…Sumerian and Akkadian texts leave no doubt that the peoples of the ancient Near East were certain that the Gods of Heaven and Earth were able to rise from Earth and ascend into the heavens, as well as roam Earth’s skies at will.
…Inanna, was one who could roam "the heavens over many lands that lie far apart – feats only possible by flying.
…Such a capability, by Inanna as well as the other major gods, was often indicated by the ancient artists by depicting the gods – anthropomorphic in all other respects as we have seen – with wings. The wings as can be seen from numerous depictions, were not of the body – not natural wings, but rather a decorative attachment to the god’s clothing.
…Her most celebrated journey was to the Lower World, the domain of her sister Ereshkigal. The journey was not only the subject of epic tales but also of artistic depictions on cylinder seals – the latter showing the goddess with wings, to stress the fact that she flew over from Sumer to the Lower World.
…The texts dealing with this hazardous journey describe how Inanna very meticulously put on herself seven objects prior to the start of the voyage, and how she had to give them up as she passed through the seven gates leading to her sister’s abode. Seven such objects are also mentioned in other texts dealing with Inanna skyborne travels:
- The SHU.GAR.RA she put on her head.
- "Measuring pendants," on her ears.
- Chains of small blue stones, around her neck.
- Twin "stones," on her shoulders.
- A golden cylinder, in her hands.
- Straps, clasping her breast.
- The PALA garment, clothed around her body.
…Though no one has as yet been able to explain the nature and significance of these seven objects, we feel that the answer has long been available. Excavating the Assyrian capital Assur from 1903 to 1914, Walter Andrae and his colleagues found in the Temple of Ishtar a battered statue of the goddess showing her with various "contraptions" attached to her chest and back. In 1934 archaeologists excavating at Mari came upon a similar but intact statue buried in the ground. It was a life-size likeness of a beautiful woman. Her unusual headdress was adorned with a pair of horns, indicating that she was a goddess. Standing around the 4,000 years old statue, the archaeologists were thrilled by her lifelike appearance (in a snapshot, one can hardly distinguish between the statue and the living men). They named her The Goddess with a Vase because she was holding a cylindrical object.
…Unlike the flat carvings or bas-reliefs, this life-size, three-dimensional representation of the goddess reveals interesting features about her attire. On her head she wears not a milliner’s chapeau but a special helmet; protruding from it on both sides and fitted over the ears are objects that remind one of a pilot’s earphones. On her neck and upper chest the goddess wears a necklace of many small (and probably precious) stones; in her hands she holds a cylindrical object which appears too thick and heavy to be a vase for holding water.
…Over a blouse of see-through material, two parallel straps run across her chest, leading back to and holding in place an unusual box of rectangular shape. The box is held tight against the back of the goddess’s neck and it is firmly attached to the helmet with a horizontal strap. Whatever the box held inside must have been heavy, for the contraption is further supported by two large shoulder pads. The weigh of the box is further increased by a hose that is connected to its base by a circular clasp. The complete package of instruments – for this is what they undoubtedly were – is held in place with the aid of the two set of straps that crisscross the goddess’s back and chest.
…The parallel between the seven objects required by Inanna for her aerial journeys and the dress and objects worn by the statue from Mari (and probably also the mutilated one found at Ishtar’s temple in Ashur) is easily proved. We see the "measuring pendants" – the earphones – on her ears; the rows or "chains" of small stones around her neck; the "twin stones" – the two shoulder pads – on her shoulders; the "golden cylinder" in her hands, and the clasping straps that crisscross her breast.
…She is indeed clothed in a "PALA garment" ("ruler’s garment"), and on her head she wears the SHU.GAR.RA helmet – a term that literally means "that which makes go far into the universe". All this suggests to us that the attire of Inanna was that of an astronaut.
Excavated Ruins at the Ancient City of Mari
The Nefilim; Angels; Emissaries; Temples, enclosures for the "divine bird";
…Jacob saw them going up a sky ladder, Hagar (Abraham’s concubine) was addressed by them from the sky, and it was them who brought about the aerial destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
…We learn that their appearance was sudden. Abraham "raised his eyes and lo and behold, there were three men standing by him." Bowing and calling them "My Lords," he pleaded with them, "Do not pass over thy servant" and prevailed on them to wash their feet, rest, and eat.
