Page 5 of 10 pages
Alone on Earth for
7000 Years! with
we continue our story of Alulu, the king of the gods of Nibiru who was
overcome by another younger god named Anu in a divine wrestling match, and
fled that planet in a Celestial Skyship armed with nuclear weapons, he
landed on Earth. During the long and difficult flight, past
all the other planets in our solar system other than Mercury and Venus, he
managed to get through the "Hammered Bracelet", the Asteroid
Belt, by using several or many of his nuclear weapons to blast a pathway
through the avalanche of space rocks. But he still had seven
of these "Weapons of Terror" left on board his skyship when he
crashed on a beach in what is now modern-day Iraq. These
remaining atomic weapons, seven of them, will become prominent in a
later story in this same series.
What makes this extremely improbable story a little bit more believable to a large part of modern readers who otherwise wouldn't give it a second look is that the asteroid belt, and the Cosmic Collision that resulted in its formation is mentioned in the Bible in Psalms and Isaiah, and even Bible readers and dedicated church-goers are exposed nowadays to the knowledge that an asteroid belt does exist and every now and then one of these asteroids, chunks of rock careening through space, does come close to earth, and several have hit earth, making large craters and changing our weather drastically for many years. Indeed, scientists generally concede that we lost the world's former population of dinosaurs because of one such asteroid strike. Many Bible readers refuse to believe in dinosaurs, because dinosaurs are outside the preferred age of the earth as presented in the Holy Scriptures.
This Meteor Crater on I 40 in Arizona was caused by an Asteroid
There are no dinosaurs in the Mesopotamian records about Alulu being cast out of Heaven and discovering gold on Earth because this occurred a mere 445,000 years ago, very close to our end of the Cenozoic Period, which has lasted for 65 Million years. The Cenozoic Period is that era in which mammals became the prominent species on Earth, and the animals Alulu found in the marshes of Southern Iraq were very much like those we have all over the Earth today.
However, the creature that surprised Alulu at the freshwater pond in the orchard was a reptile, a serpent, and why this creature surprised him was because they had no serpents on Nibiru. "
There were plenty of them in the marshes where he landed, however, and he spent his next 7000 years being cautious of poisonous serpents, and exploring the area he landed, never going far from his wrecked skyship because he was waiting for the arrival of the gold seeking astronauts from Nibiru he was certain would follow him in due time. What bothers me most about this story of course is that 7000 years seems to us on Earth to be an extremely long time, but to those from Niburu it was only two of their years. In a Cenozoic Age that had already lasted 64 1/2 million years, it was, however, only a moment of time.
Before I go any further in relating the Mesopotamian sacred literature and showing you that it mirrors what we have in the Bible, and supplies a lot of detail that the Bible writers and editors left out, let me warn you clearly and unequivocally that modern scientists and historians label this literature as fiction and religious myth, and disbelieve that there is another planet out there beyond Neptune and Uranus and Pluto that enters our Solar System every 3600 years. Sometimes triggering disasters like the Flood described in our Bibles.
Scientists and Astronomers themselves have called any new planet that may exist past Neptune "Planet X", and a small group of people have developed some terrifying theories about what may happen if indeed "Planet X" has an orbit such as the Mesopotamian stories describe it as having. Horrific predictions about what will happen when it arrives again close to Earth. This has been called the Nibiru Doomsday Theory. Not quite as terrible as what will happen to those who differ in belief from your chosen Christian Cult or Religion when Jesus Christ appears in the sky at the "End of days". But close.
An Official Denial
Dr. David Morrison is a NASA Senior Scientist and the Director of the Carl Sagan Center for Study of the Origin of Life, which is part of the SETI Institute in Mountain View CA. His primary interests are the multidisciplinary science of astrobiology, the protection of Earth from asteroid impacts, and science outreach and education. Morrison was previously the Director of the NASA Lunar Science Institute and Senior Scientist in the NASA Astrobiology Institute at Ames Research Center. He has published more than 155 technical papers and a dozen books, including five university-level textbooks. In 2005 he received the Carl Sagan medal of the American Astronomical Society for communicating science to the public. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the California Academy of Sciences, and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Asteroid 2410 Morrison is named in his honor.
