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.”
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 PaleoBabble website(b) of Michael S. Heiser(e), a scholar in the fields of biblical studies and the ancient Near East. Heiser has another website with the blunt title of sitchiniswrong.com, which includes an overview of what he perceives as Sitchin’s errors(l).
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. On March 13th 2018, Clyde Winters also published on the same website a further refutation of Sitchin’s ‘ancient astronaut’ interpretation of the Sumerian seals.
>In 2021, Jarrell & Farmer wrote a two-part article about the Anunnaki (m)(n), in which they concluded “that rather than making the Anunnaki the equivalent of the “Elohim” who created man in the Book of Genesis; they should more properly be compared to the Nephilim and the fallen angels described in Genesis Chapter 6, 1 Enoch, and other extra-biblical texts.”<
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) https://www.eridu.co.uk (link broken July 2018)
Antarctica takes its name from the Greek Anti Arktos, which means opposite the Arctic. Edward Bransfield, an Irishman, led an expedition that discovered the northwestern shore of Antarctic’s peninsula in January 1820(af), just three days after a Russian expedition found what was later to be known as the Fimbul Ice Shelf.>However, a recent study suggests that an earlier discovery took place over a thousand years before that by Polynesians(ai).<
The earliest literary reference to a city in Antarctica seems to have come from the pen of Edgar Allan Poe in his only full novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym’ (z). The idea of an Antarctic civilisation was also part of another novel, A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder, by the Canadian author, James De Mille (1833-1880), published posthumously in 1888. In 1897, Jules Verne published An Antarctic Mystery(ab), which has been described as a response to Poe’s novel.
The earliest media claim of an Antarctic location, that I have found, is in The Boston Sunday Globe of April 11 1897, which regaled its readers with the following headline – “Mouse Reveals Atlantis”. It tells the story of a small marsupial discovered in South America related to an Australian species. The ‘experts’ of the day decided that this could only be explained by a landbridge linking the two landmasses. “A direct line joining Australia with Patagonia runs through the South Pole. In all probability, then, our new-found Atlantis must have been an Antarctic continent.” If you fail to see the logic in this, you are not alone.ca).
Antarctica first entered the Atlantis debate as far back as 1923 when René-Maurice Gattefossé maintained that Atlantis had been located in the Atlantic and culturally influenced by an even earlier civilisation that had existed on Antarctica. In the same year another Frenchman, Dominique Sévriat, published a novel with the backdrop of an Atlantean Antarctic. H.P. Lovecraft published a short novel in 1931, At the Mountains of Madness, which also used an Antarctic – Atlantis link.
Many other exotic claims have been made relating to Antarctica including that it was a UFO base(i) and that a refuge for Hitler had built there in an area that was known as Neuschwabenland(h).
However, the earliest suggestion of Antarctica as the home of Atlantis seems to have come from a Chilean professor, Roberto Rengifo, who also proposed, in 1920, that Antarctica was the original home of modern man until a catastrophic pole shift forced migration northward into the Americas and eventually worldwide! According to R.V.Eissmann, Arthur Posnansky made a similar suggestion around the same time.
Twenty years later Rand & Rose Flem-Ath, supported by a well designed website(a), published a similar theory that received widespread exposure in the English-speaking world. Subsequently, Rand Flem-Ath co-authored with Colin Wilson a second book that added further background to the theory. Colin Wilson has more recently abandoned his support for Antarctica, as he eventually found the idea of Atlantis based here waging war against Athens,14,000 km away, untenable and then transferred his support to Robert Sarmast’s idea of Cyprus as the location of Atlantis.
Andrew Collins is another writer who was initially attracted to the Antarctica hypothesis, but eventually opted for Cuba as the location of Atlantis. He later wrote a brief refutation of the Antarctic theory(aa).
In 2007, David Stewart Jnr., a prominent Mormon writer, offered support for Flem-Ath’s theory in an article on his scripture history website.
The Antarctic theory is dependent on the acceptance of a number of hotly debated fundamentals, among which are: earth crust displacement (Pole Shift), a 10,000 BC date for Atlantis, Posnansky’s dating of Tiahuanaco and the interpretation of the Piri Reis Map.
The late Robert Solàrion produced his own ‘pole shift’ theory of Polar Axial Displacement that he outlined on the website(ah). The Flem-Aths have cited the Solar Typhoon Hypothesis(y) of Jared Freedman in support of their Atlantis location theory. Nevertheless, I must point out that even if there had been some sort of Pole Shift, it does not prove that Antarctica had been home to Atlantis as it still conflicts dramatically with the geographical pointers offered by Plato.
An ice core, 3 km long, which was recently recovered from Antarctica, has shown a continuous record stretching back 740,000 years. This would appear to indicate that the region was never without ice cover during that period, fatally weakening the Flem-Ath theory of Plato’s Atlantis being in Antarctica. This argument is tackled in Appendix 6 of The Atlantis Blueprint.
Another author who claims that the Antarctic ice sheet is not more than 6,000 years old is the Australian archaeologist Peter ‘Mungo’ Jupp. He has expanded on his views in a DVD(d). His principal claim is that ice core data has been misinterpreted as it is based on a false assumption that there is a layer per year, while there is evidence that a number of layers have been created annually(e). He does not directly enter the Atlantis debate but the evidence he adduces to support his thesis are more usually employed to support the Atlantis in Antarctica viewpoint.
Two German writers, Fritz Nestke & Thomas Reimer, have also supported the idea of Atlantis in Antarctica with their own 1988 book. Patrick Geryl & Gino Ratinckx have predicted a catastrophic pole reversal in 2012 and are ‘certain’ that an earlier pole change resulted in Atlantis being situated under the ice of the South Pole.