…Having done as Abraham had requested, two of the angels (the third "man" turned out to be the Lord himself) then proceeded to Sodom.
Lot, the nephew of Abraham, also invited them to the house offering to wash their feet, an overnight stay, and feed them.
Mr. Sitchin asks:
…How were these men – who ate, drank, slept, and washed tired feet – nevertheless so instantly recognizable as angels of the Lord? The only plausible explanation is that what they wore – their helmets or uniforms – or what they carried – their weapons – made them immediately recognizable. That they carried distinctive weapons is certainly a possibility. The two "men" at Sodom, about to be lynched by the crowd, "smote the people at the entrance of the house with blindness… and they were unable to find the doorway."
Referring once again to Ishtar/Inanna:
…The team headed by Andrea found yet another unusual depiction of Ishtar at her temple at Ashur. More a wall sculpture than the usual relief, it showed the goggles with a tight-fitting decorated helmet with the "earphones" extended as though they had their own flat antennas, and wearing very distinct goggles that were part of the helmet.
Needless to say, any man seeing a person – male or female – so clad, would at once realize that he is encountering an aeronaut.
…About two millennia earlier, when Sumerian ruler Gudea commemorated his building the temple for his god Ninurta, he wrote that there appeared to him "a man that shone like Heaven… by the helmet on his head, he was a god." When Ninurta and two divine companions appeared to Gudea, they were standing beside Ninurta’s "divine black wind bird." As it turned out, the main purpose of the temple’s construction was to provide a secure zone, an inner special enclosure within the temple grounds, for this "divine bird".
…The ancient texts also describe some vehicle used to lift aeronauts into the skies.
…The protected enclosure was described as MU.NA.DA.TUR.TUR ("strong stone resting place of the MU"). Urukagina who ruled in Lagash, said in regard to the "divine black wind bird": "The MU that lights up as a fire I made high and strong."
…Similarly, Lu-Utu, who ruled in Umma in the third millennium B.C., constructed a place for a mu, "which in a fire comes forth, for the god Utu, in the appointed place within his temple."
…That a mu – an oval topped, conical object – was indeed installed in the inner, sacred enclosure of the temples of the Great Gods of Heaven and Earth can, fortunately, be proved. An ancient coin found at Byblos (the Biblical Gebal) on the Mediterranean coast of present – day Lebanon depicts the Great Temple of Ishtar.
Mr. Sitchin has dedicated a whole page to describe this coin in his book The 12th Planet.
…A hymn to Inanna/Ishtar and her journeys in the Boat of Heaven clearly indicates that the mu was the vehicle in which the gods roamed the skies far and high:
Lady of Heaven:
She puts on the Garment of Heaven;
She valiantly ascends towards Heaven.
Over all the people lands
she flies in her Mu
Lady, who in her Mu
to the heights of Heaven joyfully wings.
Over all the resting places
she flies in her Mu.
…There is evidence to show that the people of the eastern Mediterranean had seen such a rocket-like object not only in a temple enclosure but actually in flight. Hittite glyphs, for example, showed – against a background of starry heavens – cruising missiles, rockets mounted on launch pads, and a god inside a radiating chamber.
…Indeed, a rocket with "wings" or fins – reachable by a "ladder" – can be seen on a tablet excavated at Gezer, a town in ancient Canaan, west of Jerusalem. The double imprint of the same seal also shows a rocket resting on the ground next to a palm tree. The celestial nature or destination of the objects is attested by symbols of the Sun, Moon, and zodiacal constellations that adorn the seal.
An ancient Egyptian Temple on Gebel Garabe
Ancient Watchtower, Circular Temple of Venus, Lebanon
Jacob’s Ladder, the biblical version
Lot and his Daughters, by Bartolomeo Manfredi
Ruins of the ancient Phoenician seaport of Byblos
A view of cliffs in the Sinai desert near Gebel (Mount) Baraka. Egypt
The Nefilim; Mu; Shu-Mu; Sham, or Shem;
…The Mesopotamian texts that refer to the inner enclosures of temples, or to the heavenly journeys of the gods, or even to instances where mortals ascended to the heavens, employ the Sumerian term mu or its Semitic derivatives shu-mu ("that which is a mu"), sham, or shem. Because the term also connoted "that by which one is remembered," the word has come to be taken as meaning "name." But the universal application of "name" to early texts that spoke of an object used in flying has obscured the true meaning of the ancient records.