Dr. Morrison's Article for
Skeptical Inquirer readers may not be aware that a rogue planet on a 3,600-year orbit is about to enter the inner solar system and visit a catastrophe upon Earth. This threatening planet was discovered by the ancient Mesopotamians, who named it Nibiru. It was known also to the Mayans, who associated it with the end—December 2012—of their “long count” calendar. Although astronomers and space scientists are tracking Nibiru, this information is being kept from the public as part of a worldwide conspiracy. This official silence cannot be maintained for much longer, however, since by 2009 Nibiru will be visible to the naked eye from the southern hemisphere, and already Earth’s axis is tilting, changing the length of the day under its influence. As one aficionado recently wrote to me: “Why are you lying? It’s coming, and everyone knows it.”
I was introduced to this conspiracy theory in December 2007, when I began to receive questions about Nibiru submitted to NASA's "Ask an Astrobiologist" Web site. I normally receive about a dozen questions per week from the public dealing mostly with life in the universe, but sometimes they include UFOs and visiting aliens. Nibiru seemed different, since it was claimed to be an actual planet that was being tracked by astronomers but hidden from the public. Knowing that the astronomers of the world, both professional and amateur, are a free-spirited group who couldn’t keep a secret even if ordered to, I assumed that Nibiru was the sort of Internet rumor that would quickly pass.
However, I also remembered that Nibiru had briefly been prominent among conspiracy buffs in 2003, when there was a similar rumor of the coming destruction of our civilization. The source of this information was a specific warning said to have been sent to the people of Earth by an advanced alien civilization on a planet orbiting the star Zeta Reticuli. A woman named Nancy Lieder claimed to be channeling this information from the Zetans, who warned that a worldwide cataclysm would strike the Earth in May 2003. Phil Plait described this situation in detail on his "Badastrology" Web site. As it turned out, May 2003 passed with no pole shift or other cataclysms, so I figured that would end the Nibiru interest. Yet here it was again, the same story recycled with an end-of-the-world date reset to December 2012.
In the six months since I first mentioned Nibiru on my Web site, this topic has threatened to take over “Ask an Astrobiologist.” I now receive at least one question per day ranging from anguished (“I can’t sleep; I am really scared; I don’t want to die”) to the abusive (“Why are you lying; you are putting my family at risk; if NASA denies it then it must be true”).
This article is based on more than one hundred questions submitted in the first four months of 2008, only a few of which were actually answered online. Except for some condensing, I’ve left the questioners’ text as it was originally submitted.
Initial Questions: The Distinction between Nibiru, Planet X, and Eris
Although the name of the Sumerian god Nibiru is most often given to this object, I quickly learned that some Web sites were also calling it Planet X or Eris. Planet X is a generic term used by astronomers over the past century for any unknown or hypothesized planets beyond Pluto. Eris is an actual, newly discovered dwarf planet, a little larger than Pluto but much farther away. By conflating these, some were claiming that NASA had found Nibiru or that Eris was going to fly past Earth in 2012.
A: I’m sorry if the NASA web page confused you. I just checked, and there is no mention of Nibiru other than recent statements that it does not exist and is a hoax. The web site does include a 2005 news story on the discovery of one of the transneptunian dwarf planets, 2003UB313. UB313 was subsequently given the name Eris, and there is plenty of information about Eris on the web, including a good introduction in Wikipedia. But this has nothing to do with Nibiru. Nibiru is a hoax, linked to a religious cult, and having nothing to do with science.
