (The one on the left is closest but lacks a center circle.) So as you can see, he was required to go back and qualify the question to account for the pictures provided and made an attempt at condescension in the process. Second, he claims that a sun symbol was not produced, but he then backtracked with further qualification as there was at least one obviously provided. This is a tried true tactic of an academic and his response speaks for itself. Again notice the presumption that all cylinder seals have been found and translated well enough to establish a convention. (Remember the Dead Sea Scrolls lesson?) 2. Both the possibility of Nibiru lying beyond Pluto and the likelihood of it being the home of the Anunnaki are found in the text. It is just not verbatim nor together. Demontis once again provided a very cogent response: As far as I know (but I have no access to all the Sumerian material) there is no text saying exactly that the Anunnaki came from Nibiru, but there is reference in the Enuma Elish that Nibiru is a planet coming from the outer solar system. In Tablet I it is said that Marduk comes 'from the deep' and that it is an 'invader', in the VI and VII tablets it is said that Marduk is Nibiru. Two + Two = 4: Nibiru is a planet coming from the depths invading the solar system. For more about this matter you should see my article about the Enuma Elish. As for the provenience of the Anunnaki, it is said in the EE that they come from the sky, some of them came to earth and others stayed in the sky. There is also reference to Nibiru as the 'Star of Anu.'[ 20] 3. Finally, by the third point of his argument, we get to the core of why academia is just as guilty as anyone that it blames for “begging the question.” The phrase "begging the question", or "petitio principii" in Latin, refers to the "question" in a formal debate—that is, the issue being debated. In such a debate, one side may ask the other side to concede certain points in order to speed up the proceedings. To "beg" the question is to ask that the very point at issue be conceded, which is of course illegitimate.  So how does this apply to the third point of Heiser’s argument? It 19 Heiser in: “Open Letter” - http://www.sitchiniswrong.com/FirstResponseToMyOpenLetterandHeiserReply.pdf Ibid 21 Sourced from Fallacy Files: Begging the Question - http://www.fallacyfiles.org/begquest.html. 20 goes back to the presumption that all that has been uncovered in the texts represents all that ever will be uncovered. More importantly he says the texts NEVER list more than 5 planets. Well, that is where he is really begging the question because there is HUGE reality left out of his observation. When it comes to translating ancient Sumerian texts there is a rather significant lineage of sources that builds on one another. It only takes the slightest mistranslation at any particular link in the chain to proliferate into the wrong conclusion. (Again, something academia uses to debunk others, but something it rarely admits happening in its own ranks.) The fact of this matter is that modern scholars rarely possess the ability to translate directly from ancient Sumerian into English or any modern language. By far, the vast majority require the aid of lexical aids. Therefore, the overriding assumption is that the aid is accurate. Such aids have been proven less than accurate over the last few decades especially. But here is a practical concern that is never really addressed in this particular translation. Many sources are incomplete. Either because a tablet was broken or the lexicon is based on a copy of a copy of a copy. That is an undeniable truth. One which Heiser conveniently ignores with the use of unequivocal terms such as “never”. Thus, by his response to the following retort of his third point of argument against Sitchin, it becomes apparent that it’s more about ridicule than actual debate. Demontis provided the following response to point three: If you would have read Sitchin's books, you should know that the problem with the planetary lists is that they have been translated by our Assyriologists in the frame of mind that the ancient peoples only knew a certain number of planets. So they rearranged the names of planets/gods to the planets they though the Sumerians would know. This method resulted in two or more planets sharing the same Akkadian or Sumerian name and being associated to the same god. A typical example is MUL.BABBAR that is attributed both to the Sun (as BABBAR was a name for Shamash) and to JUPITER (because Jupiter was supposed to be Marduk, and Marduk was supposed to be called MUL2.BABBAR). Another example is the NIBIRU that the scholars explain to be a name for both Mercury and Jupiter, preferring to not say why it would be so. Heiser’s response: This is absolutely bogus. They know what the words in the texts mean (why, you ask?)