…Wishing to worship their gods throughout the lands, and not only at the official "house" of each deity, the ancient peoples developed the custom of setting up imitations of the god within his divine "sky chamber." Some pillars shaped to simulate the oval vehicle were erected at selected sites, and the image of the god was carved into the stone to indicate that he was within the object.
…The Sumerians called them NA.RU ("stones that rise"). The Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians called them naru ("objects that give off light"). The Amuru called them nuras ("fiery objects"- in Hebrew, ner still means a pillar that emits light, and thus today’s "candle"). In the Indo-European tongues of the Hurrians and the Hittites, the stelae were called hu-u-ashi ("fire bird of stone").
…The realization that mu or shem in many Mesopotamian texts should be read not as a "name" but as "sky vehicle" opens the way to the understanding of the true meaning of many ancient tales, including the biblical story of the Tower of Babel.
After pages of research on the Tower of Babel, Mr. Sitchin writes:
…There is little doubt now that the biblical tales, as well as the reports of the Greek historians of 2,000 years ago and on their predecessor Berossus, all stem from earlier – Sumerian – origins. A.H. Sayce (The Religion of the Babylonians) reported reading on a fragmentary tablet in the British Museum "the Babylonian version of the building of the Tower of Babel." In all instances, the attempt to reach the heavens and the ensuing confusion of tongues are basic elements of the version. There are other Sumerian texts that record the deliberate confusion of Man’s tongue by an irate god.
…Mankind, presumably, did not possess at that time the technology required for such an aerospace project; the guidance and collaboration of a knowledgeable god was essential. Did such a god defied the others to help Mankind? A Sumerian seal depicts a confrontation between armed gods, apparently over the disputed construction by men of a stage tower.
…Both the Mesopotamian texts and the biblical account impart the same moral: The flying machines were meant for the gods and not for Mankind.
…Men – assert both Mesopotamian and biblical texts – could ascend to the Heavenly Abode only upon express wish of the gods. And therein lie more tales of ascents to the heavens and even of space flights.
The first was Enoch. The other mortal was the prophet Elijah.
…A little-known reference to a third mortal who visited the Divine Abode and was endowed there with great wisdom is provided in the Old Testament, and it concerns the ruler or Tyre (a Phoenician center on the eastern Mediterranean coast).
…We read in the Book of Ezequiel, Chapter 28 that the Lord commanded the prophet to remind the king how, perfect and wise, he was enabled by the Deity to visit with the gods:
Thou art molded by a plan,
full of wisdom, perfect in beauty.
Thou hast been in Eden, the Garden of God;
every precious stone was thy thicket…
Thou art an anointed Cherub, protected;
and I have placed thee in the sacred mountain;
as a god werest thou,
moving within the Fiery Stones.
…The Sumerian texts also speak of several men who were privileged to ascend to the heavens. One was Adapa, the "model man" created by Ea. To him Ea "had given wisdom; eternal life he had not given him." As the years went by, Ea decided to avert Adapa’s mortal end by providing him with a shem with which he was to reach the Heavenly Abode of Anu, there to partake of the Bread of Life and the Water of Life.
…When Adapa arrived at Anu’s Celestial Abode, Anu demanded to know who had provided Adapa with a shem with which to reach the heavenly location.
Engraving of Tower of Babel, by Dore 1866. From Dore’s Bible
The Construction of the Tower of Babel
A floor mosaic from the ancient Phoenician city of Tyre, south of Lebanon
Tyre, viewed from the isthmus
Elijah ascends to heaven… watched by Elisha, who remains on Earth as next prophet
The Epic of Gilgamesh…
…The futile search by mortal Man for the Tree of Life is the subject of one of the longest, most powerful epic texts bequeathed to human culture by the Sumerian civilization. Named by modern scholars the Epic of Gilgamesh the moving tale concerns the ruler of Uruk who was born to a mortal father and a divine mother. As a result, Gilgamesh was considered to be "two-thirds of him god, one-third of him human," a circumstance that prompted him to seek escape from the death that was the fate of mortals.
