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 that 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 convinced that in the first and second millennia BC the Earth had suffered a catastrophic Pole Shift as a result of a close flyby 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 that year of between May and December(d).
In early 2021, an article on the BBC offered a potted history of the search for Planet X from the time of Percival Lowell until now(i). Although, Planet X has proved elusive, “either way, the search for the legendary ninth planet has already helped to transform our understanding of the solar system. Who knows what else we’ll find before the hunt comes to an end.”
La Voce d’Atlantide was the title of the first Italian journal, since the beginning of the Second World War, to focus on the Atlantis enigma. It was published in Genoa by the Centro Culturale Atlantide and was edited by Gianni Belli from 1956, but only lasted until 1958.
The Centro Culturale Atlantide would appear to have taken a more esoteric approach to the Atlantis question and seems to have had an even greater interest in astronomy(a). However,although Belli supported the existence of the Atlantis as described by Plato, he also considered that man originated on Venus! This daft idea was based on a distorted interpretation of the importance of the planet in the Mayan Calendar.
Atlantis and 2012. Some years ago there was a widespread rumour that an impending global disaster that was about to befall us in December, 2012, supposedly based on a particular reading of Mayan inscriptions. However, this interpretation was hotly disputed and of course, nothing happened, apart from the usual assortment of disasters which is the lot of the inhabitants of this cosmic speck that we live on.
A number of commentators attempted to link this ‘promised’ catastrophe with the story of Atlantis. One of the better known is Frank Joseph who has earned a comfortable living over recent years with his output of books on the subject of Atlantis. Not wishing that particular revenue stream dry up added Atlantis and 2012, in which he claimed that the Mayan calendar was developed by Atlanteans and Lemurians. He suggests that we may be nearing the beginning of a new Ice Age invoking Hopi, Inca and Norse mythologies in support of his claims. Joseph’s credibility should now be clear. When the world did not end, Joseph revised his book and republished it as Atlantis and the Coming Ice Age in 2015!
We were then told to forget 2012, in fact, we had only days left. Harold Camping a then ninety year old American fundamentalist Christian decreed that May 21st 2011 was the date of the ‘Rapture’ and the end of the world as we know it and when that passed uneventfully, he then declared October 21st as the date. He had previously suggested May 21st 1988, then Sept. 6th 1994 as the date of the Second Coming of Christ. Understandably, Camping’s biblical interpretation has been heavily criticised by scriptural authorities and lay people alike(a). Camping died December 2013.
Camping had spending large amounts of money publicising his daft ideas. As usual there were fools prepared to believe all this 2011 or 2012 nonsense. For my part I planned a special holiday in 2013 to celebrate my 70th birthday. Which did occur.
Nevertheless the spirit of Camping lived on in the person of Chris McCann (left) who announced that October 7th 2015 would be the Earth’s last day. It seems that this silliness is unending(h).
In 2010 a British service entitled Post Rapture Pet Care, run by atheists, offered to look after the pets of fundamentalist Christians when they are taken up to Heaven in the Rapture, for a fee of £69.99. A similar service is on offer in the US named Eternal Earth-Bound Pets.
National Geographic offers a rational explanation(d) of the reality behind this whole 2012 cynical scaremongering exercise. However, a somewhat less restrained view of the 2012 con job is provided by a ‘must read’ website(e)that highlights the harm being done to young and vulnerable people by this nonsense.
A recent discovery in Guatemala, reported in June 2012(f), has provided further evidence that the 2012 alarmist claims are unfounded and no more credible than the prognostications of Harold Camping. Let me spell it out, the latest find simply records that December 2012 will bring a Mayan time cycle (a baktun) to an end while another one will begin, in the same way that we make a fuss at the end of a year, century or millennium.
However, for those that might be disappointed when 2013 arrives uneventfully, I can now reveal that in 2016 we shall at last have our catastrophe or so says Sylwester Kornowski(g). In a 94-page stew of religion and ‘science’, we are assured that April 2nd 2016 will bring on the cataclysm!
But don’t despair if 2016 fails to destroy us, because a newer prognostication is certain that 2027 will finally finish us off. Nevertheless, before getting too excited, it may be no harm to recall the words of Albert Einstein……“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”
(b) See: Archive 2739
(g) https://www.cosmology-particles.pl/files/GtoG.pdf (Mercifully now offline)
Adrian Gilbert (1949- ) is the well-respected author of a number of books and television documentaries on what are considered ‘fringe’ subjects. He is probably best known for The Mayan Prophecies co-authored with Maurice Cotterell as well as The Orion Mystery co-authored with Robert Bauval. He has also studied connections between the Bible and astrology.