—because the vocabulary is know from lexical lists (bilingual dictionaries) created by the Mesopotamians themselves. This response shows where Sitchinites like the responder are really at: “The naughty Assyriologists out there just haven’t been enlightened by our hero – if they had read his books, they’d know how to translated this stuff.” Yeah. right. 22 Heiser in: “Open Letter” - http://www.sitchiniswrong.com/FirstResponseToMyOpenLetterandHeiserReply.pdf I left Heiser’s grammatical errors in tact (but will not judge on that one). However, I will certainly point out the fact that there is nothing of academic value in his retort. At this point he has been reduced to pure ridicule. My only guess is that Demontis really got under his skin thus triggering a purely emotional response, or he was simply having a bad day. Either way, such a response is indicative of a so-called academic behaving the exact way which he condemns other “non-academics”. Remember Heiser’s statement one more time: “This tri-fold (fourfold if you count Mercury) designation for Nibiru is why scholars of cuneiform astronomy have not been able to determine with certainty what exactly Nibiru is.” Yet he and academia at large continue to form arguments as if they know exactly everything about Nibiru. I reject that double standard. It may seem that I am nitpicking Heiser, but the truth is when someone creates a website called ‘sitchiniswrong’, that person has decided to be the ‘debunker’ representative on the matter de facto. Unfortunately this treatment is only focused on Nibiru; similar inconsistencies are replete in academia’s ‘translations’ and would warrant an entire book. However, if the reader would like more information about such inconsistencies, I suggest following up with the research conducted by Demontis: “Regarding Marduk / Nibiru / Sag.Me.Gar in the MUL.APIN”: https://www.academia.edu/11998104/Regarding_Marduk_Nibiru_Sag.Me.Gar_in_the_MUL.APIN “The Alleged Plurals of Abstraction: The Case for Akkadian - MESH & -HI.A and the Hebrew -IM”: https://www.academia.edu/9302007/The_alleged_hebrew_Plural_of_Abstraction_IM_and_the_case_for_Ugaritic_and_Akkadian_ILANI_ILANU_DINGIR.MESH_or_-HI.A Letter to Heiser (Unanswered): http://gizidda.altervista.org/dossier/heiser/lettertomrheiser.pdf Response to Heiser: http://gizidda.altervista.org/dossier/heiser/replytoheiser.pdf Section Two: Scientific Criticism As with the academic criticism, this section will focus on one of the more vocal critics of Sitchin that is representative of the whole from a scientific/astronomical perspective. In 2004, Rob Hafernik composed a critique of Sitchin’s work in “The 12th Planet”. Interestingly, at the beginning of his work, Hafernik discloses that he is not an archaeologist (My name is Rob Hafernik and I'm not an archeologist, I only play one on the Internet). His sole academic credential is a BS in aerospace engineering from Texas A&M. Ironically over half the work he presented relates to Sumerian translations that were basically recited from other translated sources. Since we have already addressed the debate on ‘translations’, we will forgo critiquing approximately the first 60% of his work, as it falls prey to the same deficiencies outlined above. Again, it’s a case of a person repeating the incorrect conclusions of a “specialist” in a particular field and it is not really worth analyzing in repetition. His following quote sums up his translation section “I don't have any idea if his [Sitchin] translations are correct or not, by the way, it's the resulting interpretation that's goofy.” I posit that making such an admission of ignorance regarding the translation and then calling the interpretation “goofy” is itself goofy. However, if you wish to review his critique of translations you may find the complete work at: http://skepdic.com/essays/sitchin.htm And even though Hafernik does not hold an astronomy degree, we will move onto his astronomical argument against Nibiru. Below we present his quotes of Sitchin’s argument and his responses. The italicized passages are this author’s retorts. Before explaining the extra planet and Pluto's position and all, Sitchin takes us on a little astronomy lesson, Sitchin style. Here