Who are the Anunnaki?
Are the Anunnaki real? Are they aliens? Or are they part of a bigger picture?
The “Anunnaki” are the major players in a paradigm making its way into popular folklore, via the work of the late Zecharia Sitchin, an economist by education and profession, and the author of several best-selling books, including Genesis Revisited, that explore ancient mythology and the mysterious megalithic ruins found around the globe. These various books also seek to demonstrate that there was in ancient times an extraterrestrial race that genetically manipulated mankind for various reasons. The Sitchin thesis (“Sitchinism”), now embraced by numerous other writers, who have incorporated it into what is apparently a new worldview, essentially asserts that these ancient Sumero-Babylonian gods, the Anunnaki, are aliens from the planet Nibiru (Sitchin’s “12th Planet”), which passes by the earth every 3,500 years or so, at which time they planet-hop to the earth and create mischief.
Although the idea of the ancient gods being aliens may seem novel, the tendency to make the gods of old into “real people” or “flesh and blood” is not at all new, dating to before the time of the Greek historian Herodotus (5th c. BCE) and developed by the Greek philosopher Euhemeros or Evemeras (c. 300 BCE). This tendency is called, in fact, “euhemerism” or “evemerism,” which claims that the numerous gods of various cultures were not “mythical” but were in reality kings, queens, warriors and assorted heroes whose lives were turned into fairytales with the addition of miraculous details to their biographies. The current Anunnaki thesis is a modern version of evemerism, although it seeks to explain the miracles as not fabulous “additions” to the tales but genuine attributes of advanced extraterrestrials.
Unfortunately for those who would wish to see concrete evidence of such exciting notions as extraterrestrial visitation in Earth’s remote past, the Anunnaki will not be the place to look, as the true nature of these various gods and goddesses was already known long before the era of modern revisionism.
Ancient Astronaut Theory
The tireless researcher Charles Fort was widely known as the chronicler of what are now called “Forteana,” bizarre anomalies and mysteries that throw the current perception of reality on its ear, whether it be religious or scientific. In an attempt to explain these anomalies, which include weird stories or “myths” and enormous, astonishing ruins worldwide, a number of people, including Swiss writer Erich von Daniken and Zecharia Sitchin, have created the “ancient astronaut theory,” which dictates that alien visitors have been influencing human life for thousands if not millions of years, even to the point of genetic manipulation. von Daniken, it should be recalled, was one of the first moderns to put forth the ancient astronaut theory and was widely ridiculed and vilified for his observations. Because of Sitchin’s apparent scholastic training, he becomes more credible for many, even though he is one of those renegades not scholastically trained in his field. Furthermore, it should be noted that neither man came up with the ancient astronaut theory, which was largely developed by a German occultic society, for one, during the 19th century.
Supporters (“Sitchinites”) claim that Sitchin is one of the few people who read the Sumerian language and that because he can read Sumerian, he must be interpreting the data properly. The assertion that he is one of the few scholars of Sumerian is not true. Moreover, the idea that someone may be able to read a language and therefore can interpret its data properly is a specious argument, because the one certainly does not guarantee the other. Years before Sitchin, biblical and Dead Sea scrolls scholar John Allegro studied Sumerian intimately and came to very different conclusions: To wit, that many of the words revolved around sex and drugs. Hence, it is not the “mere” ability to read the Sumerian that will produce an accurate rendering of it.