Marduk & Tiamat were two of the leading gods of the Babylonian pantheon (a). The controversial writer Zecharia Sitchin, in The Twelfth Planet , identifies Marduk and Tiamat as planetary bodies that were involved in a re-ordering of the solar system through catastrophic collisions some millions of years ago (b). However, his proposed Sumerian cosmology includes another planet in our solar system, ‘Nibiru’ with an orbital period of 3,600 years, whose inhabitants visited Earth during their previous close encounters and genetically manipulated the development of humans!
Now, Stuart L. Harris has published a paper(c) naming a body, Marduk/Nibiru, that had a number of close encounters with Earth causing global catastrophes, which included the destruction of Atlantis in 9577 BC, which he believes had been situated in the North Atlantic near Rockall. He proposes that this event generated a tsunami 1,500 metres high that swept across Europe. Harris also credits Marduk with the destruction of the planet Tiamat, which led to the creation of the asteroid belt.
The Babylonian Marduk is frequently associated with the Greek Phaëton.
Stuart L. Harris is an American researcher, self-described as an linguist, historian and archaeologist. He has contributed over eighty papers to the Migration & Diffusion website(a) and dozens to the Academia.edu site(b). He has touched on a wide variety of subjects; from Comet Encke to Glozel and Newgrange to Noah’s Flood. Although I am not a linguist, I think that that Harris’ penchant for ‘finding’ evidence of the Finnish language in locations as far apart as Dacia, Gaul, Teotihuacan and Hawaii is highly questionable, but I shall leave it to others, more skilled than I, to comment further.
Inspired by Felice Vinci, Harris has promoted the idea of Troy in Finland, but until lately he had not directly addressed the question of Atlantis, but in recent private correspondence with me, he has claimed that Plato’s lost island had been situated in the vicinity of Rockall and destroyed around 9577 BC. He later published these ideas in a number of papers on the Academia.edu website(c-f) in which he proposed that a close encounter with Nibiru (Marduk) that resulted in a number of its satellites impacting the Earth, causing devastation which included the demise of Atlantis. He also equated Nibiru with Marduk. The article contains a lot of wild speculations including the suggestion that Nibiru on a return to Earth in 9417 BC, lost another of its satellites, which became our Moon!
Jonathan Northcote is a South African legal practitioner and the author of 16.484ºW 58.521ºN Atlantis, Found? in which he applies his professional forensic skills to the question of Atlantis. Although initially brought to the subject by Otto Muck’s book, he found aspects of Muck’s ideas unacceptable and began an investigation of his own that led him to conclude that the region of Rockall in the North Atlantic is the most likely candidate as the location of Atlantis,
There is no doubting the quality of Northcote’s research, particularly relating to the geology and underwater topography of the Rockall region, which is fully referenced. However I cannot agree with his treatment of a number of critical items in Plato’s text. These relate to words and phrases such as, continent, Pillars of Heracles, Atlantic, greater than Libya and Asia combined and elephants.
*In 2018, Stuart L. Harris, citing Northcote’s work, published four papers (a-d) on the academia.edu website endorsing the Rockall Plateau as the location of Atlantis. Harris adopts some of Emilio Spedicato’s theories and attributes the destruction of Atlantis to a catastrophic encounter with Nibiru in 9577 BC.*
In January 2019, Northcote revised his book with additional material and published this second edition with the title of Atlantis, Found? An investigation into ancient accounts, bathymetry and climatology . I am currently working my way through this latest offering and hope to review it in the near future.
The Moon has little connection with Plato’s Atlantis story apart from the more extreme speculations of some writers. One of the wildest is that the Atlanteans had established a research facility on the Moon(a), an idea rivalled by that of Alan Butler & Christopher Knight in their book, Who Built the Moon, in which they propose that the Moon was ‘constructed’! This idea has now been revived by Rob Shelsky. In 1965, the Umland brothers proposed that the Moon was a communications relay station for the Maya to make contact with their home planet!
In 1970, Michael Vasin and Alexander Shcherbakov, of what was then the Soviet Academy of Sciences, advanced a hypothesis that the Moon is a spaceship created by unknown beings.(k) These ideas inspired the title of Don Wilson’s 1976 book, Our Mysterious Spaceship Moon .