are some "facts" according to Sitchin: "Earth's heat comes from its radioactive materials, 'cooked' inside Earth under tremendous pressure" (Sitchin, 207) Hafernik: No! Earth's radioactivity only accounts for about 40% of the Earth's heat, the other 60% comes from the heat of accretion and core formation. As noted, Sitchin said Earth’s heat comes from radioactive materials. This is absolutely 100% correct. And more specifically it is about 50% of the total heat not 40%. So to write “No!” as a response is actually incorrect. Sitchin’s statement was not a categorical one that ruled out any other forms of heat generation. He could have possibly qualified the percentages better, but the statement in of itself is not incorrect. As you can see on the other hand, Hafernik does in fact use the categorical “No!” "Scientists are now certain that the Moon and the Earth, formed of roughly the same elements at about the same time, evolved as separate celestial bodies" (Sitchin, 207) Hafernik: No! Current theory holds that the Moon was formed from the Earth after the impact of a Mars-sized body. (see "The giant impact produced a precipitated Moon", CAMERON, A. G. W, 1993, NASA RECON database).  Let’s takes a close look at this. If the moon was formed partly from the mass of a proto-Earth, it would have indeed formed of roughly the same elements. And technically the theory Hafernik cited references a PROTO-Earth, not ‘Earth’ as we know it today. Considering it is theorized this happened 4.5 billion years ago, it is a very accurate statement to say that the two “evolved” as separate bodies at “about” the same time. Hafernik is playing semantics with this one. Sitchin never says that “originated” separately. That’s a huge difference. More importantly, Sitchin in other works specifically explained that a Tiamat [Earth] was struck more than once and the result of these collisions was the formation of the moon. Sitchin’s statement is in essence just another description of the theory Hafernik cites above. It seems as if someone is looking for an argument where none exists in this case. 23 The asteroid belt: "beyond any doubt, this is the debris of a planet that had shattered to pieces" and "astronomers are certain that such a planet existed" (Sitchin, 209) Robert Hafernik in: “Sitchin’s 12th Planet” - 2004 - http://skepdic.com/essays/sitchin.htm http://phys.org/news/2011-08-radioactive-key-ingredient-earth.html 25 Hafernik in: “Sitchin’s 12th Planet” 26 http://sservi.nasa.gov/articles/nasa-scientist-jen-heldmann-describes-how-the-earths-moon-was-formed 24 Hafernik: No! Current theory says the planet never formed, due to gravitational effects from Jupiter. (see Watters, and see "Structure and evolution of the asteroid belt", Chebotarev, G.A., 1974, NASA RECON database) There isn't enough mass there for a decent planet anyway.  Two things. First the theory cited is one of primarily four related to the asteroid belt. Granted here is where a footnote from Sitchin would have been helpful, but it is a fact, notwithstanding the citation from 1974, that at the time of the writing many astronomers still believed it was the remnants of a planet. (It is very easy to write in 2004 about “current” theory differing from something that someone was referencing nearly 30 years before) Second, it is worth mentioning that even inside the currently accepted theory of Jupiter’s gravitational effects preventing a planet from forming, we also have the potential explanation of why there isn’t enough mass now for a planet [which is the primary observation used to support said theory in the first place]. Supposing a planet did explode, the remaining fragments may have had a higher than normal rate of collision after eons of the prevention of re-coalescence due to Jupiter’s gravitational effect. That is to say it is possible that larger fragments never ‘reformed’ thus creating a higher number of smaller collisions and essentially obliterating the solid matter altogether – lessening the amount of overall solid mass objects in the belt today. The sword can cut both ways on this one. Bode's Law "convinced astronomers that a planet ought to revolve in a place where hitherto no planet had been known to exist - that is, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter". Hafernik: True! But Bode's Law also predicts a planet formed where the Earth is, which Sumerian cosmology says arrived later. Another case of Sitchin using a fact when it supports him, but ignoring it when it doesn't. So we begin here with Hafernik admitting