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Zecharia Sitchin (1920–2010)

Author of The 12th Planet

29 Works 3,590 Members 41 Reviews 11 Favorited

About the Author

Zecharia Sitchin was born on July 11, 1920. He graduated from the University of London and worked as a journalist and editor in Israel for many years. He was an author of books promoting an explanation for human origins involving ancient astronauts. His first book, The Twelfth Planet, was published show more in 1976. He also wrote the Earth Chronicles series. He died on October 9, 2010. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Sitchin posing with with an enlarged, purported 6000-year-old cylinder seal impression [credit: Lapavaestacaliente of Wikipedia]

Series

Works by Zecharia Sitchin

The 12th Planet (1976) 868 copies
The Stairway to Heaven (1980) 384 copies
Genesis Revisited (1990) 333 copies
The Wars of Gods and Men (1985) 329 copies
The Lost Realms (1990) 260 copies
When Time Began (1993) 246 copies
The Cosmic Code (1998) 238 copies

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Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Sitchin, Zecharia
Other names
Си́тчин, Заха́рия
Sitçin, Zaxariya
Birthdate
1920-07-11
Date of death
2010-10-09
Gender
male
Nationality
USA
Birthplace
Baku, Azerbaijan, USSR
Place of death
New York, New York, USA
Places of residence
New York, New York, USA
Baku, Azerbaijan
Palestine
Education
London School of Economics, University of London
Occupations
journalist
editor
Writer
Short biography
Zecharia Sitchin, an author of books offering an alternative history of the extraterrestrial origins of ancient humanity, was born in the 1920s in Baku, Russia. Soon after his birth his family moved to Palestine, where he grew up. He learned a variety of Near Eastern languages including Hebrew and Sumerian. He moved to England for college and attended both the London School of Economics and the University of London, from which he graduated with a degree in economics. He returned to Palestine, where he became a journalist. During World War II (1939-45) he served in the British Army. He moved to the United States in the mid-1950s.
In the 1970s, Sitchin's lifelong interest in the archeology of the Middle East culminated in a book, The 12th Planet, published in 1976. It appeared at the height of the ancient astronaut controversy that had been generated by claims of Erich von Däniken that he had discovered evidence of the presence of UFOs and extraterrestrials in the artifacts from various ancient cultures. Sitchin, out of his knowledge of ancient languages, proposed a new option concerning ancient history and lifted the debate to a new level. While the debate generated by von Däniken was largely resolved, Sitchin's hypothesis survived and has continued to be the subject of a series of books through the 1990s.
The von Däniken approach centered upon pictures from ancient sites that, taken out of context, could be seen as resembling contemporary astronauts and objects similar to items reported as unidentified flying objects. Sitchin started with a somewhat different hypothesis, that ancient mythology should be read as historical documents, as reports of actual occur-rences. His starting point was the biblical book of Genesis, chapter 6, and the cryptic references to the sons of God marrying the daughters of men and the giants or nephilim who were on Earth in the era prior to the biblical flood. Using a variety of ancient documents, though primarily the Babylonian epic known as "Enuma Elish," he hypothesized the existence of another planet in our solar system, which he named Nibiru, that travels an eliptical orbit that brings it into the area between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars every 3,600 years. The planet is inhabited by a humanoid race called the Anunnaki, who created homo sapiens.
A war in the heavens, as described in the ancient Sumerian chronicles and the Bible, Sitchin believes, accounts for the ancients' knowledge of information that had only become available to modern science in recent centuries, especially the existence of the outer planets, Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto. He believes that the Anunnaki first arrived on Earth almost half a million years ago, their arrival motivated by the problem of an eroding atmosphere. They established a large gold mining operation in South Africa, and gold was shipped to Mesopotamia where the space port was set up to transport it to Nibiru. The Anannaki created humans to work the mines, then later inter-married with their creation. The near approach of Nibiru around 11,000 B.C.E. led to the destructive flood recounted in Genesis. Noah and his family escaped in a submersible ship. After the flood, life began again with the Anunnaki's assistance.
Given the hypothesis of human interaction with the Anunnaki, Sitchcin has been able to present an alternative reading of ancient history that, while ignored by the mainstream of modern archeologists and astronomers, has found a broad popular audience. The 12th Planet has been followed by five additional volumes, collectively termed the Earth Chronicles, that expand and undergird the original hypothesis. The most recent volume, The Cosmic Code, appeared in 1998.
Sitchin's hypothesis was given additional credibility by a lively debate among astronomers in the 1970s over the possible existence of an additional planet in the solar system, commonly referred to as Planet X. Sitchin identified Nibiru with the hypothesized Planet X. The astronomical debate, however, proceeded without reference to Sitchin, and by the 1990s astronomers had abandoned the search for Planet X. At the end of the 1990s, Alan F. Alford, whose 1998 book Gods of the New Millennium had been most supportive of Sitchin, attempted independently to verify Sitchin's hypothesis with his own research. In the end, however, he too abandoned Sitchin after encountering astronomical data suggesting the impossibility of some of Sitchin's claims about the way that Nibiru's close approach affected the Earth. He subsequently has produced a significant variant hypothesis that nevertheless retains much of Sitchin's alternative approach to history.
Sitchin resides in New York City. He has several Internet sites: http://www.crystalinks.com/sitchen.ht... .and http://www.sitchin.com/ There are a number of additional sites that discuss Sitchin's work.
Sources:
Alford, Alan F. Gods of the New Millennium. 1998. Reprint, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1999.
——. When the Gods Came Down. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 2000.
Sitchin, Zecharia. The Cosmic Code. New York: Avon, 1998. ——. The Stairway to Heaven. Santa Fe, N.Mex.: Bear & Co., 1993.
——. The 12th Planet. 1976. Reprint, Santa Fe, N.Mex.: Bear & Co., 1991.
——. The Wars of Gods and Men. Santa Fe, N.Mex.: Bear & Co., 1992.
——, His books have been widely translated, converted to Braille for the blind, and featured on radio and television.

