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 were 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 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)
Shirley Andrews from Massachusetts is the successful author of two books on Atlantis but unfortunately she has completely devalued her work by using the output of what she refers to as ‘intuitively gifted psychics’ as research sources. This is a ploy used by those that are unable to produce anything new on the subject through conventional investigative methods. She also blindly follows the ‘ideas’ of the late Zechariah Sitchin and introduces extraterrestrial visitors and Edgar Cayce’s Atlantean use of crystals into the history of Atlantis.
Her output is a poor reworking of old material covered with a heavy layer of conjecture and mystic waffle. Andrews is probably one of the better known writers who blend channelled ‘information’ with the limited historical data at our disposal. Not content with writing bosh about Atlantis she subsequently extended her output of poppycock to include Lemuria. A sample of this nonsense can be experienced on her website(a).
(a) See: Archive 2361
The Red Paint People, sometimes referred to as the Maritime Archaic culture of the north Atlantic coast of America, particularly Labrador, got their name from their habit of covering their dead with red ochre. They were a seafaring people who lived around 5000 BC. Similar discoveries have also been made in the State of Maine(e), where they flourished until they disappeared around 1800 BC , according to Hilary Nangle in a guide to Arcadia National Park.
A similar culture existed in northern Europe and both are claimed, by ‘imaginative’ writers such as Shirley Andrews and Frank Joseph, to have been established by refugees from Atlantis after the destruction of their homeland.
Slate tools of a similar type have been identified in Scandinavia and North America dated to around 3000 BC(b). Skara Brae in the Orkneys ha been claimed as an outpost of the Red Paint People(i).
Ivar Zapp & George Erikson recount[244.309] how bones discovered in similar stone chambers in Labrador and on the island of Teviec off France were both covered with red ochre and both dated to around 5500 BC. Richard W. Welch refers to the Red Paint People as just part of a range of evidence to suggest that the Americas were originally settled by Europeans in prehistoric times.
There are also suggestions that the use of red ochre at burial sites may go back much further and would have been even more widespread.>Recently, ochre mining has been identified in a cave in the Yucatan and dated to 11,400-10,700 years ago(k).<
The Paviland Cave in south Wales held the skeleton of a young man dated to at the latest 19,000 BC. The most recent investigation has now pushed that date back to 33,000 BC(g).
The skeleton of a young child found at Abrigo do Lagar Velho in Portugal, was also discovered with red ochre and dated to 22500 BC(a). Further examples have been found across Europe and as far as Mesopotamia.
The discovery of further early trans-Atlantic links were announced in February 2012(c) by two archaeologists, Professors Dennis Stanford & Professor Bruce Bradley, in a newly published book – Across Atlantic Ice. Their claim is based on ‘Solutrean’ tools recently found in Delaware and five other east coast sites dated between 26,000 and 19,000 years ago. A sceptical view of their work should also be read(d). However, in 2016. the Soultrean Hypothesis was contradicted by genetic studies(f). Nevertheless, a recent documentary on the hypothesis has raised some controversy, as the program failed to refer to the use of the Soultrean Hypothesis by white supremacists(h). Jennifer Raff, who appeared in the documentary, has rejected the Stanford & Bradley theory in a new article(j).
The most ancient pyramid found in Mesoamerica at Chiapa de Corzo in Mexico contained the bodies of two rulers, coated in red pigment from head to toe. The pyramid is dated to around 700 BC. This may indicate a continuance of the same sacred custom over thousands of years.
(a) See: Archive 2855
(b) See: Archive 3589