that Sitchin’s statement is true. The rest of Harfernik’s statement is a lesson in logical fallacy. The fact that Bode’s law affirms itself with the formation of Earth has absolutely nothing to do with Sitchin’s original statement. Here Hafernik is willing to use Sitchin’s own translations of Sumerian cosmology in an attempt to prove his [Hafernik’s] very weak argument. On the one hand it is okay to explain away why there is no planet where one should be between Mars and Jupiter (actually he did not explain that all), but in case of Earth, the same theory seems to become infallible and the presumption is that a proto-Earth formed in its current orbit from the very beginning. This is a twisting of logic that on its face cannot withstand scrutiny…talk about ignoring things in order to support your own argument. "How could they [ancient Sumerians] know without telescopes and spacecraft that Neptune is a watery planet? Hafernik: True! Well, not exactly. While Neptune may have water oceans, they are under extreme pressure, and tainted with methane, ammonia and ammonium hydrosulfide. They lie on top of an ocean of liquid hydrogen. It's not a "watery planet" the way earth is, not by a million miles. It's not a "blue planet" due to these oceans, either, it's blue because it has a 27 Hafernik in: “Sitchin’s 12th Planet” UCSB Science Line: “How Does the Asteroid Belt Form?” - http://scienceline.ucsb.edu/getkey.php?key=3856 29 Hafernik in: “Sitchin’s 12th Planet” 28 methane atmosphere, same as Uranus. And how did the Greeks and Romans know that Neptune was a watery planet? After all, they had no access to Sumerian myths... Let’s take a look at the larger picture here and put some things into perspective. Admittedly there is probably a better and more basic question Sitchin could have asked here. As a matter of fact, Sitchin did indeed ask the more basic question, but Hafernik decided to focus on this detail because the larger question is apparently one with which he did not want to contend. The question is this; how did the ancient Sumerians know without a telescope about Neptune at all? Let’s remember the official mainstream story. Start with the fact history says it was discovered in 1846. So at the outset, it seems Hafernik is inherently conceding this was not the case. “Neptune, the eighth planet away from the Sun, was discovered in 1846 by German astronomer Johann Galle, who based his finding on the mathematical predictions of French astronomer Urbain Le Verrier and English astronomer John Couch Adams. Because Neptune is so far way from the Sun—about 2.8 billion miles (4.5 billion kilometers)—it is difficult to observe.”  So I pose this question again, how did the Sumerians, Greeks and Romans know of Neptune at all, regardless of its color? Hafernik: There is so much wrong with all of this, from a cosmological and physical standpoint, that it's hard to know where to start (well, you can start by laughing, but that won't help the situation any).  Actually, I beg to differ. And if anything is laughable so far, it is Hafernik’s supposed ‘scientific’ critique. Let's go through it a step at a time: Hafernik: Here's what he [Sitchin] claimed happened (the numbering of the steps is my own, to make things easier to refer to later): 1. We started out with a solar system just like the one we have now, but the Earth and Moon are missing, Pluto is missing (and Charon) and there is a planet between Jupiter and Mars. Hafernik’s Response: No way to know whether this is true or not, let's give him the benefit of a doubt and assume this is true. Okay. So here we have Hafernik burning both ends of the candle once again. If you remember above, he made an argument about Bode’s law predicting Earth to be exactly where it is now. Yet here we have an admission that there really is no way to know for sure. Interesting, to say the least. In reality he is not giving the benefit of the doubt, he is simply considering one of several potential explanations. 