The Twelfth Planet by Zechariah Sitchin - book review

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I have to start this review with a confession. Although Zechariah Sitchin’s ‘The Twelfth Planet’ has been around for a very long time (I now own the 30th Anniversary Edition of the book), I’ve never read it up to now because I felt that its main ideas were too far out to be possible. To explain my scepticism, here's what Sitchin was stating, to the best of my knowledge:

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1) The Annunaki, the gods of Ancient Sumer, were from another planet, Nibiru, in our solar system, whose very long, eccentric orbit meant it wasn’t near to Earth for most of a ten-thousand year orbit.
2) The Annunaki were on Earth in ancient times for mining purposes.
3) The Annunaki created a hybrid human, a mixture of themselves and Homo Habilis, four-hundred-thousand years ago, so that they had a worker available to do the back-breaking mining activity.

I was very sceptical about those three ideas for rational reasons. Firstly, I concluded that point 1 wasn't true, as there was no evidence at that time of an eccentric, long-orbit planet around our solar system. I was also very sceptical of point 2 and 3, because I felt that a race from another planet would find the mining and transport of raw metals to another planet far too costly in terms of resources for the activity to be worthwhile.

But this scepticism may have been misplaced. Recently, several scientific developments seem to have boosted Sitchin’s theory. There has been the discovery that a planet around our sun may be a reality, thanks to the studies of orbital anomalies in the Kuiper Belt, the large region of comets on the edge of our solar system. There has also been the genetic discovery that the changes in genes required to turn Homo Habilis into Homo Sapiens are so extensive, specialised and mutually dependent that it’s almost impossible that they could have occurred purely through natural selection. Thirdly, just last week, a scientific report was published describing the discovery of Homo Sapiens bones in an ancient mine in Morocco, bones that have been reliably dated to 300,000 BC, two-hundred-thousand years before Homo Sapiens was supposed to have developed in Africa.

All the above three scientific discoveries are ground-breaking and seem strong enough to force the scientific establishment to rewrite their understanding of major subjects. What’s more, all three discoveries support Sitchin’s theories about the Annunaki. If these ‘gods’ did create a hybrid annunaki-habilis person, Homo Sapiens, four-hundred-thousand years ago, then it would explain both the bizarre acceleration of genetic changes from Habilis to Sapiens and the presence of Homo Sapiens in a mine, three-hundred-thousand years ago.

Because of these developments, I put aside my earlier misgivings and read Sitchin’s book. I’m very pleased I did because it’s an excellent scholarly study. Sitchin’s decision to learn cuneiform as a way to really find out what the Sumerians were saying is exemplary. The book is also very readable and engaging. His ideas may still sound crazy but at the moment, from a scientific point of view, Sitchin’s theory is actually the most plausible theory for our current state on this planet. An ancient, technically advanced race colonising Earth half a million years ago, then hybridising Homo Habilis to create a worker-slave, is actually the most plausible explanation of why Homo Sapiens is here, how our civilisation arrived, appearing from literally nothing in 4,000BC, and where we need to look for answers and further understanding of ourselves and our past. I therefore heartily recommend the book.