The idea that the Moon was to some extent hollow was given impetus in the 1970’s, when a study of moonquakes revealed that the Moon ‘rang like a bell’ (i). Now, nearly half a century later, Wallace Thornhill, a leading Electric Universe proponent, has endorsed the hollow Moon idea and seems sympathetic to the idea of a hollow earth. This was expressed at a recent EU conference and be viewed at the 40-minute mark of a YouTube video.(j)
>Neal Adams, a respected graphic artist(s), probably best known for his work on the DC Comics characters Batman and Green Arrow. He is a vocal supporter of the Expanding Earth Hypothesis(t), but, he has gone further and also proposed a growing Moon as well(u)(r). Not content with that, he has extended his expansion investigations to other bodies in our Solar System, such as, Mars, Ganymede & Europa(v). Adams considers the term “Expanding Earth” a misnomer and has named his proposed expansion process ‘pair production’!<
The origins of the Moon have also been the subject of extensive controversy with one side claiming that it had been ‘captured’ by the earth, while the other extreme argues that it had been ‘expelled’ from our planet. The expulsion theory posits(b) that a collision with another celestial body tore material from the Earth, which in time became our Moon(h). Nils Olof Bergquist writing in the 1940’s supported the expulsion scenario and had his original Swedish book on the subject translated into English as The Moon Puzzle.
The most radical of the captured moon school was Hanns Hörbiger, who proposed that there had been a series of Moon captures. Many of his ideas were adopted by H.S. Bellamy, who added that the capture of our current satellite had caused the destruction of Atlantis. Nikolay Bonev, the astronomer, caused a stir in 1961 when he expressed the view that our Moon had once been an independent planet(d) that had experienced violent volcanic eruptions that were powerful enough to have produced a ‘recoil’ effect, which nudged it towards our Earth’s orbit and was eventually captured as our satellite.
More recently Emilio Spedicato expressed similar ideas(c), claiming that material taken from another large extraterrestrial body around 9450 BC became our Moon, but that the event also led to the destruction of Atlantis. Stuart L. Harris has proposed(m) that the planet Nibiru had a close encounter with our Earth in 9577 BC that resulted in the destruction of Atlantis, followed by another visit in 9417 BC during which it lost one of its satellites, which became our Moon!
John Ackerman, a keen follower of Immanuel Velikovsky claimed that there were two catastrophic events related to “the capture of the Moon into its current orbit,” marking both the beginning and the end of the Younger Dryas period(p).
The Moon controversies continue with the recent suggestion by Erik Asphaug, a professor of earth and planetary sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who claims that originally the Earth had two moons that coalesced into a single satellite (n)!
Gary Gilligan, the catastrophist, also supports the concept of moon capture but dated this event to as recent as 2000 BC(f) and then later advanced it to 1200 BC(g). Researcher, Mark Andrew commenting on Gilligan’s claims wrote that “Although Gilligan promises more evidence to come, his theory has to contend with the varied evidence of an earlier Moon, including the earliest known written myth of the Moon’s death and rebirth, the epic poem Descent of Inanna (dating from 1750 BC), and also the oldest known map of the moon (dating from 2800 BC).”(l)
>Ticleanu, Constantin & Nicolescu in their paper delivered to the 2008 Atlantis Conference very briefly touched on the origin of the Moon. They claim that our Moon, a former planet, was captured by our Earth sometime within the last 40,000 years [750.368].<
Unexpectedly, the orbital speed of the Moon appears to vary on its trip around the Earth(e).
Some of the ideas above regarding the origin of the Moon are clearly extremist and are far more radical than a recent theory regarding the Sun proposed by Ev Cochrane, a comparative mythologist, in a YouTube clip(o), where he offers evidence that the Sun as observed in ancient times seemed quite different to how we see it today. This is borne out by the related mythologies and petroglyphs from our ancient past and show a global consistency that cannot be explained by imagination.
Professor Neil F.Comins of the University of Maine challenged his students with the question ‘what if the Moon didn’t exist?’ The responses were interesting (no eclipses) and amusing (a new word for ‘lunatic would be required), but not always correct (no tides). One important consequence would be an eight-hour day(q).
