FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions about Planet X, Niburu, Nancy Lieder, Zecharia Sitchin.
Disclaimer: I'm not an astronomer, I simply gathered the questions and answers, as I understood them, and put them in an easy-to-read format.
Q: Who is Nancy Lieder?
A: Nancy Lieder is a middle-aged woman who claims to be channeling telepathic messages from aliens who reside in Zeta Reticuli system. She runs a website called Zeta Talk, where she posts messages from the Zetas and from herself interpreting the Zetan messages and relating them to current events. In particular, her messages pertain to Planet X and its return, the destruction of life on Earth due to Planet X, as well as numerous political topics. Strangely, she is the 2nd person to claim to be in contact with beings from Zeta Reticuli, the first was Ben Goldman, a 1960s and 70s horror movie producer.
Q: Who is Zecharia Sitchin
A: Mr. Sitchin is a researcher who believes he has found the true translation of some ancient Sumerian seals (like tablets) which document an alien race's visit to Earth as well as the location of their planet and its orbit. The impact of this would be like discovering that some neanderthal man had discovered how to build a computer, drew his designs on a cave wall, and then disappeared with no other trace.
Q: Who is Mark Hazelwood?
A: Mark Hazelwood is a self-proclaimed spritualist who has taken Ms. Lieder's ideas and Mr. Sitchin's works and wrote a book about the topic, concentrating on the rogue planet and its return, as well as the concequences of that return. Mr. Hazelwood is credited with the prediction that the rogue planet would return in 2003. He admits to having no scientific background, and gets numerous things wrong in his book. He says it is in a stable 3,600 year orbit, then contradicts himself saying it's in an unstable orbit (which would mean we can't predict its period). He says NASA, the government, and anyone who disagrees with him, is in on a conspiracy to cover up the truth or have been brainwashed to believe that Planet X / Niburu doesn't exist. Strangely, Ms. Lieder also adopts this same tactic when she's confronted with information that proves her to be wrong.
Q: Where or when did Nancy Lieder show up?
A: Around 1995 Ms. Lieder began posting to various newsgroups that the comet Hale-Bopp was actually not a comet but a government conspiracy to use a nova as a distraction away from the Planet X, which she predicted would be visible to most people after the nova subsided. She also predicted that NASA would say the comet will breakup -in order to explain why it disappears after the nova burst dissipates, I guess- which they never did. Two failed predictions right from the start. Her predictions, which she now claims to not have made, are seen here: http://www.planet-x.150m.com/nancyhb.html.
Q: What is Planet X?
A: The story, as I understand it, goes something like this: 3,600 years ago, the ancient Sumerians were in contact with a group of genetically engineered human-alien hybrids. They wrote down their idea of the universe, and specifically this solar system, on some copper seals. Supposedly, since these aliens had traveled here from their planet as it passed the Earth, they had knowledge of space travel and had seen the solar system during their travels. They got a lot of things wrong, like the number of planets, their order in the solar system, the number of moons, etc. On these seals, one researcher -Zecharia Sitchin- claims to have revised the translation to show they were actually correct and to prove the existence of a planet we don’t currently see: Planet Niburu. Now, it must be said that Sitchin has reached this conclusion by including mythology as well as known history in a strange conglomeration, which many modern researchers disagree with. Sitchin says this Niburu is on a 3,600-year orbit and will become visible to us here on Earth in the near future.
Q: Is Planet X / Niburu in, or the cause of, the Kupier Belt?
A:Many Planet X / Niburu proponents continue to point to the year 1983, where a supposed large body, of some kind, was said by scientists to be perturbing Neptune’s orbit, causing it to wobble. In 1992, however, astronomers became aware of a vast population of small bodies orbiting the sun beyond Neptune. There are at least 70,000 "trans-Neptunians" with diameters larger than 100 km in the radial zone extending outwards from the orbit of Neptune (at 30 AU) to 50 AU. Observations show that the trans-Neptunians are mostly confined within a thick band around the ecliptic, leading to the realization that they occupy a ring or belt surrounding the sun. This ring is generally referred to as the Kuiper Belt, it was never a planet, and this discovery allowed scientists to revise their ideas about the solar system to cancel out what they thought was a wobble. (Thanks Peace Rules)
Q: Is Planet X / Niburu causing comets to fall into the solar system from the Oort Cloud?
A: Recently astronomers have seen evidence of disturbances in what is called the Oort Cloud. They theorize that these disturbances could be caused by a large object, possibly even an undiscovered planet, which they dubbed Planet X. Such a planet would stay outside our solar system in the Oort Cloud, but may be responsible for comets falling into the system in a somewhat regular pattern as it knocks them out of the cloud. This Planet X could never have been in, nor fall into, the inner solar system based on what we know of gravity and orbital mechanics.
Q: Did Planet X / Niburu collide with Earth and form the Moon?
A: More and more evidence is pointing to the Earth having a collision with another large object while the Earth was still a cooling molten body. This collision may actually have torn off a chunk which was captured into orbit and became what we know as our Moon. However, there has never been any evidence to suggest this large object was another planet, nor that it was on any kind of recurring cycle with Earth. Some point to the asteroid belt and claim that it is the remnants of this planet, but scientists have proven that the asteroids that make up the belt could never have been a planet due to the lack of material in the belt. If you gathered all the asteroids in the belt together, they would form a body only half the size of the Moon.
