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ZECHARIA SITCHIN PASSES

Zecharia Sitchin, longtime advocate for the idea that human advancement on Earth is a product of ancient extrater­restrial intervention, died on October 9, 2010. He was 92.

Author of the Earth Chronicles series, Sitchin first gained international fame in 1976 with publication of the best­selling book 12th Planet which made the case that ancient cuneiform texts, which he could translate, told the story of interactions between alien overlords and human slaves who served as virtual guinea pigs for genetic experimenta­tion. He would ultimately use every ancient source available, from the Bible to the Popul Vuh, to defend his thesis which included a fairly comprehensive theory of planetary development in the solar system.

According to Sitchin, there is an undiscovered planet beyond Neptune which follows a long, elliptical orbit, enter­ing the inner solar system about every 3,600 years. This planet is called Nibiru (although Jupiter, according to con­ventional scholarship, was associated with the god Marduk in Babylonian cosmology) and is the home of an extrater­restrial race called the Anunaki. Those of them who “fell” to Earth were called the Nefilim. Nibiru, said Sitchin, collided catastrophically with Tiamat (a goddess in the Babylonian creation myth the Enuma Elish), who he considered to be another planet located between Mars and Jupiter. This collision, he argued, formed planet Earth, the asteroid belt, and the comets.

In some ways Sitchin’s work resembled that of Immanuel Velikovsky and even Erich von Daniken—at least in terms of the opposition it generated—but he clearly had an immense and loyal following all his own. Probably no fig­ure in the world of alternative archaeology is more criticized and more venerated.

Sitchin was first interviewed for an article in Atlantis Rising in 1995. The piece was later republished in our book Forbidden History. Subsequently he wrote several articles for this publication, most recently, the cover story for is­sue #83 “Ancient Giants & Alien DNA,” based on his last book There Were Giants Upon the Earth (Inner Traditions, 2010) which argued that alien DNA would be found in human remains taken from ancient tombs near Ur in modern-day Iraq. He certainly had many avid fans and followers among the readers of this publication. On the Internet many notable voices, saddened by the news of his passing, have been honoring his memory, including Alan Boyle from MSNBC’s Cosmic Log, DailyGrail.com, and BeliefNet.com.

Dead Sea Scrolls On the Web

For over 60 years the Dead Sea Scrolls have been at the center of much debate over the origins of Christianity and its relationship to ancient Judaism. All discussions were at the mercy of the few scholars who had access to the scrolls, and the result was considerable controversy. All of that will soon be history, as sometime early in 2011 the scrolls are set to be published on the Internet where any interested person with a computer will be able to Google them in great detail.

Newly digitized using the latest infrared and multispectral imaging technology, the scrolls now reveal words once invisible in natural light, and scholars are able to read previously undecipherable portions of the text. All of that will be available on line.

Consisting of 30,000 separate fragments forming 900 manuscripts of biblical texts and religious writings from the time of Jesus, the Scrolls were found between 1946 and 1956 in the ruins of the ancient village of Khirbet Qumran in 11 caves near the West Bank.

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