|A MESSAGE TO ZECHARIA SITCHIN FANS
By Alan F. Alford
Author of ‘Gods of the New Millennium’, ‘The Phoenix Solution’, ‘When The Gods Came Down’, and ‘The Atlantis Secret’.
In 1996 I was one of Zecharia Sitchin’s biggest fans. I wrote a book entitled ‘Gods of the New Millennium’ which drew heavily on Zecharia Sitchin’s ideas and gave broad support to his overall conclusions. The book, relaunched by Hodder and Stoughton Publishers in 1997, raced to Number 11 in the UK Bestsellers list. To many people in the UK, this was the first they had heard about Sitchin’s theory and they loved it. All over the world, Sitchin fans went into raptures over my book. Among them was Neil Freer, author of ‘Breaking The Godspell’, who declared ‘Gods of the New Millennium’ to be ‘a landmark work’ and urged people to ‘read it… even if you have to hock the cat’. Another Sitchin fan, the writer Lloyd Pye, hailed it as ‘one of the best books ever done in this field.’ With very few exceptions, Sitchin fans recognised that I had achieved the seemingly impossible; I had taken Sitchin’s research a significant step further forward.
For those unfamiliar with Sitchin’s hypothesis, he proposes that ancient texts describe the visits to Earth of an extraterrestrial race of gods known as ‘the Anunnaki’. According to Sitchin’s interpretation of these ancient texts, the Anunnaki-gods came down to the Earth 445,000 years ago from a planet known as Marduk or Nibiru – a planet which remains in our solar system on a vast elliptical orbit of 3,600 years. The Anunnaki then created Homo sapiens, partly in their own image, using a process of genetic engineering. The purpose of this ‘creation’ was to engage Homo sapiens as a slave, and thereby increase the efficiency of the Anunnaki’s gold mines on Earth. According to Sitchin, this gold was required back on the home planet of the Anunnaki, to protect the planet’s atmosphere from degradation. This must have worked, because many millennia later the leaders of the Anunnaki allegedly returned to the Earth, granted civilisation to the Sumerians and Egyptians, and lived alongside these human cultures for more than a thousand years.
In 1997/98, on the back of a three-book contract from Hodder and Stoughton Publishers, I set about finding further scientific evidence of the Anunnaki-gods. The intention was to produce the kind of sequel that writers normally produce – aptly summed up by the expression ‘more of the same’. To this end, I decided to write a book about ancient Egypt, partly because Egypt was in vogue following the publication of ‘The Orion Mystery’ and similar books, and partly because Sitchin had not fully covered the rich Egyptian lore in his ‘Earth Chronicles’ series. I therefore began to pore over the ancient Egyptian writings, looking for evidence of extraterrestrial contact.
But I did not find what I expected to find. On the contrary, I began to realise that the ancient Egyptian gods were not flesh-and-blood extraterrestrials at all. On the contrary, the Egyptian gods were personifications of celestial powers, exemplified by Ra, the Sun-god, Thoth the Moon-god, and Nut, the Sky-goddess. But this was only the tip of the iceberg. Eventually the veil of the mystery began to lift, and I realised that these celestial gods were merely symbolic of an even deeper celestial mystery involving a planet which had exploded millions of years in the past. This was the Egyptian ‘First Time’ (Zep Tepi), when the gods had descended from Heaven to Earth. But they had not descended to the Earth in space-ships. Far from it. They had descended to Earth as meteorites and floodwaters from the exploded planet. And it soon became apparent that every single aspect of ancient Egyptian religion could be integrated within what I termed an ‘exploded planet cult’. The results of this research were written up in my second book, ‘The Phoenix Solution’, which was published in August 1998.