A: When looking into this sort of thing, you need to read past the first paragraph, since new data are always coming along in science. IRAS (the first infrared survey satellite, which flew more than 20 years ago) cataloged 350,000 infrared sources, and initially many of these were unidentified (which was the point, of course, of making such a survey). All of these observations have been followed up by subsequent studies with more powerful telescopes both on the ground and in space. The rumor about a “tenth planet” erupted in 1984 after a scientific paper was published in Astrophysical Journal Letters titled “Unidentified point sources in the IRAS minisurvey,” which discussed several infrared sources with “no counterparts.” But these “mystery objects” were later found to be distant galaxies. The bottom line is that Nibiru is a myth, with no basis whatever in fact. To an astronomer, persistent claims about a planet that is nearby but invisible are just plain silly.
A: There is no factual basis for the many Nibiru stories. This Internet chatter originated from the claim by Nancy Lieder that she was warned about this planet by aliens from the star Zeta Reticuli. In the absence of real information, however, people speculate and embellish this fictional story. One such addition is to link Nibiru with “Planet X,” a term used for many years by astronomers to refer to any unknown planet that might exist beyond Pluto. Far from being a real object, this term indicates an unknown or undiscovered object (that is why it is called “X”). Another false link is with Eris, the largest of the dwarf planets recently found beyond Neptune, designated 2003 UB313 when it was discovered in 2003. Before Eris was given its formal name, its discoverer, Mike Brown of Caltech, informally referred to it as Xena, a word play on “Planet X.” The name Eris was officially adopted by the International Astronomical Union in 2006. However, this has nothing to do with Nibiru. Nibiru is supposed to be a large planet on a highly elliptical orbit with a period of 3,600 years, which comes onto the inner solar system and will disrupt Earth in 2003 (the original claim) or 2012 (the current claim). Eris is a dwarf planet (smaller than the Moon) with a period of 557 years, currently far beyond Neptune or Pluto at a distance of about 10 billion miles. Its orbit will never bring it into the inner solar system; the closest it will come, in about 2255, is 4 billion miles. Eris does not match the fictional object Nibiru in distance, orbit, size, or any other property, and it does not threaten Earth in any way. The other items you mention from the Internet are untrue. Neither Pluto nor any other transneptunian object is deviating from its normal path. Time is not speeding up, and the days are not shorter. You know as well as I do that there are still the usual 24 hours in the day, not 16! Please don’t be scared; the entire Nibiru story, as well as any concerns about Eris threatening Earth, are a hoax, nothing more.
Trying to Contain the Topic
At the beginning of February, I combined several similar questions in the hopes that I could lay this topic to rest and get back to writing about real science.
A: I hope this is my last comment on the Nibiru hoax, but questions like the above five keep coming in. Most of the entries on the Internet about Nibiru are false. Wikipedia has it correct when they write that “Nibiru is a name in Sumerian, Babylonian astrology associated with the god Marduk, generally accepted as referring to the planet Jupiter.” The rest is a hoax, including all the “stuff” questioner #1 found on the Internet. Questioners #2 and #3 mention the astronomical observatory at the South Pole, but I assure you these astronomers are not looking at Nibiru. The Antarctic is a great place for infrared astronomical observations, and it also has the advantage that objects can be observed continuously without the interference of the day-night cycle. Questioners #3 and #4 seem to think that the government would hide information about Nibiru and the catastrophe coming in a few years, but I can’t imagine why. My experience is, in fact, that sometimes parts of the government do just the opposite, as in the frequent references to various terrorist threats. In any case, the job of NASA scientists is to discover and tell the truth! Finally, questioner #5 asks me to identify two pictures. I can only guess that these might be images of an expanding gas cloud (nebula) ejected by a star in its old age. They are obviously very distant, since we see stars in the foreground superposed on the nebula. [A sharp-eyed reader later identified these photos as an expanding gas shell around the star V838 Mon].
Questions Become Angry and Threatening
Having called Nibiru a hoax on a NASA Web site, I had opened myself to a growing series of abusive emails (which I did not answer). Here is a sample:
The Questions Keep Coming
Following are a few of the questions from March and April, which I (perhaps foolishly) have continued to try to answer. These include some new twists, such as the claim that the Sun will be in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy in December 2012, and this is what will cause “pole shifts” and other cosmic catastrophes.
