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!
The Destruction of the Athenian Army, together with that of Atlantis, as related by Plato, (Timaeus 25d) makes no sense if the whole story is allegedly offered as a morality tale, where the wicked and corrupt Atlanteans are destroyed because of their evil ways. Normally, such a story would show the allegedly morally superior Athenians prospering and triumphant over their opponents. The very fact that both military protagonists were destroyed, though not necessarily at the same time, would seem to be at odds with the idea of it being a morality tale and instead adds to the credibility of Plato’s narrative as containing some historical truth. Bernard Suzanne offers a totally different interpretation based on the background and motives of Critias(a). Serbian Atlantis sceptic, Slobodan Dušanic (1939-2012), has noted(b) that “while the Atlantis myth has been recognised, with good reason, by the majority of modern Platonists as a parable, no consensus has been reached on the parable’s character or precise purpose.” I’m not sure if this is a criticism of Plato or of modern scholarship!
>Commenting on the suggestion that the story of Atlantis was intended as a morality tale Eberhard Zangger noted that “the description of the natural disasters also contradicts the occasional speculative conjecture that Plato did not mean to illustrate the ideal state with Atlantis, but with archaic Greece. After all, he says Atlantis was punished for its gradual moral decline by being destroyed (Vidal-Naquet, 1964). But if the story is supposed to be a moral parable, why is the “good” Greek side first punished with natural disasters? And why does Plato mainly describe the “barbaric” enemies instead of the old Hellenic civilisation? The traditional attempts at interpretation offer no answers to these questions.”(f)<
Plato’s description of the demise of Atlantis and the obliteration of Athens has prompted many writers to link these occurrences with more global events. The association of Atlantis with catastrophism has persisted for over a century, ever since Ignatius Donnelly published his landmark book Atlantis and his contribution to catastrophist literature Raganorak. However, the idea of Atlantis as a victim of a global or at least a very widespread catastrophe was articulated as early as 1788 by Giovanni Rinaldo Carli who claimed that a close encounter with a comet caused worldwide devastation that included the permanent inundation of Atlantis.
In more recent times, commentators such as Stuart L. Harris have specified the cause of Atlantis’ destruction as an encounter with Nibiru (Marduk) in 9577 BC, in a number of papers (c)(d)(e) on the Academia.edu website. If the demise of the Athenian army was concurrent with that of the Atlanteans, 9577 BC is far too early, as Athens does not emerge as a structured society many thousands of years later. However, Harris’ early date is close to the that of the Younger Dryas and the extraterrestrial encounter that bombarded North America, which has been highlighted by Richard Firestone and others.
Atlantis is recorded by Plato as being destroyed in ‘a day and a night’, which led George H. Cooper to made the point that the knowledge of the speed of its demise could only have come from ‘survivors or passing mariners’ and should have been incorporated into the traditions of many nations [236.283].
What is clear, is that Plato identifies an earthquake as the primary cause of Atlantis’ destruction. If that earthquake was triggered by a very close encounter with the likes of Carli’s comet, it would needed to have come near enough to the Earth and been so highly visible as to demand its inclusion in the destruction narrative!
The bottom line is that the date of the destruction of Atlantis and its army is not known, although it has been assumed by commentators to have occurred shortly after the war with Atlantis. All that Plato says is that it happened “at a later time’ Similarly, However, Plato records the destruction of the two armies in the same passage (Tim.25d-e) in a manner that might suggest a common cause, a view that I’m inclined to accept.
Cataclysm: Compelling Evidence of a Cosmic Catastrophe in 9,500 BC.  by D.S. Allan and J.B. Delair was originally published as When the Earth Nearly Died (Gateway Books,1995)(a). This book discusses in detail the nature of the catastrophe that engulfed our planet 11,500 years ago. This controversial book challenges many of the accepted ideas regarding the last Ice Age. The authors attribute the extinction of many species such as the mastodons and mammoths to this prehistoric catastrophe. Ancient traditions and mythologies are offered as evidence of this global cataclysm that included enormous floods, conflagrations and massive geological upheavals. Allan and Delair are convinced that these worldwide convulsions were caused by the intrusion into our solar system by a comet known to the Babylonians as Marduk and to the Greeks as Phaëton. They further contend that this comet had a dramatic effect on both our moon and Mars. However contentious this book may be, it is certainly a worthwhile read. For students of the Atlantis story, the coincidence of Plato’s date for the collapse of Atlantis with the date offered by Allan & Delair for the worldwide disasters is of great interest.
Paul A. LaViolette, who has written extensively on physics and astronomy, is the author of a similarly themed book. Dr LaViolette contends that over 10,000 years ago the Earth was subjected to intense radiation from a nearby nova that led to the extinction of over 90% of animal species.
Planet X, also known as Nibiru, Marduk, Draco or Plutinos, was introduced to the world over 30 years ago by Zecharia Sitchin. He claimed that this planet has an orbit that takes it to the outer reaches of our solar system returning to the inner planets, including earth, every 3,600 years. He further claimed, based on his interpretation of Sumerian texts, that a superior civilisation developed on Planet X and that on one of their periodic visits near Earth they landed here and created Man becoming his gods. This outlandish idea was taken up by others and embellished further, sometimes changing the periodicity of the planet, claiming that various catastrophic events such as the Flood of Noah, the Plagues of Egypt and the destruction of Atlantis were caused by a close encounter with Planet X and promising(a) further devastation when it returns in 2012. Books purporting to be guides for surviving this event were widely promoted. It would seem that the use of fear is an effective way of selling books.