Where did this leave Sitchin’s theory of the Anunnaki-gods? In ‘The Phoenix Solution’, I explained that the descents of the meteorite-gods to Earth was followed by the ascents (or resurrections) of their spiritual doubles back up to Heaven. In other words, the physical gods who had come down to Earth had propagated invisible, metaphysical counterparts who had risen back up to Heaven. I then drew a number of comparisons between Egyptian and Mesopotamian traditions, and concluded that ‘these accounts are so similar to Egyptian beliefs that we must surely dismiss the idea of rockets and spacecraft, and treat all the ascents (of the gods) as metaphysical.’
But although Sitchin’s theory may have sprung a leak in my mind, the same could not be said for his many fans who were following my work. They went ballistic. Alford had become a traitor and a turncoat, they said. How could he possibly do it? Had he been ‘turned’ by the CIA?
The reality is that I was never ‘turned’ by anyone other than the ancient Egyptians, and contrary to popular misinformation, I have never recanted my support for the ancient astronaut theory. In ‘The Phoenix Solution’, I tempered my criticism of Sitchin’s theory with the words: ‘none of this disproves Zecharia Sitchin’s thesis of extraterrestrial intervention per se, but it clearly demonstrates that the warring gods of ancient mythology are not what he supposed them to be… this places the search for ancient astronauts right back at square one… with nothing proven but all to play for…’. In short, I had not thrown out the baby with the bathwater as many writers might have been tempted to do, and nor do I have any intention of doing so as long as the origins of Homo sapiens remain so highly improbable (see ‘Gods of the New Millennium’, chapter two).
My comments in ‘The Phoenix Solution’ were provisional – pending a more detailed study of the ancient Sumerian myths. And it was to this task that I devoted myself during 1998/99. Was Sumerian religion also an exploded planet cult – as in Egypt – or might at least some of the Sumerian myths describe flesh-and-blood gods?
I spelled out the answer to this question in my third book ‘When The Gods Came Down’, published in April 2000. Although Sitchin’s name is not mentioned in this book, it suffices for the purpose of this web-page to say that the result is negative to Sitchin’s thesis of the Anunnaki-gods. The following two extracts from chapter fourteen of the book encapsulate, in a nutshell, the fundamental problem that I think has misled Sitchin and so many other ancient astronaut theorists:
“Once upon a time… we rightly or wrongly believed that God had been an exploded planet. But over the past five thousand years we ‘dumbed down’ our earlier religious beliefs by portraying ex-planets, meteorites and comets in anthropomorphic terms – either as human beings (or human artefacts), or as gods with human-like appearances, or as a God watching over us with a human-like mind, or as a spirit-like Son of God occupying a real human body.”
“Today, the conditioning imposed upon us by our religious educations is such that the vast majority of us are quite incapable of seeing beyond what we might call ‘the anthropomorphic barrier’. Even those who deny the orthodox religions fall into a similar trap of believing that God and the gods were a visiting group of flesh-and-blood extraterrestrials. But although the majority of people might laugh at such beliefs, the truth is that the followers of the so-called ‘ancient astronaut theory’ are no more foolish than 1.9 billion Christians who believe that a flesh-and-blood Son of God was sacrificed to save mankind. Both groups of believers have fallen into the same trap – a very understandable trap – of failing to see beyond ‘the anthropomorphic barrier’. And, as far as this perspective is concerned, both groups thus stand no higher than the little children who believe that a man in a red and white suit comes down the chimney at Christmas bearing gifts. We have all been believing in the same fairy tale.”
This is a deliberately provocative statement, and it will no doubt cause a great deal of hostility towards myself. But I have chosen my words carefully. The ‘fairy tale’ which I refer to is our inclination to take literally the depictions of the descending gods in human-like forms – whether it be the Anunnaki, Jesus Christ, or Santa Claus.