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Reviews

Like Sitchin's Genesis Revisited, this "companion volume" is basically a rehash of the first five Earth Chronicles books with a few things added in. This book focuses on "divine encounters" between "gods," aliens, and men. Prophets, kabbalah, lots of other stuff make their appearance here. If you squint your eyes, it makes sense. If you think about it a little, like all Sitchin's theories, it doesn't make much sense. At the end, Sitchin tries to determine who YHWH is. Although the evidence points a lot to Enki/Ea (Ea could be pronounced close to Yah), Sitchin says YHWH was the god of the Annunaki from Nibiru. Good only for completists. Or, if you don't want to read all the Sitchin books, read Genesis Revisited and then Divine Encounters.… (more)
 
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tuckerresearch | Sep 12, 2023 |
By the end, and we're at the end of Sitchin's Earth Chronicles, Sitchin is mostly repeating himself. This is the last volume of the Earth Chronicles series, not counting the various "companion volumes."

This is a mélange of his previous books, with a few new things thrown in: "End of Days"; Armageddon; Jesus; when is Nibiru coming back, etc.

Kind of getting sloppy too, with lots of typos and ungrammatical bits.

And, whereas some of the early volumes of the Earth Chronicles had bibliographies (but no footnotes/endnotes), this one (and the volume before) lack even a bibliography. Without these, it is even more useless as a research tool than the early volumes.

In the end it is the same Sitchin drivel. Neat theories all aided by mistranslations and misappropriations. If you accept his thesis—the old gods were aliens—then it makes sense. But, you have to swallow that idea and trust his "translations." Still, better than other "ancient alien astronaut theorists" like von Däniken. His statements on Jesus seem odd for a Jewish person. The gist of this one is that the space-gods all left around the time of Nibiru's last passing by the sun and earth during it's 3,600-year orbit, around 556 B.C. Sitchin then surmises that the planet's next return will be around A.D. 2900 and, who knows what will happen.

What the space-gods are doing right now is left unsaid.

And that is the main problem with Sitchin's thesis. Ancient gods were actually aliens from an extra planet in the solar system: Nibiru, which has a 3,600 year orbit and, stubbornly, still hasn't managed to be found with our modern astronomy. Again, Sitchin thinks that aliens only had rockets and, apparently, needed glide paths and mission control centers to land only in designated spots with their rockets. And, the god-aliens lived in cramped little rooms on the top of ziggurats. Really? Here's the big problem with Sitchin's theories: you'd think ancient aliens would have left some nice pieces of metal or computers in some of the ruins that have been excavated now for 100+ years. Apparently they took everything with them when they inexplicably left Earth except what the humans could write and crudely draw on clay tablets, etc. Really? And, of course, why aren't the aliens still here ruling the puny, weak humans? Always the problem with ancient alien theories. Unless you buy Icke's theories that they secretly do rule the earth, like the thesis of Bramley's The Gods of Eden. Really?
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tuckerresearch | 3 other reviews | Apr 4, 2023 |
By the end, and we're nearing the end of Sitchin's works and Earth Chronicles, Sitchin is mostly repeating himself. This is a mélange of his previous books, mainly Genesis Revisited and The Wars of Gods and Men, with a few new things thrown in: ruins on the Golan Heights, a little gematria, a little Kabbalah, a little DNA, and all his previous conclusions repeated ad infinitum. Kind of getting sloppy too. Sometimes he writes "Kaballah," really a misspelling, and "Kabbalah." Et cetera. Like all of his works. it is all un-referenced: no citations, no bibliography, etc. Odd translations of Sumerian and Biblical texts, etc. Again, the thesis is all the same: ancient gods were actually aliens from an extra planet in the solar system: Nibiru, which has a 3,600 year orbit and, stubbornly, still hasn't managed to be found with our modern astronomy. Again, Sitchin thinks that aliens only had rockets and, apparently, needed glide paths and mission control centers to land only in designated spots with their rockets. And, the god-aliens lived in cramped little rooms on the top of ziggurats. Really? Here's the big problem with Sitchin's theories: you'd think ancient aliens would have left some nice pieces of metal or computers in some of the ruins that have been excavated now for 100+ years. Apparently they took everything with them when they inexplicably left Earth except what the humans could write and crudely draw on clay tablets, etc. Really? And, of course, why aren't the aliens still here ruling the puny, weak humans? Always the problem with ancient alien theories. Unless you buy Icke's theories that they secretly do rule the earth, like the thesis of Bramley's The Gods of Eden. Really?… (more)
 