A: I really am sorry that you have taken the Nibiru hoax seriously, and that this hoax is causing you and your family distress. This Nibiru stuff is all pure fiction, without any core of fact or truth. Specifically (1) The are no infrared images of Nibiru—period. (2) IRAS (the Infrared Astronomy Satellite, which carried out a sky survey for 10 months in 1983) discovered many infrared sources, but none of them was Nibiru or Planet X or any other objects in the outer solar system. (3) NASA scientists tell the truth. There is no reason why we would not do so, and besides truth-telling is a fundamental value of scientific research. (4) It is unreasonable to ask us to prove that Nibiru is a hoax. Your questions should be to Nibiru proponents to prove to you that what they are saying is true, not for NASA to prove it is false. The burden of proof falls on those who make wild claims. Remember the often-quoted comment from Carl Sagan that extraordinary claims demand extraordinary levels of evidence if they are to be believed.
A: The website you sent me is pretty funny. For example, the statement that the Earth’s axis had tilted and the Sun had shifted from its correct place in the sky; anyone with eyes can see this is not true. Or the comment about building observatories at the south pole to observe Nibiru. There is no celestial configuration possible that could be seen only from the Antarctic and not from the whole southern hemisphere. And they ask why no observatories have been built near the North Pole. The last time I looked, the North Pole was in the middle of the Arctic Sea, not exactly the sort of place to build a telescope. I am also bemused by the claims that Nibiru has remained hidden behind the Sun for years. The impossibility of such an orbit has been clear since Johannes Kepler published his first two laws of planetary motions in 1609. Anyway, thanks for a good laugh.
A: There is no planet alignment in 2012 or any other time in the next several decades. As to the Earth being in the center of the Milky Way, I don’t know what this phrase means. If you are referring to the Milky Way Galaxy, we are rather far toward the edge of this spiral galaxy, some 30,000 light-years from the center.
A: Quite a few people have been asking me about the danger of a polar shift, and I must confess that I don’t know what you mean by the term. “Polar shift” seems to have become a buzzword on websites that promote catastrophist ideas and various conspiracy theories, and so this phrase gets passed on from one blog to another without ever being defined. If this means some sudden change in the position of the pole (that is, the rotation axis of the Earth), then that is impossible. There is no point in speculating about the consequences of something that has never happened and never will. Before geologists discovered the role of plate tectonics (about 60 years ago), there was some speculation that a polar shift was involved in transforming the Antarctic from a warm to a cold climate, but now we know it was the Antarctic continent that moved, not the rotation pole. The very small and gradual changes that do take place in the position of the pole are responses of the Earth to changes in the distribution of mass on the surface, for example due to freezing or thawing of glaciers. The bottom line is that there is no possibility of a “polar shift” and no danger associated with one.
A: Thanks for pointing out an ambiguity concerning the term “pole shift”. As I wrote in my previous answer, everything I have seen predicting destruction from an alleged pole shift concerns the rotational pole of the Earth. There is no chance that this rotational pole will shift to a significant degree. The magnetic pole is different; it regularly shifts position by a small amount, and as you note, the polarity of the Earth’s magnetic pole reverses roughly once per million years (on average). This magnetic reversal appears to be generated internally and not to be influenced by any outside events. There is no indication that it will happen anytime soon, but more to the point, a magnetic reversal would not cause any of the horrible consequences that you find associated with “pole shift” on the catastrophist Internet sites.
A: The short answer is “of course I would tell you.” Science is about discovering and communicating the truth about nature, not keeping secrets. But on a more basic level, I don’t understand questions that ask about a possible end of the world in 2012. This world has been peacefully going its way for 4.5 billion years, with life evolving for probably 4 billion years. Do you really imagine that after 4 billion years it is all going to end 4 years from now? And how could it possibly happen? There is nothing around that could destroy a planet. The worst damage that we could inflict on our ecosystem is probably associated with global warming and loss of habitat, which are already causing a mass extinction, but none of that threatens the future of the planet itself.