But this does not mean I have totally abandoned the ancient astronaut theory. On the contrary, the exploded planet hypothesis of religion and myth, when combined with the scientific exploded planet hypothesis of American astronomer Dr Tom Van Flandern, point firmly towards the idea of an extraterrestrial race of man (the so-called ‘golden race’), who once lived upon the planet of Heaven and who may have migrated from their doomed planet to the Earth millions of years ago, to survive presumably by hybridisation with a native species on Earth. This scenario would go a long way towards explaining the many anomalies in the orthodox account of human origins (see my book ‘Gods of the New Millennium’, chapter two). This idea of extraterrestrial intervention, which is supported by Van Flandern as well as by myself, is explored further in a separate article on this website.
The Exploded Planet Perspective
Owing to a threat of litigation, it is inadvisable for me to issue a detailed refutation of Zecharia Sitchin’s interpretation of the ancient myths. What I will do, however, is summarise some of my own conclusions in areas pertinent to Sitchin’s theory, and allow readers to use their own common sense in deciding which interpretation of the myths is the most likely.
1 Sumerian religion
The Sumerian religion – like the Egyptian religion – was an exploded planet cult. The supreme god Anu personified a planet which had exploded; hence the fact that his name meant ‘Heaven’, and hence the fact that meteoritic iron was known in Sumer as ‘the essence of Anu’. Anu fathered the Anunnaki by emission from his exploding body, causing the Anunnaki to ‘light up the skies (Epic of Gilgamesh) and then fall to the Earth. This explains why the Anunnaki-gods were subsequently hidden away in the Underworld, i.e. in the interior of the Earth (a fact that is readily apparent to anyone who takes the time to read the ancient Sumerian myths for themselves). The various other Sumerian gods personified exactly the same idea, i.e. the physical explosion, and fall, of a planet, followed by its metaphysical resurrection (the widespread myth of ‘the separation of Heaven from Earth’). This explains the basic myths of the descents and ascents of the gods, i.e. their journeys back and forth between Heaven and Earth. Moreover, the cataclysmic basis of the myths explains why the journeys of the gods were usually accompanied by fire and smoke.
Ancient man witnessed cataclysmic phenomena in the skies (comets, meteors and fireballs), and was therefore inspired to tell stories of the battles of the gods. These battles supposedly occurred at the very beginning of time, long before mankind was created on the Earth. The ancients believed in two exploded planets, and this allowed the myth-makers to envision dramatic wars between the gods who remained in Heaven and the gods who had been cast down into the Underworld (i.e. into the interior of the Earth).
The basic idea underlying all Mesopotamian, Egyptian and Greek myths of the creation of man is that man was created in the Underworld, i.e. in the interior of the Earth, pending a later release onto the surface of the Earth. In the Greek myths, man was thus created from clay and fire in the womb of the goddess Gaia, who personified Mother Earth. Similarly, in the older Mesopotamian myths, man was created in the womb of Mami (alias Ninharsag, ‘Lady of the Mountain’), who likewise personified the Earth.
The crucial idea behind the creation of man myth was that the Earth-goddess had been impregnated by the seeds of life in the form of meteorites and floodwaters from the exploded planet. In Greece it was believed that man had been created from fallen ‘stones’ or from the ‘teeth’ of a heavenly serpent, or from the ‘seed’ of the fallen meteorite-god Hephaestus. In Mesopotamia, similarly, it was believed that man had been created from the ‘flesh’ and ‘blood’ of a sacrificed sky-god, these terms being metaphors for the meteoritic materials. Both the gods and man had been created as offshoots from the exploded planet, and hence it was said that mankind had been created in the image of the gods. In the course of time, ancient man depicted the fallen gods poetically in anthropomorphic forms, thus giving rise to the misleading idea that man had been created in the image of human-like gods. As for the Anunnaki-gods, who put mankind to work in the excavations, it should be noted that they were gods of the subterranean Underworld.
4. Enuma Elish
The Babylonian creation epic, Enuma Elish, makes an excellent case study of the exploded planet hypothesis of ancient religion and myth. In an attached article, I offer a decoding of Enuma Elish, line by line, explaining the respective roles of Apsu, Tiamat, Marduk and the Anunnaki from the exploded planet perspective. Please click here Enuma Elish.