(a) See: Archive 3334
Nibiru was a Sumerian astronomical term used to describe a planetary body that periodically approached Earth. This account was hijacked by the late Zechariah Sitchin to construct his Planet X theory in which he claimed that this planet had an orbit which took it to the outer limits of the solar system returning every 3600 years to the vicinity of Earth. Sitchin claimed that during one of these visits some of its inhabitants came to earth and become the ‘gods’ of the Sumerians. However, Sitchin failed to explain how the inhabitants of this Planet X survived the lack of heat and light that it would have had to endure as it moved away from the proximity of the Sun. For us inhabitants of Earth a drop of just a few degrees is fatal.
However, Emilio Spedicato has a radically different and certainly more rational view of this Sumerian planet. He ascribes a much shorter orbital period of 20 years to Nibiru and claims that close encounters with this planet (and its satellites) had a dramatic physical effect on the prehistory of our planet including the capturing of our Moon, the destruction of Atlantis and later the biblical Exodus! His scenario has elements that can be traced to Velikovsky, Ackerman and Hörbiger.
>Robert Solarion was a keen follower of Immanuel Velikovsky and like him was conviced that in the first and second millennia BC the Earth had suffered a catastrophic Pole Shift as a result of a close flybys of a large extraterrestrial body or bodies. Velikovsky identified these as Venus and Mars, but Solarion differed, suggesting that it was the putative Nibiru!(h)<
Professor Spedicato’s November 2012 paper, From Nibiru to Tiamat, an Astronomic Scenario for Earliest Sumerian Cosmology, can be read or downloaded from the excellent Diffusion and Migration website(a). A number of his other papers can be found on the same website and are certainly worth studying.
In sharp contrast to the serious work of Spedicato, for the past couple of years we have been subjected to a barrage of silly articles(b) linking Nibiru with the promised 2012 global catastrophes ‘predicted’ by the Mayan calendar.
A debunking of both Sitchin’s scholarship and the existence of Nibiru has been offered by a number of sites(c).
However, some people, such as David Meade (a pen-name) who describes himself as a ‘Christian numerologist’ predicted that Nibiru would collide with Earth on September 23, 2017! When this did not happen he moved the event to October, but again nothing happened. But he persisted and subsequently moved our demise to March 2018, then April, with a final suggestion for the year of between May and December(d).
Dr. Barry Warmkessel is the author of an extensive website(a) dealing with extraterrestrial impacts. He speculates(b) on the existence of a brown dwarf star, he calls Vulcan, in our solar system with an orbital period of around 5,000 years. Warmkessel claims that Vulcan has been responsible for capturing bodies from the Kuiper Belt leading to regular impacts(c) with Earth over many thousands of years. I suppose it was inevitable that the subject of the then impending disaster of 2012 was included(d) and so we are told that ‘Planet X’ or Nibiru is in fact a comet swarm that should be detectable from August 2012!
Atlantis has not been overlooked by Warmkessel who has included(c) a number of related papers (a third of the way down the page). He appears to favour circa 9600BC as the date for the destruction of Atlantis but includes links to various commentators who differ greatly on details such as cause and location.
In March 2014, Warmkessel published another wideranging paper(e) on Atlantis and asteroid impacts (Updated July 2015). In it he identifies a site off the west coast of Cuba as the location of Atlantis, which was destroyed by an asteroid impact. Which coincides with the views of Kelso de Montigny and others. He also predicts that “next passage of a comet cluster through the inner solar system are 2016 to 2017.”
Zecharia Sitchin (1920-2010) was born in Russia and grew up in Palestine where he studied ancient Semitic languages and became one of the few to master the reading of the cuneiform writing of the Sumerians. After studying at the London School of Economics he took up a career in journalism. There are some questions regarding his academic credentials that are briefly explored by Frank Dörnenburg(g).
Then Sitchin began to develop his theory of ancient astronauts visiting earth in the past from the planet Nibiru (Planet X) and their colonisation of territory in what is now part of Iraq and the genetic manipulation of humans there. He based his theories on his interpretation of Sumerian cuneiform tablets. He also claimed that Nibiru had an orbit that took it to the outer reaches of the solar system and would return soon.
The late Alan F. Alford was initially an enthusiastic supporter of Sitchin’s ancient astronaut ideas, but later recanted(k).