…Tradition had informed him that one of his forefathers, Utnapishtim – the hero of the Deluge – had escaped death, having been taken to the Heavenly Abode together with his spouse. Gilgamesh therefore decided to reach that place and obtain from his ancestors the secret of eternal life.
…The "distant journey" Gilgamesh undertook was, of course, his journey to the Abode of the Gods; he was accompanied by his comrade Enkidu. Their target was the Land of Tilmun, for there Gilgamesh could raise a shem for himself. The current translations employ the expected "name" where the Sumerian mu or the Akkadian shumu appear in the ancient texts; we shall, however, employ shem instead so that the term’s true meaning – a "skyborne vehicle" – will come through.
Several verses of the Epic appear on the book The 12th Planet, which describe the launching of a rocket ship.
…Putting aside the literary and philosophic values of the epic tale, the story of Gilgamesh interests us here primarily for its "aerospace" aspects. The shem that Gilgamesh required in order to reach the Abode of the Gods was undoubtedly a rocket ship, the launching of one of which he had witnessed as he neared the "landing place." The rockets, it would seem, were located inside a mountain, and the area was a well guarded, restricted zone.
…No pictorial depiction of what Gilgamesh saw has so far come to light. But a drawing found in the tomb of an Egyptian governor of a far land shows a rocket-head above ground in a place where date trees grow. The shaft of the rocket is clearly stored underground, in a man-made silo constructed of tubular segments and decorated with leopard skins…
…We can see that the rocket contained a number of compartments. The lower one shows two men surrounded by curving tubes. Above them there are three circular panels. Comparing the size of the rocket-head – the ben-ben – to the size of the two men inside the rocket, and the people above the ground, it is evident that the rocket-head – equivalent to the Sumerian mu, the "celestial chamber" – could easily hold one or two operators or passengers.
…TIL.MUN was the name of the land to which Gilgamesh set his course. The name literally meant "land of the missiles". It was the land where the shem’s were raised, a land under the authority of Utu/Shamash, a place where one could see this god "rise up to the vaults of heaven."
…And though the celestial counterpart of this member of the Pantheon of Twelve was the Sun, we suggest that his name did not mean "Sun" but was an epithet describing his functions and responsibilities. His Sumerian name Utu meant "he who brilliantly goes in". His derivate Akkadian name – Shem-Esh – was more explicit: Esh means "fire," and we know now what shem originally meant.
…Utu/Shamash was "he of the fiery rocket ships". He was, we suggest, the commander of the spaceport of the gods.
Etana; Thirteenth Ruler of Kish; The Eagle; Our Modern Astronauts;
…The Sumerian king lists inform us that the thirteenth ruler of Kish was Etana, "the one who to heaven ascended."
…Etana, we are told, was designated by the gods to bring Mankind the security and prosperity that Kingship – an organized civilization – was intended to provide. But Etana it seems could not further a son who would continue the dynasty. The only known remedy was a certain known Plant of Birth that Etana could obtain only by fetching down from the heavens.
…Like Gilgamesh at a later time, Etana turned to Shamash for permission and assistance. As the epic unfolds it becomes clear that Etana was asking Shamash for a shem!
Oh Lord, may it issue from thy mouth!
Grant thou me the Plant of Birth!
Show me the Plant of Birth!
Remove my handicap!
Produce for me a shem!
…But instead of speaking of a shem, Shamash told Etana that an "eagle" would take him to the desired heavenly place.
…Directing Etana to the pit where the Eagle had been placed, Shamash also informed the Eagle ahead of time of the intended mission.
