Nibiru, the Mysterious Planet or Something Else?
By Olav Phillips
For many years now there has been an interest in Ancient Aliens, and the derivative offshoots. I myself was introduced to the ancient alien concepts many years ago while reading Erik von Daniken and later while watching the various Alan Landsburg epics (The Outer Space Connection etc..). What struck me at that time was the general idea of it. This idea that ancient texts were used to portray an ancient history very different from the one I had been taught in school. It was the solution to archeological mysteries, and as the pervasive meme’s point out – It’s Aliens!
As time went on and I went through college I started to develop a different world view of these theories. While some I tended to cling onto, others I started to see alternate explanations for, especially as I continued my undergraduate studies in Sociology, Cultural Anthropology and Archeology, which were my majors (Anthropology and Sociology).
While I didn’t necessarily accept the ancient astronaut hypothesis completely, I did begin to believe, based on research, that the ancient world was much more technologically advanced that we are taught. The stories of ancient India, Europe and others seemed to lend credence to that. The stories seemed to describe, through the lens of a less technologically advanced society, descriptions of very technologically sophisticated devices. That’s generally where the trouble begins, and sometimes ends.
The conversion of myths to realities is a process fraught with peril. The researcher must use the myth as a description and apply appropriate context, while still protecting the narrative itself. This process of cultural comparison can be very clean, but also not be very clean at the same time since you must fundamentally make assumptions. The key is to make assumptions that seem contextual.
A good example of this was a loom weight. While a teaching assistant I was given access to a small pyramidal object with a hole at the top. At first glance one would really not figure out what it was. Was it an ancient Illuminati symbol, perhaps a form of currency? Who knows! My instructor at the time said to me compare this object to objects used in the same local today. So I started to look at various mundane things the people of this island did, one of which was weaving. While pouring through the pictures of people weaving, the life of an archeology Teaching Assistant, I came across a picture of a woman weaving using weights on the loom which looked astonishingly similar to the thing I held in my hand. It seemed the natural supposition that this object was a loom weight, which it turned out to be. I figured it out by looking at the object and putting it in correct cultural context and I did a little guessing too.
The reason I’m pointing this out is that while a loom weight is different then an ancient aircraft recorded through myth and parable, the process to convert it is the same. Strip away the fantastic nature and make the assumption that what is being described is real, potentially, and an accurate description of something but through the lens of a different culture or time.
It was Arthur C. Clarke who wisely pointed out in his third law:
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
Charles Fort also pointed this out in his book Wild Talents:
“…a performance that may some day be considered understandable, but that, in these primitive times, so transcends what is said to be the known that it is what I mean by magic.”
What these quotes are basically alluding to is the idea that when a person is confronted by a technology much more advanced then their own they fall back to magic to explain its operation. This is not unlike back in the middle ages when illness was believed to be caused by a frog in your stomach, and you were taken to a health practionioner to have the frog dissolved or removed where today you go to the doctor and they give you antibiotics and send you home to watch Wheel of Fortune.
So it is with that lens that we should take a new and different view of the idea of Nibiru and what it could have been, or rather what it is.
For many years Zecharia Sitchen had worked to build a cosmology around the Anunaki, a supposed race of aliens (not from the Earth) who had genetically engineered humans to work in massive gold mines. The gold was then transported back to their home planet of Nibiru. To do this he relied on Sumerian tablets which he had translated himself.
Sitchen himself was born in Azerbaijan, and received a degree in economics from the University of London, before relocating to the United States and eventually working as an executive for a shipping company. It was while working for the shipping company he became fascinated with the Sumerians and later taught himself cuneiform, the Sumerian writing system. It is from his self taught studies that his translations evolved.
Sitchen’s work has been criticized by many scholars for inaccuracies in the base translations. The Sumerian language and idioms at this point is fairly well understood and many of the scholars point out inaccuracies or leaps when it comes to his translations. I think it is those mistranslations and his quest to prove the Anunaki hypothesis which may have lead to the confusion we find ourselves in today. Sitchen did indeed find interesting things in his reading of the Sumerian texts but his ideology may have effected his eventual conclusions.
So what is Nibiru? According to Sitchen’s hypothesis Nibiru was the home to the enigmatic Anunaki. It was a mysterious planet out beyond Pluto that had a wildly eccentric orbit. According to Sitchen the planet came into the solar system every 3600 years.
