A Failed Challenge To An Enigma of Ancient Astronomy, by Zecharia Sitchin
I was recently pleasantly surprised to encounter an old friend: The colorful cover of the first edition of my first book The 12th Planet (1976), reproduced in the April 2000 issue of Sky & Telescope. The photo was provided by the astronomer E.C. Krupp for his article “Lost Worlds” about misconceived predictions of planetary dooms (such as that regarding 5/5/2000).
Almost a full page is then devoted to “a different astronomical misconception” — “Zecharia Sitchin’s books about ancient space colonists from a lost “12th planet” that once violently invaded our solar system.” Conceding (or lamenting?) that “credulous readers are persuaded by Sitchin that the traditions of ancient Sumer validate this unorthodox reconstruction of solar system history,” the article suggests in a sidebar (see reproduction) that “Sitchin’s case originates in an Akkadian cylinder seal from the third millennium B.C.; a portion of it features a six-pointed star surrounded by eleven dots of varying size; Sitchin judged that the star symbolizes the Sun and the smaller elements are supposedly planets, including the lost 12th world.”