Understandably, his ideas provoked a storm of controversy that lasted until his death and after. For my part I cannot understand how a race capable of space travel did not teach the Sumerian ancestors a writing system better than cuneiform and a medium better than clay tablets. Furthermore, the idea that the climate of a planet with such an unusual orbit could support the development of an advanced race capable of surviving the consequent extremes of temperature, is something I also find hard to comprehend.
Ian Lawton, the British researcher, wrote a rebuttal of Sitchin’s theories ten years ago(a). Further refutation came from Dörnenburg as well as on the the PaleoBabble website(b) of Michael S. Heiser(e), a scholar in the fields of biblical studies and the ancient Near East.
In late 2017 and early 2018 a two-part article(i)(j) by two young researchers, Jason Jarrell and Sarah Farmer added further criticism of Sitchin’s linguistic capabilities. In March 13th 2018, Clyde Winters also published on the same website a further refutation of Sitchin’s ‘ancient astronaut’ interpretation of the Sumerian seals.
Jason Colavito has also drawn attention(c) to the probability that Sitchin drew on the work of the British Assyriologist, George Smith (1840-1876), but distorted Smith’s conclusions in order to bolster his own theories.
Sitchin did not address the question of Atlantis directly until 2004, when he devoted a chapter of The Earth Chronicles Expeditions, where he considered the Minoan Hypothesis and found it wanting. He did not propose any specific location but suggested that there was a possible transatlantic connection. In the same chapter three, he discusses at some length the Phaistos Disk and a possible association with Atlantis! However, his broader views did find favour with a number of fringe Atlantis commentators such as the late Rob Solarion, Andrews and Zeitlmair.
Another follower of Sitchin, Thomas Ashmore, has suggested that some of the Annunaki ‘gods’ were exiled to Scandinavia where their deeds were preserved in Norse mythology(d).
Some of Sitchin’s books are available as pdf files in both English and Spanish(f) and in 2015 Sitchin’s niece, Janet Sitchin included some previously unpublished material of uncle’s in The Annunaki Chronicles. A rather negative review(h) was offered by essayist Noel Rooney.
(d) Nexus, Dec 2013/Jan 2014, (p.41)
(g) See Archive 2909
(h) Fortean Times FT342, July 2016 (p.59)
(k) http://www.eridu.co.uk (link broken July 2018)
Sumeria was unknown until the middle of the 19th century. With the discovery and the decipherment of the Sumerian cuneiform tablets the sophistication of their culture prompted the idea that Sumer had been ‘the cradle of civilisation.’ Subsequent discoveries, such as the those in the Indus Valley and more recently Göbekli Tepe have now somewhat diluted that idea.
The origin of the Sumerians is still something of a mystery as is their language which seems to be an ‘isolate’, unrelated to any known language group. Ronnie Gallagher has suggested that migrants from the Caucasus had provided the impetus that led to the development of the Sumerian civilisation. Gallagher’s theory is supported by Jerald Jack Starr on his Sumerian Shakespeare website, who emphatically attributes a Caucasian origin to the Sumerians(l).
>Emilio Spedicato has controversially suggested that the Sumerians came from the Tibetan region!(m)<
Sumeria has now been proposed as a possible source of the Atlantis story. Dr. Ashok Malhotra, a professor of Engineering, has suggested(a) that that ‘the likelihood of the Atlantis stories being of Sumerian origin is strengthened by the fact that the submergence of ancient cities was a strong part of the Sumerian mythology. It dominates their historical tradition. The destruction of the ancient city as a result of sin was also part of their beliefs.’ Malhotra then proposes that these Sumerian stories reflected actual flooding events in the Indus Valley region that were brought first to Sumeria and then were later transferred to Egypt and from thence via Solon to Plato to us.
George Michanowsky went much further and claimed that the Sumerians had known Atlantis under the name of NI-DUK-KI, known today as Dilmun[282.66]. The renowned Henry Rawlinson interpreted this name to mean ‘blessed hill’ or ‘blessed isle’. While Michanowsky’s suggestion is highly speculative, if correct, it would be the earliest known reference to Atlantis.
