posted on Aug, 17 2008 @ 12:07 AM
The breakthrough came in 1976, when a new age-writer by the name of Zecharia Sitchin linked the Planet X-problem of the astronomers up with Sumerian
and Babylonian mythology.
Enter Sumerian religion. Like most people, the Sumerians had a lot of pretty neat stories about how the Earth came about. In one of them, it all began
with a family quarrel between two gods, Tiamat and Marduk. The two picked a fight, and Marduk won. Pissed off as he was, Marduk cut Tiamat to bits.
From the body parts he created our world. This leg here is the sky; that arm there, that'll be the land.
But Sitchin turned the story upside-down. To his opinion, the Sumerians were actually describing an ancient cosmic disaster. A collision between our
own planet (Tiamat), and Marduk -- which was, of course, the mystery planet from the clay tablet, a.k.a. Planet X. Adds up nice, right?
Well: it doesn't. For one thing, Sitchin's translations of the Sumerian texts were terrible - for example, he got the word for `planet' wrong. And
the words Nibiru and Marduk? Marduk was, besides a god, a nickname for the planet Jupiter. `Nibiru' simply means `ferry boat' and was sometimes used
to describe... Jupiter! So in fact, what Sitchin holds for Planet X is simply good old Jupiter.
The astronomical side of the story is no good, either. A planet with a highly elliptic orbit of 3,600 years would after a few rotations fly off,
direction deep space - or just become part of the 'normal' solar system. It is simply impossible there is a Planet X around. Physics forbids it,
just like it forbids apples from falling upwards.
But how about the ten planets on the Sumerian tablet? That's decoration, probably. Or it could be Venus, as seen from Earth, and surrounded by stars.
There are many, many clay tablets exactly like this one, and they all display funny little drawings in the corners: crosses, moons, stars -- you name
it. So there's no need to think anything special of the `planets'. We can be sure of one thing, though: it isn't a astronomical map. The Sumerians
believed our planet was a flat disc, they didn't believe the planets rotated around the Sun, and they had no way of seeing the outer planets
Neptune, Pluto and Quaovar.
Still, Sitchins book was a bestseller, and Planet X gained quite a following on Earth. It still has. Some believe Planet X is an inhabited planet,
inhabited by Atlantians, or pyramid-builders, or little green men, or... well, you know, that sort of thing. Even today, there are people around who
claim they are in `telepathic contact’ with the inhabitants of the planet. Sigh... Some people will simply believe anything!
Aw... Hold it now. Is that all? Well, there’s this other thing. For in fact, Planet X has been spotted by NASA! In 1983, two astronomers named
Neugebauer and Houck made headlines with their announcement that they had discovered a `Jupiter-sized planet’, cruising the galaxy at a distance of
two billion kilometers from the Sun.
But: the headlines were wrong. What Neugebauer and Houck really told the press was that they discovered an irregularity in the infrared spectrum. It
could be almost anything, they stated, ranging from a new planet to a distant galaxy. The press obviously preferred the planet. But after a while it
became clear that what the astronomers really saw was a distant galaxy.