Big Book Energy on Ancient Astronauts
Our first episode is on Zecharia Sitchin’s The Lost Realms. This is the fourth installment of his series, The Earth Chronicles, which documents extraterrestrial activity in early human civilization. This was also the first book chosen for our Thrift Store Find theme, courtesy of our local Goodwill. Jennifer chose this book because as someone with historical training and an interest in ancient civilizations and archaeology, she has always been simultaneously fascinated and infuriated by ancient astronaut theories, a la History Channel’s Ancient Aliens. When she spotted it nestled in the New Age section shelves, she knew it was meant to be. But did it fulfill her expectations?
Sitchin was born in Azerbaijan, then the Soviet Union, in 1920. While receiving a formal education from the London School of Business, Sitchin was assiduous in developing his side hobby of archaeological study and translation of ancient Sumerian texts. Lack of formal education in related disciplines notwithstanding, Sitchin developed an equally outlandish and intricate theory about the source of ancient civilization. It was, in fact, quite out of this world (I’m sorry). Inserting himself within the already prolific arena of ancient astronaut theorists, Sitchin argued that an alien race living on a dying Planet X came to earth to mine critical precious metals that would mean their salvation. These aliens, dubbed the Annunaki, after tiring of mining themselves, mixed their genetic material with other early hominids to create homo sapiens who would act as servant and partner in these endeavors.
As we discuss in this week’s episode, Sitchin’s book extends this theory into the New World, linking the Olmec, Aztec, Maya, and Incan civilizations back to an apparently older and dominant Sumerian one. Using mythology, linguistics, archaeology, and a smattering of other fields [inaccurately], Sitchin pieces together what he argues is convincing evidence for this theory. Spanning from Teotihuacan to Macchu Picchu, Sitchin systematically strips away all agency and potentiality of the Americas’ earliest residents. In truly astounding intellectual leaps, supported by mere suggestion, Sitchin tramples through the mythology and culture of native peoples in a way that should cause discomfort. During the podcast, Paige and Jennifer cover some of the finer points of Sitchin’s theories, the subtle (or not so subtle) racism that is threaded throughout the book, issues of amateurism in the historical field, and distrust of the academic mainstream. Below are a list of [admittedly many Wikipedia] relevant links for this episode and, of course if you are interested, please check out our Listen page or find us on your favorite podcast provider!
The pyramids at Giza, built at the coveted ~52 degree angle that Sitchin discusses in Lost Realms. Current scholarship agrees that the Pharaoh Khufu began construction on the Great Pyramid in 2580 BCE.
Photo courtesy of Martin Widenka.
The Bent Pyramid, constructed by Pharaoh Sneferu in 2600 BCE. You can see from the sides that the angle of ascent changes roughly halfway through construction – from 54 to 43 degrees.
Photo courtesy of Nacho Díaz Latorre.
An aerial shot of the temple complex at Teotihuacan, north of modern day Mexico City. This shot shows the avenue leading to the Temple of the Moon, which is quite distinct from the Egyptian pyramids with stepped sides more reminiscent of Mesopotamian ziggurats.
An example of the Olmec statue heads from the episode. These basalt statues are huge and really cool and they do not represent people of African descent as Sitchin adamantly argues in Lost Realms.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
Lastly, a list of Sitchin or ancient astronaut related sites:
- Seal VA-243, used by Sitchin as proof of the existence of Nibiru
- A New York Times article written on Sitchin in 2010
- A link to interviews Sitchin gave for the radio show Coast to Coast
- Classic Wikipedia article
- Site dedicated to Sitchin, maintained posthumously
- Not Sitchin related, but a great article about the Ancient Aliens foray into paleontology
Tune in next Monday for Episode 1.2. Follow us on social media if that is your thing, and be sure to check out our Patreon for extra BBE content!