The Sumerian king list(e) from Larsa records eight kings (some versions note ten) before the Deluge, which may have been reflected, in a distorted fashion, in the ten patriarchs of Genesis and/or the ten kings of Atlantis! Another suggested link is with the eight generations between Adam and Noah recorded in Genesis chapter 5.
John Sassoon would seem to support Malhotra’s thesis in his book, which proposes a Sumerian origin for the Jews with possible earlier links with the Indus valley. He is not concerned with Atlantis, just the ancestry of the Jewish people of whom Abraham was born in Sumeria around 2000-1800 BC. Sassoon’s views offer a possible transmission route for Eastern traditions and myths to have reached Egypt and subsequently through Solon to Athens.
>More recently, Dr. Willem McLoud, a South African researcher, commented that “we have good reason to think that Atlantis was not located beyond the pillars of Heracles in the Atlantic Ocean, as is so often propagated, but that it was actually none other than the ancient land of Sumer itself.” Mcloud is primarily concerned with the Sumerians and Akkadians, which he will expand on in a forthcoming book(n).<
In 2001, a book by Radek Brychta was published in the Czech Republic in which he also advocates a Sumerian connection. He identifies Atlantis with the legendary Dilmun of Sumerian legend and locates it on the Indus civilisation island of Dholavira. Excerpts from this fascinating book are available on the Internet and worth a read.
However, the most extreme claims came from Zechariah Sitchin who proposed that the Sumerians had been ‘influenced’ by ancient astronauts from the planet Nibiru, which information is to be found in their cuneiform tablets if Sitchin’s translation is to be believed. Similar daft ideas(g) have been put forward by Hermann Burgard but so far have only been foisted on a German-reading public.
As if that was not bad enough, we now (Oct 2016) have the Iraqi Transport Minister claiming, among other matters, that the Sumerians launched spaceships 8,000 years ago(h)!
Jim Allen, the leading advocate of ‘Atlantis in the Andes’ has also claimed(b) a Sumerian connection with South America citing Ruth & Alpheus Hyatt Verrill, who include in their book[838.293] three pages of Sumerian words compared with the language of ancient Peru as well as other cultural aspects there. They also believed that Sargon (2369-2314 BC) was known in Peru as the deity Viracocha! Their fanciful idea stems from an account of Sargon sailing to the west and spending three years there! Zhirov supported this claim[458.23] describing it as ”a seemingly semi-fantastic theory”. My reason for considering this claim to be nonsensical, is simply that Sargon was continually engaged in expanding his empire and constantly dealing with rebellions in the various city states that he ruled over. The idea that he took three years out to visit America, 14,000 km away, is in no way credible.
Nevertheless, the idea of Sargon in South America persists with James Bailey repeating it in Sailing to Paradise[0150.66] and more recently by the Afrocentrist, Clyde Winters in an article on the Ancient Origins website(f) in which he quotes Bailey and the Verrills as supporting Lake Titicaca as the Lake Manu of Sumerian tradition. A further article(j) on the same website begins with the forceful claim that “it is becoming increasingly clear that the Sumerians had established a colony in South America called Kuga-Ki.” The paper is based on a series of questionable artifacts, the Fuente Magna Bowl, the Crespi Collection and the Pokoyia monument!
The Fuente Magna Bowl is frequently offered as evidence of a pre-Columbian link with the Sumerians(c), although its provenance is unclear and there are suggestions of a hoax. A sceptical view of the ‘Bowl’ by Carl Feagans(k) is available.
The very existence of Sumerians has recently been attacked in an appendix to The Three Ages of Atlantis by Marin, Minella & Schievenin. They maintain that the Sumerian ‘language’ “could be an artificial construct created by Akkadian priests” to be used for liturgical purposes. These ideas were first expressed at the end of the 19th century by the respected Orientalist, Joseph Halévy. Andi Zeneli has expressed comparable ideas(d) regarding the Sumerian language.
Emilio Spedicato (1945- ) was born in Milan. He graduated in physics and is now working in numerical analysis and applied mathematics. He has held a full professorship at Bergamo University since 1984. In addition to his more conventional academic pursuits, he also researches ‘non-standard models of planetary evolution and non-standard interpretation of myth and ancient religions.’