Influenced by the ‘prophecies’ of Edgar Cayce he believes that Atlantis, or at least part of it, had existed in the West Indies near Bimini and that following its final inundation around 10,500 BC he claims that refugees fled to the Yucatan Peninsula where they developed the Mayan civilisation. Gilbert’s principal interest is the Mayan calendar and the fact that it will reset to zero at midnight on the 21st December 2012. This coincides with the earlier views of the American archaeologist, Michael D. Coe, who wrote about the significance of 2012 as early as 1966 in his book, The Maya. However, he has suggested three different dates between Dec. 24 2011 and Jan 11 2013 in various editions of his book(a).
It is claimed that this date will coincide with catastrophic events that occur cyclically every 5,000 years. Many authors, such as Patrick Geryl have speculated on the nature of the calamities that this date may bring.
Catastrophism today is the name given to a school of thought that supports the idea that the history of the Earth has been punctuated by natural events such as floods, fires and asteroid strikes that have caused widespread if not global devastation and that some of these events occurred within the memory of man and are recorded in worldwide mythologies.
Georges Cuvier (1768-1832) is sometimes referred to as ‘the father of paleontology’ and an early exponent of catastrophism.
Worryingly, it is now more generally accepted that further catastrophes will occur as a result of future cometary/asteroidal strikes. Nigel Cawthorne, has decided to cheer us up with his book, Doomsday , which lists 50 possible global catastrophes on the future horizon!
One such close encounter, around 2800 BC, was considered by the Christian catastrophist, Donald W. Patten, to have generated the Deluge of Noah(j) and was the source of the flood legends found around the world! Patten nominates Mars as the intruder(l), an idea also advocated by Elsar Orkan, who, however, proposes a date of around 8000 BC for this encounter.
Some readers may think that the subject has no direct connection with Plato’s Atlantis, however, his text refers to a number of catastrophic events that clearly brought devastation to Athens, Atlantis and beyond. The Flood of Deucalion and earlier inundations, Phaeton and other cosmic encounters, plus conflagrations and earthquakes all point to periods of great instability in the early prehistory of the Aegean region and quite probably much further afield.
Jürgen Spanuth devotes chapter 4 of his Atlantis of the North to an examination of “the natural catastrophes of the 13th century BC” that deals with Phaeton and the blizzard of floods, earthquakes and eruptions that beset the Eastern Mediterranean at the end of the 2nd millennium BC. Some of these matters have been recently expanded upon by Nur & Cline(f)(g) and endorsed by Stavros Papamarinopoulos[0750.73].
August 2013 saw studies published(h) which pointed the finger at climate change as the cause of the widespread political instability in that region during the second millennium BC.
Claude Schaeffer, a celebrated French archaeologist, declared in 1948 that on at least five occasions during the Bronze Age the Middle East had been subjected to widespread catastrophic destruction as a result of natural events rather than human activity.
Immanuel Velikovsky is arguably the best know of the 20th century catastrophists, who published two books in the 1950’s that provoked widespread controversy that continues today. There is an interesting albeit a sceptical review of catastrophism in the last century by Patrick Moore & Bob Forrest in Chapter 14 of More Things in Heaven and Earth(k).
Paul Dunbavin, author of Towers of Atlantis , has published a paper(n), highly critical of Velikovsky’s work. Dunbavin has researched the evidence for a number of pole shifts that are not dependent on what he describes as the “naïve astronomy” of Velikovsky.
In 1964, the Belgian mathematician René Gallant (1908-1985) published Bombarded Earth which dealt in great detail with the consequences of meteorite impacts with the earth. Gallant, perhaps because of his amateur status as a geologist, never received the attention he deserved.
More recently Allan & Delair produced another book that identified 9500 BC as the date of a global catastrophe following an encounter with a comet. Their conclusions are at variance with Velikovsky’s, particularly regarding dates. Professor Mike Baillie of Queens University, Belfast is a well-known dendrochronologist who has recently entered the debate with his book, Exodus to Arthur that adds evidence from his discipline to support the theory of cometary or asteroidal impacts with the Earth. Unfortunately his work is confined to the last 4,500 years and so casts no further light on the 9,500 BC date apart from offering support for the possibility of extraterrestrial impacts.