So Why Come to Earth?
Because of this eccentric orbit the planets atmosphere was failing and Anunaki engineers worked feverously to find a way to repair it. This repair mechanism, developed by the Anunaki, apparently required massive amounts of gold, which resulted in the Anunaki coming to Earth since it was a rich gold source. When the Anunaki arrived they found that mining process to be too laborious so they genetically engineered humanity to serve as slave miners for the gold which was transported back to Nibiru to feed their atmospheric generators.
The idea of Nibiru was not without its criticism as C. Leroy Ellenburger writes in a 1981 Frontiers of Science article:
“[Sitchin states that] from an equal start, the Nephilim evolved on Nibiru 45 million years ahead of comparable development on Earth with its decidedly more favorable environment. Such an outcome is unlikely, to say the least, since Nibiru would spend over 99% of its time beyond Pluto. Sitchin’s explanation that heat from radioactive decay and a thick atmosphere keep Nibiru warm is absurd and does not address the problem of darkness in deep space. Also unexplained is how the Nephilim, who evolved long after Nibiru arrived, knew what happened when Nibiru first entered the solar system.”
Ellenburger goes on to say:
“… implies an orbit with a semi-major axis of 235 astronomical units, extending from the asteroid belt to twelve times farther beyond the sun than Pluto. Elementary perturbation theory indicates that, under the most favorable circumstances of avoiding close encounters with other planets, no body with such an eccentric orbit would keep the same period for two consecutive passages. Within twelve orbits the object would be either ejected or converted to a short period object. Thus, the failed search for a trans-Plutonian planet by T.C. Van Flandern, of the U.S. Naval Observatory, which Sitchin uses to bolster his thesis, is no support.”
This is just one of the many papers which have been written over the years critiquing the idea of Nibiru as Planet X and from a scientific point of view, as well as a logical one, there is very little science to support such a planet with a wildly eccentric orbit. There is however lots of conventional, and not so conventional, evidence for Planet X as an entity.
In 2015 Caltech astronomers Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown announced that they created a workable mathematical model which showed the presence of a new planet (Planet X) out beyond Neptune. This stellar body had a orbit computed to be 20,000 years (or more) compared to Sitchen’s model which called for a 3600 year orbit.
In a comment posted on NASA’s “Solar System Exploration:”
Credit: Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC); [Diagram created using WorldWide Telescope.]
“The possibility of a new planet is certainly an exciting one for me as a planetary scientist and for all of us,” said Jim Green, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division. “This is not, however, the detection or discovery of a new planet. It’s too early to say with certainty there’s a so-called Planet X. What we’re seeing is an early prediction based on modeling from limited observations. It’s the start of a process that could lead to an exciting result.”
So what is Nibiru?
So while there is evidence of a Planet X, it does not appear to fit the mode of Nibiru. So what is Nibiru then? According to Dr. Michael Heiser, and many other linguistic scholars, Nibiru is “A Place of Crossing” or “Ferry/ford/Ferry Boat.” In this Nibiru analysis [ 3 ], Dr. Heiser points out the following:
“Word meaning, of course, is determined by context. “Nibiru” (more technically and properly transliterated as “neberu”) can mean several things. I have underlined the form of nibiru for the reader:
“place of crossing” or “crossing fee” – In the Gilgamesh epic, for example, we read the line (remarkably similar to one of the beatitudes in the sermon on the Mount): “Straight is the crossing point (nibiru; a gateway), and narrow is the way that leads to it.” A geographical name in one Sumero-Akkadian text, a village, is named “Ne-bar-ti-Ash-shur” (“Crossing Point of Asshur”). Another text dealing with the fees for a boatman who ferries people across the water notes that the passenger paid “shiqil kaspum sha ne-bi-ri-tim” (“silver for the crossing fees”).
“ferry, ford”; “ferry boat”; “(act of) ferrying” – For example, one Akkadian text refers to a military enemy, the Arameans: “A-ra-mu nakirma bab ni-bi-ri sha GN itsbat” (“The Arameans were defiant and took up a position at the entrance to the ford [gate, crossing point]”). In another, the Elamites are said to “ina ID Abani ni-bi-ru u-cha-du-u” (“[to] have cut off the ford [bridge, crossing way] of the river Abani”).
I think the “root idea” of the nibiru word group and its forms as meaning something with respect to “crossing” is clear, and so we’ll move on.”
