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12th Planet, The – Book Review

thPlanetThe_Oby: Sitchin, Zecharia

Publisher: Avon Books

Copyright: 1976                                                

Type: Paperback

reviewed by: Lynard Barnes,8/5/1994                       

Summary: Highly recommended.                                                                             

Reprinted from Crushies Book Review, August 1994 Volume I, Issue No. 3.
With the recent news concerning Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 exploding into the upper atmosphere of Jupiter, it was exciting to follow the cosmic adventure of the planet-comet Marduk as it swept past the planet Tiamat and its moon, Kingu. The difference between the outcomes of Shoe maker Levy 9 and Marduk is that Marduk caused the planet Tiamat to split in two. One half was eventually pulverized to become the Hammered Bracelet of Heaven (the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars) and the other half, along with Kingu, became our own planet earth and moon.

Sitchin uses the ancient Sumerian Creation epic to explain the creation of our planet and the configuration of the solar system. It is done in preparation to explaining the cornerstone of the book–the 12th planet. Even before he gets to the hard science of planet formation, he tackles the ancient pantheon, stating a fairly solid case for a common root for all the ancient pantheon–the Hittites, Greeks, Egyptians and others.

Sitchin’s works are a combination of fact and speculation. The value of his work is the speculation. Like his other works in The Earth Chronicles, he starts with the facts, primarily ancient text and artwork, and constructs a rational scenario as to the why of it all. This is valuable in and of itself. The reader is forced to go beyond the traditional rationalizations history being nothing more than rationalizations after all. Once beyond the traditional, other possibilities arise, including those of Sitchin.

For instance, traditional history holds that Greece was the foundation of western civilization. But what of the Sumerians who preceded the Greeks by some 3,000 years? The author is at his best in examining this foundation. That the gods of antiquity should all be of the scared number 12, that the personalities and dispositions of gods known under different names in different cultures should be in essence the same gods as those revered by the Sumerians is certainly not accidental. In reading Sitchin the only question is whether the commonality of humankind’s culture was the result of extraterrestrial visitation. The reader may answer that with a resounding No. So be it. It does not distract from the contribution Sitchin makes to the study of histories and cultures.

Read this book. A farther reading suggestion. If you have read the bible and are comfortable with it, read THE 12TH PLANET and Sitchin’s other book, THE WARS OF GODS AND MEN.



World of the Incredible But True – Review

by: Charles Berlitz

Publisher: Fawcett Crest

Copyright: 1991

Type: Paperback

reviewed by: Lynard Barnes 8/5/1994

Summary: Entertaining fluff.

Reprinted from Crushies Book Review, August 1994 Volume I, Issue No. 3.

An anthology of the weird and unusual. Entertaining but not informative.

Best known for his book, The Bermuda Triangle and the fact that he is a grandson of the founder of the Berlitz language schools, this is the second anthology of weird and unusual stories compiled by Berlitz. (Charles Berlitz’s World of Strange Phenomena is also published by Fawcett Crest books).

The first vignette, “Double Coincidence Times Three”, is the magnet that draws you into this book. It relates the story of THREE men named Hugh Williams who were the sole survivors of shipwrecks in the Menai Strait in 1664, 1785 and 1860. Your first reaction is, “Yeah, that’s incredible.” Then you might ask, “But is it true?” And you keep asking yourself that for the next 265 pages, by which time the question has become a sort of soft hum in the back of your head and your reaction to the “incredible” part has become a critique on its entertainment value. Being a critical reader, you have long since decided that there is probably as much invention here as fact. It’s a pity too. There are some legitimate mysteries out there, but this book adds nothing to the puzzle nor the solution. It is more fluff than lightweight–non-existent as far as information goes.



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