|A vase, often mistaken for an alien|
He received a degree in economics from the University of London, and was an editor and journalist in Israel, before moving to New York in 1952. While working as an executive for a shipping company, he claims to have taught himself Sumerian cuneiform.
Ancient language scholar Michael S. Heiser states he has found many inaccuracies in Sitchin's translations and challenges interested parties to use this book to check their validity. Prof. Ronald H. Fritze, author of the book Invented Knowledge: False History, Fake Science and Pseudo-religions, mentions the example of Sitchin's claim that the Sumerian sign Din-Gir means "pure ones of the blazing rockets", adding that "Sitchin's assignment of meanings to ancient words is tendentious and frequently strained." Fritze also commented on Sitchin's methodology, writing that "When critics have checked Sitchin's references, they have found that he frequently quotes out of context or truncates his quotes in a way that distorts evidence in order to prove his contentions. Evidence is presented selectively and contradictory evidence is ignored."
In a 1979 review of The Twelfth Planet, Roger W. Wescott, Professor of Anthropology and Linguistics at Drew University, Madison, New Jersey, noted Sitchin's amateurishness with respect to the primacy of the Sumerian language:
"Sitchin's linguistics seems at least as amateurish as his anthropology, biology, and astronomy. On p. 370, for example, he maintains that "all the ancient languages ... including early Chinese ... stemmed from one primeval source -- Sumerian". Sumerian, of course, is the virtual archetype of what linguistic taxonomists call a language-isolate, meaning a language that does not fall into any of the well-known language-families or exhibit clear cognation with any known language. Even if Sitchin is referring to written rather than to spoken language, it is unlikely that his contention can be persuasively defended, since Sumerian ideograms were preceded by the Azilian and Tartarian signatories of Europe as well as by a variety of script-like notational systems between the Nile and Indus rivers."
He uses the Epic of Creation Enuma Elish as the foundation for his cosmogony, identifying the young god Marduk, who overthrows the older regime of gods and creates the Earth, as the unknown "Twelfth Planet". In order to do this he interprets the Babylonian theogony as a factual account of the birth of the other "eleven" planets. The Babylonian names for the planets are established beyond a shadow of a doubt—Ishtar was the deity of Venus, Nergal of Mars, and Marduk of Jupiter—and confirmed by hundreds of astronomical/astrological tables and treatises on clay tablets and papyri from the Hellenistic period. Sitchin merrily ignores all this and assigns unwarranted planetary identities to the gods mentioned in the theogony. For example, Apsu, attested as god of the primeval waters, becomes, of all things, the Sun! Ea, as it suits Sitchin, is sometimes planet Neptune and sometimes a spaceman. And the identity of Ishtar as the planet Venus, a central feature of Mesopotamian religion, is nowhere mentioned in the book—instead Sitchin arbitrarily assigns to Venus another deity from Enuma Elish, and reserves Ishtar for a role as a female astronaut.
The work of this fraud might fool those who are currently going through naive enlightenment, but it doesn't fool everyone.
- Kilgannon, Corey (January 8, 2010). "Origin of the Species, From an Alien View". New York Times(The New York Times Company). Retrieved 29 October 2010. "Mr. Sitchin was called silly before — by scientists, historians and archaeologists who dismiss his hypotheses as pseudoscience and fault their underpinnings — his translations of ancient texts and his understanding of physics."
- Fritze, Ronald H,. (2009). Invented knowledge: false history, fake science and pseudo-religions. Reaktion Books. p214. ISBN 978-1-86189-430-4James, Peter SIS Workshop no. 7, vol. 2, no. 2 (Nov. 1979), reprinted from Fortean Times no. 27 (Nov. 1978).