However, Richard Firestone and his co-authors have researched an impact ‘Event’ the occurred 13,000 years ago and caused devastation in North America including the creation of the hundreds of thousands of Carolina Bays and some of the outbursts of Lake Missoula. Like Baillie, they claim that a memory of this event has been preserved in the folktales of many of the North American Indians. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the latest developments in catastrophist research.
The destruction of Atlantis has been linked to a number of possible catastrophic events including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods and asteroid strikes. Plato’s account cites a flood as the immediate cause of the disappearance of Atlantis. In the 18th century Giovanni Carli was probably the first to link a cometary encounter with the Earth as the cause of Atlantis’ demise. This idea has been supported by numerous writers ever since, with Emilio Spedicato being one of its leading exponents today.
There are numerous sites on the Internet relating to catastrophism of which one(a) can be recommended as a good starting point for further study. Andy Blackard has listed(b) events connected with global upheavals around 3200 and 2000 BC. An Australian archaeologist, Peter Jupp, is the creator of the Ancient Destructions website(e) which deals with a number of historical mysteries including, Baalbek and Antarctica.
A more recent book by Robert Argod postulates that many of these historical catastrophes were caused by an irregular series of accelerated tectonic movements, although he does not offer a credible mechanism to explain the triggering of such upheavals. Is it possible that the strikes by or near misses with extraterrestrial objects, proposed by so many, generated the tectonic shifts proposed by Argod?
Professor Trevor Palmer has written a comprehensive history of catastrophes and catastrophism from the earliest times and its relevance today. His Perilous Planet Earth includes a couple of chapters in which he reviews Atlantis theories in the context of catastrophism.
Dr Michel-Alain Combes has a PhD in astronomy from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI). He has an extensive website(i) dealing with catastrophism, which translates quite well.
2012 was been promoted as the date of the next worldwide catastrophe based on a highly questionable interpretation of the Mayan calendar. New Age gurus were promising a change in global consciousness, whatever that means. If interested you can read more of this nonsense online(c) or consider a more balanced view(d).
A huge catastrophist bibliography (2010) is available online(m) with a 2020 update now available(o).
>(i) http://www.astrosurf.com/macombes/index.html (French)<
The Secret of Atlantis , by Otto Heinrich Muck (1892-1956), was published posthumously, in German, in 1976, followed two years later by an English translation by Fred Bradley.
Muck was a resolute proponent of the theory that Atlantis existed in the Caribbean and was destroyed following an encounter with an asteroid. He identifies two large submarine holes near Puerto Rico as being possibly caused by the primary impact and adds the existence of the Carolina Bays as a possible secondary result.
He goes further and declares that this event took place at 8pm on June 5th, 8498 BC. He has arrived at this specific date following a close study of the Mayan calendar and in particular the presumed starting date of the so-called ‘Long Count’. As Zhirov pointed out ‘this means that one hypothesis is built on another”.
Muck contends, that prior to this collision, the glaciation of Europe would not have occurred as it did, had the Gulf Stream been able to operate as it does today. However, he postulates that a large island had existed in the Atlantic that prevented this from happening but it was destroyed by his suggested impact date of 8498 BC. This gave us the Gulf Stream circulation we now know and raised the temperatures in the north Western Europe. It is worth considering that scientists today are predicting the possibility of the warm Gulf Stream shutting down again due to the rapid melting of the Greenland Ice Cap, ironically as a consequence of global warming. The possible consequences of such an event would be catastrophic for parts of North-Western Europe.
Muck also attempted to bolster his destroyed Atlantic island theory with an explanation for the enigmatic migration habits of European eels.
Overall, this is an interesting, if flawed, work. Any criticism today should be tempered by the fact that was written without the benefit of the discoveries of the forty years since its publication. In that brief time span at least three of the mainstays of his theory, the Gulf Stream, the eel enigma and the Carolina bays have been potentially undermined with alternative explanations.
Egerton Sykes suspected that the impact theories of Muck were founded on those of Frank A. Melton and William Schriever of the University of Oklahoma and William F. Prouty all of whom proposed an extraterrestrial intrusion as the cause of the Carolina Bays.