30 Ibid Science Clarified: “Neptune” - http://www.scienceclarified.com/Mu-Oi/Neptune.html#ixzz3X2SaaQB6 32 Hafernik in: “Sitchin’s 12th Planet” 33 Ibid 31 2. The planet Marduk arrived from outer space and passed near to Neptune. Marduk is a retrograde planet, orbiting in the opposite direction of all the others. Neptune's gravity bent its orbit so that it plunged down into the solar system (still against the grain, retrograde). At the same time, Neptune's gravity pulled a bulge in the side of Marduk (which was still plastic at this stage, it had just been formed). Hafernik’s Response: No current scientific cosmology can account for a large planet forming in a retrograde, very eccentric orbit. If Neptune pulled on Marduk, then Marduk pulled on Neptune. Yet its present-day orbit is very circular, more so even than the Earth's. Same is true of Uranus. If Marduk is falling freely near Neptune, the gravity of Neptune effects it the same all over, no "bulge" would be pulled in it's side. Pack a ball of dirt together with your hands and throw it into the air. Does the large gravity of nearby-Earth pull a bulge out of the side of it? No. Tidal forces might create sizable effects if Marduk got very close, but obviously it didn't. The first statement is 100% incorrect. Planets orbit stars in the same direction that the stars rotate. They all do. Except one. A newfound planet orbits the wrong way, backward compared to the rotation of its host star. Its discoverers think a near-collision may have created the retrograde orbit, as it is called. The star and its planet, WASP-17, are about 1,000 light-years away. The setup was found by the UK's Wide Area Search for Planets (WASP) project in collaboration with Geneva Observatory. The discovery was announced today (August 12, 2009) but has not yet been published in a journal. "I would have to say this is one of the strangest planets we know about," said Sara Seager, an astrophysicist at MIT who was not involved in the discovery.  The same article referenced above also completely refutes Hafernik’s limited understanding of gravitational physics: …Some moons in our solar system are on retrograde orbits, perhaps at least in some cases because they were flying through space alone and then captured; that's thought to be the case with Neptune's large moon Triton. The find was made by graduate students David Anderson at Keele University and Amaury Triaud of the Geneva Observatory. WASP-17 is about half the mass of Jupiter but bloated to twice its size. "This planet is only as dense as expanded polystyrene, 70 times less dense than the planet we're standing on," said Professor Coel Hellier of Keele University. The bloated planet can be explained by a highly elliptical orbit, which brings it close to the star and then far away. Like exaggerated tides on Earth, the tidal effects on WASP-17 heat and stretch the planet, the researchers suggest. 34 Ibid Jeanna Bryner and Robert Roy Britt in: "Newfound Planet Orbits Backward" - August, 2009 http://www.space.com/7125-newfound-planet-orbits.html 35 The tides are not a daily affair, however. "Instead it's creating a huge amount of friction on the inside of the planet and generating a lot of energy, which might be making the planet big and puffy," Seager said.  As we can read, actually astrophysicists stand contrary to Hafernik’s assumptions and the stretching of a planet is not only possible but has in fact been observed. 3. The planet Marduk passed Uranus, where the bulge ripped open and several moons were pulled out of Marduk to orbit it. It's path was bent even more inward. As it pulled on Gaga, a moon of Saturn, Gaga was pulled loose and eventually became Pluto in its present day orbit. Hafernik’s Response: More of the same. How did Gaga get flung out to where Pluto is? What about the many other moons of Saturn, why weren't their orbits wrecked? Gaga could be flung outward by gravitational force, but what circularized its orbit out there?  At this point, Hafernik is once again begging the question(s). Literally, that is all he is using to argue against this part of Sitchin’s theory. If one is going to the trouble of disproving a theory citing “science” as the basis of one’s premises, then is it not incumbent on that person to provide the science that refutes the theory instead of a series of questions? (The irony of retorting this particular response with a question is entirely deliberate.) 4. Marduk approached Tiamat (the planet where the asteroid belt is now) and its gravity began to tear away bits of Tiamat. Hafernik’s Response: More gravity tearing away at things, a childish view of physics. This is hardly a scientific refutation. It is rife with ridicule however. More disturbing, it is astoundingly wrong. Although gravity holds most astronomical objects together, it can also tear objects apart. For example, if you could jump into a black hole of about 1 solar mass, you would be stretched and torn into atoms by its gravity. The truly deserved ridicule should be directed at Hafernik on this lazy and sloppy answer. In his view, the Roche limit is a “childish” view of physics. “The Roche limit, sometimes referred to as the Roche radius, is the distance within which a celestial body, held together only by its own gravity, will disintegrate due to a second celestial body's tidal forces exceeding the first body's gravitational self-attraction.”  