In 1995, Nancy Lieder came forward and announced on her website
that the world would end in 2003. It turns out that she had met with aliens (Grey’s, apparently) called Zeta’s, from Zeta Reticuli, when she was a little girl. They implanted a device in her brain which allowed them to stay in contact with her, and she had recently received warning that an object called Planet X (or Nibiru) would soon sweep through the Solar System, wreaking untold havoc and kill billions of people. Our fate was sealed for May 2003. Weary astronomers and scientists explained again and again that if there was any such object, matching
the rather precise descriptions offered by Ms. Lieder, it should be easily visible to the general public with the naked eye. As the big day approached, Zeta Talk (Nancy’s website) was quietly edited to make Nibiru smaller and fainter, to account for all those skeptics who insisted that they were unable to find it. She preached conspiracy, and claimed that the incidence of natural disasters was increasing as the effects began to be felt. Apparently the US government didn’t want to raise a panic about the end of the world, even as they whipped up hysteria in support of the war on terror!
Then, on the due date, an amazing thing happened: Nancy changed her story! Just in time, she had discovered New Age ideas about the significance of the Mayan Long Count
, and postponed the apocalypse to 12 December 2012. The world was safe for another eight years, but that now that time is running out. So what exactly is Planet X? What is all this evidence that believers refer to? Can we really trust YouTube
as an impartial source? What do the ancient Sumerians have to do with any of this?
Around 6000 BC, stone age farmers began filtering into the region known as Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq). The area was irrigated by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which flooded annually. The floods deposited enormously fertile silt over the plains, making the entire region an ideal place for human agricultural settlement. The region near where the two rivers come closest was called Babylonia, and was divided into Akkad in the north, and Sumer in the south. Over the next few thousand years, the people of this region developed into the first civilisation as they built the first cities and invented the plough, the wheel, bronze and writing (in the shape of Cuneiform, on baked clay tablets). Much of their mythology reflects biblical events, such as the creation
of Man, and the Great Flood. They understood finance, mathematics, astronomy, and gave us the sexagesimal (base sixty) number system, the remains of which persist in modern measurements of time and angles (60 seconds to the minute, etc).
The Sumerians watched the stars and planets keenly, and established a good foundation of astronomical observations
were able to recognise that the Morning and Evening stars were the same object (The Planet Venus) and could then predict the length of the Venus Cycle. They also learned to predict Lunar Eclipses, by noticing the eighteen year cycle of eclipses. They named many of the constellations we know today, and were familiar with the cyclical motions of The Five Planets
. They not only associated individual objects with gods, but regions of the sky as well. They were completely uninterested in the natural phenomena behind their observations though, making no attempt to understand what they were seeing (with one exception, an attempt to explain the phases of the moon which is laughably childish, considering the sophistication of the Greek’s understanding only a short time later)
… and fiction
However, various people in the last few decades have made some extraordinary claims about Sumerian astronomy. It seems that they were aware of all the planets we now know, plus several as yet undiscovered ones. They apparently knew that the Earth revolved around the Sun, that the planets were other worlds just like our own. And best of all, they knew this because Aliens had come and shown it to them. These theories usually include an element of upliftment, where the wise Aliens teach the stupid humans about technology. The evidence stems from an ancient image (From an engraved cylinder which served as a Seal – it would be rolled into the wet clay of a fresh contract, signing it) called ‘The Berlin Seal’ which is supposed to represent the planets around the Sun. The interpretation is that the big star in the middle is the Sun, nine of the things around it are the planets we know (plus Pluto), the tenth is the moon, the eleventh is one of the objects recently discovered past Pluto (Perhaps Eris), and the twelfth is the dreaded Planet X. There are some pretty big problems with this interpretation, even ignoring the fact that the “sun” is not represented by the standard sun symbol. If this is an outside alien’s view of the Solar System, then why doesn’t it in fact look like a solar system and why does it leave out so many characteristic features? Where are the rings of Saturn? What about the larger moons of Jupiter and Saturn, many of which are much larger than Pluto? Why stop at twelve, when in fact we’ve already found more than 12 planets (until we clarified the issue by redefining “planet”, and incidentally demoted Pluto)? Why is it that the Human Race needed alien assistance to show us how to stick seeds into the ground, yet we managed to progress from horse-back to space shuttle without any help in less than a hundred years? Whether or not you believe in extra-terrestrial life, it’s a bit of a stretch to interpret this little image as proof of anything more than that they knew how to make pretty pictures.
The Sumerian’s northern neighbours were the Akkadians. The Akkadian word for ‘crossing’ was Nibiru. The Babylonians (who followed after the Sumerians and Akkadians) used the word Nibiru to refer to the highest point of the ecliptic (or in layman’s terms, the spot in the sky where the Sun is in the summer solstice – 21 June), and back then would have coincided with the zodiacal symbol of Libra. Nibiru was also used to refer to the planet Jupiter, in certain months, as well as the Star of Marduk (the creator). If this seems a little vague, it’s because the Babylonians didn’t attach special significance to individual stars or planets – individual stars and planets would be assigned to various Gods as fitted the story. Nevertheless, the latest crop of doomsday prophets have decided that one of the ‘planets’ on the Berlin Seal is Nibiru.