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tuckerresearch | Jul 16, 2021 |
I've been intrigued by "ancient astronaut" theories for a long time and finally decided to read this book just to learn about what its adherents were talking about and believing. I didn't expect to find it as engaging and interesting as it was.

I had expected the entry point to be questions about how some of the great architectural wonders of the ancient world had been raised, or the similarities between many of them, but Sitchin goes much further back in time than that. He looks at the oldest known civilization on Earth - Sumer - and then introduces the reader to "the Sumerian Problem," a question of significant interest to experts in archeology, biology, and etc. Without going into too much detail, the Sumerian Problem is that the oldest known texts and archeological record which we have is not of primitive people, but startlingly advanced ones, complete with a writing system which was the standard for the Ancient Near East for thousands of years, a complex calendar, highly developed religion, and etc.

Sitchin also discusses the timing of modern humanity - homo sapiens - with the timing of primitive humanity, and although he never uses the once popular term "missing link" that idea is part of his foundation. He asserts that homo sapiens appeared in Sumer long before they had any right to, given the incredibly long process of evolution.

How could such a highly developed civilization spring up essentially out of nowhere? Sitchin's answer is, of course, that it's because of aliens, specifically the Nephilim of Genesis 6. And then he goes into an incredibly detailed analysis of language, astronomy, and the creation and deluge stories of the Ancient Near East (including Genesis), to provide evidence supporting his claim.

I strongly suspect that someone who read this book without having any emotional attachment to Judaism or Christianity, and who lacked scepticism about interaction with aliens of any kind, would find Sitchin's hypothesis worthy of consideration. Which is also not something I expected.

The challenge for anyone who would like to take him seriously is the analysis of his source material. There are relatively few people who have made a serious study of the languages of Sumer, Akkad, and etc. The surviving texts on clay tablets are often fragmentary, and although many of these tablets contain synonym lists, the process of translation is subject to a great deal of personal subjectivity. The ambiguity of the translation process gives Sitchin the opportunity to make some extrordinary claims, but a lay reader has little opportunity to compare his translations with current scholarship. Likewise, most of the illustrations are drawing of ancient carvings, not photographs of actual pieces. And the photographs are often hard to make decipher because of the low contrast of the carvings. Do they show what Sitchin says they do? He also makes frequent references to the academic work of others, often written in non-English languages, but without providing specific citations. There is no way to check his interpretation of those sources without being in command of several modern languages and having access to those works. (Although an academic library could probably locate them, if desired.) In the end, anyone but a professional Sumerologist would have to take his word for the quality of his translations and interpretations.

Given the incredible amount of work Sitchin put into this and other books on the same topic, I suspect that he truly believed his hypothesis. His arguments are laid out rationally, in great detail, and with reference to a wide range of disciplines. It doesn't come across like a scam or money-making project. He could have done a lot less and still been convincing to a wide range of people.

The question comes down to this: does Sitchin see the presence of aliens in the surviving relics of the ancient world because he wanted to, or is he the first one to have seen clearly, and all the academics of the past century and more not seen aliens because they refused to acknowledge the remote possibility that such a thing could have happened.

The other strong argument against this theory is the lived experience of modern Pagans who have personal experience, personal and collective gnosis, of the gods of these civilizations Who are still alive and active today -- Who Sitchin claims are aliens. I realize that some find that claim as fantastical as the claim of aliens, but as someone who has had such experience, it's a counter argument which I take seriously.

I'm giving this book a "4" not based on whether or not I believe the claims, but because the author did such a good job laying them out, and it was actually fun and interesting to read.

One caveat: it will be much easier to read this book if you have some familiarity with the religions, cultures, and texts of the Ancient Near East. Otherwise it's going to be difficult to keep track of the names of the Nephilim and the various sagas referred to. I did some (non-specialist) graduate work in this area and it made a big difference for me. At the very least you will want to be familiar with Genesis, the Enuma Elish, and the Epic of Gilgamesh.
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jsabrina | 15 other reviews | Jul 13, 2021 |

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Works
29
Members
3,590
Popularity
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Rating
½ 3.5
Reviews
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ISBNs
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Languages
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Favorited
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