Friday, April 1, 2011

Sitchin, Aliens and Gods

As someone who appears frequently on The History Channel’s series “Ancient Aliens”, one of the more frequent questions or objections I receive is whether ET killed God. My answer is a definitive no, and let me explain why.

There are various types of ancient alien hypotheses and the more literal they are, the more often I find they are erroneous, especially if they are riding on the tail of a “mega-theory”. Take the most famous example of the field: Zecharia Sitchin introduced the notion of the existence of a twelfth planet into our solar system, arguing that this was knowledge possessed by the ancient Sumerians and that the race that lived on this planet, named Nibiru, had colonised Earth and genetically modified our ancestors into us. Only he could correctly translate the Sumerian language, he claimed, and though he maintained so for four decades, we know he read the Sumerian language – at best – poorly.
According to Sitchin, the planet Nibiru had an elliptical orbit, which according to astronomers – and common logic – is unlikely to be possible, especially if that planet would also be comfortable in sustaining life along its 3600 year orbit through our solar system. But the less evidence there is for Nibiru’s existence, the more fundamentalist some people come in their promotion and belief of it.

With the arrival of the 2012-phenomenon, Sitchin-fans decided that maybe it was a good idea to link 2012 with the idea that this was the return of Nibiru. But fact of the matter is that if this were the case, this planet would now be clearly visible in our skies, even if there was a massive scientific cover-up in place to “deny the truth”, as some would have it. But it does underline the all too common notion that if two unexplained mysteries are coupled, that somehow this is proof that both are right!

Sitchin’s fan argue that astronomers have noted an unusual pattern in the influx of comets as they enter our solar system, suggestive that maybe there is a planet far out there, in the so-called Oort Cloud. The anomalies could be explained if there was a planet one to four times the mass of Jupiter. Indeed, “some” astronomers argue that indeed, but there is no evidence for this planet, even though it should be easily detectable, especially
if it were to be due for arrival near Earth next year. So, in short, the promoters of “Planet X” – as the planet is commonly referred to – have no evidence.

You might wonder why Sitchin or his theories are not more prominently part of the “Ancient Aliens” series. The answer is quite simple: Sitchin had theories and tried to make the evidence fit his theories. So, yes, whereas Sitchin states that “ET was here”, it is in the detail that his theory is lost. And I would go as far as to say that he did the entire field a disservice, for he was both vociferous and cantankerous in the defence of his theories. Sitchin mistranslated, but specifically misinterpreted. Misunderstood.

If Nibiru is anything, it is indeed a place of crossing: the crossing of one world to another. But not of planet Earth to planet Nibiru, but from the earthly realm to the land of the dead, and the gods. This is a metaphysical explanation, and yes, I do take the explanation of the soul crossing over literally. Not literally in a physical sense, but literally in a metaphysical sense. For I am convinced that there is more to this universe than the mere physical universe; that there are both extra-terrestrial and otherworldly beings… both of whom are definitely alien to our civilization but when you study such topics as the fairy faith of the ancient Celts, it is clear that these ancient civilizations were far more familiar with these creatures than we are.

So, once again, we live in an “and universe”: a universe with room for otherworldly and extra-terrestrial creatures. For we not only have one topic that science needs to explore, but several which it has shied and continues to shy away from. We not merely need to ask the question whether or not we were alone, but also ask questions about other dimensions. History and reality are far more complex than the neat theories of science, or Sitchin. Reality is complex. So is history. But that makes it all the more beautiful.