5. Marduk missed hitting Tiamat, but its orbiting satellites delivered a mighty blow. They also exchanged lightening in the form of static electricity. Tiamat was cracked, but still together. 36 Ibid Hafernik in: “Sitchin’s 12th Planet” 38 Ibid 39 Eric W. Weisstein in: "Eric Weisstein's World of Physics – Roche Limit"-2007http://www.scienceworld.wolfram.com 37 Hafernik’s Response: OK, assume this is true: after such a close encounter with a massive retrograde body, both planets would have their orbits seriously altered. They would both slow down quite a bit, changing their orbits drastically. For the record, Hafernik’s response has nothing to do with Sitchin’s quoted statements. It is difficult to understand exactly what he is responding to in this particular case. Sitchin has mentioned nothing here about bodies speeding up or slowing down. The assumption must be that Hafernik mislabeled his response number. 6. Marduk sailed out into deep space again, past Neptune. Hafernik’s Response: OK, funny how it misses everyone on the way back out... Not sure at all why Hafernik thinks this is funny. Statistically this is possible. It is Hafernik himself that cites the asteroid belt as not having enough mass to form a planet. Inherent in that observation is the fact that there are some very large spaces between any masses of significance in the belt. So even in the asteroid belt it would be possible for a planet to pass through without striking anything of consequence. And once again, Hafernik’s response is hardly scientific. 7. When it came around again, Marduk smashed Tiamat all to hell. Half of Tiamat was destroyed and became the asteroid belt, the other half was hit sideways by one of Marduk's orbiting moons, knocked into the orbit of Earth and became the Earth. Kingu, one of Tiamat's satellites, went along with the broken half and became the Moon. Hafernik’s Response: This is just nuts. Suppose that it came around again to exactly the same spot (a huge supposition), how did Marduk smash Tiamat and still not lose enough energy to alter its orbit? It's even worse: if Tiamat collided with Marduk and picked up the vector needed to head for the Earth's orbit, how did it get circularized? It's flatly impossible (ask anyone how knows about this sort of thing) for a body to have left the asteroid belt and ended up in a circular orbit where the earth is without some additional acceleration. Flatly impossible. So what accelerated the entire earth by a couple kilometers per second to circularize the orbit once it got down to the right slot? Sitchin offers no answer. “This is just nuts.” Another very scientific opening for his response… First, in this passage, Sitchin did not state anything about the orbit of Marduk being altered. But in fact, in other portions of his work, he does make that exact point. Second, as a matter of fact, Hafernik has paraphrased Sitchin here. Hafernik constantly equates the amount of mass currently in the asteroid belt as evidence of Sitchin being incorrect because there is not enough for an Earth sized planet. Hafernik is actually manufacturing this particular facet of his argument. Considering that there were multiple collisions and not just one, it is very plausible for the asteroid belt to house less than an Earth sized planet’s worth of mass today. Not to mention the amount of isolated collisions that would have occurred over the last 4 plus billion years inside the belt that would have transformed solid mass to other form. And of course the presumption also on Hafernik’s part is that the current calculation of mass in the asteroid belt is correct. Last, beyond Hafernik 40 Hafernik in: “Sitchin’s 12th Planet” Ibid 42 Ibid 41 using an impressive sounding adjective “flatly” to describe the impossibility of circularization and then suggesting the reader talk to someone that ‘actually’ knows about this sort of thing, he offers ZERO science or evidence to refute Sitchin. 