…Arriving at the mountain indicated to him by Shamash, "Etana saw the pit," and, inside it, "there the Eagle was." "At the command of valiant Shamash, "the Eagle entered into communication with Etana". Once more, Etana explained his purpose and destination; whereupon the Eagle began to instruct Etana on the procedure for "raising the Eagle from its pit." The first two attempts failed, but on the third one the Eagle was properly raised. At daybreak, the Eagle announced to Etana: "My friend … up to the Heaven of Anu I will bear thee!"
…As though reported by a modern astronaut watching Earth recede as his rocket ship rises, the ancient story teller describes how Earth appeared smaller and smaller to Etana:
When he had borne him aloft one beru,
the Eagle says to him, to Etana:
"See, my friend, how the land appears!
Peer at the sea at the sides of the Mountain House:
The land has indeed become a mere hill,
The wide sea is just like a tub.
And so goes the epic until the land had disappeared.
…The tale of Etana informs us that, seeking a shem, Etana had to communicate with an Eagle inside a pit. A seal depiction shows a winged, tall structure (a launch tower?) above which an eagle flies off.
…What or who was the Eagle who took Etana to the distant heavens?
…We cannot help associating the ancient text with the message beamed to Earth in July 1969 by Neil Armstrong, commander of the Apollo 11 spacecraft: "Houston! Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed!"
He was reporting the first landing by Man on the Moon. Tranquility Base was the site of the landing: Eagle was the name of the lunar module that separated from the spacecraft and took the two astronauts inside it to the Moon (and then back to their mother craft). When the lunar module first separated to start its own flight in Moon orbit, the astronauts told Mission Control in Houston:
…"The Eagle has wings."
…But Eagle could also denote the astronauts who manned the spacecraft. On the Apollo 11 mission, "Eagle" was also the symbol of the Astronauts themselves, worn as an emblem on their suits. Just as in the Etana tale, they, too, were "Eagles" who could fly, speak and communicate.
…How would an ancient artist have depicted the pilots of the skyships of the gods? Would he have depicted them, by some chance, as eagles? That’s exactly what we have found. An Assyrian seal engraving from circa 1500 B.C. shows two "eagle-men" saluting a shem!
…The many depictions of the Eagles clearly show that they were not monstrous "bird-men", but anthropomorphic beings wearing costumes or uniforms that gave them the appearance of eagles.
…The Mesopotamian texts invariable present Utu/Shamash as the god in charge of the landing place of the shem’s and of the Eagles. And like his subordinates he was sometimes shown wearing the full regalia of an Eagle’s costume.
Mr. Sitchin after presenting a series of sketches of the ancient rocket-ships, and explanations of the same, taken from various Temples, of Utu, and Anu, concludes:
…The evidence thus far submitted regarding the ancient gods and their vehicles should leave no further doubt that there were once indeed living beings of flesh and blood , people who literally came down to Earth from the heavens.
In the Old Testament;
…Even the ancient compilers of the Old Testament – who dedicated the Bible to a single God – found it necessary to acknowledge the presence upon Earth in early times of such divine beings.
…The enigmatic section – one of horror of translators and theologians alike – form the beginning of chapter 6 of Genesis. It is interposed between the review of the spread of Mankind through the generations following Adam and the story of the divine disenchantment with Mankind that preceded the Deluge. It states – unequivocally – that, at that time;
The sons of the gods
saw the daughters of man, that they were good;
and they took them for wives,
of all which they chose.
The Nefilim were upon the Earth,
in those days and thereafter too,
when the sons of the gods
cohabited with the daughters of the Adam,
and they bore children unto them.
They were the mighty ones of Eternity –
The People of the shem.
…The above is not a traditional translation. For a long time, the expression "The Nefilim were upon the Earth" has been translated as "There were giants upon the earth;" but recent translators, recognizing the error, have simply resorted to leaving the Hebrew term Nefilim intact in the translation. The verse "The people of the shem," as one could expect, has been taken to mean "the people who have a name," and, thus, "the people of renown." But as we have already established, the term shem must be taken in its original meaning – a rocket, a rocket ship.
…Irrespective of the theological implications, the literal and original meaning of the verses cannot be escaped: The sons of the gods who came to Earth from the heavens were the Nefilim.
And the Nefilim were the People of the Shem – the People of the Rocket Ships. Henceforth, we shall call them by their biblical name.