Zecharia Sitchin (11 July 1920, Baku, Azerbaijan - 9 October 2010, New York, USA) was an Azeri-born American author of books promoting an explanation for human origins involving ancient astronauts. As such, he was one of the main proponents of the Ancient Astronaut Theory.
Sitchin studied modern and ancient Hebrew, Sumerian as well as other Semitic and European languages, the Old Testament, and the history and archaeology of the Near East.
The Earth Chronicles series of books is based on the premise that mythology is not fanciful but the repository of ancient memories. Sitchin attributes the creation of the ancient Sumerian culture to the Anunnaki, which he states was a race of extra-terrestrials from a planet beyond Neptune called Nibiru. He believed this hypothetical planet of Nibiru to be in an elongated, elliptical orbit in the Earth's own Solar System, asserting that Sumerian mythology reflects this view. Sitchin's books have sold millions of copies worldwide and have been translated into more than 25 languages.
Sitchin's theories could be summarized in 3 premises:
- The ancient mythologies of Sumer, Akkadia, Babylonia, etc. in the Middle East really describe past activities of extraterrestrials here on Earth when they talk about the Anunnaki, Nephilim, etc.
- These Extraterrestrials all come from the same planet, called Nibiru.
- This planet Nibiru is in an extended orbit around the sun, which takes approx. 3600 years to complete, and its passage through the solar system has in the past triggered some cataclysms.
The evidence Sitchin provides for his theories is largely based on interpretations / translations of the texts, corroborated by other circumstantial evidence. For this reason, his theories are not generally accepted by scientists and academics who dismiss his work as pseudo-history and pseudoscience.
Nevertheless, he does present an overall compelling and fairly consistent case, at least as far as the first premise is concerned.