8. Marduk continues in this orbit today, swinging out past Neptune and back into the Asteroid belt in a retrograde orbit that takes 3,600 years to complete. Actually Sitchin revised this estimate to 3,450 years. Hafernik: Lots of other questions come to mind, too many to go into here. Some examples I just can't resist: If Marduk is still in this retrograde orbit that crosses through the outer planets every 3,600 years, why hasn't it disturbed the nice, circular orbits of Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus? If the disruption caused by puny Pluto (smaller than Earth's Moon and not in a retrograde orbit) is noticeable, why not Marduk? Why haven't those asteroids been swept out of there by Marduk in the millions of times it has cruised through? Well, I will give Hafernik the benefit of the doubt on this since it was written in 2004. The fact of the matter is that astrophysicists have indeed found indications of such disturbance: January 16, 2015: At least two planets larger than Earth likely lurk in the dark depths of space far beyond Pluto, just waiting to be discovered, a new analysis of the orbits of “extreme trans-Neptunian objects” (ETNOs) suggests. Researchers studied 13 ETNOs — frigid bodies such as the dwarf planet Sedna that cruise around the sun at great distances in elliptical paths. Theory predicts a certain set of details for ETNO orbits, study team members said. For example, they should have a semi-major axis, or average distance from the sun, of about 150 astronomical units (AU). (1 AU is the distance from Earth to the sun — roughly 93 million miles, or 150 million kilometers.) These orbits should also have an inclination, relative to the plane of the solar system, of almost 0 degrees, among other characteristics. But the actual orbits of the 13 ETNOs are quite different, with semi-major axes ranging from 150 to 525 AU and average inclinations of about 20 degrees. “This excess of objects with unexpected orbital parameters makes us believe that some invisible forces are altering the distribution of the orbital elements of the ETNOs, and we consider that the most probable explanation is that other unknown planets exist beyond Neptune and Pluto,” lead author Carlos de la Fuente Marcos, of the Complutense University of Madrid, said in a statement. “The exact number is uncertain, given that the data that we have is limited, but our calculations suggest that there are at least two planets, and probably more, within the confines of our solar system,” he added. 43 Ibid The undiscovered worlds would be more massive than Earth, researchers said, and would lie about 200 AU or more from the sun — so far away that they’d be very difficult, if not impossible, to spot with current instruments. The new results — detailed in two papers in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters — aren’t the first to lend credence to the possible existence of a so-called Planet X. In March 2014, Chadwick Trujillo and Scott Sheppard announced the discovery of 2012 VP113, an ETNO that never gets closer to the sun than 80 AU. 2012 VP113 thus joined Sedna as the two known denizens of the “inner Oort Cloud,” a far-flung and largely unexplored region of space beyond the Kuiper Belt (where Pluto lies). Trujillo and Sheppard suggested that the orbits of 2012 VP113 and Sedna are consistent with the continued presence of a big “perturber” — perhaps a planet 10 times more massive than Earth that lies 250 AU from the sun. However, the pair also stressed that other explanations are possible as well. For example, Sedna and 2012 VP113 may have been pushed out to their present positions by long-ago interactions with other stars in the sun’s birth cluster. The objects may also have been nabbed from another solar system during a stellar close encounter. De la Fuente Marcos and his colleagues acknowledge the possibility of such alternative scenarios as well. The picture should get clearer as researchers study the orbits of more and more distant, icy objects, he said. “If it is confirmed, our results may be truly revolutionary for astronomy,” de la Fuente Marcos said. Regarding the asteroids, that has already been addressed above. How did Kingu become tide-locked (one side facing always towards the Earth) if it used to be a satellite of body twice as large and how did its orbit get so circular after that rough ride? The explanation for this lies in understanding the Roche limit. Why is Hafernik’s assumption that Kingu was orbiting the larger mass at the same distance as the smaller one? Normalization of orbit likely occurred over time (if Harfenik is referencing the moon) by the very math involved in the Roche radius. Where’s all the missing mass? There just isn’t an Earth-sized planet worth of junk in the asteroid belt. Again, Hafernik’s fallacy is that there should be enough mass in the asteroid belt to make