Spedicato has developed a list(a) of ‘54 theses for reconstructing Earth and human history during the catastrophic period 9500 to 700 BC’. This list is partly based on the work of Velikovsky, DeGrazia and Ackerman and is intended to be the basis of a larger work in book form. Some of his ideas will be seen as highly controversial such as the genetic manipulation of humans by extraterrestrial visitors. He locates the Garden of Eden and the ‘creation’ of Adam and Eve in the Hunza valley of modern Pakistan(e).
He ventured into further controversial territory with his support for an updated version of Hörbiger’s moon capture theory(f) and endorsement for pole shifts(g) after long periods of stability following encounters with large extraterrestrial bodies. He considers the last of these to have taken place in the 10th millennium BC.
Spedicato, in a series of papers delivered to the Atlantis Conference on Melos in 2005, linked the biblical Exodus with the Flood of Deucalion, which he dates as 1447 BC(d). He contended that these events were connected with the explosion of a large extraterrestrial body over Southern Denmark remembered in Greek tradition as Phaëton.
Atlantis has not escaped Spedicato’s attention and he has put forward the Caribbean island of Hispaniola as the home of Atlantis(b), specifically suggesting that Lake Enriquillo in the Cul-de-Sac Depression, which runs from Haiti across the border into the Dominican Republic. Spedicato accepts the possibility of the destruction of Atlantis around 9600 BC and has written an interesting paper(c) that links the demise of Atlantis with a direct asteroidal impact or a close encounter with a planet-sized body. Not without significance is the fact that Hispaniola is not submerged, in spite of the sea level rising hundreds of feet since the very early date proposed by Spedicato for the destruction of Atlantis, which should have sent it even deeper beneath the waves of the Caribbean.
Furthermore, leaving aside the question of submergence altogether, Spedicato does not explain how an Atlantis in the Caribbean could, in 9600 BC, have attacked Greece or Egypt, which did not exist as structured societies at that time.
Even more intriguing is why they would plan such a venture, considering a distance of 10,000 kilometers lay between them.
Spedicato has contributed at least a dozen papers to the Migration and Diffusion website including one on a possible Indian inspiration behind the Giza pyramid complex(h) as well as a paper(i) on the planet known to the Sumerians as Nibiru and today sometimes referred to as Planet X. He controversially claims that a close encounter with Nibiru around 9500 BC ended the last Ice Age and brought about the demise of Atlantis! A difficulty with that idea, is that if the encounter with Nibiru destroyed Atlantis AND ended the Ice Age how could the location where Atlantis was submerged still be marked by mud shoals 9,000 years later when sea levels had risen by 300-400 feet, as confirmed by Plato in Timeaus 25d?
*Another radical idea put forward by Spedicato was expressed in a paper delivered to the 2005 Atlantis Conference [629.411], in which he claimed that what he called ‘the ancestors of the Greeks’ had visited Canada. Based on his interpretation of excerpts from the writings of Plutarch, he specifies a region at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River as the point of contact. Manolis Koutlis goes further, suggesting that the Greeks had colonies there from 1500 BC until 1500 AD. Then in his book In the Shadow  he adds the even more extraordinary claim that Atlantis had been situated on an island at the entrance to the St. Lawrence!*
In 2010, Spedicato published Atlantide e L’Esodo (Atlantis and Exodus) which is currently being translated into English.
In February 2015 Spedicato published another paper(j) with the radical proposal that the alignment of the three main Giza pyramids was not intended to be a reflection of the three stars in Orion’s belt, as proposed by Gilbert & Bauval, but instead were more closely matched to the arrangement of three volcanoes on Mars! He claims that these volcanoes were visible from Earth during Mars periodic close encounters with our planet between 7000 BC and 700 BC, during a 54-year cycle.
Later in 2015 the prolific Spedicato published another paper(k) in which he linked Mayan catastrophes with those of Hesiod, Plato and the Bible.
Rob Solàrion (Robert Traylor Russell)(1942-2010) was from Dallas, Texas and has written both on the Internet and in book form on a number of subjects including, Planet X or Nibiru(a), Pole Shift, Apollonius of Tyana(g) and Atlantis.
His views on Atlantis in Antarctica, together with some caustic remarks about Asher(f) are available online.
(b) http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/hercolobus/planetX/planetX02.htm#Chapter 2