The announcement, on July 30th 2005, that a new celestial body has been discovered made media news around the world; and because the reports were headlined “Astronomers Claim Discovery of 10th Planet,” my phone started to constantly ring… Some callers shouted “Congratulations!”; others, more cautiously, asked: “Is it Nibiru?” – “Nibiru” being the planet of which I had been writing and talking ever since my book The 12th Planet was published decades ago.
The announcement by a Caltech astronomer, Michael Brown, said that he and two colleagues, scanning the heavens in 2003, found a celestial body (designated 2003-UB-313) that they now realize might be larger than Pluto (the ninth planet) and thus qualify as the 10th planet in our solar system. Lacking many vital data except that it orbits the Sun at a very steep angle to the ecliptic (the orbital plane of Earth and other planets) and is now about 9 billion miles from us, the discovery’s announcement was explained as prompted by concern that a computer hacker, a “rogue astronomer”, or a team of Spanish astronomers claiming to have found such a body (that they designated 2003-EL-61) would pre-empt the Brown team.
A Planet, A “Planetoid” – Or What?
While the Brown team employed the term “tenth planet” merely due to its presumed size (“larger than Pluto”), other astronomers have already pointed out that it could be just one of several (perhaps even numerous) planetoids that are assumed to exist in what is called the Kuiper Belt; the Brown team found one such object not long ago and named it Sedna (and is rumored to be readying an announcement regarding yet another one, 2005-FY-9).
All that has kindled a debate among astronomers regarding what is to be deemed a full-fledged planet, or a lesser “planetoid,” or just a “Kuiper Belt Object.”
Among the many questions that are unanswered is whether the new celestial body, if a planet, has an atmosphere; that the object could not be sensed by the infra-red Spitzer Telescope (which the Brown team tried to do) suggests that it is just “an icy rock.”
The Ancient Data
So is it Nibiru? Have astronomers now found the planet from which, according to my understanding of Mesopotamian and biblical texts and illustrations, astronauts had come to Earth some 450,000 years ago?
Based on the sketchy information so far available, the answer is No.
This regrettable answer stems, first of all, from comparing the information released regarding the new object and the ancient data concerning Nibiru. The latter was described as a radiating planet (i.e. one that has its own heat source and atmosphere), a planet that sustains life, home planet of the Anunnaki (“Those who from heaven to Earth came”) – the biblical Nefilim.
When the Mesopotamian Epic of Creation (Enuma Elish) is treated, as I have suggested, as a sophisticated cosmogony and not as an allegorical myth, the origin and composition of a twelve member solar system become clear. While the existence of varied celestial objects including numerous moons of various planets have been recognized in the ancient texts (and depictions), only our Moon and only Pluto (once Saturn’s moon) have been included in the count. Together with all the planets we know of today (including those discovered only in the past 150 years) and one more – Nibiru – the Sun’s “family” added up to twelve.
Such a solar system was depicted repeatedly on cylinder seals and monuments (now on display in museums in London and Berlin), as shown by illustrations in my books. One made famous by my writings is cylinder seal VA-243 in the Berlin Museum of Near Eastern antiquities, which shows the complete solar system with Nibiru passing between Jupiter and Mars when its orbit brings it back to our vicinity:
The cylinder seal is only a little larger than an inch, engraved (as all such seals were) in reverse. The sizes of the planets shown can thus be considered only approximations, relative to each other. Even so, it is evident that Nibiru was deemed not only much larger than Pluto, but also than Earth.
It was not an “icy rock” in the Kuiper Belt.
The Search For “Planet X”
It so happened that just two weeks before the recent news, at the Sitchin Reunion in Chicago July 15 – 16, 2005, I reviewed the search for “Planet X” by various astronomers. A significant highlight of that search was the announcement in December 1983 by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory that IRAS (the infra-red telescope) has found a planet, much larger than Earth, moving in the distant heavens in our direction. The announcement – hastily retracted as a “misunderstanding” – prompted the Reagan-Gorbachov meetings and President Reagan’s speech at the U.N. about the common danger to Mankind from “an alien planet out there.”
My audience was treated both to a video presentation of Reagan’s speech (and Soviet video footage concerning the Phobos Incident), and to a never-before-shown video of my interview of the astronomer who was in charge of the official U.S. government search for Planet X — Dr. Robert Harrington at the United States Naval Observatory. Speaking of the planet as a matter-of-fact, Dr. Harrington described it as 2 -3 times the size or mass of Earth, with an atmosphere, “habitable;” and compared its position to the one in my books’ drawings:
Dr. Harrington died suddenly soon after our interview in August 1991; but what he knew, and what the ancients knew, must remain the only valid criterion for answering the imperative question: Is it Nibiru?