Nibiru as a crossing, a ferry point or a gateway. This makes Nibiru very interesting, but we’ll get back to that in a little bit.
So what about the Anunnaki, who are they then?
Conventional translations the phrase Anunnaki translate it as the “descendants” or “children” of Anu, An or Anu, the god of heaven (i.e. the sky) and leader of the Sumerian pantheon, and Ki who was the earth goddess.
This leads us in a very interesting investigative direction because Anu, it was said, ruled heaven or the sky. The reason this is particularly interesting is because this notion of Heaven actually represented what they refer to as the third celestial dome or latterly a barrier protecting the earth from the beyond. It should also be pointed out that Anu’s domain was also the highest of the celestial domes, meaning there were several, and beyond Anu’s domain was the void. Ki on the other hand was the balance, the earth mother and has been linked by some scholars to the goddess Ninhursag – Godess of the mountains and fertility but also the protector of the earth.
Ok that’s where they come from but who are they?
That’s actually somewhat hard to say. The actual documentation about the Anunnaki is somewhat fragmentary and no good count exists for them. In many of the surviving texts they are referred to as a group vs an individual. There are cases where specific Anunnaki are represented but that appears to be the exception not the rule. What the ancient cultures did believe was that the Anunnaki we’re sky gods of immense power and according to Enki and the World Order the Anunnaki “decree the fates of mankind” but it is implied as protectors. This is especially important considering many Anunnaki where assigned to specific cities and many were to “take up there dwellings” in the various cities.
How did the Anunnaki Change Over Time?
Another interesting facet of this question is how the Anunnaki changed over time. I believe this will play a very important role in understanding the Anunnaki down the road.
Although they were perceived early on as being sky gods, derived from Anu, the perception of the Anunnaki changed starting in the old Babylonian period starting in 1830 BC. At that time the Babylonian pantheon introduced a new group called the Igigi but does not make it entirely clear but what is clear is that in the Atra-Hasis epic the Igigi are seen as a lower generation of gods who are subservient to the Anunnaki. It appears at some point (it says 40 days but this could be myth.) the Igigi rebelled against the Anunnaki and Enki creates humans to replace them.
By the Middle Period (1592BC to 1155BC) the Anunnaki have been transformed into gods of the underworld. It appears from the ancient text that the entirety of the Anunnaki culture had moved underground. Again the actual size of the Anunnaki is not clear but what is clear is they are no longer associated with the Sky or the Earth.
Finally in the Epic of Gilgamesh (1200BC) the Anunnaki are seen as seven judges who mourn for the destruction of humanity. A far cry of the original perceptions of majestic sky gods ruling over the earth.
So what does it all mean?
So what does all this mean? At this point in history anything beyond the actual translations is pure conjecture. What does appear to be the case is that the Sitchen translations, and the rich mythos build around them, don’t appear to hold up under scrutiny. The implications of the scholarly translation seem to lead us toward a very different path.
As I stated before I believe that many myths have a basis in actual fact, and of course any transliteration of such things is at best a thought experiment but I believe there is enough information here to suggest an alternate story or history in relation to the Anunnaki.
We know from the Veda’s that Earth has had at least one fairly high tech civilization and that civilization was brought to its knees during a cataclysmic war between two brothers over the throne of their deceased father. Could the story of the Anunnaki also be a part of that story? It is entirely possible and the themes seem to align. So let’s take these subjects one by one.
The north ecliptic pole is in Draco. Wikipedia
Based on the scholarly translations cited above it appears that Nibiru was not a planet but instead a ferry point of possibly a star port. This was a demarcation point to move beyond the earth. It’s important to point out that Anu is closely aligned to the North Orbital Pole and the constellation of Draco. Is it possible that Anu, “The One on High, ” commanded a installation in a polar orbit over the earth? I would suggest this is the probable meaning and that Nibiru was the site used to launch or take off to fly up to Anu’s station or base.
From there he would command the final and highest protection sphere of heaven as the supreme commander. This would also make since although Anu is supreme god he was rarely worshipped. That would fall to the lesser Anunnaki in command of other units. The Anunnaki would be more directly seen or followed by the local populace.