Weirder and Weirder
As I write this in June, questions keep coming in. In addition, nine out of ten of the “most popular” questions and answers on “Ask an Astrobiologist” are about Nibiru, not astrobiology. This experience is baffling on several fronts. While I hope that many people who read my replies are pleased to learn that the world is not about to end, I am surprised at so many angry responses. These come from people who seem to want the world to end in 2012, who are upset to be told that this catastrophe will not happen. I am also struck by their lack of perspective about time or space. For example, my correspondents seem to accept the claim that the magnetic influence of Nibiru is already causing a pole shift even though the object is invisible to astronomers. Some even accept that the tilt is already apparent, or even that the world is “turning upside down.” They also accept that we will be in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, 30,000 light-years away, in 2012. The fact that none of this is being reported in newspapers or on television is simply accepted as evidence of a grand conspiracy. Do they ever ask themselves why governments are pursuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, worried about global warming, and conducting an energetic presidential election in the U.S. if they all know the world will end in four years? It has been a revelation to me to glimpse this underworld of conspiracy theories and doomsday predictions.
To conclude on a lighter note, the following recent questions are actually quite amusing:
| Just as
I was getting really relaxed and confident in Dr. Morrison's expertise and
that the proper scientific agencies were making sure we are not worried
and mislead I heard the NEWS of another NEAR-MISS by an asteroid to occur
3 days from now as I write these lines on Nov. 5, 2011.
Asteroid 2005 YU55 To Narrowly Miss Earth (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
Mark Nov. 8 on your calendar. A huge asteroid that could potentially threaten Earth in the far future will pass close by as astronomers around the world watch and measure.
This space rock is asteroid 2005 YU55, a veritable mini-world roughly 1,300 feet (400 meters) wide — nearly four football fields across — that will zoom by Earth inside the orbit of the moon.
At its closest approach, the asteroid will pass within 201,700 miles (325,000 kilometers) of Earth at 6:28 p.m. EDT on Nov. 8. The average distance between Earth and the moon is 240,000 miles (386,242 km).
Asteroid 2005 YU55 is set to become the object du jour for ground observers. An extensive campaign of radar, visual and infrared observations is being staged to survey this cosmic interloper.
Due to its size and proximity, YU55 was classified as a "Potentially Hazardous Asteroid" several years ago. Its upcoming flyby is another wake-up call — an express mail reminder that humanity resides on a sitting duck of a planet.
Asteroid 2005 YU55's pass by Earth will be closest to date by an object this large that we know about in advance. A smaller asteroid, called 2011 CQ1, actually came closer to Earth without hitting – a record-setting approach to within 3,400 miles (5,471 kilometers) — but it was not seen in advance.
The asteroid's near-Earth flyby is also the first since 1976 that astronomers have known about in advance for such a large object. The next known flyby with a big space rock will occur in 2028, NASA scientists said.
An asteroid this size -- which, according to Scientific American is larger than an aircraft carrier -- would cause widespread damage if it were to hit Earth, however. The Associated Press spoke to Jay Melosh, a professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Purdue University, who said that the asteroid would create a four-mile wide crater 1,700 feet deep. It could cause 70-foot tsunami waves and shake the ground like a magnitude-7 earthquake.
With this 50% Success Ratio in Predicting these last two asteroid near-misses, I'm starting to wonder how Dr. Morrison can be so confident that there's nothing to worry about in regards to both the existence of Nibiru ("Planet X") and all those Bible prophecies that are predicting either the same thing (or perhaps worse!) --so -- Let's continue with our story - improbable as it may be! Morrison calls it "Mesopotamian Fiction".
It is my goal in this series of pages not to prove the Bible
"wrong" but to fill in some details that the Bible's authors
left out because they judged them unsuitable for those
they saw as their target
congregation or audience --
and to re-interpret some symbolism and parables for
a more modern and better educated group of readers.