The controversial Nigel Appleby in his Hall of the Gods expressed the view that there had been a previous worldwide civilisation and “that a major portion of this civilisation still remains practically intact beneath the ice of Antarctica.“
Although not directly connect to the Antarctic-Atlantis debate, the late French mariner Robert Argod has given us a fascinating book that supports the idea that the Polynesians originated in Antarctica and that their influence is to be found further afield.
The French science-fiction writer, René Barjavel, used the Antarctic Atlantis location in his 1968 novel, La Nuit des temps.
Arguments against the idea of ‘Atlantis in Antarctica’, by Paul V. Heinrich, can be found on the Internet(c).
Those that still have the temerity to support the concept of an Antarctican Atlantis may find this recent (March 2013) image of the continent ice-free(f) published by Scientific American(f) interesting. An overview of the Antarctic Hypothesis published in July 2014(g) may be of use for anyone new to the idea.
2013 also saw the publication of The Three Ages of Atlantis by Marin, Minella & Schievenin, in which they proposed the existence of three Atlantises, with the original Atlantis situated in Antarctica and destroyed 15,000 years ago!
Around the same time, there was a media report claiming the discovery of three pyramids in Antarctica! Naturally, the story did not stand up to scrutiny(k) and slowly melted away.
In 2015, Britt du Fournet published an extensive blog reviewing the range of Atlantis theories on offer. In conclusion, she found the Antarctic location the most credible(j). 2016 saw two French researchers, Jean Seimple(l) and Fabien Pardo(v) join the Antarctic Supporters Club and thrill us with the even more bizarre claim that an Antarctic Atlantis is ‘clearly’ indicated by the features and the dimensions in the Great Pyramid(r)!
Another ‘off the wall’ suggestion is that Atlantis = Aztlan = Antarctica’(t).
In June 2016, an anonymous article(m) also supporting the Atlantis in Antarctica idea was being recycled around the Internet. It trotted out the usual ambiguous ‘evidence’ – the Piri Reis and the Oronteus Finaeus maps, fine-grained sediments, ancients forests, combined with a huge dollop of speculation. The purveyors of this nonsense know that they will be long dead before the icecap melts, if ever, and the irrationality of their claims are finally exposed. Apart from that, an Antarctic location seriously conflicts with Plato’s description of Atlantis, which he describes as extending from Libya (North Africa) to central Italy.
Conspiracy theorist David Wilcock has managed to weave the Atlantis in Antarctica story into his twisted idea that the world is controlled by a cabal of evil alien and human conspirators. Jason Colavito has highlighted that Wilcock has even tried to charge for his particular brand of male cow effluent(s). There is also the report that Wilcock claimed to be the reincarnation of Edgar Cayce and wished to have a position in A.R.E., where he would also be offering ‘readings’. He was questioned by Cayce’s son and grandson “for a little over an hour and quickly realized that he couldn’t answer a single question. They felt he was full of crap within minutes but to give him a fair chance they entertained him by asking him the questions that Cayce prepared while still alive to test the people who would come forward claiming to be his reincarnation.”(ae)
An overview, including a video, of the origins of Antarctica commencing when it was part of the Gondwana, the supercontinent, can be viewed online(n).
The British tabloid The Daily Star(o) and many others(q) offered a further recycling of the Atlantis in the Antarctic theory in December 2016 in a pathetic attempt to breathe new life into it. One site(p) in particular, demonstrates its lack of research, describing this theory, with a near century-old pedigree, as the “newest” Atlantis location.
Further claims emerged in May 2017 that “some scientists think that they’ve found Atlantis, and it’s underneath Antarctica. They’ve discovered a series of gigantic structures buried underneath this South Pole ice cap”.(u) Fake News!
This recent flurry of media interest in Antarctica and Atlantis, has been milked by attention-seeking ‘researchers’ such as Joseph P. Farrell, who went further and managed to tie it all in with flying saucers, Edgar Cayce and the Kennedy assassination(w)(x). Farrell has studied Patristics, which is concerned with the study of the early church Fathers and, in my opinion, he should have stuck with that subject.
As I have alluded to above, it seems to me that those who promote the daft idea of an Antarctic Atlantis, do so in the knowledge that the icecap there is unlikely to disappear within their lifetime, which might reveal evidence for or against the proposition. However, the most telling argument against this polar location is the nonsensical idea that any civilisation situated there would launch an attack on Athens and/or Egypt, situated over 14,000 km away. It was the realisation of this, however belatedly, by the late Colin Wilson that led him to withdraw his support for the Antarctic location.
My view on the subject is, that even if the controversial degree of axial shift advocated by the likes of the Flem-Aths was proven correct and then if the remains of an ancient civilisation were to be found in the Antarctic, it could not be the Atlantis of Plato which attacked Athens and Egypt, as they were 14,000 km away from Antarctica – not within what you could call an ‘easy striking distance’. I prefer to accept the words of Plato, who unambiguously noted on two occasions that Atlantean territory stretched from southern Italy to North Africa, providing more rational launching pads for attacks on Greece and Egypt.
Late February 2020 saw a further attempt to breathe life into the silly ‘Atlantis in Antarctica’ idea. An Indian commentator, Piyush Gupta, on seeing some anomalous features on Google Earth proceeded to link them to Plato’s Atlantis(ag). This impetuous suggestion leaves me wondering if unfettered free speech is such a good idea after all.
Also in 2020, Barbiero published A Frozen Civilisation: Atlantis in Antarctica  and The Bible without Secrets  , both in English, which appear to be translations of earlier works. As an engineer, he takes a scientific approach to the question of Atlantis’ location and where necessary throws in a formula or two to support his thesis.
(r) https://www.poureuxlelivre.fr/welcome/atlant (French/English)
Planet X, also known as Nibiru, Draco or Plutinos, was first 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 an 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 1980’s 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…”
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)