This would make since if the Mahabharata is historically accurate and the final conflagration utilized some sort of super weapon which many researchers have linked to a nuclear or fusion device the was used to destroy the opposing city. Such a weapon would probably have been deployed from orbit and would have come from the sky. This is a hypothesis I have previously argued. In “The Ark of the Covenant and Other Ancient Secret Weapons” I hypothesized the weapon was a orbitally launched kinetic energy weapon deployed from the enigmatic Dark Knight satellite.
The descriptions of the Anunnaki themselves present another facet of this discussion. If Anu was indeed the space commander, or possibly supreme commander, then the idea of the Anunnaki taking up residence within the various ancient cities again makes sense. They would have possibly been regional commanders assigned to various geographies.
Additionally they would have been in command so they made have had a higher status so history may have transliterated this as being a kind of god. In “Mesopotamien. Die Mythologie der Sumerer und Akkader” D.O. Edzard found reference to 50 Anunnaki residing in the city of Eridu. This would be consistent with the idea of the Anunnaki serving in a military role since Eridu was a major population hub in the sourthern part of Mesoptamia.
In the “Summerian King List” Eridu is named as being the city of the first kings and is translated as “the might place” or “guidance place” meaning it could have been a major military control center. The “Sumerian King List” described Eridu as:
“In Eridu, Alulim became king; he ruled for 28800 years. Alalngar ruled for 36000 years. 2 kings; they ruled for 64800 years. Then Eridu fell and the kingship was taken to Bad-tibira.”
Other Anunnaki as positioned in other locations such as Inanna being ascribed to Venus, Utu being associated with the Sun, Nanna associated with the Moon, Enlil the northern sky, Enki the southern sky and so forth. These associations could have possibly been linked to their control points or responsibilities such as being in charge of the Moon or the northern sky or lands etc. The key here is to see the associations in a great context and to understand the transliteration of at least 3000 years of translation but if what I believe is to be the case the 3000 year old documentation of an event 15,000 years ago or more.
The other element here which is very interesting is the notion of the Anunnaki changing over time. At first the Anunnaki are numerous but over time this changes and the Anunnaki move underground and are vastly reduced in number. This could possibly have been the result of this mysterious war which occurred. The surface being under attack or damaged would have forced the survivors to move underground into bunkers. This would explain how the vast resources of the Anunnaki, 50 in Eridu alone, became seven who guarded the underworld. Other sources talk about 600 Anunnaki in the underworld, but again their presence underground would suggestion they moved underground as survivors of some sort of cataclysmic event or war.
Another part of this vast story is the Igigi. Introduced in the Old Babylonian Period, the exact relationship of the Igigi is unknown but what is known is that they eventually rose up, recorded in the Middle Babylonian Period – 45 years later, and attacked the Anunnaki. This action implies some sort of civil war occurred at that time. Possibly due to the larger war.
Once the Igigi rose up and were defeated by the Anunnaki it is said that Enki created humans to take their place. Or it could be humans just took their place in the larger mechanics of the Anunnaki culture. It is important to remember we are dealing with transliteration and labels so what we consider to be a human may not have been a human to them.
Eventually by the eighth century BC the, now living underground, Anunnaki have become only a shadow of their former selves and are antagonistic towards humanity.
What is fascinating about this in a larger context is the easy comparison of the Anunnaki and humanity to H.G. Wells epic time travel book “The Time Machine.” In that book, at some point in the far future, there is a cataclysmic war and the survivors move underground to become the Morlocks which leaving some on the surface called the Eloy. The relationship between the late stage Anunnaki and humanity seems to echo this with the Anunnaki living underground and the humans living above ground.
Because of the age of these stories and the centuries and millennia of transliteration no one will ever know for sure what happened. The best we can do is use cultural comparison and try the best we can to deconstruct what occurred. This article is an attempt to do that, and should be taken as an attempt because there is no clear answer to these questions. What is truly important here is to use accurate translations or at least the best ones that exist because it is only with those can we start to see what happened or occurred in those primordial times.
 A. Schott, “Marduk und sein Stern” (“Marduk and his Star”), Zeitschrift fur Assyriologie 43 (1936): 124-145; Johannes Koch, “Der Mardukstern Neberu” (“Marduk’s star Nibiru”), Welt und Orients 22 (1990): 48-72.
 For the most part in this paper I have not used the standard scholarly transliteration font with diacritical marks. I have instead tried to spell Akkadian words phonetically for readers. An exception would be the chart of Nibiru references below.
 Tablet X, ii:24.  The “GN” refers to a determinative for a geographic name.
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