Q: It’s almost May 2003, can we see Planet X / Niburu?
A: Contrary to Nancy Lieder, and a few other’s, assertions, no. Hundreds of amateur astronomers, as well as several well-known professionals, have devoted hours and hours searching the coordinates where Planet X / Niburu are supposed to be. They have never seen anything out of the ordinary. When professional image analysts look at the pictures Ms. Lieder’s “team” has produced, they find not evidence of a planet, but evidence of faulty equipment and image tampering. Ms. Lieder claims Planet X / Niburu is now within Saturn’s orbit, which means it’s closer to us than Saturn is, which also means it should be brighter than Saturn in the night sky. There is no object brighter than Saturn visible in the sky besides Jupiter and the Moon. Currently, Ms. Lieder claims that there is a dark cloud surrounding Planet X / Niburu which polarizes the light that should be reflecting off of it, which effectively makes it invisible to anyone not in the correct place at the correct time. Here is a picture from the Astronomy Picture of the Day site that shows the polarized light from a nebula http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap030409.html, which is plainly visible to any astronomer with the proper equipment no matter where on Earth they are located. I should mention that Ms. Lieder also predicted that Planet X / Niburu would become daytime visible sometime in April 2003. It has not done so. Any pictures of this also show the same evidence of faulty equipment or tampering.
**edit September 24, 2003: As many may know, Nancy Lieder revised her prediction several times, then said the Zetans had told a "White Lie" in order to fool the United States government into "tipping their hand" by blockading innocents inside cities to die, and that Planet X was never due to arrive in May 2003. The Zetans now claim that they refuse to tell the exact coordinates and date of Planet X's passage in order to continue foiling the evil US government. At this date, Nancy Lieder also claims Planet X is near the Sun, perturbing the Moon, causing Red Dust to rain upon the Earth, showing up as lens flares, fire dragons, winged personas, and generally causing much havok. She claims Planet X's density bends light around cameras (which we debunkers call lens flares) causes it to have a "repulsive force" which keeps it from colliding with the Sun, and various other fantastical properties.**
Q: Is Planet X / Niburu actually Mars, or any other known planet?
A: No, this viewpoint is only put forward by other doomsday “prophets” who are trying to latch onto the fear and skepticism of the Planet X / Niburu believers. Most likely as a way to carry it over onto themselves when Planet X / Niburu fails to show in May 2003.
Q: Would Planet X / Niburu cause disasters and pole shifts?
A: If a planet with the theoretical mass and orbit that Sitchin gives it were to come close to Earth, it would probably cause huge amounts of damage to both the Earth and itself. The problem with this theory is, if such an object existed it would already have caused huge amounts of disturbances with the other planets during its previous passages. We see no evidence of these disturbances. In fact, all of the planets and moons that we know of can be explained with known laws of physics without resorting to rogue planets careening through the solar system.
As for pole shifts, the magnetic poles of Earth are known to switch positions periodically, which means magnetic north becomes magnetic south, and vice versa. During such a switch in polarity, the magnetic field around Earth temporarily disperses and then reforms. These pole shifts don’t occur on any regular basis, but when they do it takes a matter of many, many years to happen. This would cause a lot of confusion with devices that rely on the magnetic fields of Earth, but not massive disasters (contrary to what you may have seen in the movie The Core). What Ms. Lieder predicts is that the actual north and south poles of the Earth will shift, which would mean Australia would be on the “top” half and America would be the new “downunder”, for example, and that the actual rotation of the Earth will reverse. There is no evidence that this could ever occur, or ever has occurred, anywhere on any planet that we can observe. In fact, such a physical pole and rotation reversal would release such vast amounts of energy that the Earth would once again become a molten fiery mass.
Q: Could Ms. Lieder or Mr. Sitchin be right and we just dont understand some critical bit of information?
A: If only one, or even just a few, pieces of information would validate Ms. Lieder or Mr. Sitchin's theories, then we could entertain this idea. Unfortunately for them, they get so many facts wrong that this simply isn't a possibility. Ms. Lieder's Zetans, for a spacefaring race, have extremely limited knowledge of the cosmos, physics, or orbital dynamics, which is all necessary knowledge to have in order to cross the vast distances of space. Mr. Sitchin and his alien-human hybrids also demonstrate a lack of physics knowledge, and have the added problem of having no evidence, besides Mr. Sitchin's writings, of their existance at all. What we do have is a huge vacuum of information which Ms. Lieder and Mr. Sitchin fill with theory, superstition, mythology, and just plain made-up, magical knowledge. When we apply mathematics, physics, and observation to anything relating to Planet X / Niburu, we simply come up with nothing, nada, zip. Planet X / Niburu, as Ms. Lieder, Mr. Sitchin, and their ilk describe it simply does not and can not exist.
The Bad Astronomer, Phil Plait has devoted a rather large amount of time and webspace to these questions here and is one of my primary sources of information. Thanks BA.