an Earth sized planet. As mentioned above, there are several reasons why that may not be the case 4 plus billion years later. (Assuming the current calculation of mass in the belt is correct to begin with.) 44 Mike Wall in: "Mysterious Planet X May Really Lurk Undiscovered in Our Solar System" - January, 2015 http://www.space.com/28284-planet-x-worlds-beyond-pluto.html 45 Hafernik in: “Sitchin’s 12th Planet” 46 Eric W. Weisstein in: " Roche Limit"- http://www.scienceworld.wolfram.com 47 Hafernik in: “Sitchin’s 12th Planet” Marduk should have swung through the asteroid belt sometime in the last 3,600 years. While the Chinese and others have very good astronomical records over this period, there is no mention of what would no doubt have been a very important event – a bright new planet. There simply is no mention in what Hafernik would consider the ‘type’ of record that supports his argument. In reality, there are several accounts in both religious and mythological texts. One very well-known appearance may have been what modern Christians refer to as the Star of Bethlehem. Marduk, having an orbital period of 3,600 years must swing out about 230 AU from the Sun (about 6 times further out than Pluto). It seems to me that any body in such an orbit (receiving almost no solar radiation) would be dark and frozen most of the time. I know some people argue that it might have a hot core that heats the surface. Fine, it’s still completely dark, nothing like earthly life could evolve there. Considering Hafernik uses very weak evidence and conjecture in his scientific refutation of Nibiru, it is understandable why he could not conceive of an atmosphere that has the potential of retaining smaller amounts of solar radiation for much longer periods of time just as one potential explanation. It is also predictable, like most of academia, when he purports to be knowledgeable on the evolution of life on other planets simply by the data gathered from one planet, in one solar system, in one galaxy. Conclusion: It is all too clear that I am neither a Sumerian translation expert nor astrophysicist. More importantly, I do not “play” neither of them on the Internet or in academia. I am simply a laymen with degrees in History and Political Science. I also happen to have an extensive knowledge of the Ancient Astronaut Theory and the myriad of components resident therein. The purpose of the first part of this treatment was to isolate the academic and scientific arguments against the theory, specifically Nibiru. One individual was chosen to be representative of the theory [Sitchin] and two individuals [Heiser and Hafernik] were chosen as representatives of the mainstream because of their discernible efforts to criticize the theory. This work is by no means meant to disparage or ridicule either of the mainstream representatives on the professional level. It has merely been an exercise in leveling the same scrutiny on their criticisms as they leveled against Sitchin himself. At the core of this effort is hopefully the realization by the reader that it is not difficult at all to criticize and debunk another’s work. It should also be clear that the use of nitpicking, logical fallacy, mistranslations and outdated science is a two way street on this subject. Simply because one claims to be of science or academia at large does not guarantee efficacy or accuracy. But as much damage as the mainstream academia has caused alternative theories like AAT, it is no worse than the radical fanatics arguing in favor of such theories in many cases. The fringe groups that have neither an understanding of the alternative theory or the mainstream arguments against it are perhaps the greatest detriment in the entire equation. While mainstream academia may be selectively inclusive of facts and overall an arrogant ilk, the radical fanatics can be outright ignorant and nonsensical. It is this group that creates more damage than a 48 49 Ibid Ibid debunker because this type of person enables the debunkers to have an easier argument. In the case of Sitchin and Nibiru, this perversion will be addressed in Part Two. Acknowledgements: There are four individuals that I would like to acknowledge that helped me hone Part One. Alessandro Demontis I appreciate your permission to use your research and the deep insights that you provided. Pat Broderick, as usual your command of the subject was greatly appreciated. Phil Whitely, your attention to detail was most helpful. And Michael Moreno, I appreciate the unique perspective you shared on the topic.