Feeble attempts were made to give this daft idea a scientific basis, such as when it was suggested that anomalies in the orbits of Uranus and Neptune could only be explained by the gravitational pull of Planet X. However, in 1993 it was found that these ‘anomalies’ were the result of orbital computation errors. Furthermore, the idea that this ‘12th planet’ harboured life similar to our own is even greater nonsense. Life on earth would cease if we were deprived of the sun’s heat and light for a short period, so to suggest that a planet could wander off into the outer reaches of the solar system for thousands of years and sustain life as we know it, is as stupid an idea as that of a flat earth.
The idea of an extraterrestrial body returning periodically to threaten our planet did not begin with Sitchin. Two physicists, Daniel Whitmire and Albert Jackson proposed the existence of a ‘Planet X’ in the 1980s to explain what they perceived to be evidence for recurring mass extinctions every 26 million years. The development of this idea is told in Nemesis  by another physicist, Dr Richard Muller.
Nevertheless, early January 2016 saw a claim(c) that a large planet probably exists in the outer reaches of our solar system, as it is the most likely explanation for unexpected movements by objects in the Kuiper Belt. The search for Planet Nine seems to have intensified as astronomers suggested(g) that the unusual ’tilt’ of our sun may be caused by this very large planet! New Scientist of 30th January 2016, explores the possible existence of this ‘Planet Nine’(f). The difficulty in locating such a planet may be explained by a snippet (p.7) in the same magazine which refers to an exoplanet with an orbit one trillion kilometres from its star.
In the same month, Daniel Whitmire, a retired astrophysics professor, “published findings in the January issue of Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society that the as yet undiscovered “Planet X” triggers comet showers linked to mass extinctions on Earth at intervals of approximately 27 million years.”(d) This was not a new claim from him as he “and his colleague, John Matese, first published research on the connection between Planet X and mass extinctions in the journal Nature in 1985 while working as astrophysicists at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Their work was featured in a 1985 Time magazine cover story titled, “Did Comets Kill the Dinosaurs? A Bold New Theory About Mass Extinctions.”
In 1982, J. J. Sepkoski & David Raup published a paper in which they claimed that the extinction of dinosaurs 66 mya was part of a cycle of mass extinctions that may have occurred every 26 million years. However, they did not offer a possible cause for these periodic events. Clark R. Chapman & David Morrison published a book, Cosmic Catastrophes  with a comparable theme. It was Richard Muller’s Nemesis, which contained the idea that a possible companion star to our sun. a brown dwarf, was the culprit. His theory held good until 2014, when an infrared survey found no brown dwarf up to 10,000 astronomical units (0.16 ly) from Sun.
Another writer has added to Sitchin’s Anunaki invention with embellishments that leave you wondering whether to laugh or cry(j). The author also managed to link the Anunnaki silliness with Atlantis with the following addition;
“In the heyday of Atlantis, there was space travel for the privileged classes. Teleportation was also common in those days for the privileged classes. As the Atlantean “slaves” became more and more advanced, they began to disobey their “gods”, the Anunnaki Elite. This concerned their masters. Thus a decision was made by them to destroy Atlantis.”
An extensive review(e) of Sitchin’s theory and astronomical data that seems to support the existence of another planet in the outer reaches of our solar system, concluded that “Quite simply, Zecharia Sitchin’s Nibiru, does not exist…”
“Caltech researchers have found mathematical evidence suggesting there may be a “Planet X” deep in the solar system. This hypothetical Neptune-sized planet orbits our Sun in a highly elongated orbit far beyond Pluto. The object, which the researchers have nicknamed “Planet Nine,” could have a mass about 10 times that of Earth and orbit about 20 times farther from the Sun on average than Neptune. It may take between 10,000 and 20,000 Earth years to make one full orbit around the Sun.” This speculation is to be found on a NASA website(r).
Nevertheless, in 2016, two astronomers independently proposed that Planet 9 (should that be Planet IX?) was possibly responsible for changing the axial tilt of the other planets relative to the axis of our sun(h).
More recently an object with the exciting name of 2015 TG387, probably a dwarf planet, about 300 km in diameter, had its 40,000-year orbit determined. However, aberrations in that orbit are claimed by some to be evidence for a large distant body; the hypothesised Planet X(i)!
Another variation of the Planet X idea is offered by Stuart L. Harris whose visiting planet he named after the Babylonian god, Marduk. He claims that its close encounter in 9577 BC resulted in the destruction of Atlantis, which he places in the vicinity of Rockall in the North Atlantic. His ideas are expressed in a series of four papers on the Academia.edu website(m-p).
In 2000, Anthony Austin & Brian Crowley published The Dragon’s Tail  in which they also proposed a tenth planet, they called Draco. According to them it returns every 892 years to cause catastrophes on Earth, such as the biblical Deluge, the plagues of Egypt and the demise of Atlantis. According to Austin(k), following the death of the original publisher, it was republished in 2003, with some small changes, as Draco: The Tenth Planet by Black Rabbit Press(l).
In 2020, it was reported that evidence for the existence of Planet X continues to build(q) and with a new telescope at the Rubin Observatory in Chile due to be operational in the near future, final confirmation is hoped to be found.
(f) New Scientist No. 3058, Jan. 30 2016 (p.8)